One of my favorite people in social media came to class. Jason Falls, who I have known for years, is truly one of the best. He’s not only a great author, professional, and speaker, but amazing person. To this day, I remember what he did a few years ago in helping me get back to Louisville in time to make an overseas business trip five years ago. To this day, every time I see Jason, I tell him he needs to call in his lifetime of bourbon for his kindness and help!

Here’s the blog post I wrote about how Jason helped me out.

What I really appreciated about Jason’s talk today for my advanced social media class was on the subject of personal branding. Jason, who is a thought leader and professional in the social media industry, definitely has a personal brand. If you know Jason, he not only knows all about social media strategy, but his personality lights up the room. He definitely catches your attention – and he does make an impression on you – which is what I think is great.

There are a few things Jason mentioned here from his talk that made me really think – YES! Finally, someone said this in a way that needs to be said not only in the industry, but in the classroom:

Personal brands do make opportunities happen. Absolutely agree. You do want to stand out in the field in a way that does separate you from others. This is an important distinction to make here, and Jason was able to share w/ the class how he did this with the social media and PR field early on. If you are able to identify where everyone is at in the industry, and say something that may be different, that helps capture attention.

This is where personal branding audits are very important since they align with what you are trying to accomplish for your own success, but you are able to see where everyone else is as well. Personally, I feel that by having a personal brand as a social media professor has helped me out tremendously and has opened up doors. However, I can’t rely on this 100% of the time. Which brings up the next point Jason made that is spot on for all of us to remember.

Be persistent and understand social media is not just one industry, but interconnected with everything today. The focus on social media of course is all about being social and managing the relationships. Jason mentioned how social media skills and applications are necessary for all aspects of society today. From advertising, public relations to sports and other industries, it’s a necessary skill. What I appreciated about this point Jason made was the fact that it shows the higher level of thinking and strategizing for how to use social media, which is sometimes not always emphasized in articles, guides, and conferences. I felt it was good for the students to recognize this and hear this from Jason.

Personal brands do not get you into every door.  You have to do the work and have expertise in the field. Just talking, tweeting, livestreaming, and commenting about your personal brand and who you are is not going to cut it. You have to SHOW people evidence, examples, and the work you are able to do to back up your personal brand.

Personal brands help, but if you are online 24/7 talking all about your personal brand WITHOUT showing what you can do, that’s a problem. That means you have a lot of time on your hands and are spending the time just talking with not much to show for it. Jason shared this in class about the difference in the social media industry. I think this also is apparent even in other circles, even academia. For example, it’s one thing to say you are a social media professor, but to really be classified as this, you have to actually teach, mentor actual students, and do research in the field. Just talking, tweeting, or having this in your bio is not enough.

In summary, I felt Jason’s talk was very spot on and relevant for what we are seeing in social media right now. To be effective in today’s time, you have to both show people what you can do, but also recognize you are your best marketer for who you are in the industry. There’s a fine line here, and there are many people who are either too far in either corner where they are promoting themselves too much without showing the evidence of what they can do, or they are working so hard they do not have time to promote their personal brand.

I am very thankful Jason took the time to share his insight with #FrebergSM today. Jason is one of my favorite people and professionals in the industry, and we are very fortunate to have him in our community here in Louisville.

Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,