When I'm on the road – whether it's for business (Kinetix) or for the blogs (speaking, etc.), I'm always a little bit surprised by the folks who are still holding back related to incorporating social media into their work/life balance equation.
Notice I said work/life balance, which is the key. If you want to really maximize your professional life, you're going to have to mix the two.
Successfully mixing the two in a social stream creates something I call “Likability”. It's like drinkability for all you lushes out there, but different. Like drinkability, style and yes – adult entertainment – you know it when you see it.
More importantly, you also recognize when it's not there.
So gather round the campfire, kids, and let's go through the punch list of what you have to be willing to share via social to be more likable – and as a result, more successful – in your professional life.
People get more professionally likable via social media by:
1. Sharing their professional expertise, but also sharing the dud moments as well. Likable people not only share things they're working on that are going well, but they also share stuff that challenges them, that they're not good at or don't enjoy. It helps people bond with them via shared challenges.
2. Sharing their interests outside of work. Got kids? Share what you're doing with them (don't use their names) on the weekend. Immediate connection with every parent in your industry.
3. Talking about Pop Culture/Sports/Etc. Ev
eryone is a consumer of pop culture, and you are too. Why wouldn't you talk about that? It's the spice that brings people together around the water cooler. Avoid extreme political views that polarize. Unless you're a moderate GOP like me (I kid).
4. Sharing cool things that others are doing in their industry. It's called reciprocity. You share things that other people are doing well. It doesn't even matter if you get something back from the person in question, because other people see it and it automatically makes you more likable. You're a giver. Everyone loves that.
5. Photos of you kicking @$$. Photos of you in your normal habitat (work, home, the commute) are gold. Everyone has the same scenes, but yours are different from theirs. Put the camera in your smart phone to work. It takes 15 seconds to get a tweet/Facebook post out with a picture. Not enough people take advantage of the mobile laptop you have in your pocket. Advantage: You.
By now, you've read this list and said – “so what, KD?” This reads like something I would see at MSN.com. You suck.
Not so fast, my friend. Go to your social stream. The tools don't matter. Did you have all 5 of these things represented in your social stream in the last week? No?
Then you're not as likable professionally as you could be. And the KD Institute for Not Sucking says you're costing yourself 100K in lifetime earnings by not taking the approach I've listed above.
Get likable. Start transmitting. Or get used to where you are.