Wrapping up my PLN

This is my final post regarding my PLN (personal learning network). This will be a summary of the work I have done so far with key things that I have learned. First of all, I began to tailor my online presence into a personal brand that had a uniform message. Not all of my social media accounts are carbon copies of each other -that would defeat the purpose- but they all possess a centralized message that authentically presents me as an individual and professional.

I think one of the most crucial things I learned was to watch and learn from people smarter and more experienced than myself and I plan to continue doing that for the rest of my career. You should never finish learning, there is always something fascinating and new that you can learn. Stagnancy is a waste of time and who wants to waste time?

As far as my deliverables go, I have made a demo reel, revamped my LinkedIn and learned how to blog (maybe;) It has been a good experience and I am very excited for my future. I’m looking forward to the summer, I just found out last week that I got a summer internship in Nashville and I’m beyond excited. I love to feel organized and being able to consolidate and connect my online presence is a great feeling that I cannot wait to continue in the future.

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My excited face 🙂 photo of Aziz Ansari from Parks and Rec by Danny Feld of NBC from Philly.com

Developing my Demo Reel

Today I started working on my demo reel. I decided to break it down into a step-by-step process so that it was easier to manage.

1) I knew a lot of the things I wanted to include, but I needed to make sure my reel wasn’t too broad. My first step was plotting out which things to use and in what order to use them. Basically I needed to make my reel more niche, I needed to cull footage that didn’t apply, even if I loved it. Confession: I’m a digital hoarder. My hard drive hates me and my Dropbox (I recommend Dropbox) is always full.

2) The second step was finding out what music to use, this is made difficult by copyright laws so I had to find royalty free music. I used mobigratis.com (free and more unique than the average free music)

3) Then came the actual editing, which I wanted to be fast paced and attention grabbing. I used Final Cut Pro X and then made sure to keep the reel at around 2-3 minutes. Not too long and not too short.

4) I made a professional Vimeo channel and uploaded my demo reel. As soon as I finish developing my website I am going to embed it there.

That is the place I am now. The thing about demo reels is that they need to be frequently updated, it’s important to remember that you’re never really done. Random fact: iruntheinternet.com is a very funny website

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YouTube vs. Vimeo from iruntheinternet.com

How LinkedIn am I?

For the past few months I have been working on updating and enhancing my LinkedIn profile. I created one when I was a freshman and then proceeded to do absolutely nothing with it until now, my senior year. Why is that? This could be partially because I was a freshman and wasn’t too worried about finding a job and partially because I didn’t really place that much credibility on it. I think I might have been wrong.

I recently read an article on expandedramblings.com that threw out 80 amazing facts about LinkedIn and some of them were amazing! Did you know that there are over 277 million LinkedIn users in the world with 2 more joining every second? Especially important for all of us out here with our eyes open for job opportunities is that 94% of potential employers check out a potential hire’s LinkedIn profile before they make the decision to hire them. (that one made me glad I didn’t leave my profile dormant 🙂

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Definitely best avoided

So we get it, LinkedIn is important, how do we make our profile’s shine? Well, I follow some professionals on Twitter, like Karen Yankovich, who I’ve mentioned before, Trinity Adam, and the official LinkedIn Twitter account in order to keep my LinkedIn up-to-date and noticeable. LinkedIn also has a fairly intuitive profile enhancing program that guides you into creating a stronger profile. Mine in still definitely a work in progress, but I can say that it is a lot better than it was! Here is my profile.

Watch and Learn

To chronicle some of the things I’ve been doing, well, I’ve been following people, and liking them and all of those other words we use to describe online activities that would be completely creepy in the real world. I am currently following dozens of professionals on Twitter and using a lot of their examples and advice to go about preparing for my career and equipping myself with as much knowledge as possible.

Use Twitter. Twitter is a great source for finding professionals that can give you quick, digestible-sized nuggets of information that can greatly help you prepare for the future and enhance your skills as a professional. I’ve especially noticed how helpful Twitter is for media professionals. If I see a link to a tutorial or something I want to check out I just favorite it and then go watch/read it later when I have more time.

ImageIf you are in the market for some helpful Final Cut Pro X tips, @LarryJordanFCP is a fantastic source and @karenyankovich is a great source for lots of career tips specializing in social media. Great follows! Check them out.

Posting on Social Media: What’s the best strategy?

I love Pinterest. I’ll confess; I’m a pinner, but Pinterest is not just for those who want to master the perfect messy bun or learn 18 ways to decoupage mason jars (although that does sound cool). Believe it or not, I am learning that Pinterest can be a valuable personal marketing tool as well as a great resource to find links to articles and information related to my career.

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Tonight I found a great infographic that came up on a social media board from UltraLinx. Intrigued, I clicked it and found that it had some great insights on posting qualifications. Basically, the when, where and what of posting on social media.I really liked this because it gave me some basic guidelines for posting and, let’s be honest, we have all watched that annoying person or organization crash and burn by over-posting or posting irrelevant content.

Fact: respect and reputability are much harder to retrieve than they are to lose.

This is applicable to, not only, nonprofits and organizations but also for personal marketing and branding yourself. Sometimes it’s hard to gauge how much is enough and in an age where everything is online and nothing can ever truly be deleted it’s smart to have a plan before you act.

To sum up:

1) Pinterest is a great social bookmarking resource.

2) Take the time and effort to be strategic in your social media objectives.

3) Post smart: quality over quantity

4) Different social media have different purposes. Don’t use them all the same way or you will just be ineffective in 10 places instead of dominating in one or two.