Posts tagged ‘tips’

Engage Your (Film) Audience

I’ll be speaking tonight at Projecting Change through Social Media (Club), an informational session for the Projecting Change Film FestivalStephanie Michelle Scott (my Twitter Workshop/Twitter Parlour partner) and I are conducting sessions on Twitter – however, since we are both passionate about film and have a film backgrounds we’ll also discuss some tips/examples with regards to social media for film in general.

Here are some of my thoughts.

Promotion (is a part of your production)

  • Find Your Audience Early. Figure out who your audience will be (you likely already know) and start reaching out early.  Start your research ASAP and begin building your audience relationships pre-and during filming.
  • Generate and Release Content.  Consider what you can put out to create interest during the process.  What kinds of material would flesh out your story more (text, video, pics) or give it an added dimension.  Remember that your characters had a life before the film too.  (In a post on this topic I wrote: “Allowing the character to live in other platforms before the film is released – and whilst the film is being made – gives the character a larger/broader  life – and helps with publicity.”
  • Examples:
    • Twitter can be an additional platform for the story.  Perhaps you could take pictures and create a part of the story that goes out only via this medium.
    • Get the audience (and others on Twitter) involved via a Twitter chat.  If the film is screening on television have people watch and live-tweet or comment (use something like Cover-it-Live)
    • Are there characters who were interesting but received little screen time?  Can they become more of a part of the story online?
    • If there are follow-ups to the non-fictional account you provide in the film, allow the people involved to record a video about what has happened since.
  • Targeting and Blogger Outreach.  You are best to truly pitch bloggers when you have something to actually show them, content-wise.  (As you know, everyone wants to make a film – but few actually end up completing one.)  Really contemplate who would be interested in your project – don’t just target the most popular film-related blogs.  Remember that your audience isn’t only composed of film fans and people who read movie-themed blogs.  If you’re making a documentary about, say, dancers struggling to find work, you might reach out to others who blog about similar struggles.  You’ll get more buy-in if you:
    • Remember to personalize the pitch as much as possible.
    • Target those who might be truly be interested – not just because their blog is of the same general genre as the film.  (Meh: “you write a humorous blog and this is a comedy film”.  Better: “You write about the craziness of the internet – and that’s what our film is about!”)  Note: this takes a fair bit of research – but it might be worth it.
    • Consider the blogger’s time.  As is frequently mentioned – for most, blogging is a hobby and a labour of love. Watching a trailer might happen.  Watching an entire film is less likely.
    • Address what’s in it for them Don’t be smarmy about it – but if there can be something in it for them, let them know.  Often this aspect is neglected and the pitch is is basically: “Here’s how you can help us out!” – without addressing why they would want to.

Crowdsourcing Content

This is a great way to get clips for your film – even if it’s just short clips or vignettes – providing your outreach tactics are effective.   A few examples of films that have invited people to submit clips for their productions include:

  • Life in a Day: Director Kevin MacDonald and Producer Ridley Scott invited creators from all over the world to capture their world in 24hrs on a single day (July 24, 2010) and upload to YouTube.  The winning content was then edited into the final film, a Sundance hit. (Watch trailer).
  • Of course, not everyone has the clout and reputation of these mainstream directors.  But independent productions can also fare well in obtaining crowd submissions. For instance, Lost Zombies received thousands of submissions of “zombie encounters” – far more than anticipated. (They are now in the final submission stage.  More information about the project on the Lost Zombie site, on this post and on 4D Fictions post/interview.)  
  • “DSB the Movie” a film which “tells the story of the Netherland’s DSB Bank NV which was declared bankrupt by court in October, 2009.”  All elements of this film were crowdsourced including the film’s logo, producer, scriptwriters, soundtrack, editor, camera, actors, and publicity.  (Read about it on David Meerman Scott‘s post – which includes an interview with the director.)  Crowdsourcing everything is not something I would recommend doing – but it certainly worked for this production.

For a documentary film, audience-produced content can be particularly compelling since people can submit their own, personal, experiences – and particularly cost-effective since people can be filming anywhere rather than your sending crews to other locations.


Here’s where your social media savvy can really come into play.  Filmmakers are now asking people to micro-fund their film – be it by simply asking for funds, offering financers credits in return for cash, or selling products to make some money.

You can set up funding on your website (make that the key aspect of the site) or use one of several platforms set up for micro-funding such as IndieGoGo and Kickstarter.

Getting people interested in financing some aspect of your film will be (slightly) easier if you have something to show them.  Which is why compiling materials and working on YouTube videos early on about your production will be doubly useful.

Keep in mind – it might take a number of years to get the money you need.

Spanner Films has written a useful guide on how to Crowdfund your film includes the following tidbit:

If you are planning to make a campaigning film like The Age of Stupid, then you should definitely try to find a way to access the people out there who are already aware of and give a monkeys about the issue you want to highlight. If you can get some campaigners believing in your idea early on then they can be a huge help finding investors. You need to explain clearly why investing in your film is a strategic and cost-effective way to further your cause.”

A few examples of projects being crowdfunded include: “I Am I“, “My Million Dollar Movie” and “Iron Sky” which, writes Ross Dawson, has “four different mechanisms for raising money directly: a store selling merchandise such as T-shirts, a sneak peek of the first minutes of the film for which fans can pay any amount from 1 Euro, Fan Investments for qualified investors and up to 99 individuals in EU and some other countries, and ‘War Bonds‘, which are basically framed certificates.”

There are also many examples of productions (e.g. Paranoid Park, Moderation Town) which cast online (e.g. via YouTube etc.).  This can be effective for certain parts, can drum up publicity and can allow you to watch more auditions than you could in a single casting session.  (I don’t like the process of seeking votes for submissions – but I’m also speaking from an actor’s perspective.*).

There’s obviously lots more to say on how to leverage social media for film.  Please comment below with your suggestions, examples and input.

For further reading, a few posts on the topic are bookmarked here (including some I’ve written).

May 17, 2011 at 1:07 pm 1 comment

Online Voice – Part 4 – What can you do to find your voice?

Note: This is the 4th part in the series I’m writing on “Finding Your Online Voice” (in part to prepare for my Northern Voice talk) .  To find the other posts, click here.

As Isabella Mori pointed out nicely in her comment, it’s the “how” of “being yourself” that’s troublesome.

Truly, “Be Yourself!” is a tall and painfully vague order. I remember this advice from when I was young(er, er) and just starting to date.  And before job interviews.  And auditions.  And. And. And.

And therein lies the problem.   Sometimes who you are, really, is not readily apparent to you.  Sure, you have a vague idea, but do you really know?  (For instance, recently, at a friend’s wedding, the groom made a toast and described me as having a very big heart.  Sure, he was drinking at the time, but descriptions like that floor me.)

We all have an image of ourselves.  Further, there are things we want to project and aspects we are uncomfortable showing.  And some traits which we come to value more over time.  For instance, my sense of humor has only recently been any public use to me at all.  Being funny isn’t something we tend to encourage in women.  One of my friend’s remarked (quite profoundly, I think) that if you saw two people on a date, and it was the man who was laughing at what the woman said, it would strike you as odd.  Women aren’t the ones expected to be funny.  (To that effect, there’s a recent article that talks about this in the latest Scientific Mind.)  I am also aware that being caustic has implications in how people perceive me.  I occasionally have to make an effort not to censor myself too much to avoid those judgments.

We are frequently encouraged to stifle our personalities and silence our voices.  It’s certainly been the case with some aspects of my personality and my experiences.  In fact, I think for many of us, who we are, is to some extent not who we were supposed to be.

So we want to write smarter, have people believe we are [insert characteristic here (upbeat, professional, charming, together etc.)]  I tried a few times to be be poised, because I think women who are, are lovely.  I can’t hack it though, and it becomes really painful…

Now, how do we get to who we really are… Of course, write, write, write (Oh, noes…).  Also, ask your friends what they think of you.  No, really.  Just tell them to tell you the stuff they like.

With regards to suggestions, let’s begin from there:

  1. Ask your friends how they would describe you. Try this: Your best friend meets a new co-worker that she thinks would gel perfectly with you.  She says, “Oh! You have to meet my friend!” He says, “Really?! Why?”  She responds, “well, she’s just like you, she’s _____. “ What would your friend say here?  Use any many adjectives as you can.  This will give you some idea of your positive (or, at least, enjoyable ) traits.
  2. Read other blogs. You’ll learn what you like, what inspires you and, as Dave Taylor notes in this brilliant tip: “One of the best ways to learn your blogging voice is to read a lot of other bloggers and ask yourself whether you’re comfortable with their writing style, whether they seem to be a friend chatting with you or some self-important twit pontificating, and which you find most appealing. Then be inspired by that and try to create a writing persona that matches what you believe are the best practices.”
  3. Did you particularly enjoy writing a specific post? Or feel proud of it? Look at why: is it more “like you”?  Did you enjoy the way you approached it?  Sometimes it’s that one post in which you find your voice.
  4. If you are interesting in writing  content that is more intimate, more revealing, take a look at Isabella’s book recommendations and this blog post on “Blogging Yourself Home“.  (With respect to journaling privately, I also enjoyed her post on “using your negative voice“.)
  5. Even if you don’t consider yourself “a writer”, you can find the authentic “you”.  To make the process less daunting, take Matt Crowe’s advice on how to finding your voice as a blogger: “Think about what do you absolutely love doing more than anything else in life and blog about that.”
  6. Jean Berg-Sarauer also suggests journaling:  “When you let yourself write about anything you want with no intention of ever showing your words to another living soul, it feels safe to be real. And the more you let your authentic voice come out in your private journal, the easier it will get to bring it out for your readers.”
  7. Additionally Jean advises that bloggers let their writing suck on initial drafts – to be cleaned up later.  I understand how difficult it is to allow yourself to do so, but she’s right, it really helps.   You can forget about proper spelling and grammar for a moment, and give yourself permission to leave  blanks when you can’t find the words (trust me, getting stuck on trying to find that elusive word can be time-consuming and inspiration killing).  You might feel like a dolt during the process (“Wow, I can’t even formulate sentences…  What an idiot,” but allowing yourself to just write without censoring, just as it pours out of you can be very eye-opening – and freeing.

Note: I’ll be posting the slides for my talk tomorrow on this blog, and on Slideshare.

May 6, 2010 at 10:30 am 4 comments

Experts Weigh-in with Social Media Lessons

At a recent meeting I attended, someone mentioned posting a video online and another person said: “And then we’ll just use social media to make it go viral”.

I’ve been reflecting lately about what I’ve learned about social media in the past few years.  One is: social media doesn’t quite work that way. You don’t post a video and everyone flocks to see it because it’s on the interweb.  Even significant promotion doesn’t mean it will take off like a rocket.

Your video/product has to be good. And, if that’s the case, then you have to have real connections, people you engage with, give to and who are receptive (to you or the product). And you have to have a promotion plan beyond just uploading/putting it out there.  (Certainly there are exceptions.)

I asked a few extraordinary people to impart their social media “lesson” (for instance, something they discovered through their experience or how they’ve learned to explain it to their clients).

Here’s what they said:

Darren Barefoot

Capulet Communications
Writer, marketer and technologist. Co-author of “Friends with Benefits: A Social Media Marketing Handbook
The mistake that most organizations make is starting with the tools.  They say “the competition has a Twitter account, so we need one too!”  The tools should come last, not first.  They should think through where their audience is online, what their objectives are, what strategies they should apply and then, finally, which tools or platforms to use (or whether they should create new ones).
Also, when marketing on the web, there are no magic beans.

Ari Herzog

Ari Herzog & Associates
Online media strategist and elected city councilor.
Social media is not new.  It was born long before Tim O’Reilly coined the Web 2.0 term and long before computers were born.  I frequently attribute Canadian marketer Kneale Mann who once wrote about prehistoric cave paintings as one of the earliest indicators of social media.  The hunter-gatherer tribes painted on the walls and orally told stories about the hunt, people asked questions, and conversations were sparked.  The wall paintings and the stories were media and the people asking questions were being social.  Has anything truly changed?  The lesson for organizations in 2010, thus, is to not view social media as a vanguard concept but as a tested, tried, and true means of sharing.  The key is in sharing.  If you’re not sharing, you’re not being social.

Kate Trgovac

LintBucket Media
Social media and digital marketer
When I’m working with clients, I have to remind myself that while social media may be my business, it isn’t theirs. They aren’t going to engage in social media all day.  And they don’t need to know every last little detail about it.  They want tools that will help them build their business. And if they are going to invest time and money in social media, it darn well better have a business return.  And so every time I suggest a tactic, I’m keenly aware that they will be giving up time they spend on traditional marketing channels.  I make sure we talk through the potential risks and rewards of social media programs and set realistic expectations – and determine if social media is actually the most appropriate channel for accomplishing their marketing objectives.  Because believe it or not, sometimes social media marketing ISN’T the answer.

Jordan Behan

Director of Marketing at Strutta and Bootup Labs
Videophile and technology advocate
You have to understand the value and purpose behind a social media marketing strategy before you start.  Too many times, people try to recreate the “magic” they’ve witnessed elsewhere, and completely miss the point.  There is no magic, no voodoo, no perfect formula.  “Social media” as the kids call it, is nothing more than an ever-changing set of software tools that help you have conversations with more people than you can in person.  The value is in the connections you make and the things you learn.

Monique Trottier
BoxCar Marketing

Technologist, Online Marketer, Strategist.
Talking to clients about social media is always an exercise in metaphors for me: Social networking is a digital cocktail party.  LinkedIn is a business conference.  Twitter is your individual headline news ticker.  YouTube is your private tv station. In many ways the metaphors are silly and don’t fully explain the platform, but the point is that social media is nothing new.  Social media is simply a set of tools that let us do things that are harder to do in real life, such as keeping up to date on what all of our colleagues, friends and family members are doing, exchanging business contacts and making friend-of-a-friend introductions.
The skeptical comments I often hear from clients are, “why do people spend time on this?” and “how can I benefit?”  Any active social media user knows that these are the wrong questions.  The answer is that people spend time on this stuff because it improves their ability to network offline, to gather information quickly and to establish relationships and to stay in touch.
The basis of a good social strategy is answering the questions, “what are my clients doing online,” “what makes their chosen social networks attractive to them,” “what social failure or real life challenge does this network solve,” and “how can I participate here in a way that adds value, that establishes a closer relationship to my customers, that let’s me stay in touch with their needs, and that, ultimately, is a reciprocal relationship?”
Jacob Share

Share Select Media
Job Search Expert and Professional Blogging Consultant

One of my favorite lessons from using social media is that giving freely is a terrific way to meet someone, whether to just get their attention or even to become friends with them.  For example, I became friends with someone very cool because he dugg a JobMob article and I made the effort to thank him, which he didn’t expect but appreciated.

Elena Yunusov

Communications Specialist

This time around, HoHoTO was to me the manifestation of the good in people, the generosity and the potential of social media to break down barriers and let people be part of social change in such fun and joyfully informal way.  I can’t imagine 15 random near-strangers would ever come together offline (you know, in ‘real’ life) to organize an event like HoHoTO within days, if not for social media.  We hardly knew each other pre-HoHoTO! And even if we did, I doubt we could get the word out and hundreds of people on board – virtually with no cost other than our time – the way we did.  I was managing tens of volunteers for this HoHoTO, and we kept in touch and coordinated schedules via twitter, email and google docs.  When we met, I felt like we skipped a great many layers of ‘introduction’ and ‘getting to know each other’ – we were like old friends, on fire, and ready to rock it: for HoHoTO, for the Daily Bread.  For humanity.  Social media is a whole new way of connecting, and I love it.


I’d love to hear what you’ve learned from your experience with social media.  Please comment below or feel free to drop me a line if you’d like to contribute your insightful tip to a future post on the topic.

For more tips, you might want to take a look at the 3 Case Studies on my presentation: “Facebook, YouTube, Twitter: Oh My!”  (See slides 58 to 83.)

And a final note: Reading Mark Dykeman‘s post “How to start 2010 by doing better work” inspired me to put together this one.

Experts Weigh-in With Social Media Lessons” by Monica Hamburg

Post url: experts-weigh-in-with-social-media-lessons

Jordan Behan, Director of Marketing at Strutta and Bootup Labs
Videophile and technology advocate.

You have to understand the value and purpose behind a social media marketing strategy before you start. Too many times, people try to recreate the “magic” they’ve witnessed elsewhere, and completely miss the point. There is no magic, no voodoo, no perfect formula. “Social media” as the kids call it, is nothing more than an ever-changing set of software tools that help you have conversations with more people than you can in person. The value is in the connections you make and the things you learn.


January 14, 2010 at 2:08 pm 12 comments

Adding Value on Twitter

I recently wrote the following piece for Marketline . (PDF of the article is here, btw. )

Adding Value on Twitter

Advice such as the frequent social media tip, “make sure to add value” often feels as daunting as “make a good impression” or, in my case, “don’t look so suspicious”.

Twitter is very much like street performing. You don’t have a captive audience, so you need to be as engaging as possible to get people to stop, watch the show and stick around.

Ask yourself, what can you offer that would be beneficial to others? If you make an effort to provide real content, you’ll give people more reason to pay attention – and see you as a person of “value”.


  • It’s not all about you. Understand that while you have an agenda for being on Twitter – no one else’s aim is to find you friends or send business your way. Don’t wax poetic about your life or to promote yourself ad nauseum.
  • Examine your Bio/profile. Who you are is a big reason people follow you. Based on that, figure out what those people might want to learn or gain. And be sure to allow your personality to shine through. While what you say is important, how you say it is even more so.
  • Share your experience. Understand that the social component is the beauty of this medium. It’s often about people helping people. Respond to questions when you can – even if they’re not specifically directed at you. If you’ve had an outstanding experience with a company or person – mention it. Did you recently go to an exceptional event or hear of a great cause? Allow others to benefit from what you’ve learned.
  • Be clear. When you Retweet a message clarify why others should care. Begin your tweet with the explanation (“Insightful post!”, “I support this great cause” or “This article on marketing to chimps confounds me”).
  • Don’t make it difficult. Consider the articles you read today that intrigued you or brilliant posts that you’ve bookmarked on sometime ago. Is there a blog you follow often because it is just that insightful – or even because it enrages you? Share your knowledge with the Twitosphere.

The online word is not so different than the offline one. You quickly tune out when someone is too self-aggrandizing or doesn’t say anything of interest to others. So, give others a reason to stay tuned in. And try not to look so suspicious.

September 29, 2009 at 1:17 pm 2 comments

Integrating Twitter into Your Life

When I mention Twitter to people not on it, they often say they simply have no idea what they would tweet about.  The best advice I think I give people is:

Find a way to make conversing on Twitter a part of your life.

If you view Twitter as an open communication channel (to your friends and beyond) that you can simply tap in anytime you like – that understanding can make the process quite natural – and possibly less intimidating.

What to talk about?*

Consider this, in a given day, do you sometimes:

  • See something interesting and think “I have to remember to tell my friend about this!”
  • Read an intriguing article or news item on the web?
  • Have an odd experience? (At the library? On transit?)
  • Do something that might interest one or more other human

Any of these can make interesting tweets and give people insight into your life.  Which is sort of the point.


Everyone’s line of privacy or disclosure is different.  I am very private about certain things, and seemingly reckless when it comes to others.  But I’m actually fairly tactical. I know what I’m OK with people knowing and hearing from me.***

The spectrum is quite broad.  You have to gage what you are comfortable disclosing and what you think (and here’s a key thing) people you want to interact with would want to know.  Some post mostly about business, Some mostly personal.  I think aiming for some balance on this is great.  Allowing others to have a window into your personal life and thoughts is useful – it helps establish relationships.

I’ve found that when I met twitters in real life the ice was already broken.  It was far easier to have conversations from a point at which we already kind of knew each other.

How Much to Disclose

And being interesting and intriguing helps maintains people’s gaze.  But how interesting…?

If you want to open your circle of friends/followers, and so keep your tweets unsecured (read: public), you are for all intents and purposes, in public. Even if you only have 20 people following, anyone can check out your page and a search can easily turn up your tweet.

So, here’s my line (and, again, mine alone):  If it’s something I would be comfortable saying at a party, it passes the test.

How Much is Too Much

In real life, revealing too much can make even broadminded strangers uncomfortable.

Consider these examples:****

Just at the bank… Why do I always end up behind the guy who is making all his deposits for the year?“= Good

Had an abortion this week.“= Bad


Dating can be so frustrating sometimes.” = Nice Break-the-Ice Level

I’m going through a divorce and my wife is making me sleep our backyard.” = Awkward Glass-Shattering Level


Hey Tom: Time for Coffee Today?” = Yes.

Hey Tom: You are a DECEPTIVE motherfucker! Why aren’t you calling me back?” = No.


Again, this is just my opinion.

Wait – No, it’s not.



*(More suggestions about what to tweet about here and here)

**These you can even text it (or email) from your phone, if you like) as it happens!

***(or at least I think I do:)

****While I have heard of something similar to the third example happening on Twitter, the second was uttered by a guy who I just met for a dialect coaching  session and the first was said to me (rather cheerily, in fact, by a girl I didn’t know in a film criticism class.  (I think I asked if she wanted a french fry.)


Integrating Twitter into Your Life” by Monica Hamburg

March 12, 2009 at 9:00 am 2 comments

Job Searching 2.0: Looking for Work “New School”

I’ll be speaking at UBC tomorrow about “uncovering the hidden job market online”.  And since I wanted to put my thoughts together in a coherent manner and writing always helps me to do that, I figured I’d put together a post.

So, here are some tips I intend to suggest to the students:

Use Blogs

  • Is there a “perfect company” for you? One you would love to work at? Subscribe to company blogs or to the twitter feed of the company (e.g. Zappos) and possibly the (business blogs) of bloggers at that company.  Social Media-friendly companies will often post about or tweet about Job postings (see “Twitter” section below).
  • Subscribe to Job Search blogs – or ones that have job listings. Dan Schawbel writes “In the past few years, the larger blogs have started to integrate job banks into their own websites, using software/hosting from companies such as Job-a-matic.”

facebook large Joining the company’s Facebook Group might also be helpful. They might send out group emails about job openings and, as I wrote in my “Recruitment/HR 2.0” post (read: it’s good), some companies even have Facebook Career groups specifically for that purpose.  “Ernst and Young Careers has a Facebook group which allows the company to dialogue with people they may eventually hire. Such conversation is critical in the Web 2.0 world and employers can actively participate by answering queries posted on social networks.”

Obviously Linkedin (which is devoted to making business connections) can be very helpful for job seekers:

  • Linkedin allows you to build an online resume which includes links to your company, blogs etc.
  • From there you can connect to people you know (e.g. friends, present collegues and employers and old collegues and employers).
  • You can ask your contacts to make an introduction to someone in their connections with whom you’d like to connect.
  • You can ask for advice from the Linkedin populace as a whole, or from your friends. (Just remember: If it’s public it’s trackable, so questions like “John at Company X seems like a total douche.  Is he?” might not work so well.)
  • Plus, when you upload your email contact list, you may find there are more people you know that you can  link up with than you originally thought.

(For more tips, see the “Resource” list at the bottom of this post).

Better Job Search Sites

  • Sign up for Jiibe. (Full Disclosure: I’m working on some promotion for Jiibe though Capulet Communications, but I would write this even if I wasn’t). I’m all about their theory of finding a job based on your ideal work culture (Mashable called them “eHarmony for Jobs.)  I’ve worked at my share of companies and it’s astounding how much of an impact the people you work with, the work climate and the company policies can have on how much you enjoy what you do.
  • Want to see what’s “out there” in a big way?  Check out job listings on a site like Simply Hired which aggregates the jobs posted on other sites.
  • Search job-specific sites.

meetup1 with People

You can use the internet to find ways of getting together with people in the “real-world” (hey, what’s that? 😉 – and offers plenty of opportunities to do just that (yes, I am aware of the irony of looking online to find people to meet in person, but how many were doing so hot before – especially in Vancouver?).

There are many types of Meetup Groups and at any function you have the opportunity to make friends, learn, meet people who can help or advise you and more.

For instance, Meetups can exist to:

Showcase Yourself 2.0

  • Use your existing blog – or create a new one – as your portfolio (or add a page that is simply devoted to your portfolio).  Keep in mind that having a personal blog where you are upfront about who you are is a double-edge sword.  It could have the disadvantage of alienating those who might not agree with your thoughts or degree of openness.  On the other hand, if you don’t have any extreme beliefs (e.g. “The KKK rocks!”)  there’s the chance that a blog will help can come across as a more 3 Dimensional to prospective employers.  Plus,  there are often aspects of your personality that don’t come across very clearly in one-page resume (humor, for instance isn’t always easy to convey.)
  • Use Slideshare (or Sprout ) to put together a smokin’ online portfolio/resume that can be viral.

  • Be aware of what you put online.  Make sure you consider your preferred workplaces’ attitudes and how someone at that company might respond to what you post.  And make sure not to post anything that you would embarrassed about a prospective employer coming across in a search.  Think twice before you upload your crazy-drunk party pics on Facebook or Flickr (or get that drunk at a party with cameras around), make a harsh Twitter remark, or mention of how much you wish your previous boss would get that “die slow” in a comment on someone’s blog post.  Remember that Googling your name could bring up many things.

Tweet Your Way to a Cool Job with twitter_logo_s

Twitter is a great resource for information and job openings are no exception.

  • As JmakTech advises Use the search at to find specific tweets about companies and recruiters hiring. Search for specific titles you are interested in like ‘community manager‘ or more generic terms like ‘now hiring‘. Also, check out TwitHire which is a free service that has begun aggregating all job related tweets.”
  • Occasionally, (and when you have built up a good database of followers/connections) mention (tweet) that you are looking for work (be specific about what you want – even writing a Twitpitch for yourself (elevator pitch of <140 characters).  If you can add a link to your portfolio, so much the better. (You might also adding your resume/portfolio/linkedin profile as a “posted item” on your Facebook.)
  • Make sure your profile and picture looks like you’re professional – or at the very least, not nuts (I question the motivations of Twitterers with shirtless pics…).  For the “Web” section, use your blog, website or Linkedin profile – which ever you think would present you best/most-interesting.  If you have any mad design/photography skills you could upload your own background design.  Or bereft of any such talent (as I am) you can look to a “Pimp my Twitter Background” type site, or even get one customized, to make your profile stand out and mesh with your brand.
  • Create real relationships.   Schawbel notes: “Most people get jobs on Twitter by already having hundreds or thousands of followers. For example, I’ve heard of at least ten people getting a job by tweeting “just got laid off, looking for a job in finance” and then receiving a few direct messages with people who want to help them. Of course, these individuals had built trust, credibility and relationships with their followers over time, so they were more inclined to come to their rescue. You can do the same, just start right now!
  • Follow the companies you want to work at (or Twitters who work at that company).  But don’t harass or pester – just be friendly, lay low and see if they tweet about a job opening.  They just might.


Networking Ideas and Tactics

  • Don’t focus on making everything transactional.   It’s not about going home from a gathering with a job offer, or even a lead. And it’s both unfortunate and a missed opportunity to look at meeting people that way, even at a networking gathering.  In fact, I’ve been to a few networking meetings where the other person asks what I do and then appears to run through the following questions in their head: “Will you prove immediately useful in getting me [insert need here: – investors – clients – a guy willing to film my every waking minute]?” If not his next words are: “Well, I’m going to get another drink.  It was nice meeting you“.
  • What people tend to forget is how much you can derive from someone that has nothing to do with them being able to hire you or directly give you want you need.  For instance, you might meet someone who knows their friend is looking for a new hire at their company. And while meeting someone who is in the “job you want” (i.e. you want a Graphic Design position at a large firm and that’s what the guy you meet has) might seem like a dead-end – it doesn’t have to be.  You could ask the person how they found their job, or if they had any advice for you.  Who knows, he might even tell you that he’ll soon be leaving his present job. Any of these conversations can be beneficial, but only if you make an effort beyond the obvious.
  • And don’t be tacky or opportunistic.  If someone mentions (in a random conversation) that they have a friend at Company X don’t zero in and pressure them until they give you their friends email. Or consider this conversation my friend (“Susan”) and I had while at dinner with a friend (“Marcus”) and a friend of his (“Jenny”).  (This was 15 years ago and I still remember it vividly, which gives you some idea of how bizarre it was. Don’t be this girl.)  Jenny spent the whole evening speaking directly to Marcus, barely acknowledging our presence the entire dinner.  As the evening drew to a close,  Marcus asked Susan about how her latest project was going with a well-known director.  At which point, Jenny finally looked at Susan and exclaimed: “Oh, you’re working with [well-know director]!  We should totally go shopping!”  Wow. Subtely FAIL.

Do Some Research – Online

  • You can use the web to research a particular company/position – but it goes way beyond that. Guy Kawasaki remarks: “Companies will typically check your references before hiring you, but have you ever thought of checking your prospective manager’s references ? Most interviewees don’t have the audacity to ask a potential boss for references, but with LinkedIn you have a way to scope her out.  You can also check up on the company itself by finding the person who used to have the job that you’re interviewing for. Do this by searching for job title and company, but be sure to uncheck ‘Current titles only’. By contacting people who used to hold the position, you can get the inside scoop on the job, manager and growth potential.”
  • Ask for advice.  When I was switching careers and considering going into technology, I looked up local technology bloggers and wrote them a polite email explaining who I was, my interests etc., asking them to let me know if they had any suggestions for companies that they thought would be a good fit.  Many responded with suggestions and some even passed my email on to their contacts or met up with me for a coffee to talk about possibilities.  I established relationships with some of these bloggers and kept in touch with several.  It was also easier when I ran into them in person (at tech/social media meetups etc.) to introduce myself, since I didn’t feel like a complete stranger.

As you can see, job searching isn’t limited your local paper, your favorite company’s website or  Just try using some social media tools to network and learn and you might soon have your dream job.  And perhaps a few new friends.

Required Reading:

Want more? Go through the links here

Finally, If You Need Some Job-Related Humor


Not Always Right

What Not to Say to A Recruiter


Job Searching 2.0: Looking for Work New School” by Monica Hamburg

Post url:


January 13, 2009 at 11:59 am 10 comments

Monica Hamburg – Who Am I?

Good question (I wonder this all the time).
Linkedin profile is: here.
Find out more here.

Our Twitter for Business Workshops

I also offer Social Media Audits and a Twitter for Business Workshop (along with other services). For more information click here.

"The Twitter workshop opened my eyes to a whole new way of doing business. Terrific advice on how to best use twitter to create new business."

- Steve Rosenberg , Founder and Instructor, Pull Focus Films

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. I love attention - so feel free to quote me - as long as you, as above, attribute it to me (and only use a few lines of text). If you would like to use more, please contact me. Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape