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personal branding

Social Media Burnout



Back in January, I challenged all of you (me too) to a Daily Digital Detox. With a goal to enrich our communication and in-person conversations and experiences, I also wanted to help you avoid social media burnout.

I often hear from the students I speak with, and more from the entrepreneurs and business owners, who are members at the clubs I consult with, that people feel overwhelmed with social media. We feel a need to be on all channels and participating in every conversation. Certainly, there are heaps of social media choices. Naming just the “main” platforms you have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, and Google+. That’s eight! Even with helpful social media management tools like Hootsuite, that’s a lot of conversations to manage! When you start to add other popular apps like Vine and Snapchat, consider the time to manage e-mail and texting, utilizing Skype and …. overwhelm!

Even I, a chicka who loves the opportunity social media provides to connect and communicate with just about anyone in the world, feel burn out on occasion, too.

If you want to be more effective in your personal communication, in growing your personal brand and creating meaningful connections online, this week’s video is for you. Not only do I tell you that’s it’s OK not to be on all channels, but I tell you how to pick the one or two (yes – 1 or 2) channels which are right for you. You simply have to think about your audience, about which channel suits your style of communication and where your efforts will truly pay off.

Ages ago, I gave up Google+ because I wasn’t engaging enough on the site. I wasn’t making the connections like I was on Twitter and I simply didn’t enjoy being there. So I stopped. And you know what? The effort I was putting into G+ was redirected into Twitter and LinkedIn, where I enjoy being and gain a lot more traction in my conversations and connections.

I encourage you to cut out the social media activity that feels like a chore and focus your energy and time toward the channels which reward you with great conversations, meaningful connections and greater exposure. Let me know which channels you chose!

Nick Saban, “The Process” and Tweeting

Nick Saban Alabama

photo via 60 Minutes

On the November 3rd edition of 60 Minutes, the program featured Alabama head coach Nick Saban. 60 Minutes was granted rare access to the football team’s practices and behind the scenes. It was a look at what makes Alabama so successful, namely, the coaching philosophies and strategies of Nick Saban.

The team chant is “Get your mind right.” You’ll hear Saban shout at his players, “Do it again,” in an effort to make sure that they do their job the right way, perfectly. He talks about creating a standard of high achievers.  The part which I loved the most was his talk about “The Process.” He teaches his players to, “Ignore the scoreboard. Don’t worry about winning. Just focus on doing your job at the highest level – every single play. The wins will follow.”

Nick Saban challenges his players to “play every play of the game like is has a history and life of its own.” He enjoys seeing his players take “pride in performance.”

While I had many flashbacks to the life lessons I learned from my tough-as-nails softball coach (a.k.a. “Dad”), I also kept thinking about how Nick Saban’s process could be so easily applied to our communication and what stories and messages we share with the world through social media.

If we approached every tweet, every post, every photo, every video with that same mentality, just think about how awesome our messages would become. If we stopped for one moment before we hit the send button and asked ourselves out loud, “Is this the best tweet of my life?” I wonder how quickly we would achieve more positive and purposeful communication? What examples could we set for others to follow? What pride in our performance might we gain?

Nick Saban may be on a quest for perfection on the football field, but his players know that it’s not just all about the game. He makes them better people. I have often said that we can tell a lot about our society by what and how we communicate. What we say to each other (in person and online) demonstrates the state of our community and how we treat each other, what level of respect we have for our fellow humans and how we feel about ourselves. If we focus on communicating at the highest levels (every message is your absolute best), then I believe we will grow communities of people who are nicer, kinder and more compassionate. We will be better people. And the wins will follow.

The full 60 minutes segment is included in the following video…

If for some reason the video doesn’t load, you can watch it here:  http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50158430n

To watch the 60 Minutes Behind The Scenes on this story, follow this link:


This segment was also an extraordinary look at a truly amazing and inspiring man.

It’s Also What You Like


Last night I spoke with another group of undergrads, this time at UCLA. I was, again, surprised with the small numbers of students who have LinkedIn accounts, especially students who are graduating. We have got to get these young adults up to speed on better use of social media!

When I conduct these seminars, I provide students with both the good and the bad of social media. It’s important to show them how easy it is to make a major mistake, but also give them some good examples to follow. They need inspiration as much as they do a wake up call.

One of the things that stuck with my group last night, was the lesson that it’s not just about what you say, but also what you like. Facebook’s search has become much more powerful with the release of Open Graph. You can search for things like “My friends who like dogs,” or “People who live in San Diego who go to SDSU and like surfing.”  These searches will produce results with a list of profiles. At UCLA, I targeted the search for members of the group who like “partying”and “Drinking” and such.

Luckily enough, one of the audience members popped up in my search results. He was amazed, as well as all of his friends. But it is terrific when this happens in real time. This young man ‘Liked’ almost 300 pages on Facebook. He admitted that he could not remember everything he liked and had no idea that he could be found by non-friends via the search function.

As I’ve said many times, Beaming Bohemian exists to infuse communication with positivity and purpose. In the case of these students, I enjoy to helping them find their positive purpose and new approach for using social media. If they begin to see how the professional world is using tools like Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to conduct business, market, communicate and recruit employees, they begin to look at how they can take advantage of these platforms, versus just socializing. Students easily pick up how they need to fix and build their image and manage their reputation.


Social Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of year! The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and yet all of the magazines have feature articles telling you what products you need to use to thoroughly clean every dusty, little corner of your home. There are a zillion suggestions for organizing your clothes, the kids’ toys, the dog’s house and the tools in the garage. Before you grab the scrub brush and gloves, you might want to pick up your computer. One area you should definitely clean up – your social media accounts. Your laptop can go with you out onto the patio, so this task doesn’t require you to miss out on all the lovely, spring sunshine!
Your data and connections, just like those bookcases, need a bit of dusting.  Let’s start with your login information. When was the last time you updated your passwords? Several social sites have had security breaches in this past year, including LinkedIn. Take a moment to change your passwords and better protect your accounts. While it is ill-advised by most digital gurus, I do actually keep a file hidden within my computer which lists my passwords, as I do not have the same one for each account (and my memory isn’t that stellar). This is a good first item to cross off on your social spring cleaning list.
I will also suggest that you review your accounts’ security/privacy settings. Social media sites are continually evolving and often release new features. When they do, it’s possible that some settings revert to default. This is more often the case with Facebook. Go through your account and privacy settings and make sure that you understand how the site functions. Refresh your profile data and make sure it reflects you accurately. Coordinate your bio/about me/profile sections so that you are branded across each channel where you are active.
Now it’s time to do a little gardening within your contacts. Follow this 3-step spring cleaning program to improve the health of your networks:
1. Weed
If you don’t actually know the folks you are friends with on Facebook, not sure why you follow some of the Tweeps you do, or cannot find value in your LinkedIn connections, this is a time to unfriend, unfollow and disconnect. Be certain about who you are interacting with on any of the social sites. It is significant to recognize that you and your personal brand are associated with the people in your digital networks. You would not allow unsightly plants grow wild in your manicured garden. Don’t allow inappropriate contacts to influence your network and image. Remove the weeds.
2. Organize
Both Facebook and Twitter offer a list function which is amazingly helpful in organizing your contacts. I have created lists on Facebook around how I know people. So, I have a high school list, one from UCSB and then the places I lived where I met a large number of people. On Twitter, I organize Tweeps by category/profession or topics they tweet about. A fabulous tip for the Twitter lists – you don’t have to follow people to put them on a list. My “News” list, for example is filled with all the major news sources, but I follow less that a handful. I can still reply and retweet with the accounts. Public lists can also be subscribed to, so don’t forget to Tweet out the link of your well-curated lists so that others can see how awesome and organized you are!
3. Grow
Have a look through the “People you may know” section on your social media accounts. Friend, follow and connect with those who will add value to your news feed and your network. Take some time on LinkedIn to endorse your connections for their skills. It’s a nice way to let them know you’ve remembered them and might spark a beneficial reconnection. They will likely return the endorsements and help you build your profile. Tweet to someone you haven’t conversed with in awhile or send a private message to an old friend on Facebook. Social media is designed to help you stay connected to family, friends and professional contacts. Take advantage of these features to allow your garden of networks to bloom.
Lastly, take out your calendar and schedule 30 minutes each month to go through your social media settings. This will allow you to stay on top of new features, keep those weeds at bay and enjoy social networks which are active, vibrant and productive.  Now you can pick up that dust cloth and tackle those other cleaning duties. Happy spring cleaning!

2013 – They Year of Social Reputation

The Golden Brand

“Everything you do online is like a tattoo you get late at night that can never be erased.”

This is a perfect analogy for what is happening in the world of social media. We forget that the drunk photos, snarky comments and threatening tweets remain “out there” forever once we’ve offered them to the internet. NOW is the time to take care of what you say, how you say it and what you post online.

I read a tweet just the other day which said, “Now that I’m getting to the business end of my PhD, I think it’s about time I bulk up my LinkedIn profile.”  Why wait? You should worry about your online profile, your social reputation NOW. The hiring managers, recruitment officers and admissions offices do not care that you’ve been too busy to manage your reputation.

You’ll see many more articles about social reputations helping and/or hurting individuals and companies in 2013. My goal is to keep you informed as to how best to use social media to build your personal and professional brands, develop strategic communication and plan your content to stay ahead of the competition. Allow these social sites to work in your favor, not be your demise. Together, let’s make 2013 a late night tattoo-free year.

Just for fun, here’s a link to and MSN article – 30 Bad Tattoos. Warning. These are REALLY bad.


LinkedIn Updates

LinkedIn has made several upgrades lately. Have you noticed? Not only has LinkedIn changed the total design and function of the website, but they have been adding more features over the past few months in order to make the site more interactive.  Here’s a few of the big updates to note:

LinkedIn Today

When you land on the page, you’ll automatically see the news feed. This is similar to your Facebook Timeline or Twitter feed. You’ll see the header above the feed called “LinkedIn Today” which entices you to click on various news pieces and share articles with your connections. This is so that we can enjoy a more interesting feed than Sally Smith is now connected to Joe Jones. 

Once you click “LinkedIn Today” you’ll be taken to a magazine layout of news articles for your perusal. World news and business articles await your discovery. It’s a great resource to share on LinkedIn and your other social sites, too.


You’ll notice that you can now “follow” business and thought leaders who write articles just for the LinkedIn audience. It’s tough to get directly to the list, though. There is no ability to click from the menu. There is no section on the sidebar. I think I discovered this feature because it showed up in my news feed. I went to the LinkedIn Help Page and found this comment:

Visit http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/whoToFollow to see the initial list of thought leaders who can be followed. Currently, only a small, hand-picked set of thought leaders can be followed from their LinkedIn profiles.

Not so user-friendly, but once you do land on this main page, you are treated to a wonderful list of influencers.

Follow the people you want to have show up in your news feed or just browse through the articles on offer. Underneath the header, you can click on the word “Following” to manage who you already follow.  I’m not quite sure why LinkedIn would make it so difficult to get to this page. Great feature, but not completely thought out.



One of the features recently added was “Skills.”  LinkedIn did this to assist college graduates who perhaps don’t yet have the work experience to fill out a resume. In addition, they now allow you to “Endorse” those skills for any of your connections. Have you noticed that when you view a profile, this box appears to encourage you to endorse specific skills?


This is a nice feature which somewhat replaces “Recommendations.”  Previously, you had to ask for people to recommend you, and it was a letter your contact had to write on your behalf. That feature is still available, but now they can go into your profile and just click on the skills they want to endorse. This saves time and is very user-friendly. It also gives greater opportunity for your contacts to endorse you without a request.

Make sure you take the time to add skills to your profile. This will help you get found when hiring managers are doing searches. On top of that, take a moment to go through your contacts and endorse their skills. Perhaps you are working on a project with someone … give them a boost on LinkedIn. If you get off the phone with a business contact, head to LinkedIn and endorse some of their skills. In order to play nice on LinkedIn, it’s a good idea to take a look at who has endorsed some of your skills and then go onto their profile and endorse them right back. Good professional karma.

New Profile

Finally, LinkedIn is rolling out new profile designs. I’ve requested mine, but have not yet received the upgrade. So stay tuned for more information soon.


I would love to hear what features you are enjoying most on the re-vamped LinkedIn. Are these new features making the site easier to use? Are there certain features that are helping you do business better or increasing your contact base? Please share with me. I’m happy to provide updates on my blog or in next month’s newsletter.

Instagram Web Profiles

Hello Instagram web profiles. It’s great to see you! Did you know that you can now view Instagram photos online? Previously, you could only browse via your mobile device. Since Facebook’s purchase of Instagram, many have wondered if we would see a web version. While it is nice to be able to view the photos in a larger format, the web version is more limiting than the mobile app, it does give us reason to review our privacy settings and re-strategize our activity.

Initially, I was excited to see Instagram online. But one much needed feature for the web profiles is a search function.  I have found myself looking at my phone and the web simultaneously to pull up usernames and view photos. The hashtag feature is not live yet on the web version, so you cannot click a hashtag to view photos tagged with that topic. Essentially, you have to know the username in order to view photos. You can click on the people who have liked or commented on your photo and view their gallery, follow them from the web, as well as like and comment on their photo. However, you cannot view the list of your followers nor who you are following. One item to note, if your account is already private, then it is private online, too. If you want to change this setting, you’ll have to go to your phone to make your account private.

I will say that it was really nice to be able to type comments on my big keyboard, versus plucking away on my iPhone. I also find it much easier to delete spam comments and report users on my phone than online. If you try to do it online, you have to enter your e-mail address as well as the username (which you will need to copy and paste) and then you will be notified after you submit the details that “Facebook will send you an e-mail shortly” (which they never do). At this point in time it appears that web profiles are simply a way to view the photos in a larger format. It does not appear that they want users to move away from their mobile devices. (And why would they after Instagram surpassed Twitter in daily active users?) It will be interesting to see how they develop the features for web profiles.

What’s significant for users (both brand and individuals) is that you can now promote your web profile and allow more fans to see your photos. This means more eyeballs looking at your strategically uploaded images. And if you had no strategy prior to this web profile launch, then it’s a good time to think about what photos (and graphics) you want people to see. Businesses can take advantage of this medium to promote product, events and services, as well as share the company culture. You can streamline your photo strategy by using Instagram to feed your Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, for example. Individuals can paint a picture of their hobbies, interests and character. This is essential for students, student-athletes and those in search of employment. When admissions officers, athletic scouts, and hiring managers stumble across your Instagram account, what will they find?

If you want to take a look at my Instagram profile, click HERE. I use this account to feed my personal website and therefore have several of my favorite travel photos uploaded. Let me know what you think of the Instagram Web Profiles. I’m curious how/if you are using the new feature. Please leave a comment below! Thanks!

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