Tag Archive: Social Media Summit


As someone who has had a successful blog for the better part of three years, I often have students show great interest in blogging.  There is one question that continuously arises:  What should I write about?  Students have an easy time understanding why blogging is so important:  It gives them a place to showcase their writing ability, their knowledge of their chosen field, and their dedication to do something not (usually) required in a college curriculum.  The issue remains:  How do you develop content?

Answering this question is something that took me quite some time to develop an understanding for.  At first, I had the same quandary.  I started my blog after an influential moment in my life, the first time I attended Harrisburg University’s Social Media Summit.  I took great notes on each panel and decided that I would write my commentary about what I learned to share with my network.  The problem arose after I wrote about each session, accomplishing my initial goal:  Now what do I write about?  The tips that I discuss are ways that I’ve managed to keep my blog going strong over the past few years and I believe these tips can help any blogger for both the short and long terms.

Tip #1 – Develop a frequency of posts and stick to it

When I first began blogging, I felt that a weekly blog piece was the direction that I wanted to pursue.  After about two months, I felt that this was a goal that was very difficult to achieve.  I wasn’t because I didn’t like to write or that I had trouble finding inspiration; it was that I was working multiple jobs.  Making sure I was doing my job to the utmost of my ability superseded the need for a weekly blog.  Since then, I have vowed to have at least one blog per month.  While I’ll admit that some months I didn’t have the opportunity to write, I’ve averaged about 10 blogs per year.

For those starting a new blog, my advice would be to start with what you are comfortable with.  Don’t be unrealistic and think that you’ll be able to blog daily, or even weekly.  If you love to write and have plenty of ideas at your disposal, make an idea bank with potential topics.  That way, if something doesn’t strike you between entries, you always have ideas to fall back on.  Secondly, don’t write just to write.  Be inspired about your topic.  Show that it is relevant to your career path or at least of interest to you.  The worst blogs are those that show no passion, as if the writer is just going through the motions.

Tip #2 – Follow Influencers on Social Media/Reach out for comments/interviews

Social Media has been a communications revolution unlike any the world has witnessed in the modern era.  The world has totally changed the way we as humans communicate with one another.  This also allows us amazing access to those that influence our field of choice.  One strategy that I’ve employed is to look at the field that I’m involved in and find those that are on the cutting edge.  I continuously read and interact with these individuals so I can be in the know of current and important topics.  This has been one of my largest inspirations when it comes to writing my blog.  Also, reach out to your network and ask them questions.  I’ve never had one person turn me down for a three question email interview when I told them I was writing a blog piece.  People want to help you and you shouldn’t feel intimidated to contact them.

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Tip #3 – Read articles related to your field

Beyond following people that are influential in your field, it’s important to constantly read anything you can find about these topics.  To be successful in the modern age, one must love what they do.  You have to be able be immersed in the topic on a daily basis.  Read at least two articles a day about your field of study and understand the current problems or issues that go along with it.  This will help you become educated and more importantly, well-rounded in discussion.  You can then use this knowledge in interviews with potential employers.

Tip #4 – Develop an informed opinion

This tip is the most important of all with regards to developing content; you must form your own opinion.  No one wants to read a blog that conforms to the status quo; people want to read viewpoints that differ from the norm.  This is where your knowledge of your field can truly come in handy.  Show your audience that you know what you are talking about and (more importantly) have something of value to say!  In the modern day, audiences have more content at their fingertips than they could read in a 24-hour period.  If you don’t provide some sort of value to them, you risk losing them forever.

I encourage you to give blogging a try.  I cannot explain enough the value of a blog to your potential long-term career goals.  I give this example every time I speak on this subject:  Most college students are acquaintances or even friends with others in their major.  What these people really represent is competition for every job that we seek.  Stellar grade point averages are expected now from college students in the open market, so every available job is like a chess match.  With things equal, who gets the job:  Someone that has demonstrated great knowledge of their field via a blog or someone who doesn’t have one?

Professor Paul Miller, Central Penn College

paulmiller@centralpenn.edu

LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495/

This last year has been an amazing year for my career, but it has not been an easy journey.  The last three years since December 2009 when I graduated with my MS in Communications from Shippensburg has been full of rejection, false hopes and constantly working 60+ hours a week just to make ends meet.  However, the last year has meant more to me than any in the past 30 of my life.  I’d like to take time to thank each and every one of the people who have helped me attain some of my goals in 2012 (in no particular order).

1. My beautiful fiance Jackie and our wonderful family.  I don’t know where I would be without Jackie and the kids.  We have been together nearly 6 years and they have been the best years of my life.  Without her, I know that I wouldn’t have had the drive and passion to reach for new goals and to push forward every day.  I look forward to September 28, 2014 when her and I will begin the next phase in our life together.

2. My loving Parents.  My parents have always supported me through great times and difficult times.  While some would say that this is to be expected of parents, I have given my parents more than enough reasons to give up on me over the years.  I have not always been who I am today, but have worked so hard every day to redeem myself for my past.  My parents have never left my side and the support they have offered is invaluable.

3. Chris Dessi.  This is one person on this list that I promise if I had never met, I would not be where I am with my career.  The 2012 Social Media Summit was important in so many ways, with the main reason being meeting Mr. Chris Dessi.  Any loyal reader of my blog certainly understands how Chris has been influential in my career over the past six months.  For those of you that don’t know, Chris is the voice of social media in New York city and I have the amazing opportunity to have dinner with him after the SMS 2012.  He told me not to give up or be frustrated with hardships.  He taught me how to harness social media and how to help some of the businesses I work with grow.  Most importantly, Chris taught me to never give up when reaching for my dream.  I remember him saying, “No one want to hire you?  Work for yourself.  Show your excitement to others and they will begin to share your excitement.  It won’t be work anymore.”  Thanks Chris…

4. Rachel Strella.  This was the second aspect of the Social Media Summit 2012 that made it such an important day in my career, I was able to meet Rachel Strella of Strella Social Media.  Rachel has helped me understand not only how to use social media for small businesses, but gave me a business model that I can succeed with.  Rachel’s advice is the cornerstone of my work, but she is always able to answer questions I may have along the way.  Where Chris was my motivational influence, Rachel has been my ideological influence.

5. Steve Infanti.  Harrisburg University’s Associate VP has been a great influence in my career in other ways.  If I had never attended the 2011 Social Media Summit, I more than likely would not be currently representing 6 clients as well as a potential 10 more.  While Steve didn’t specifically change my career direction, his involvement in the Social Media Summit in both 2011 and 2012 and BarCamp Harrisburg 2012 and 2013 helped lay my groundwork for a career in social media.  He has also went out of his way to help me prepare my resume and even has helped in my search for a job.

6. My clients.  Without people like Brett Meyers of Johnny Joe’s Sports Bar and Grill, Jason Phelan of the Gingerbread Man, Cathy Haynes of CONTACT Helpline and Ken Ross of Bethesda Mission, I would never have had the support system needed to succeed.  Each one of these individuals has helped me in different ways, ways that I could never repay them for.  This support helped enable me to never give up at reaching my goals and to keep making new goals, not getting complacent.  To each of these individuals I am unbelievably grateful to.

7. Solutions for Advertising.  I may have never even received my Masters Degree if it wasn’t for Solutions for Advertising.  Peter Anderson is not only a boss to me, but one of my best friends.  I did two different sets of internships with Solutions for Advertising, as well as my graduation project, compiling and writing our Media Kit and Brochure.  Pete has always been there to help my succeed in my career, especially one day after the 2011 Social Media Summit.  It was then that I realized that my future was in social media and made Pete aware of my desire to start a social media department of Solutions for Advertising, which is thriving to this day.

8. Bart Kaminski of KollisionMedia.  Bart and I have been friends for many years and I have seen KollisionMedia get to the point where he is now having to hire people to keep up with all of his work.  Bart has supported me throughout my current venture, including referring me a few clients along the way.  I am sure that Bart and I will have a close working career in the future and that this successful year is just the first of many.

9. Tierney.  The first thing I must mention is that Tierney gave me inspiration to write this blog with her latest entry at http://stoutsandstilettos.wordpress.com/.  Not only that, she has been one of my closest followers, commenters, advisors and friends, even though we have only met in person twice.  Tierney, understand that my blog and my business would not be where it is without you!

10. Everyone that passed on me for a job.  With all of the positives on this list, it may seem strange that I am thanking everyone that passed on me for a job.  Some of the jobs that I have applied for would not have challenged me, some would have been the wrong fit and some would have just been plain boring.  I was willing at certain points to settle for a $12 an hour job, but I now realize that I am worth much more to a company.  I don’t want a job, I want a rewarding and fulfilling career.  So all of those people who told me I had the job, but that you just have to finish the interview process (3 different times!) I thank you for passing on me.  I now realize how much I have to offer to employers.

To sum up, this journey that I’m on is only beginning and all of these people (as well as some I didn’t mention) have helped me to reach great success and the potential for even more!

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

At the 2011 Social Media Summit, the Social Media and the Job Search panel was by far the most informative panel that I attended.  I learned an amazing array of techniques to increase the probability of finding a job in my job search.  Some of the things I learned last year were:

1. The Importance of Linked In – Linked In creates 6x more job opportunities than Facebook.  It is also very important to have recommendations on your page from former managers, bosses, colleagues and clients.

2. Using WordPress (or any blog site) – Blogging about your subject expertise is a free way to enhance your personal brand.  I started last September blogging about Social Media and have had a great experience, with my blog last month going over 500 unique views.

3.  Knowing what is out there about you (Google your name) – Googling your name is something you can do to know what is online about you.  I have a common name and it is important to know what Paul Miller (be it myself or another Paul Miller) is doing.

4.  Using the privacy settings in Facebook so your personal information is not public.  Knowing the privacy settings on Facebook is extremely imperative when searching for a job.  The last thing you want your perspective employer to see is pictures of you partying last weekend.

This all being said, I was extremely excited to attended the Job Search panel this year.  I wanted to see what new advice was available for the Job Search and how things may have changed over the last year.

To start the panel off, the panelists discussed how the job search is now 100% online.  I don’t know if I agree with that totally, but I would agree that the present day landscape is at least 95% online.  The panelists also noted that between 60 – 80% of jobs are found via networking with colleagues, present and former bosses, and recent clients.  Being able to leverage your connections to find a job as well as using your connections as an asset is the easiest way to find a job in today’s economy.

There were two people on the Job Search panel that I found extremely helpful with their information, Amanda Haddaway (@ahaddaway on Twitter) and Rachel Strella (@RachelStrella).  I will go into detail in part 2 of this blog about specific information for each of these two intelligent women, but I want to focus on more general information in Part 1.

The most recurring theme during this panel centered around Personal Branding.  Positioning yourself as a professional with expertise and engaging readers can create a whole community of contacts.  Using relevant information to your field can help you connect with the decision makers that you want to connect with to find work.

Other than blogging, becoming active in your community by volunteering with local non-profit organizations is a free way to enhance your personal brand.  Finding a non-profit organization that you support allows you to not only add more connections to your arsenal, but shows potential employers that you care about your community.  Personally, I am involved with two local non-profit organizations, The Bethesda Mission of Harrisburg and the Autism Society of the Greater Harrisburg area.  I became involved with the Bethesda Mission because it is important to have an outreach program for those who have become down on their luck and allow them to get back on their feet.  The Autism Society hits close to home for me because I have a son that was diagnosed with autism.  The Autism Society of the Greater Harrisburg Area is something that I will be a part of for the rest of my life.  Through these organizations I have received a great deal of connections and recommendations through my volunteer work.  It also gives me an amazing way to give back to the community as well as a way for me to feel good about myself.

I would highly suggest that you begin with Linked In.  LI is the most important thing that you can do to get on the right path to finding a job.  There is so much more to talk about from this panel that I will continue in part 2 of this blog for next Monday, June 11.

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

The 2012 Social Media Summit was an enormous success both on a personal level and on a professional level.  Solutions for Advertising had an opportunity to sponsor the Facing Forward:  A Discussion on Social Networks and the Future.  This was our first time sponsoring a panel like this and were very pleased with the outcome of the panel.

I will be blogging about the two best panels that I attended, Social Networking and the Job Search and the Facing Forward panel.  I’d like to do a two-part blog about the Job Search, which I will post part 1 June 4 and part 2 June 11.  I’d also like to do a two-part blog about the Facing Forward panel, with part 1 being posted June 18 and part 2 being posted June 25.  I like to lay out when I’ll be posting each so I can keep myself on task, but also so my readers know when to expect new blogs.  And if it is one thing that I learned at the Job Search panel in regards to blogs, it certainly is don’t do more than you can handle.   I feel that one blog a week is certainly within my means, and for the summer at least, would like to post one per week (or so).

With this entry, I would like to go over some of the main ideas I’ll cover in my coming entries in June.  First of all, kudos to Harrisburg University for another outstanding event.  Steve Infanti and all of the staff at Harrisburg U should be proud of what they are able to with the limited resources that are available for this event.  Panelists of this event come without being paid and even have to foot their own travel expenses.  That being said, without the expertise of the panelists, this event would not be the success that is it.

There were two specific individuals that made the day very special to me personally.  The first person I would like to mention is Amanda Haddaway.  She has been quoted in several national publications for her HR and marketing expertise and has written her own book, Destination Real World: Success after Graduation for new and soon-to-be college graduates.  I also recommend job seekers follow her on Twitter (@ahaddaway) for added insight.  In next week’s blog, I will chronicle what amazing things Amanda had to say.

The second individual that made an amazing impression on me was Chris Dessi.  Mr. Dessi spoke at the Facing Forward panel and is CEO of Silverback Social. He is also an award-winning digital media executive, best-selling author, university lecturer, prominent blogger and keynote speaker.  His book “Your World is Exploding: How Social Media is Changing Everything and How You Need to Change With It”, shot to #1 on Amazon.com’s Hot New Releases in its first two weeks of publication. Dessi is a regular contributor on Fox News, and Good Day New York.  It truly was a pleasure to have the opportunity to not only enjoy his comments on the Future of Social Networking, but also to have the pleasure to have dinner with him and discuss my career path with someone who I extremely look up to.  I will discuss what amazing advice Mr. Dessi had for me in the Facing Forward blog entries later this month.  Follow Chris on Twitter @cdessi and find Silverback Social on Facebook.

This year’s experience overall was quite different from last year in a positive way.  Last year I didn’t have the knowledge that I have now.  I didn’t know about Linked In or even where to begin with blogging.  In the past 10 months, I have made every step to put myself in a position to succeed and I’m very happy with my progress.  I did realize at the Summit that I still have a long way to go to be where I want to be.  I’m sure I’ll find my direction with the help of people like Amanda Haddaway and Chris Dessi.

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

Final Thoughts of 2011

I have been working diligently on researching the QR code blog, so I have decided to give myself another week to complete it.  I did, however, want to discuss and thank a handful of people who made my 2011 possible.  As I would expect to remain active in each of these causes, these are names that will remain familiar on this blog site and should be remembered.

The Harrisburg Autism Society and Logan’s Run and Walk for Autism:

As someone who has an autistic son, I was truly honored to have an opportunity to work with the Harrisburg Autism Society (http://www.autismharrisburg.org).  I volunteered at the event with my significant other and helped to donate taxi-top ads for the walk itself.  The event itself was very well-organized, one that I hope to have a larger part of this coming year.  Georgia Rackley and Sherry Christian were absolute pleasures to work with and should be commended for the Autism Society’s success on our region.  As the event is usually held in April, I’m sure I’ll be discussing this year’s event here very soon.

The Bethesda Mission 2011 Mission Open:

The Bethesda Mission (http://www.bethesdamission.org) has always held a place in my heart as they were my first professional client as I got out of school.  I truly support their mission and what they do for the Harrisburg area.  Director of Community Relations Ken Ross has become much more than a client, however, he has become a friend.  It was my absolute pleasure to serve as a board member for the 2011 Mission Open.  It was my first such experience in my career, and one that I plan on holding each and every year.  Hopefully I will be able to go above and beyond what I did this year as the Mission deserves our support.

Contact Helpline’s 9th Annual Golf Tournament:

I’m so glad that Solutions for Advertising connected with Contact Helpline (http://www.contacthelpline.org) this year for their 9th Annual Golf Tournament.  It was an amazing experience and a wonderful outing.  The best thing about this was getting to learn about their operation.  Cathy Haynes and Kelly Gollick do unbelievable work with an extremely small staff dependent on volunteers.  Their coordination of this organization should be commended.

A special thanks goes out to Cathy Haynes, as she was the person that originally suggested the 2011 Social Media Summit to me.  As readers of this blog know, the Summit was an inspiration to me and my career and I have Cathy to thank for that.  I must also commend Contact Helpline on a wonderful online and social media presence.  Cathy has also agreed to do an interview for this blog regarding their new 211 feature.  This is a major step in the future of Contact Helpline that I feel needs coverage here.

Social Media Summit:

Obviously, the Social Media Summit was an inspiration to me.  I have started this blog and become much more active in my social media career directly because of it.  To new readers, please read my series covering the summit as its’ information is invaluable.  I expect this to be a major part of this blog in the coming months prior and time after the summit in April.  I have already spoke to Steven Infanti and have secured an interview for this blog coming very soon about the 2012 Summit.

Small Business Owners:

I would like to thank a few other individuals for help with my two-part Small Business Saturday blogs; Pete Anderson (Solutions for Advertising), Bart Kaminski (Kollision Media), Cory Lauer (Top Secret Gourmets), and Tim Tatge (Provider Select).  I appreciate the time that you spent speaking with me on behalf of your businesses and I wish you all continued success.

2011 was a fantastic year, but the things that I have lined up for 2012 would seem to make it an even better year than this.  Only time will tell.

While I was finishing my last blog I realized that there was just a little more that I wanted to speak about before ending the discussion about the 2011 Social Media Summit at Harrisburg University.  I was able to complete my initial goal of doing a separate blog about each panel, and doing a two-part blog about the job search panel.  Over the course of the last 7 weeks, I have begun to understand the reasoning behind blogging and feel it is an important part of success in business.

The Social Media Summit provided a way for me to see how other businesses use social media and why it is effective for them.  As an advertising company, it is important to know business trends and the summit provided industry leaders on the subject.  Above that, it motivated me to begin crafting not only Solutions for Advertising’s online brand, but my own as well.  It made me realize how important privacy is and how amazing networking can be.  Joseph Carrabis was one of the people who inspired me to rethink what I knew about social media and it’s impact in society.  I would say, however, that it was more a group of those that I have referenced in previous entries that produced the cumulative effect.  I encourage you to read past articles and seek out the links I have provided as an easy way to educate yourself.  Better yet, sign-ups are already available for the 2012 Social Media Summit on May 23 at http://www.harrisburgu.edu/academics/professional/socialmedia/index-2012.php.

One thing I haven’t truly covered has been the Summit itself.  I was extremely impressed with the facilities at Harrisburg University.  The summit had no cost, and even included an amazing spread of food and drink.  I cannot say I have ever seen such hospitality at a conference, part of the reason it had a lasting impression.  The conference rooms themselves were state of the art and the campus is beautiful.  Special thanks goes out to Dr. Eric Darr, Mr. Steven Infanti, and the many others it took to make this something special.

I have already been in touch with the people in charge of the 2012 Summit and they have agreed to an interview sometime prior to the event.  I look for this to happen sometime after the first of the year.  I will continue to discuss social media in my blogs, but I am in the process of booking other interviews with some local charities in conjunction with events they will be having in 2012.  These articles will be center-stage on this blog and will be in support of their causes.  I look forward to a new look at some of these businesses that we have worked with over the past few years.  I also look forward to continuing this blog and always encourage comments by readers.  I am by no means an expert but I may be on my way.  Thank you so much for reading.

This blog will be on break over Thanksgiving and will resume Monday, December 5.  By then I should have a better idea of what the future holds.