Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Twitter Basics for MBA students

Twitter can be a great tool for students to build professional relationships, find a job and stay up to date on what is happening in your industry. Before you dive into Twitter, I recommend you get a few of the basics down. Below are a few basics you want to master. These tips are for people that want to use Twitter strategically for their careers, if you don't care about that, you probably won't find this advice as helpful.

1. Decide what you're going to tweet about. It's easier to build a following on Twitter when people know what you will be tweeting about. If you're all over the place, it'll be harder. This does not mean if you tweet about marketing, you can't tweet about your favorite NBA team. Just try to be consistent. For example, I tweet 90% about marketing, technology and networking. 10% is whatever I'm in the mood to tweet about. 

2. Remember that everything is public. Think before you tweet. People have lost their jobs for the things they have tweeted about. A PR executive with some racists tweets is the latest casualty.

3. Put up a professional profile picture. Just like LinkedIn, if you're using Twitter to expand your network, it can help to have a professional picture. At least put some kind of picture up. No one wants to see the Twitter egg.

twitter egg with an x

4. Fill out the description. This is your chance to let people know what you'll be tweeting about. I recommend you link to your LinkedIn profile, blog or personal website in the description.

example of a twitter description

5. Post consistently. If you never post, many people will eventually stop following you.

6. Follow people. Follow anyone or anything that interests you. Follow companies you are interested in or people you admire.

7. Favorite tweets. This is a simple way to let people know you like what they are sharing. Twitter notifies you when someone favorites your tweet. This is also a great way to get someone to follow you back.

example of favoriting a tweet

8. Retweet people. This is a way for you to share great content that you find with your network. Just like when you favorite, the user is notified and there is a good chance they might follow you back.

9. Respond to tweets. The great thing about Twitter is most people on it are the sort of people that want to have conversations with the Twitter community. Comment on posts, or respond to questions. You'll be surprised who might respond back.

10. Be yourself. The more authentic the better.

Twitter can be a valuable tool as you navigate your career. Have fun with it and find what aspect of Twitter creates the most value for you personally. Good luck and happy tweeting.

Friday, September 19, 2014

What Does a B2B Technology Product Marketer do?

It depends. 

OK, I’m going to help you out a little bit more than that, but I must clarify before you read on that every company does Product Marketing a little bit differently. In fact, within a team or group at LinkedIn Product Marketers can have drastically different responsibilities or priorities than other parts of the company. The best I can do is give you some of the key areas that Product Marketers tend to work on and some of the key tasks. Any of the areas below could be a small or large part of your job, so I recommend clarifying in your interview process. 

meme it depends

Product development.
  • Determining if there is a market for a feature or product
  • Outlining the product requirements
  • Defining the messaging and positioning
Random Strategic Projects
  • In my experience random important projects get thrown on the lap of Product Marketers because they are typically strategically minding and work very well cross functionally. 
  • Work to understand your audience and customer, then implementing what you learned to improve your sales, marketing and product efforts. 
Market research
  • Regular customer satisfaction surveys, like a quarterly NPS study
  • One off research for new products, competitive analysis or segmentation of other strategic initiatives. 
Product/features launches
  • Play quarterback to organize sales, PR, marketing, product and support for smooth and effective feature or product launches. 
Sales enablement.
  • Product training at new hire orientation. 
  • Answer the sales team’s product questions on going
  • Training the sales team on new products or features as they come out
  • Gathering product feedback from the sales team
  • Communicating changes or updates to the product to the sales team
  • Understanding your competitors strengths, weaknesses and how to talk about them. 
  • Running or participating in customer events
  • Participating in external events as a thought leader for your company or product
Thought leadership
  • This could be writing all sorts of content, participating in webinars or being brought in during customer calls. 
From my anecdotal experience, Product Marketers have high job satisfaction. No day is the same. You get to be strategic, creative and analytical. If you think I missed anything, please add it to the comments.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

LinkedIn Summary Examples for MBA Students

I've been asked by several MBA students for advice on what to put in their LinkedIn summary. First, if you're thinking about your summary you're on the right track. There are a lot of different ways that you could tackle it, but I wanted to share three examples of profiles that I think have a great summary. As always, this is my personal opinion and not the opinion of LinkedIn.

Also, check out these two articles for more advice on how to write a great LinkedIn summary.

Three Steps To Writing The Perfect LinkedIn Summary
4 Tips for Writing a Compelling LinkedIn Summary

Check out Abby Stern's summary below. She's a a MBA student at Stanford. A quick read of her profile and you have a great sense of what she's passionate about. After her reading her summary it's very clear the sort of companies and roles she is interested in.

LinkedIn Summary Examples MBA students Stanford

Check out Joung Park's profile below.  He's an MBA student at UT. His summary is really tailored to his finance/consulting audience, it pulls out the highlights from his entire profile with plenty of data points to back it up. 

LinkedIn Summary Examples MBA students university of texas

Check out Tori Dumke's profile. She is a MBA student at BYU. She does a great job of telling her story. She moved from PR to technology marketing, but quickly connects the dots in her summary. In a lot of ways her summary is her elevator pitch. 

LinkedIn Summary Examples MBA students BYU

No matter what angle you take, the best way to improve your LinkedIn summary is to have a few people read it quickly, then tell you what they got out of it. This will help you know if what you'd like to convey to colleagues, recruiters and other professionals is coming through in your summary. If you'd like to learn more about how MBA students can improve their LinkedIn profiles, check out Advanced LinkedIn Tips For MBA Students.