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Making a Living As a Social Media Professional

This panel discussion in the Social Media Professionals track was moderated by Rick Toone. The professionals leading the session were, Jessica Cohen, Jen Phillips, Eric Lepping, and Kristine Kane.

The first question asked really kicked off the session. It was “Why not just hire your nephew with 3,000 Facebook fans as your social media expert?” A lot of businesses believe that as a free service, social media needs about the same amount of attention as anything else that’s free, and that’s a mistake. Social media is a great tool, and Eric urged that you cannot expect people to interact with you if you don’t give back. 

In this session, I finally understood the true, true value of social media as a profession. Kristine said, “I ride bikes, but I don’t understand bikes,” and it really showed that social media are topics that we can be knowledgeable about and use to teach others how to better their businesses. For small businesses who think they don’t have the time to do the extra work on social media, it’s NOT extra work, says Kristine. It’s maximized work!

A few general tips I took away from the session were:

  1. Don’t let others pick your brain with no return! What you know is valuable, and once you make the mistake once of giving away too much, Eric says, you’ll never do it again!
  2. Set goals for yourself. Make timelines and set constraints on projects.
  3. Don’t be afraid to set an hourly rate, but don’t charge for what is your own learning curve throughout the process.
  4. Jen suggested looking at blogs and books if you’re interested in making it in the biz. They are actually very informative!
  5. And finally, my favorite piece of advice: 

After today, I am definitely more interested in this route for the future!

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