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5 Tips for how you can become a social media professional.

Seems like everyone lately is a Social Media Guru, Expert, Ninja, Rockstar or Coach. However, just because you have a Twitter account, a blog and you are on Facebook, it doesn’t make you a Social Media Expert no more then having a hammer and saw makes you an expert carpenter. There are plenty of things that you need to know and a lot that you need to understand. So how do you really get the most knowledge to do Social Media the right way? Here are 5 tips to get you in the right direction:

1) Create a social media campaign for an area business

One of the best ways to learn something is by doing it. But without experience, not many people will take you seriously. Without a proven track record no one will give you a chance and without given an opportunity you won’t gain any experience. It’s a catch 22. So, how do you get past this? For one, you can create a social media campaign for a local business for free. The knowledge and experience you gain will be better then you can imagine. Come up with a strategy and what you are looking to do (increase sales, gain exposure, talk to customers), implement the plan and then monitor it. Then gather the analytics to see how well you did.

2) Follow some of the social media leaders (twitter, blogs)

You aren’t the first person who wants to get involved with Social Media. There are plenty of people out there who are doing it and are very successful. Watch Chris Brogan and Jason Falls to see what they are doing. Follow them on twitter, read and comment on their blogs. All of this will help you raise your level of knowledge up to theirs. Their is a saying, always be the worst performer in the band. This isn’t saying to play badly, it means surround yourself with people who are more knowledgeable then you, this way you will be able to feed off of their knowledge and expertise.

3) Attend conferences, meetups and network

Going to conferences and meetups will really help you understand and know the latest that is going on in Social Media. Sharing information, learning about opportunities and meeting people in Social Media can only be beneficial. I have been to conferences where I was able to network with leaders in the community and to find out the tools that everyone is using in my field. It was beneficial. The amount of information and networking opportunities at meetups and conferences is incredible. The good thing is that you may not have to go to far. Look for a Social Media Club in your area.

4) Converse, interact and discuss

When you see a blog post, comment on it. When an interesting twitter message comes across, respond to it. Getting out there and talking Social Media will help you gain knowledge and allow you to share information.

5) Don’t look like a used car salesman

This is important. On your Twitter profile don’t put your bio like this: Entrepreneur, Social Media Expert/Guru and Coach, SEM/SEO, I help you use the internet to gain lots of $$$ follow me to tell you how and then include a patterned dollar bill as your background. I am not sure how people expect to be taken seriously with a profile like this. It goes back to following the social media leaders. Is this something that Chris Brogan would do? If not, then don’t do it. If you want to be taken seriously. If this is your thing, then go ahead. I am not trying to change anyone, but any respectable company knows a used car salesman when they see one.

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