Learning to Network and Brand Yourself on Social Media

Marcy TweteDWN’s “Building Your Brand Using Social Media” event on Oct. 31 sold out quickly. If you couldn’t make the event in person, enjoy these lessons from guest speaker Marcy Twete, reported by DWN Communications Team Member Dorothy Griggs.

An expert in community development, corporate responsibility and diversity initiatives, Marcy Twete  is also the founder and adviser of the professional development website Career Girl Network and the author of the networking book “You Know Everybody!” Following are highlights from a recent workshop with DWN where Marcy shared the ins and outs of social networking.

Why Network?

Many people view networking as a four-letter word but also recognize it as a necessary evil. According to Marcy, the best way to think of networking is as a way to fulfill a need.

Because networking is so important, it is crucial to become a strategic networker and ensure that your efforts are intentional. Marcy described a strategic, intentional networker as someone who has contacts that are trusted and loyal, but is always adding new contacts; someone who is curious and loves meeting new people; someone who is willing to make new connections and is partnership focused; and someone who knows what’s important.

Where to Network?

The world of social media is constantly changing and evolving. With so many platforms available, many people are confused about which ones to use. Marcy suggested picking the one or two platforms that you enjoy most and committing to maintaining a presence on those. Rule of thumb: If you can’t invest time, don’t use it.

While many understand that LinkedIn is for business contacts, the other forms of social media are not so clear cut. Marcy provided the following analogies to help us determine how best to conduct ourselves on popular forms of social media.

• Twitter can be thought of as making contacts at a large cocktail party.

• Facebook is the backyard barbeque with family and friends.

• LinkedIn can be viewed as your attendance at a business meeting.

• Goggle Plus is the party everyone is talking about, but no one knows exactly where it is!

How to Network

Develop a networking wish list:

• What do you need?

• Who do you need?

• What processes do you need?

• What resources do you need?

• Assign a Career Guardian Angel for each goal. This could be someone you know or someone that you admire. Most importantly, write it down!

Create a professional bio:

• Start with your resume

• State who you are (without your employer’s name)

• Bring out big guns first

• Don’t forget past accomplishments

• Include at least one personal tidbit

Be mindful of what you post!

When reviewing job applications, 78 percent of prospective employees will do a Google search on a job prospect.

Questions to ask yourself before posting information online:

• How do I want to be perceived by future employers?

• Who will be looking at my profile?

• Where do I want to go in the future?

• Am I comfortable with my grandmother, boss and best friend looking at my profile?

Building Your Network

When you meet someone new online:

Follow them on Twitter


Introduce them to your network

When you meet someone new offline:

Perfect your elevator pitch

Write it down, and practice, practice, practice!

Strategies for both online and offline new contacts:

• Nurture the relationship

• Don’t ask for something every time you make contact

• Don’t give up on no. No usually means, “I need more information.”

• Don’t assume anything

• Follow up (STEP):

S – Situation. Describe the situation where initial contact took place.

T – Thank you. Handwritten notes are preferable.

E – Extraordinary. Talk about what makes you uniquely special.

P – Plan your next steps

• Ask how you can help the other person

• Be authentic!

Other Helpful Tidbits

• Create an online portfolio. DePaul employees have access to Digication, a free ePortfolio.

• Consider buying your name for use as your website domain

• Become a blogger/writer in your field, or ask to be a guest contributor on a blog you like and respect

• More social outlets:

o Aboutme.com – a splash page owned by Goggle

o Weebly.com

o wix.com

In closing, I’ll leave you with one of Marcy’s Favorite Tweets:

“Ask for what you want, you get advice. Ask for advice, you get what you want.”

Dorothy Griggs is a member of DWN’s Communications team and is the department assistant for the Center for Students with Disabilities at DePaul University.

DWN and Women’s Center Workshop Encourages Creative Solutions

Lin Kahn profile photoDePaul Women’s Network’s first event of the academic year will be a special three-day workshop co-hosted with the Women’s Center at DePaul. Lin Kahn, an award-winning artist who teaches in DePaul’s Department of Psychology, will build on last year’s popular DWN Brown Bag luncheon to present Creativity and Adversity: Overcoming Workplace Challenges.

This workshop for DePaul faculty and staff will take participants on a journey to discover how creative skills can help them overcome adversity in the workplace. Visit the DWN website to learn more details or register to reserve your spot for the event, which begins Sept. 25.

We asked Lin about what participants could expect from the workshop. Here’s what she had to say.

You have a background in dance. Do you apply any of the creative lessons you learned through dance to what participants will learn at the workshop? 
Absolutely. I apply creativity in the form of movement for a deeper understanding of the concepts that I’m teaching. It is remarkably effective for individual tailor-made internalizing of ideas in contrast to intellectualizing of ideas that may not be applied and practiced.

What is the most common obstacle to allowing more creativity into our everyday lives?
From teaching many students, I believe a common obstacle is a limited creative self-image and therefore a limited usage of the vast ongoing personal resource available in creativity. There is negative reactivity to problems such as helplessness or blaming instead of an empowering perspective of “how can I access my creativity to transcend this challenge” or “how can we pool our resources to achieve our goal and build our interpersonal strength in the process.”

What are ways you have seen people use creativity to overcome adversity?
I have countless stories of people, including international and inner-city women that are very moving… so many students who activated their creativity through both creative perspective and creative expression. I had a student who transcended extreme adversity as a result of the creativity she uncovered within herself in my class. With new vitality and enhanced self-esteem, she lost 20 pounds, got married and works in the world as a totally new person from the inside out.

Why should people attend the workshop?
I will answer this with a quote from a DePaul student who took my class last Spring Quarter: “Lin Kahn’s ‘Creativity and Adversity’ has been the most influential class I have ever had the pleasure of taking. I took this class for my requirement for the First-Year Program, but I had absolutely no idea that it would make this much of an impact on my life. I have learned so much and it is all so relevant to everyday life. It has truly helped me become more comfortable with my creativity and it has especially helped with understanding my blocks as well. The bonds one builds in this class are indescribable. I feel connected to each of my classmates unlike any other class I have taken at DePaul. I would recommend this class to anyone and everyone, all ages, different races, religions and sexes. Everyone needs to take this class. I honestly wish it was a class I could take forever.”

Creativity and Adversity: Overcoming Workplace Challenges will be presented on Sept. 25, Oct. 2 and Oct. 9 at the Loop Campus DePaul Center. Learn more about the workshop or register today. Spots are limited.

Top 5 Reasons for Starting DWN Blog

Welcome to the new blog for the DePaul Women’s Network!

Part of DWN’s mission is to connect DePaul University’s female faculty and staff so they can learn from each other and serve as each other’s professional support network. In order better serve this mission, this blog will help spread information about DWN and foster a feeling of community among members. Here are the top five reasons we started this blog:

1. Provide DWN Event Previews & Recaps

DWN has an exciting events planned for fiscal year 2012-13. Check back often to get behind-the-scenes looks at what our events will offer. If you can’t make it to a DWN function, check here after the event to read about it. If you did attend, feel free to post a comment about your experience.

2. Provide DePaul News & Event Info

This blog will feature DePaul news and events outside of DWN that may interest female faculty and staff. For example, we are especially excited to share details of the new designated nursing mother rooms on campus.

3. Explore Professional Development Topics & Women’s Issues

Our professional development posts will coincide with upcoming events and will cover a wide range of topics, such as networking, branding, mentoring, work/life balance and more. We are also open to writing about significant moments in women’s history.

4. Feature Female Spotlights

These posts will highlight accomplished women within and outside of DePaul, such as event speakers, DWN board members, and other DePaul female faculty and staff. Also watch for articles about accomplished female leaders or role models in the news or in women’s history.

5. Encourage Participation

Comments Are Welcome: We want to create an online community for DWN so we can communicate with each other outside of events. We invite you to leave comments here or reach out to us through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. (Read our commenting policy.)

Guest Bloggers Are Welcome: If you are a DePaul faculty or staff member who would like to write a guest blog post, please contact us at DPUWomensNetwork@depaul.edu.

Thank you for taking the time to read our first official DWN blog post. Please share this blog with fellow DePaul women and don’t forget to check us out on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well. We can’t wait to start the year!

Are there any other reasons/goals you think we should include for the new DWN blog? What topics are you most interested in hearing about? Tell us below in the comments.

DWN Communication & Technology Committee
Jennifer Leopoldt, Advancement Communications
Lark Mills, Risk Management
Lynn Safranek, Office of Public Relations and Communications