I created a strategy consisting of three legs. The first was my LinkedIn profile. This was a natural step because I’ve always worked on keeping it up-to-date. These days, LinkedIn is the new resume and it’s an invaluable tool for letting the world know about your career, your achievements, and your aspirations. I decided to take my LinkedIn profile beyond an online resume and really leverage it as a branding platform. To that end, I selected a background graphic that was catchy but businesslike, I added my publications, and I also changed my heading to Business Leader | Tech Maven | Sales Professional. I chose those descriptors because they were an excellent reflection of my accomplishments and what I wanted to do next.
The next step was something very new for me. I created a curated newsletter called The DixonTechReport. Curation is the process of selecting, organizing, and presenting online content, merchandise, or information, using professional or expert knowledge. In the technology arena, there is so much information that the sheer volume can be overwhelming. I decided to focus on my interests; Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and Digital Disruption. The newsletter published every day and featured content from a wide range of sources. I also used the same background graphic from my LinkedIn page to create synergy.
To stitch all of this together, I created a Twitter account, @DixonTech.com. I used the same color and graphic scheme as my LinkedIn profile and curated newsletter. I also made a commitment to send at least three tweets a day on items and companies that caught my interest in the IoT, Big Data, and Digital Disruption spaces. The side benefit of Twitter is that you can tweet via updates on your LinkedIn page. The articles you post can appear in both your Twitter feed and on LinkedIn. Additionally, the curated newsletter spotlights the tweeted articles.
These media created a synergistic chain. I could spotlight some interesting articles via my twitter feed. Those articles would in turn, be posted in their entirety to my newsletter. People would read my newsletter and they’d have the ability to connect with me via LinkedIn. Once on my LinkedIn profile, they’d see the daily updates that might lead them to my Twitter feed or to my newsletter and on it went. And by the way, my Twitter account sent an automated tweet whenever a new edition of the newsletter was published.
This turned out to be a very effective strategy. Before long, I started getting LinkedIn invitations from industry leaders, twitter followers from all over the world, and a host of newsletter viewers & subscribers -- including former colleagues and potential employers. I was also invited to contribute to magazine articles and was featured on industry websites. The added benefit was that as I began to discuss job opportunities, my internet presence provided a proof source for my background, accomplishments, and thought leadership. That leads to the reason for the pivot.
Several months ago, I accepted a position as a Client Executive with Unisys Corporation in the Financial Services tower. In this role, I handle business development, P&L management and revenue growth for two account relationships – a worldwide financial services company and an international investment bank. I connected to this position via a referral and my social media presence was favorably mentioned multiple times during my interview process.
Since I’m no longer a “Free Agent” however, my focus needed to change slightly. I’m more tightly engaged in the Financial Services space so developments in that arena are more top-of-mind for me. While I’m still a technology guy working for a technology company, Financial Technology (FinTech) is a new and exciting space that I need to be reading and talking about. Another difference is that now that I’m working for Unisys and managing relationships with two very conservative clients, I need to make sure that my social media activity operates within the policies and preferences of my employer and my clients.
From a purely visual standpoint, a quick look at my social media platforms will reveal that I changed the graphics and color scheme to more closely connect to Unisys, a technology company that traces its history back over 100 years.
I also changed the focus of my newsletter to Innovation, FinTech, and Digital Disruption. That allowed me to continue to curate content in my areas of interest but merge them with my role at Unisys. I also changed my personal description to Client Executive | Technologist | Community Servant. That’s a subtle yet meaningful change.
Client Executive is an easy one – that’s my job title and one of which I am very proud. A Unisys Client Executive is someone whose number one focus is to serve the Client at the Executive Level. Understanding their business and sharing thought-leadership and innovation that will deliver results material to their success.
Technologist is also self-explanatory -- I’ve been a Technology guy for my whole career and that’s a big part of who I am. (That’s a story that could stand alone in another post. Be on the lookout for it!)
Community Servant is something new for me in the context of business. In my life away from work, I am highly engaged in my community. I’m president of the alumni chapter of my fraternity and our primary activities are mentoring young men and volunteering our time and talents to worthy causes. I’ve spent years involved in the youth ministry of my church as a musician and I’ve also served on numerous nonprofit boards. One of the things I’ve come to understand is that in order to be your best self as a businessperson you need to bring your whole self to the job. Broadening my social media brand to include my community service activities is my way of engaging my whole self.
This move to Unisys is an exciting step for me and it represents a new lens through which I can present myself and my ideas. I have some sensational initiatives on the horizon and I’m totally fired up about what comes next. Thanks for tagging along with me – this ought to be a blast!
You can join me at www.twitter.com/dixontech, www.DixonTechReport.com, or www.linkedin.com/in/dwaynedixon.