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How I Got My Job As Director Of Social Media – Step 3: Combine Talent To Deliver Business Value

In the first two articles in this series, I talked about how my experience and real-life connections were important elements in getting a job interview and, eventually, an offer for a position as Senior Manager of Social Media Strategy for a digital agency here in Kansas City.

For the last 18 months, I have had the pleasure of leading a team of outstanding social media talent with a broad range of backgrounds and skills. Some of my team members have experience in public relations and in marketing consumer packaged goods. Some have experience in technology and analytics/measurement tools, while others have experience in journalism and reporting. What each person has in common, though, is the fact that they have taken their training and experience from their previous career practice and found a way to join their passion for social media with their area of expertise.

My team is one of the key reasons for my job as Director of Social Media

From top-right to bottom-right, the social media team consists of Sarah Waldschmidt, Amy Stewart, Kurt Kloeblen, Jamie Sutera, Jackie Walter, Sean Nicholson, Kyle Kowalski, Jordan Deatherage, Jeff Risley, Chris Hennkens, Adam Stoos (honorary), Amy Devine (not shown) and Molly Troop (not shown). Thanks to each of you!

Please note: Some of the links in my posts are affiliate links. I get commissions for purchases made through those links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases when you buy something from those links.

The result has been the formation of an incredibly diverse social media team that understands that businesses operate to make money, but never lose sight of the fact that people (both customers and employees) are the most important element of any business.

Let me repeat that.

People (both customers and employees) are the most important element of any business.

Because each member of the team understands that social media is entirely about people, they ensure that every plan they create, every tactic they develop, every tweet/post/blog they propose brings benefit to the customer community while meeting business goals of our clients. Whether it’s customer service, business process improvement, competitive intelligence, public relations/advocacy,  or building relationships with industry influencers, the team ensures that our social media activities have value, align with specific goals, and are measured.

So…how did the formation of this team result in my job as Director of Social Media? That part was easy. Because each person has been willing to combine their unique talents and experiences with my own, we continually find ways to establish clear, measurable goals and then deliver results. And in any business, measurable results mean success and success means growth.

In my case, growth was from Senior Manager of Social Media Strategy to Director of Social Media.

As a message to each member of my team, this post is a public thank you. Individually, you are amazingly talented, motivated professionals who help our clients and customers connect, and your teamwork delivers results that are above-and-beyond on a daily basis. Together, you are a powerhouse that defines the standard of a high-performing team.

So what’s the secret to getting a job as Director of Social Media? Build your experience and passion for social media while creating a real-life networking of contacts who understand your passion and would recommend you to others. Then, most importantly, build a team of talented individuals who have diverse skills, a strong understanding of business, and a passion for social media. With a team like that, you’ll succeed every time.

Also, if you’re interested in a career in social media, be sure to check out my page of social media job listings to see if any of the positions fit your skills or interests.



P.S. I also want to give a quick shout out to Jeff Xouris, Wendy Blackburn, Jim Dayton, Laura Nguyen, the *entire* Intouch Team and all of my fantastic clients (you know who you are)!

Also, in case you missed the first to articles in the series, here are their links. As always, I welcome feedback, similar experiences, and constructive criticism in the comments!

How I Got My Job As Director Of Social Media – Step 1: Build Experience Then Blog, Tweet, Collaborate!

How I Got My Job As Director Of Social Media – Step 2: Real-Life Relationships Matter



Sunday 4th of December 2011

Hey Sean, can you maybe talk about a couple of things that led up to you being the director? In you previous post you mentioned you switched jobs. That got my attention because I noticed you were doing a lot of work for your company but they never promoted you. That seems to be common that you have to transition to another company because maybe the current company doesn't understand the value in the long term.

Reading your post has helped me to understand my potential next steps.

Sean R. Nicholson

Sunday 4th of December 2011

Thanks for the feedback, Jhasmal.

To say that my previous company was slow on the uptake of social media is a huge understatement. I left the company almost 2 years ago and they are just now putting their social media strategy into place. They spent those 2 years wondering whether they should participate, and never just jumped in and tried.

That wasn't the reason I left, though. My social media efforts with that company were purely outside my primary job responsibilities, so when I was offered an opportunity to develop social media strategies full time, I really had to think about it. I had to wonder whether social media really was a fad, or if it was the fundamental shift in communication that I felt it really was.

In the end, I took a leap of faith. I had to scrap my previous career plans and reformulate a new one. Luckily, my gamble has paid off and I have the privilege of working with great clients who are using social media to learn from their online communities.

Let me know if that helps or if there are more questions. Definitely feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn if you'd like to chat 1:1.