What's the number one way to get more followers? Twitter chats! These one hour virtual discussions are the perfect way to connect with others in your space and own what you know. Mashable Business has weekly #Bizchats on multiple topics; the first one I stumbled upon was coincidentally on personal branding . In my true DIY publicist fashion, I wanted to see who the host of the chat was so I could connect with them and offer my expertise for a future chat. Who other than the fabulous Tracey Edouard to not only have created and currently run the chat? As I researched her, I grew fond of the brand that she had created for herself as a social media strategist and a Mashable employee. Like many other recent graduates, Tracey went through an unemployment period, but what set her apart from other job seekers, was her commitment to freelancing and developing her skills while she looked. Read more about this awesome woman below.
Today also marks her one year anniversary at Mashable, so send her some congrats!
[Tweet "Happy work anniversary @talkthattrace! "]
Describe your personal brand in three words
Independent, Innovative, Inspiring
30 second elevator pitch, Go!
Hi! My name is Tracey Edouard. I am a graduate from Penn State University with a degree in advertising/PR. I am currently a social media assistant for Mashable, where I primarily focus on optimizing daily content under the business vertical for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. I'm most proud of creating Mashable's first-ever #BizChats Twitter chat: a series that highlights various business topics, which has seen more than 190 million impressions and has generated over $60K in outside revenue.
Current position and your typical work day Current position: Social Media Assistant at Mashable.
My typical work day consists of scheduling and monitoring business articles for various social media accounts including: Mashable Business, & Startups on Facebook, Mashable on LinkedIn and overnight tweets for @Mashbusiness on Twitter.
In addition to scheduling and optimizing posts, I'm usually in the midst of executing a current #BizChats Twitter chat or planning a future chat. Many intricate details go into organizing #BizChats including: drafting the questions, reaching out to influencers, scheduling the tweets, writing the promo and recap articles, interacting with the participants (as @MashBusiness on Twitter), etc.
Personal brands attract opportunities. What has been the greatest opportunity you have gotten?
The greatest opportunity I've gotten was the ability to work for Mashable. My boss shared with me how coveted the Mashable internship program is. Hundreds of applicants are screened and only a handful are chosen. I didn't have any previous connections at Mashable before applying, which shows that my work really spoke for itself and got me through to the interview rounds.
Even though I dealt with a rough unemployment period, I still remained active online by writing blogs on LinkedIn, going to networking sessions and creating a social media presence for my family and friends' side businesses.
Related: Preparing for the Job Search
In addition, my supervisor giving me the freedom to make #BizChats my own entity has been a huge opportunity. Not only am I acquiring new leadership skills, companies like MOO Business Cards and HP see the value in Twitter chats and have been willing to compensate the company to be associated with it.
Who are some of your mentors and why?
My mom: Although we don't work in the same industry, my mom's hard work, support and determination has always inspired me to do my best no matter what. For that, I'm eternally grateful.
My boss Ryan: I always appreciate my supervisor's honesty. He took a chance on me when he brought me onto the Mashable team and has been guiding me along my professional path ever since. He always tells it like it is, and doesn't beat around the bush.
Jaime Hoerbelt: Jaime was my supervisor at my first job, but after we went our separate ways, we turned into great friends. I always reach out to her when I have a big business decision on my hands. She's even met with me on several occasions to help refine my personal documents. I always value and appreciate her feedback.
What were the steps you took in college that impacted your professional success?
1. Going to professors' office hours: Many students underestimate the value of going to office hours. Your teachers are literally getting paid to sit in their office and wait for students who need assistance. This is your opportunity to make yourself known as well as build a genuine relationship. In college, I always took advantage of office hours whether it was to gain assistance on homework assignments, projects or upcoming exams that I needed extra help with. It really helped me gain a deeper knowledge of the topic I studied, as well as creating allies that made it significantly easier for me to ask for job recommendations at the end of the year or to place them as references on my job applications.
2. Buying my name: From your first year in school, you should really make it your mission to build a portfolio website. Your name is unique to you, and chances are, no one has turned it into a website yet. Visit wix, squarespace, godaddy and buy your first and last name. Claim it so that no one else can, and over the next four years, build up your online portfolio with your key assignments, projects and extracurricular activities. That's what I did, and I really stood out from other applicants at job fairs because recruiters would see that as
Studying abroad: The thought of taking classes in another country was daunting at first, but the actual experience was irreplaceable. What lies at the end of the scholarship applications, visa acquirement, and tedious packing is an experience of a lifetime. Not only did studying abroad stand out on my resume (great conversation starter, too), I acquired memories and experiences that I will take with me for the rest of my life.
What would you say to a young person who wants to work in your industry?
[Tweet "Don't put more faith in your job than yourself."]
It's always encouraged to do great work for your company, but at the end of the day, the company has its own goals and so should you. It's healthy to be invested, but don't dig yourself too deep or bend yourself backwards too much for a company that wouldn't do the same for you. You owe it to yourself. If for some reason a company doesn't see your worth, leave and find a company that will value you.
What can we expect from you in the near future?
#BizChats is growing exponentially. As it continues to grow I'm looking to guide it in a direction to feature bigger names, more compelling topics and maybe down the road a segment within a Mashable summit.