Monthly Archives: May 2010

Social Media hiatus…just until my show is over

Written by: Digitally Approved
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I will honestly admit that I have never watched “Lost” not one single episode. Sort of a badge of honor really. However, I can completely appreciate the show’s dedicated following. I definitely follow my own shows, including tuning in and suspending my disbelief  for tonight’s series finale of “24“.

What I won’t be doing is following anything social media, anything online or even checking my Blackberry for that matter – from early evening, until I have watched Jack & Chloe’s final scene. This holds true for the Olympics, awards shows and any other TV program that I am obsessed with that doesn’t air live or that I TiVo to watch after I get home.

Sorry social media and my Backberry, I love you, I really really do, but I learned way early on that people love to talk, text, chat and tweet the millisecond something happens – be it on TV or in real life. And I have been mad at myself for checking too many times to know that I should know better.

So with all of the chatter out there, I will be on a personal social media and Blackberry hiatus while we say goodbye to the TV version of Jack Bower.

Damn it Chloe!

Graduating With an Edge

Written by: Larry Weintraub
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Congratulations, you are about to graduate.  The world is your oyster.  You can do anything you want, you can be anything.  Yes, it is a challenging time.  Jobs are hard to come by and there is fierce competition to land the one you want.  The upside is that because of technology and specifically social media, you have opportunities to separate yourself that didn’t exist as recently as five years ago.  But we won’t lie; it is not going to be easy.  You are most likely not going to get that first job or maybe the second one.  Odds are you are going to lose many of them.  So here’s our advise, if you are going to lose… lose big!

Culled from years of experience and interviewing hundreds of people, I have some ideas that will give you an edge, separate you from the pack.  The central point is to create your personal brand, the authentic you.  Do that first and exemplify it through these following three areas and I guarantee you’ll stand out from the crowd:

  1. LinkedIn
  2. Blog
  3. Lose Big


How long have resumes been around?  I have no idea.  My guess is that it has been common practice to deliver those one or two sheets of paper to potential employers for at least a hundred years.

You still need to do it, so definitely put in the effort, but don’t stop there.  LinkedIn should be your new best friend.  It is the amped up online version of your resume.  It offers you the opportunity to not only expand on your work history, it also allows you more room to emphasize your experience and make the words jump off the page.

Most of your contemporaries haven’t embraced LinkedIn yet.  For those of us who have been working for several years now, we have learned to make LinkedIn our go to resource for sharing information about our careers.  But college students have typically been slow to board this train.  So, while your sorority sisters are busy checking out what photos have been uploaded to Facebook today, you can be leaping ahead of them by building out your LinkedIn profile.  By all means keep up the tweets, check-ins and status updates, just be more conscious of what you’re putting out there for potential employers to see.

When we post a job at Fanscape we get hundreds of resumes within the first day of the post.  Do you know how hard it is to go through that many resumes?  It is a giant pain.  So, we go through a weeding out process.  If your resume pops and my hiring manager likes what they see, then it gets sent to me.  My next step is to go to your LinkedIn profile.  Your page better look great.  Well written, no spelling errors, great insight into you; that is what I want to see.

You can drop in widgets on your LinkedIn profile that point me to your blog posts, your Twitter feed, even what books you are reading.

And don’t forget about recommendations.  Have people recommend you.  Haven’t had that many jobs?  Start with your teachers, your counselors, the bosses where you did your internships.  Ask them nicely if they will give you a recommendation on LinkedIn.  I bet they use LinkedIn.  Another tip, recommend others.  The best way to get people to recommend you is to recommend them first.  Nothing makes me happier than to see that you’ve actually recommended more people than have recommended you.  Yep, I can see all that when I look at your LinkedIn page.

Fill that profile up.  You can’t write too much.  LinkedIn will stop you if you get too wordy.  It will force you to fine-tune your descriptions and make them pop.

Trust me on this.  Your friends aren’t doing any of this.  Do this and you jump 10 steps ahead of them.  LinkedIn is my favorite social media tool.  For the business world it is the most important social network and you need to get a handle on this now!


Want to know where I go after I’ve read your LinkedIn profile?  Your blog.  What?  You don’t have one?  You really should.

See, your resume and your LinkedIn profile give me insight into your professional capabilities, but what about your personality?  How can I see where your passions lie?  What do you do when you aren’t working?  What movies have you seen?  What do you collect?  What is important to you in this world besides your career?

You are probably asking, “Why do you care?”  You are wondering, what your personal life has to do with your work life?   .

Look, like I said, I’m trying to make a decision on hiring a new employee.  I want someone that is not only a professional fit but someone who is also a cultural fit.  My company is filled with people who love reality television, play video games, and check in on Foursquare.  I’ve hired some who looked good on paper, but turned out to be loners who’d prefer to code in a dark room than participate in a brainstorm about a new client. And they never worked out.  I need to know upfront whether or not you’d be a good fit and whether or not to interview you.  Your blog helps me make that determination.

If you are not blogging, start now.  Set yourself up on Blogger, WordPress or Tumblr.  It doesn’t cost a thing.  Start writing or posting photos.  Maybe video is more your thing.  Start a YouTube channel.  Just do something that shows your personality.  Try to post something every few days.  It might take you a couple of months to find your voice, the thing you want to share with the world, but it will come, you just have to start.

Again, want an edge over the competition?  Blog.  And let me know it.

Lose Big

Here is the brutal reality.  You are not going to get most of the jobs you apply for.  You are not even going to get an interview.  When you send in your resume, understand that hundreds of others did the very same thing.

But when you get the interview, and you will get a few, know that you will most likely lose.  So lose big.

I have interviewed over 500 people since I started Fanscape 12 years ago.  95% of them were nervous and told me what they thought I wanted to hear.  Only a couple of them stood out and only one ever looked me in the eye, stood up, and told me I needed them.  That person told me I was missing out on huge opportunities and that they would make those happen for me.  That person told me that I didn’t have to pay them much, that they would prove their value immediately, and that soon I would be paying them much more.

I hired that person.  That person won more business for me than anyone ever had before.  I’ve never forgotten that first meeting.  Everyone I’ve met since has been compared in my mind to that person.

Now a different boss might have been turned off by that approach.  They might have thrown that person out of the office.  That’s the risk you take.  Remember, the odds are you are not going to get the job.  So if you are going to lose, lose big.

In conclusion, what I’ve explained here is not difficult.  It doesn’t cost any money and it doesn’t require any technical experience or training.  Everyone can do it.  But they don’t.  So it’s up to you.  You are setting out on the next great adventure in your life.  Have fun with it.  You are great.  You know that.  But you are about to meet a lot of people who don’t know that yet.  So you need to let them in on your secret.  You rule!

One final thing I’d like to share.  Many in the working world (especially those of us in the digital marketing world) have seen this video – but it’s incredibly inspirational.

It’s a speech given by Gary Vaynerchuck, creator of where he encourages you to “Kill it!”  Follow my thoughts, create your personal brand, watch this video and you will in fact, kill it!

Job Hunting Tips For The Recent Grad

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Are you about to graduate? Know someone that is? Fanscapers, Allie Wester (ASU ’07), Irene Shin (UC Irvine, ’09) and Andrew Germer (Pepperdine MBA ’10) share some tips, tricks and simple ways to stand out as you navigate the waters for your first post-graduation gig.

Something that all three agree with is to research the company before applying and again before interviewing. Allie simply states, do your homework before you speak with a potential employer and Irene suggests that you also check out the company’s social activity (Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) to see if it’s one you’d like to work for. But before you even get to the application process, Andrew (Fanscape’s most recent hire) strongly suggests that your public image serves as your professional image – clean up those Facebook pages everyone. Here are six other great tips that can help you land that perfect first job:

  • Get organized – Not all job opportunities are listed on Mashable and Monster. Make an excel spreadsheet with your dream places to work in one column, and links to their job opportunities pages in another. Check each link daily or every other day. That’s how I found my job at Fanscape – right on the careers page! (Allie)
  • Identify your strengths and recognize your core competencies – This can be tricky, especially if you have little or no work experience, so take some time to evaluate yourself – main takeaways from previous experiences and what you hope to learn from the new position.  As honestly as you can, try to find things that distinguish you from your peers.  Try to think of your skills that will translate to the professional world (communication, project management) rather than academic skills (courses completed, GPA).  Leverage those skills and you will be more confident and comfortable when talking about yourself. (Irene and Andrew)
  • Tailor that cover letter – this may sound like a no-brainer, but when employers receive hundreds and even thousands of applications via various online sources, this is your way to stand out. They may be one of the hardest things to write but this is your chance to illustrate why you want to work for the company, what you can offer the company and how THEY can benefit from hiring you. Feel free to be bold – using phrases like “I am writing to request an interview in person at your earliest convenience so that we may discuss my potential fit for this opening in more detail,” this shows to an hiring manager that you are confident and clearly expresses that you are serious. (Allie and Andrew)

  • Professionalize your online life – just as you are researching a company online, they are also researching you. Once you make the more obvious edits, such as cleaning up those photos on your Facebook or MySpace pages, “Google” yourself and check out the first 8-10 pages to make sure there’s no erroneous or inappropriate results that could be hazardous to your job hunt. The more and more you congregate online, the more and more it is available to the general public, so be careful what you’re saying out there, it could hamper your ability to land that dream job.  Also make sure those Facebook privacy settings are set to your liking – keep in mind that Facebook defaults its settings to public. It is up to you to if you want those photos, opinions and “likes” private or public. (Andrew)
  • Blog about it already – With sites like WordPress, Tumblr and Posterous, blogging has become incredibly easy. Host a blog and contribute to it regularly. If it is not already taken, you should immediately secure the web domain of your name, for example,  Domains are very affordable ($10 or less per year) and are something that will add to your professional appearance.  Also, most blog sites will let you use another domain as the blog’s address. If the first result on Google is and your site contains postings about topics relevant to your potential industry, you are pretty much guaranteed to have made a great impression on the employer and have given yourself the edge you need. (Andrew)
  • Look sharp and be prepared for that interview – in addition to getting a good night’s sleep the night before, a good rule of thumb is that it’s always better to over dress than under dress. Sure, it can be sort of weird when you’re in a suit and the person interviewing you is in jeans – but it leaves a lasting impression and shows you mean business. Take that research you did on the company and be prepared to ask questions that are germane to the position and company and while you’re at it be prepared to answer why you feel that you’re the right person for the job. (Allie and Irene)

And by all means send a Thank You note. In addition to being polite and the right thing to do, it keeps you top-of-mind in this competitive job market.

Congratulations on graduating and good luck on the job hunt!

Allie, Irene & Andrew

#140Conf L.A. Meetup – Roundup

Written by: Digitally Approved
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A few of us Fanscapers attended last night’s #140Conf L.A. Meet up held at the legendary Comedy Store. Upwards of 340 of #140 fans showed up, making L.A. the biggest #140Conf Meetup ever. L.A. Rocks! Just sayin.

Fanscaper's @germer and @lardog2000

It was great seeing so many people involved in Social Media and finally getting to meet @jeffpulver was a highlight of the (my) night. Hearing people speak to the power of Social Media and how purposeful it can be takes it well beyond the proverbial fun and games of checking in here and building a farm there and I was impressed.

The ladies room is always worth a visit during any gathering, as it is a haven for some of the best one liners of any evening. Case in point, in between speakers I made my traditional pit stop and apparently @SimonMainwaring made quite an impression, as a number of the ladies were commenting on how hot and handsome he was. (Note to future #140conf organizers, the ladies like the good looking guys on stage.)

The evening even turned into an impromptu fundraiser for a patient of @Krupali where every attendee donated at least $1 to help make her patient’s dream of making it to the home of her beloved Pittsburgh Steelers come true.  Granted, this didn’t take place via a tweet or Facebook campaign, but if it wasn’t for the love of Social Media none of us would’ve been there to lend a hand, miles or a few bucks. 

I wasn’t able to take part in the purple Viper Room flash mob, but before I left, it looked like it was going to be a crazy walk down the Sunset Strip. Who’s got pictures of that…come on now share!

Thanks @ericgreenspan, @jeffpulver and everyone else in attendance for making my first #140conf L.A. Meetup so memorable. I can’t wait for the next one.

The Next Big Thing – Social Shopping

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Social Shopping is as fun as it is exciting. And, growing in popularity.

What follows is an excerpt from Larry Weintraub’s latest post to his Smart Marketing Blog that highlights the new trend of Social Shopping.

A year ago if you had asked me about social shopping I would have pointed you to Amazon and told you that the product reviews from actual buyers were examples of social shopping.  Six months ago I would have told you about shopping aggregation websites like Kaboodle which allow you to view, comment, and receive deals from multiple retailers.  Two weeks ago I would have told you about the new Facebook integration into websites like Levi’s “Friend Store” and how you can see what your friends like.  And today.  Well today I’d tell you it’s all about what I call the Discount Crowdsourced Shopping Experience (DCSE) being powered by Groupon, Living Social, Gilt, Blackboard Eats, Wines Til Sold Out (WTSO) and more.

A few months back I wrote a post about a new business ready to take off.  What I described there was the advancement of location-based applications like Foursquare, Gowalla, and MyTown combined with recommendation websites like Yelp and Citysearch, and how they were providing huge opportunities for shop owners to drive people into their stores.  DCSE’s go the next step and offer discounts to drive you into these stores.  All of these DCSE’s are essentially mailing lists and you get regular (often daily) deals sent to your inbox.

Click HERE to read more