Use What You Know

Realize and Leverage Your Best Skills to Up Your Value

By Published on .

Carly Rullman
Carly Rullman

A few weeks ago my co-workers noticed that I have more than 2,000 friends on Facebook. They were shocked, and even I was a little taken back when I realized that my "friend" number had really climbed over the years. My explanation is that, as it did for others my age, Facebook quickly became my social-media dashboard -- the way I kept up with my high school friends and the new friends I met in classes, clubs and social events. Facebook had become a part of my life.

Since Facebook's introduction, of course, Twitter, YouTube, Bloggerspot, others have followed. The how-to just comes naturally to my generation, and it is habit to use these platforms on a daily basis.

But what may seem so simple to us may not be for our agencies and clients, and our value-add as employees is how we can leverage skills, such as our knowledge of social-media platforms, in our jobs.

At my agency, one of our clients asked us to build a website to serve as the central hub for an annual design challenge. The challenge is aimed at designers with fewer than seven years of experience, so we figured the best way to promote participation and voting was through social media.

Here is where I came in:

Just because the website was built, it remained important to check in and make sure everything was running smoothly. I became the point person for the agency, treating it as if I am a user and reporting any user-unfriendly problems.

Next I helped the client set up a Twitter account just for the site. Everything from giving them a user name to suggesting people to "follow" to finding people, I am their girl. I also regularly tweet from my own name about the current and upcoming contests. I also gave the client a list of 25 Twitter accounts relative to the site (designers, for example.) This way, they can follow them and tweet them as needed.

The least I could do is post as my status on Facebook that there is a great site out there available to young designers. It has been great to see the responses from friends who took time to check it out.

I was also able to identify more than 20 design blogs to share with the client and to become familiar with. With these, I can share information about the client's design site with other readers. Finally, I offered up a drafted e-mail blast to a particular audience for the client. In this case, I thought targeting interior-design chapter presidents would make the most sense.

All these things are so familiar to our generation, but I promise they can be used for great client service. So what's my message? Use what you know. Identify the skills that already come naturally to you—like, in my case, social networking, but it could be presentation skills, idea generation, organizational ability, industry knowledge—and figure out how you can best leverage them for your agency or for your client. That's how you make yourself indispensable.

Carly Rullman is a recent graduate from the University of Alabama. She majored in public relations and Spanish and served on the award-winning Advertising Team, as well as the forensics speech team. She worked as an account executive selling advertising space and marketing for UAB athletics before becoming an account coordinator at Scout Branding in Birmingham, Ala.
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