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By Bonnie Breuner

Summer is over, which means it’s back to school and back to work after a long three months of lounging outside with a cold drink in hand. For many of us freelance media professionals and business owners, it means business is picking up again.

But of course, work is difficult to come by in the small yet tightly competitive market here in DC, so most of the time is spent trying to market one’s self. And with social media now as the standard platform for networking and business, it is not only important to know how to use it, but also how to use it as an effective marketing strategy.

WIFV kicked off its Wednesday One series last week on how to promote and brand yourself, your business, or your projects on social media. The event was hosted by the following panelists: Shana Glickfield of the Beekeeper group who specializes in advocacy strategies via social media and online building; Amanda Littlejohn, a social branding expert; and Al Kalman, Director of Digital Engagement Strategy at Interface Media Group.

Shana started the meeting by giving a short summary of the history of blogging and how it evolved into social media. She went on to discuss the importance of self-branding and self-promotion, and she explained how to use account links and hashtags effectively on Twitter. She also introduced us to a relatively new word, “profersonal,” a term coined by Jason Seiden, CFO of Ajax, to describe both the professional and personal use of social media by individuals, suggesting that mentioning personal interests outside of work on social media may be a great way for other people to get to know you.

Amanda then followed up with a presentation on tips for successful personal branding, stressing the importance of knowing your audience, finding your strengths, and having a clear, concise message. The major point she highlighted, though, was the importance of providing case studies, which are success stories with clientele, in order to build your credibility and presence in the industry.

Al Kalman supplemented the discussion with tips on how to use various applications to make your name searchable and how to effectively manage your time with the use of social media.

WIFV’s September Wednesday One panel discussion was highly informative and inspiring, and definitely provided a lot of motivation. In the words of an attendee on Twitter, “Gotta go package my genius!”