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Linking Up with LinkedIn Dayton

Today I was given the distinct honor of addressing the LinkedIn Dayton networking group at Champps in Centerville, Ohio on the topic of leveraging web based tools to build your personal brand.  I want to thank everyone who attended the event.  I hope you found it to be fun and informative. I know that I had a blast and made a number of professional connections in the process.

I was given this opportunity by responding to a call for speakers put out by Joe Durbin and Michael Morley, who organize much of the LinkedIn Dayton group’s actual face to face meetings.  This was the first breakfast meeting, and they sent out an email request for speakers, which I responded to immediately.  I thank them for allowing me to be the first, and hopefully not the last, speaker.

As for the content of the presentation, I offered my 2 cents on how to leverage the emerging web to build your brand and further your career.  I talked about my recent job changes, and the valuable lessons I learned about the importance of both knowing people, and more importantly, being known.  I have given similar presentations before, but have never related the personal history of how I even got into blogging and social networking relative to the crazy events of my life.

My message in a nutshell was this.  We live in a new age.  40 Years of “doing good work and getting a gold watch at the end” are done.  You have to take ownership of your life and your career.  Building a network plays a huge role in determining your ability to control your future.  This applies to all areas of life, not just finance.  The web makes it easier and more affordable to build your brand, and to leverage your strengths to create your future career.

I spoke about how individuals can leverage everything from Microblogs like Twitter and Plurk, to Blogs using WordPress, Podcasts, Squidoo, Social Networks, and other free and easy tools to join the conversation and establish an area of expertise.  I tried to deliver enough explantion of these tools to make them understandable, without being too technical in how they work.  We discussed numerous ways to utilize LinkedIn, beyond just an online repository for contact information.  (Research Database, Employment Tool, Sales Information, Communication Vehicle, Information Source) In summary, it was a high level overview of a broad swath of web 2.0 tools that can benefit those who seek to leverage the web as a personal branding tool.

Blogging and social media have changed my life in so many ways.  They led me to my current job at LUCRUM – where we use blogs, social networks, wikis, and podcasts to build the company both internally and externally.  They have generated countless connections with other people around the globe, and put me in touch with some of the most brilliant minds on the planet.  I love what I do, and I am delighted that I not only get to do it, but that people are interested in hearing me talk about it too.

Thanks again to all who came to the event today.  If you have questions about anything I covered, or did not cover, in my presentation.  Please drop me a note.  I am happy to help in any way that I can.  I look forward to the next LinkedIn Breakfast, where I will get to eat, socialize, and enjoy watching the speaker.

David E. Bowman – LinkedIn