Do These 5 Things if You Want to Become a Public Speaker

Public speaking can do wonders for one's career in terms of positioning as a thought leader within your industry and having exposure to countless executives in the audience which is advantageous for anyone that's looking to grow a business or advance in their career.

However, the journey to becoming a public speaker isn't one that comes overnight. Like anything else, it requires years of hard work, mastery of a topic, and a lot of patience.

Sure, it's easy to watch well-known speakers like Gary Vaynerchuk or Tony Robbins take a stage and think to yourself "Oh, I can do that!" But the reality is that these individuals have invested years in speaking on those stages.

Having spoken at over 30 industry events and conferences such as SXSW and Social Media Marketing World in the past two years, I am often asked by aspiring speakers in my social network how to get speaking engagements.

Below is a breakdown of what it takes to become a public speaker in 2017:

1. Able to...

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All the Mistakes You Might Be Making on Social Media

 In 2012, after spending most of the recession struggling to grow my startup, I went to work for Winn-Dixie as their first-ever social media manager where I helped launch the company's brand presence on Facebook and Twitter.

If there's something that the early days of social media--circa 1990's and early 2000's with AOL and MySpace followed by the rise of Facebook--taught me, it's that people control the medium while brands merely ride the wave until the next new channel comes along.

Successful brands and influencers find that by building communities of advocates on the platforms where their audiences live, they're able to maintain such relevancy provided that they also evolve with their audience and platforms. However, social media can be a waste of time for you and your business if you're not strategically positioning your marketing efforts around industry trends.

Below are five reasons brand engagement is declining online, and what you can do about it:

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I Quit My Dream Job at LinkedIn After 4 Months. Here's What I Learned

124 is the number of days that I was employed by LinkedIn before I resigned from what was my dream job.

Despite leaving the company on amicable terms to pursue a better career opportunity, to this day I am still asked the question "What happened at LinkedIn?" and the answer is simple: It wasn't a good fit.

It's taken me nearly two years to humble myself to write this piece and I've often contemplated if I should even do it as it's tough to accept that I squandered a once in a lifetime opportunity.

However, there's a lot to gain from self-reflection. For this reason, I want to share what I learned by failing in my dream job and how you can avoid the same fate.

1. Check Your Ego at The Door

While landing a new job can be an exciting time, wait for your employer to formally announce your hiring internally before letting anyone beyond your inner circle (ex: spouse, partner, mentor(s), or professional references) know. Keep in mind that you are being evaluated...

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How I Landed a 6-Figure Job at LinkedIn Without a College Degree

Considering that I dropped out of high school at the age of 17 and my first job was as a part-time shoe salesman, one would be surprised to find out that I started social media for Winn-Dixie, one of the largest grocery chains in the U.S., ran digital marketing for Save-A-Lot food stores, and previously led social media globally for BMC Software.

Despite the aforementioned opportunities and over 10 years of experience, throughout my career, I have been turned down for dozens of social media roles because I did not meet the education prerequisite.

Which is why, when I was hired by LinkedIn on March 16, 2015, it wasn't just any other opportunity but it was my dream job come true.

While I was out of work towards the beginning of 2015, I happened to be visiting San Francisco, interviewing for a job across the Bay in Oakland, when on my Uber pool ride back to the city a young lady entered the vehicle. Unknowingly, she worked for LinkedIn as a recruiter...

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