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This chapter is from the book

Meet Our Heroes

We talk to a lot of people about social media, especially in the small business world. And we have met people who are or were in the same boat as Erik, trying to redefine, or even define, themselves—to launch a new phase of their career, to make a name for themselves, or even just to reach people they have never had to reach before. These are four fictional people we created to help illustrate the different lessons in each chapter. You can see how each of them can apply what we discuss in their own lives.

  • Allen (influencer) was an account manager for a marketing and advertising agency for 14 years but was laid off six months ago after his agency lost its biggest client. He has many contacts in the agency world and is a member of a professional marketing association. He is an influencer because he may switch jobs, but he stays within the same industry. Influencers are usually hired because of their network and industry knowledge. A lot of salespeople tend to be influencers, hopping from company to company, but staying within their industry and not actually moving up the career ladder.
  • Beth (climber) is a marketing manager for a large insurance company. She has been with this company for 10 years, but this is her second insurance company. She has moved up the ranks in this company, as well as with her last employer. Beth is a climber because she changes jobs to climb her career ladder, but she will stay within the same industry and even the same company to do it. Her ultimate goal is to become the chief marketing officer of an insurance company, preferably this one.
  • Carla (neophyte) is a former pharmaceutical sales rep who was laid off after eight years with her company. She is interested in working for a nonprofit, either as a program director or a fund-raising specialist. Carla is a neophyte because she is not only changing jobs, but changing industries. This means she is starting over in terms of knowledge, influence, contacts, and even possibly her skill set. A new college graduate would also be a neophyte.
  • Darrin (free agent) is an IT professional who leaves his job every two or three years in pursuit of more money. He is a free agent because he’ll stay at roughly the same level of job, regardless of where he goes, but he can make more money because there are bigger companies requiring his expertise. Darrin is not considered an influencer because he jumps industries every time he jumps companies, which means it’s harder for him to make a name for himself in that field.
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