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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, make a name for themselves, or just reach people they’ve never reached before. These four fictional people are amalgamations of actual people we’ve worked with, although you can find their “archetype” in most situations. We created them to help illustrate the different lessons in each chapter: the Influencer is well-regarded in their industry, and influences others; the Climber is working their way up the career ladder; the Neophyte is new to an industry or field, even if they’ve been working for several years; and the Free Agent is the person who bounces around from job to job, less concerned with moving up in rank than they are in finding new challenges and higher salaries. 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.

    Allen 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 bigger companies require 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 any given field.

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