How I Got a $10,000 Grant Through Twitter Outreach

Author: Michelle Ioannou, Career Advice

Yes, you read that correctly, I received a $10,000 grant for the nonprofit I work for solely from Twitter outreach.

How did I do it? I connected with people. Yes, that’s all. And yes, that was it.

Social media is meant to be social, it’s right there in the title. Not only should you respond to people who tweet at you, but you should start conversations with others as well. If you see someone tweeting about something applicable to your professional field or your interests, simply respond to their tweet. Show them you know what you’re talking about, show them you have an interest in the things they’re talking about, and show them that your missions are aligned. You truly never know what connections they have, and that’s how it worked out for me!

Yes, this can be like finding a diamond in the rough. It can sound tedious. And yes, it can take an aggressive outreach campaign in order to see results. I dedicated a couple of hours each day solely to reaching out to those on Twitter who were tweeting with similar hashtags that my nonprofit was using. It can sound like a lot, I know. But, I can also tell you firsthand that you can see results, and that it works.

All I did was tweet at someone with a bit of information on my company (within 140 characters, of course), and a bit of incentive for him to help us — a give-get, so to say. And it worked. The person responded. They were interested in us and the work we were doing. And this person just so happened to know a foundation that donated $10,000 to us. This then turned into another $10,000 six months later. And then another $10,000. And so on and so forth, you get the picture.

These thousands of dollars all came from a simple tweet. From connecting with someone on Twitter, and showing him a nonprofit he’s never heard of before — but one that falls directly in line with his mission. 

Social media is truly a powerful tool. It connects us with people in a way that we have never connected with people before. And we need to take advantage of that, because there’s so many opportunities out there on the web, you just need to find them.

Don’t be afraid to directly tweet at someone. Worst case scenario? They don’t answer. Best case scenario? You may just have someone fall in love with your nonprofit/business/brand so much, they want to help fund it, or know someone who does.


Stay in Touch With Your College Professors

Author: Michelle Ioannou, Career Advice

The final is over. You want to run out of the classroom and never set foot in it again. We all know that feeling. But, don’t waste this opportunity — don’t just burn a bridge with your professor.

Professors are great people to add to your network. And college is a fantastic time to start adding to that network. The class you took in college should be the first step to cultivating a professional relationship with your professor. Why?

They’re experts 
Whether or not they’re experts in the field you want to go into, they know what they’re talking about (for the most part at least). Use this to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to ask them how whatever topic the course is on can help you in your professional life down the line. Especially if they are in the field you want to go into, pick their brain even more. Find out everything you need to know, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

They can be your references
Chances are if you’re applying for your first job, your list of professional references are slim. But, professors can vouch for your demeanor and work ethic. List them. Establishing a relationship with them will let them take that recommendation one step further, resulting in them being able to truly attest to how you should get that job.

They have contacts
And their contacts can become part of your network as well. When your network becomes bigger, your opportunities become bigger. Plus, one of their contacts can have your dream job, or help you on the path to reaching your career goals.

They know of job openings
Former students reach out to their old professors all the time with job openings. If your ex-professor is aware that you’re looking for a certain job, and one comes across his desk that could be a great fit, of course he’s going to send it to you. They also have friends in various fields, who will know of job openings as well.

They can help you professionally
College professors know about the transition from college to the real world. They know that they are preparing their students for more than just passing tests. Ask them to review your resume. Ask them for their opinion on your cover letter. Ask them where you should be looking for jobs. They just may know more than you think.

Networking Can Happen Everywhere

Author: Michelle Ioannou, Career Advice

Networking is a pretty common term in the world of career advice and the job hunt. It can even be a word that intimidates people. How can I network? How do I grow my network? What is networking and how do I do it?

Well, millennials, networking can happen with anyone, anywhere. There’s no set rules or locations where it has to happen. Think about it — you meet people everywhere, don’t you? Well, meeting people is exactly how you grow your network.

Yes, that’s it. Meet someone new. Strike up a conversation. Ask them what they do, and 90% of the time they’ll ask you what you do as well. You never know what connections this new person may have or what influence this person him or herself may have. A simple hello can go a long way, whether it’s online or offline.

Of course, networking does happen in professional settings. But, it doesn’t always have to.

Social Media
Interact with people on social media! We’ve already discussed how Twitter can get you freelance gigs, and well, how do you think that happens? Because of networking. Interact with people on social media — start conversations, ask them what they do, share relevant articles. Show off your knowledge on a particular subject and have people take notice. There are so many different people from so many different backgrounds in so many different industries on social — and they can all be reached on one platform. How amazing is that? Use it to your advantage.

Morning routines 
Do you stop at the same coffee shop every morning? Same bagel shop? Take the same train or bus every day? You’re bound to see familiar faces. Don’t just shrug them off and be bitter that you have to go to work — smile and say hello. They’re probably off to work as well, and probably not the happiest about it, either. Ask them where they’re headed or what they do. Who knows, maybe they’re off to a place where you want to be.

Dating apps
Think about it, when someone strikes up a conversation with you on a dating app or website, isn’t one of the first things asked “so, what do you do?” Tell them what you do. If it’s not in your bio, put it in your bio. Who knows, even if there’s nothing there romantically, maybe something professionally can unfold. I know you’re probably laughing right now at the thought, but you truly never know.

If you’re stuck on an airplane, train, or bus next to someone you don’t know, strike up a conversation. No, of course don’t wake them up or disturb them if they immediately sit down and put their headphones in or go to sleep. But, if they don’t, talk to them. Ask them why they’re going to wherever you’re going to. Ask them what they do. Traveling, especially long distances, can be a great opportunity to add someone new to your network.

The Reason I Became a Career Coach

Author: Brett Pucino, Career Advice

“DUDE. I was just browsing LinkedIn Jobs and I think I just found my dream job

I got this text from one of my best friends – whom I met during my SUNY Oneonta days -early one morning about six weeks ago.

“Nice! Details?”

I replied instantly. My buddy, who is an accountant, had recently expressed his dissatisfaction with his pay at his current job.

“It’s a global accounting firm with an office in Manhattan. It would be a significant pay increase and it is in the field of accounting I want to work in. I know you’ve been learning the career development field and I really want this job, so I figured I’d pick your brain.”

I felt the sweet rush of validation warm my insides. It is one thing to present your professional self to someone who only knows you through that context. It’s another thing entirely for one of your best friends to trust you as a professional.

I was excited because this was my opportunity to use the breakthrough methodology – the collective career coaching strategies, compiled by my mentor Jay R. Lang, that I’ve been mastering over the last eight months. It was my chance apply the theories. I sent my buddy my advice via text.

“First thing you do is send your application to that job opening. Next, go to the firm’s website and find the highest-ranking decision maker’s e-mail address. Send your resume right to that person and write a passionate e-mail explaining why you’re so excited about the opportunity.”

He took my advice and a couple of days went by. It was a Thursday when I heard back from my buddy.

So…I found the managing partner of the firm’s email address and sent my resume. He emailed me back and said he loved my initiative and that he wants to schedule an interview for Saturday. I can’t believe that strategy worked THAT well!” 

I don’t think I’ve ever felt more proud of any achievement. Personal achievements are nice, but to be able to help someone get closer to achieving his dream was an indescribable new rush.

My buddy nailed the first interview. He got invited back to a second interview, which actually never happened due to the firm wrapping up busy season. He was all set to accept another offer when he got an e-mail back from the managing partner inviting him in for that second interview. He told the partner about the offer he had on the table, and the partner liked him so much that he decided to skip the second interview and offer him a job. All because this partner really valued initiative in his employees.

My buddy now works at the firm and absolutely loves his job. And the feelings and satisfaction I derived from this experience exemplify why I became a career coach.