Social Media WIN – Authenticity in Action

In an earlier post I outlined an example of a social media failure. In that example I related how I was contacted by somebody that wanted to add me to their professional network. After some brief exchanges with them it was clear that their request was not to make a meaningful connection, rather they were simply interested in growing their network “number.” Following this experience I thought it only fair to give equal attention to an example of a social media success story.

A few years ago I was contacted through LinkedIn by Rhett Wilson. We had never met, but our professional networks shared a few connections. Rhett and I shared other similarities, namely our professional path and age. Instead of simply requesting to be connected on LinkedIn, Rhett and I discussed first connecting via phone to share our work experiences and to talk through topics related to our shared work and age demographic. Following our first phone call we agreed to stay connected both on and off LinkedIn. Over the past couple of years, we’ve also had the opportunity to meet in person a couple of times.

It has proven to be highly valuable to have a professional contact outside of my regional network. Rhett has been able to give me critical unbiased third-party perspective on challenges and opportunities related to the profession. I hope I have been able to serve a similar purpose and prove to be an asset in Rhett’s professional network.

This experience reinforces insights and recommendations outlined in a recent CNN Money article, The Real Way to Build a Social Network. I highly recommend this article for those looking to expand their professional network in an authentic way.

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About Benjamin Mohler

Benjamin Mohler has a keen interest in understanding the connection between culture and the practice of philanthropy in all cultures and particularly those in the developing world. His experiences working with international nonprofit organizations, extensive international travel, together with his graduate work at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and leadership roles with local nonprofits combine to produce his expertise in these areas.

Currently, he is Director of Philanthropy and Development for The William States Lee College of Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) and is responsible for designing and implementing the strategic development goals of the college and facilitating a culture of philanthropy. Before joining the advancement staff at UNC Charlotte, he worked for Cedarville University and the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.

He is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and serves as the Vice President of Membership for the Charlotte Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Mohler serves AFP at an international level as a longstanding member of the AFP International Development Committee and is on the Publishing Advisory Committee for the AFP Fund Development Series of John Wiley & Sons.

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