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.

About Benjamin Mohler

Benjamin Mohler is the principal consultant and director of GivingThree LLC (a consulting firm for the nonprofit sector). He is a fundraising expert with broad knowledge and experience. However, his specialties include board development, strategic planning, and career coaching.

Additionally, he is Vice President of Institutional Advancement for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). In this role, he oversees the KCTCS Office of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement and the KCTCS Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs. With 16 colleges and more than 70 campuses, KCTCS is the Commonwealth’s largest postsecondary institution. He also serves as executive director of the KCTCS Foundation, Inc.

Mohler most recently served as assistant vice president for development at Eastern Kentucky University. His background also includes key advancement roles at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Cedarville University, and The University of Texas at Austin.

He earned a master’s degree in philanthropy and development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Cedarville University. He is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and has earned the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) credential. He currently serves on the ACFRE Board.

Mohler was named to Charlotte Business Journal's "Forty Under 40" in 2013 and the AFP Bluegrass Chapter honored him with their Exemplary Service Award in 2015.

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