What’s Your Personal (Social) Manifesto?

Let’s follow up on my social talent post and go a bit further. Is it ideal to broadcast tons of content and to be talkative on social media?

Content is often put at the center and taken as king. However, there’s a starting point: “Leading First.” Designing a personal (and distinctive) manifesto is a thinking advantage and an important career tool that enables you to better connect with like-minded professionals and organizations.

With this in mind, after observations and experiments, I came up with a straightforward three-step approach for social: Leading, Organizing & Executing.

We, consciously or not, tell a story through every tweet we share, every comment we make and every video we shoot. Below are nine steps to take before creating social presences and distributing content:

1. What’s so important and in urgent need of change? At this stage, make a list of up to five topics. For each, what are the current thinking and the main limit? Are people already attacking the problem and suggesting solutions? What are the key roadblocks and leverages?

2. Ask yourself a couple of questions for selecting the right topic. Are you deeply passionate? Is it something you consistently enjoy? Does it affect your life? Do you really care? Do you need to get paid a lot in order to start working more seriously on this? Would you relentlessly advocate for it, even when facing strong adversity?

3. Go further and start conversations with people. It would be tempting to jump in and start writing your personal manifesto. Before that, take the time to get feedback from people interested in similar topics. Following online conversations, joining communities and attending industry events could also help you gather useful information, and have a better sense of what matters.

4. Put it all on paper. Your personal manifesto should be precise and short (one page), with a memorable title (between three and six words). There are basically three parts: a description of the current system, a list of all the major flaws (with two or three examples), and a viable alternative with its key benefits.

5. Sip your own champagne. There’s a need to incarnate the targeted transformation and generate success. Living it makes it more real and inspirational. Also, you’ll have more insights on how to manage that transformation, and, that way, you’ll be able to add even more value.

6. Refine it and make it as visual and audacious as possible. It’s time to build a final version and share it with a small list of trustworthy connections. The title of your manifesto should be put in a large font. The core picture should be an emotional trigger, and the three stages have to be visible enough (current situation/flaws/alternative).

7. Pair it with your key skills. Some people would prefer spreading the word about their purpose through writing, selling, public speaking, training, organizing events or other means. There’s no unique way to do it.

8. Add three core values and elaborate each of them with three principles. Having a personal manifesto is one thing. By adding values-based elements, you’ll make faster decisions and get to collaborate with the right people. In certain situations, you could share the same core beliefs but not necessarily the same values and principles.

9. Connect and start a movement. There are basically two main options when it comes to connecting and growing a change community: being a soloist or cofounding (building a team). Being a soloist allows more freedom with less coordination efforts. Cofounding is great for mixing different skills, experiences and connections, and having complementary roles.

10. Now, start thinking about organizing and executing. What are the ultimate/macro goals? What’s the strategy for reaching out to the targeted destinations? How will social be integrated with and support all this? What are the key indicators to track (beyond vanity metrics)? What persona should you have in mind and what/whom should you listen to? Where should you build social presences? What should the editorial calendar look like? What kind of content format would be shared? Whom should you partner with?

About the Author: Lilian Mahoukou is a French blogger and aspiring author, interested in the future of work and the impact of social.

photo credit: silkolive via photopin cc

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