By guest writer Devin Kelley, Strategist for Blogads
Ross Wade and I met on through Twitter. Last week we had lunch.
I was impressed to learn about the exciting jobs iMedia graduates had taken throughout the media landscape in recent years from Ross. After hearing about my experiences with the local tech crowd, Ross asked me to share a little about my current position and some tips to get involved in the vibrant tech/ startup/ media/ social world just down the road in the Triangle.
I work as a Strategist for Blogads, a small company in Carrboro, NC. Blogads offers simple ad buying services across more than 3,500 blogs, some of the easily recognizable being Perez Hilton, Daily Kos and Lamebook. I work specifically with our New York City and Parenting blog communities. As a Strategist, I help advertisers as small as Etsy shop owners and as large as Carat digital media agency to develop advertising campaigns to drive traffic and social engagement among blog readers.
At Blogads, I’m lucky enough to brainstorm how to best use online video, read Tech Journal South, Denver Egotist and Copyranter at work, all while possibly spending too much time on Twitter. These digital tools have a lot to offer and are extremely useful. However, don’t forget about the power of meeting real people, especially with the vibrant digital community that lives nearby in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.
Networking at local events lets you tangentially connect with people within companies that may one day offer you a job, an internship or better yet, a client. It’s always better to meet the people you need before you need them. A friend told me before I went to college that if nothing else, I should make friends with an law student, an accounting student and a med student because free advice from a doctor, a lawyer and an accountant years later is truly valuable.
Get started, because networking snowballs. Go to one event and ask which other events you should be attending. Before you know it you could be out 5 nights a week. Always follow up with the folks you meet. Before you know it you’ll have hyper active Twitter and Linkedin accounts.
Need a place to start? The Internet Summit in Raleigh is as impressive a digital conference as there is. On a more regular basis, smaller groups meet for free events like the Raleigh chapter of American Institute of Graphic Arts for you design folks or attend a Tweet Up. They are often hosted by hiring companies, the last Triangle Tweetup, was hosted by Bronto Software. Blogads is sponsoring a Ping Pong Tournament this week. Events put on by TIMA and others even sometimes offer free beer!
While you’re collecting your new friends on Twitter and Linkedin, remind yourself: someday one of these guys will be able to help me out. Or better yet, you will be able to help them.