The Dominate Test Prep Podcast

14. How to do Social Media Right for an Admissions Edge, with Taylor Siebert

January 14, 2020 Brett Ethridge / Dominate Test Prep
The Dominate Test Prep Podcast
14. How to do Social Media Right for an Admissions Edge, with Taylor Siebert
Chapters
The Dominate Test Prep Podcast
14. How to do Social Media Right for an Admissions Edge, with Taylor Siebert
Jan 14, 2020
Brett Ethridge / Dominate Test Prep

A recent survey shows that 40% of admissions officers reported to have looked at a candidate's social media while reviewing his/her application, a trend that is expected to continue and even grow in the coming years. What does this mean for you? We invited Taylor Siebert, co-founder of Class Intercom and social media expert, to weigh in on how you can use social media to your advantage as you position yourself holistically during the application process.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why and how you should take an audit of your current social media presence
  • Thinking through who you are, how you want to come across to admissions officers, and why it's important to be authentically you
  • Whether or not you should "scrub" your social media to get rid of negative things from your past (hint: it depends on the story you're trying to tell)
  • Why LinkedIn is the most untapped and potentially useful social media platform right now
  • Which social media platforms you should focus on
  • What it means to be a “digital leader”
  • Why social media is such a valuable tool as an entrepreneur and how to use it to your advantage
  • And more!

Social media, when done right, can be an asset for you as you're applying to college or graduate school and in your career beyond. This interview will show you how.

For more information about social media strategy or to connect with Taylor directly, visit https://classintercom.com.

FROM THE MAILBAG

This week's "From the Mailbag" segment answers the question, "How can I practice for the analytical writing (essay) portion of my exam?"

Here are the resources referenced in my response:

  1. Sample Issue Essay prompts: https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/issue/pool
  2. Sample Issue Essay responses + scoring: https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/issue/sample_responses
  3. Sample Argument Essay prompts: https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/argument/pool
  4. Sample Argument Essay responses + scoring: https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/argument/sample_responses

A DOSE OF MOTIVATION

"First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do." -- Epictetus

Show Notes Transcript

A recent survey shows that 40% of admissions officers reported to have looked at a candidate's social media while reviewing his/her application, a trend that is expected to continue and even grow in the coming years. What does this mean for you? We invited Taylor Siebert, co-founder of Class Intercom and social media expert, to weigh in on how you can use social media to your advantage as you position yourself holistically during the application process.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why and how you should take an audit of your current social media presence
  • Thinking through who you are, how you want to come across to admissions officers, and why it's important to be authentically you
  • Whether or not you should "scrub" your social media to get rid of negative things from your past (hint: it depends on the story you're trying to tell)
  • Why LinkedIn is the most untapped and potentially useful social media platform right now
  • Which social media platforms you should focus on
  • What it means to be a “digital leader”
  • Why social media is such a valuable tool as an entrepreneur and how to use it to your advantage
  • And more!

Social media, when done right, can be an asset for you as you're applying to college or graduate school and in your career beyond. This interview will show you how.

For more information about social media strategy or to connect with Taylor directly, visit https://classintercom.com.

FROM THE MAILBAG

This week's "From the Mailbag" segment answers the question, "How can I practice for the analytical writing (essay) portion of my exam?"

Here are the resources referenced in my response:

  1. Sample Issue Essay prompts: https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/issue/pool
  2. Sample Issue Essay responses + scoring: https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/issue/sample_responses
  3. Sample Argument Essay prompts: https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/argument/pool
  4. Sample Argument Essay responses + scoring: https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/argument/sample_responses

A DOSE OF MOTIVATION

"First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do." -- Epictetus

spk_1:   0:00
first say to yourself what you would be and then do what you have to do. Epic Penis. Hello, everyone. And welcome to another episode of the Dominate Test prep podcast. I am your host. Spread Ethridge and I am excited about today's topic. And I'm really excited to reconnect in some ways with our guest today. Taylor, Seibert, he and I and I kind of go way back, and yet we haven't actually been in all that much communication recently. You know, somebody is a good friend when they actually help you move S O. He and I lived in Colorado together. Denver got to know each other playing softball, and and he actually did help me move one of my houses and and he promptly moved and left and moved to Nebraska, and and we've kind of fallen in and out of touch, but have reconnected recently because of what he is doing for his business. For his career, he owns a company called Class Intercom, where he specializes in social media and empowering students and teaching them how to use social media, effectively equipping teachers and schools to actually empower students to use social media effectively. So he could tell you more about that. But what we're gonna talk about on today's episode is social media and specifically, what should you be thinking about in terms of social media as you're navigating your higher education journey? Whether that's during the application process and you're trying to figure out, you know, our our admissions officers looking at what I'm doing on social media, how can I use social media effectively during the application process? And then even once you're in school and you're moving on to start your own professional career, how can social media be an asset? Sometimes I feel like social media is almost like, Ah, pejorative, a bad word these days, like oh, anti social media. But it can also be used as an asset. It could be used for good as you're looking to get into school and have a successful career beyond. So that's where we're gonna be talking about today. I'm excited about it. Let me actually introduce our guests so you could hear from him. Welcome, Taylor. Thanks for being here.

spk_0:   2:10
You bet. Thanks, Brett.

spk_1:   2:11
So and let's actually let me give you an opportunity right at the outset to actually speak a little bit more about your company. So tell us a little bit more about class intercom and really kind of What was your journey to get to that point? Why class intercom and why the focus in your business on social media?

spk_0:   2:28
Yeah, it's a really fun story, and I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to share it and share it with your audience here. And I hope that they find some value in it, how important this topic is and how it's impacted my life. And we won't tell any softball stories. Or I do remember helping you move into that pod. Ah, thanks for reminding me of that. Some fun times there, and it's been fun to reconnect with you, Brett, and see, um, you grow and expand what you're doing, which is really exciting. So, yeah, when we lived out in Colorado, I was doing something totally non related to what I'm doing now. But I've always been kind of ah, nerd, if you will, when you go back to school playing Sim City. Oregon Trail just loved computers in elementary and let love technology. I was in yearbook, loved creating content with my buddies and I creating videos that are now on YouTube, which that didn't exist, you know, in the late nineties, early two thousands. But we loved creating content, and and my co founder, Ben Pankin, tells some of the same stories. And so my journey has been really a unique. I went to, Ah small private college here in Nebraska and got my business administration and management degree and really learned and learned how to learn in college. Um, average student in high school didn't do very well. May see t. There wasn't people like you out there, you know, helping students like myself learned how to take a test, and that just wasn't my thing. And so it's been fun. I've done lots of different things. And so I always knew I wanted to start something, though. Both my parents kind of have an entrepreneurial kind of background with my dad taking over his grandfather's business, my mom starting up a couple businesses, and so I knew that was something that was in me. I didn't realize until later on, and so moving out to Colorado had looked at different things, but eventually we we came back to Nebraska I love to tell the story to students because you might not get your dream job right away out of college. That wasn't the case for me. I got something that I learned how to serve. Others learned how to sell on build relationships and trust with people. And then that led me Thio going in with a friend of mine in his business, and we sold insulation machines to heating and air conditioning contractors across country. And so I love telling who are, you know, people listening parents, students listening to this, You're going to do some stuff you don't necessarily like in your career journey, and you might have to to blow insulation like myself, and this will come full circle here in a little bit. But I always love technology. And so I gravitated towards helping a friend of mine out in Colorado. When we had moved back to Nebraska and was doing the insulation thing. I knew I wanted to do something with technology and so have the opportunity to actually help his Web design company build some websites and do social media for other businesses. And so that was my first kind of taste of creating content and getting paid for it. And that was pretty knew. This was, you know, 2009 10. You know, Facebook was just coming out beyond the college realm, and Twitter was kind of taking off. There wasn't an INSTAGRAM yet, and so I got a taste of that and really enjoyed creating content for other people and then decided to start my own business and start a a little local online news website and use social media to do that. And then that evolved into starting a company called Strive. And we serve now 120 schools across the state, Nebraska with a live streaming service. And guess what? I used social media to build that business. I found out educators air connecting on Twitter, and I just dove into that community, serve them. I was out and about taking pictures of their school. Andi just and loved it. And so, through that process of growing that company, we started hosting these workshops to educate students and teachers administrators how to use social media to promote their school and, we always say, is help that help share their school story. And through that workshop, in connecting with Ben Pynchon in Who's now the co founder with me. He had started a company helping banks and financial institutions with social media and built the software to help him do that because there's lots of hoops you have to jump through. And so I thought I'd be really neat. I've always wanted to connect schools with people outside of education to see you know, what it's like in the real world I had. And so we I I brought Ben and I had connected with him and became friends with him. And through that workshop, we found out something that was a lightbulb moment and a huge, pivotal moment for why class intercom exist. And that was Ben got in a conversation with a group of four sophomore girls from one of the schools were working with, and the conference was focused on social media. And so Ben did. His talk got in a conversation with these four girls, and they just kind of went off on all the things they were gonna be doing for their school as sophomores in creating social media content for their school. And this is about four years ago, so way ahead of the curve and they start going through. You know what platforms they were on, what they were gonna be creating. And Ben was listening and kind of smiling and finally goes, Ladies, it sounds amazing. How are you actually executing on this? Like, what is that process look like? Knowing, you know, he works with banks and all the hoops they have to jump through to post content. Uh, this will be fun. Like, how did these girls actually post to Twitter? Instagram Tumblr? At the time, Facebook was that process look like And they looked at him funny, and they lifted up the older matching Mac Book airs. And they had a sticky note on the matchbook air that had the user name and password to the school's Twitter account. And our mind was just blown. Ben comes to me and he goes, Taylor, did you know schools you're working with are doing this, And the principal, you know, gave them that sticky note. You know what could go wrong when they go back? And, you know, the captain of football team gets that or someone you know wants toe hack into the school's Twitter account just so many things running through our mind. I go, he goes, Do you? Is this happening at a lot of schools? And I go, Yes, that is probably happening. Or they'll just grab the students device and log in. And so we've been on this journey for the last couple years of discovering that schools across the country have this issue. They want student voice. They want to give students hands on learning opportunities and creating content, whether it be your book journalism, business glasses, entrepreneurship, marketing classes, English, all these different classes. But they don't have a safe way to do that in our platform helps him accomplish that goal when we kind of are their guide in helping them create that content safely. So it's been a lot of fun.

spk_1:   9:20
And so obviously a brilliant platform of brilliant business model helping schools and helping students I know is we kind of transition a little bit. Let's talk about the content creation itself. I know a lot of people listening to this podcast are kind of past the high school days maybe, although certainly there are high school students thinking about that and and they need permission and jump through hoops to post stuff through their school accounts and so forth. But for people who just can open up their phone and just post something to Facebook, post something on instagram post something on Snapchat. What are some of the things they need to be thinking about specifically with regard to the admissions process? You know, and I guess, to kind of couch the first part of this conversation. I read an article recently that suggested that 40% off admissions officers look at in applicants social media pages as they are evaluating that stuff school that students applications. So what should students be thinking about the content itself that they're putting out there?

spk_0:   10:23
Yeah, I know. I'll say to that, Why wouldn't they? If that if that is available to them to look at that student potential students profile, why wouldn't they? And so something really interesting is happening right now because that admission advisor is going to search for that potential students name or, you know, graduate student, whoever it is, and it tells a lot about that person. So you know, one of the best things to do is Google your name and see what comes up right. Ah, lot of the times. S e o wise, your social media accounts come up, and so it's really easy for them to find those. And so if your accounts are private, like on Instagram, you can make your account private. Obviously, Snapchats gonna be more difficult to see what your posting, which is why Ah lot of youth have moved over to that platform or even, you know, the millennials because it does. It is a lot more private. They don't want that to be shown publicly. And so there's a lot of different things happening there. But that's one of the questions I would want you to ask is You know, when someone does search my name, what are they seeing? What are they finding? Does that represent who I am? Because back when you and I were applying and and you know, even 10 15 years ago, we would hand them a piece of paper or email them a document and they would have to judge us based on that piece of paper. Now, with social media, it's given us a much wider scope of who we are. And so you have to ask yourself who do I want to be? Do I want to be the same person online as I am offline? And? And I would push you to say the answer is yes. You want to be the same person so that you're not tricking them are faking are pretending to be someone you're not. And so utilizing these platforms and having the lens of going I'm gonna share about things I'm passionate about, whether it be like for us, you know, we like sports or really like above reading business books. So I share the books I'm reading on my instagram or on linked in I love talking about students creating content. Don't try to talk about things that you're not interested in right, because the truth will come out and that will be revealed. People will see that that's not authentic and real, which is something we always, you know, are talking about with students. And even this audience is, you know, be truthful, be who you are when you're hanging out with your friends as on social media, even though all of us old folks joke around at least I d'oh saying, Gosh, I'm glad Facebook and Twitter weren't around when I was in college or high school, right on DSO. We have that luxury of saying that this generation that's going through this process right now doesn't and they don't know any different. And so there's a lot of just things they need to be thinking about one creating content and it's really hard to create content. I'm going through a struggle right now because I'm so focused on, you know, selling and adding, you know, team members and things like that. I don't have much time to create content, even though I love video editing and creating a podcast. I love doing all these things, and I've been able to do that for last 10 plus years. I'm like, in a weird spot right now trying to figure out what am I supposed to be talking about on these platforms, right? And so kind of taking a little break and a step back, and that's okay to do that, Um, but when you're in the space, your audience is that it's really important to share what you're passionate about. Share what you're learning because that's going to show these, you know, admission advisers. Wow, this is a really motivated student there. Really passionate. They're reliable based on you know what? Your posting. Instead of just posting selfies all the time, provide, You know, Still, students provide something that's gonna be valuable to other people. Is this? You know, that's the lens you wanna have when you're creating content. Is this piece of content you know, selfish. And I want people to know I got new running shoes for Christmas. That's why haven't posted about it, cause that's kind of selfish. Um, or do I want a post? Hey, my goal is to run 250 miles this year. That's gonna motivate maybe one of my followers go. Hey, I want to join you in that and bring value to them rather than Hey, look at my cool new Nikes I got which are awesome. By the way,

spk_1:   14:41
I was gonna ask you what kind of shoes did you get that school to make the

spk_0:   14:44
right key? Uh ah. What are they? Joy ride. Fine. It's white with some like orange and blue light blue sweet shoes. Like the guy I was working out with this morning even said, Whoa, what are those? You know, and that's why you post on social media a lot of times because you want people to see oh, how cool I look. Um, but at this stage, you know that your audience is that it's really important to show what you're learning about. How are you growing? What are some of the challenges you've gone through? And that's really hard to put on social media because it makes you vulnerable. It does if and so

spk_1:   15:19
and there's a there's a lot to unpack here. So let's actually table the conversation about the logistics because you're exactly right. Like, where should you be posting? How often should you be posting? How do you create content? We will get back to that question as you're listening. So let's table that. But let's talk about kind of where students are right now, and they're kind of in a juncture. I think what you talked about, a super crucial in the admissions consulting world. We talk about creating a story. Your application tells a story, and that requires some forethought. Thinking about how you want to present yourself, who are you at core, and how do you want to tell that story during your application to make you appealing to the admissions officers and social media can play a role in that so students can start thinking about now. And that is a That's like a projecting forward situation. Let's actually look backwards first. So what if somebody hasn't been thinking about all of those things yet? They are just now thinking, Hey, I should probably go back to graduate school or I'm gonna go to business school and I need to start now thinking about the whole application process, not just my g r e or G map, but the essays I have to write on the story. I want to tell them my resume. And, oh, by the way, now I have to think about what my social media is going to say about me. Okay, I'll deal with that in a second. But what if I need to clean up my social media? So So let's actually look backwards first. What should students be thinking or doing about their existing social media posts that are already out there for the world to see?

spk_0:   16:49
Yeah, the great question. And I'm not sure I have, like, the best advice, but I've got a story so talking about a story, you know, in developing that story of who you want to be. I just figured that out for myself, You know, 34. And I just figured out kind of like three pillars in my life Serve, working, connect. And I'm building kind of my story around that based on what I've done career wise and so asking, you know, students and, uh, you know, millennials this this audience to do that is really tough. It takes you have to kind of do some reflection on who you are or you've been And, uh, they've got a lot of life to live and sort of figure that out is a really interesting process. But the story I want to share is from a senior last year. So she just finished her first year of college and we were doing a little Bible study with some seniors going into freshman year of college just because of how huge of a jump that is right. And this can apply to any stage that you're at. But we asked like, you know, colleges and awesome opportunity kind of refresh. No one knows who you are, right, And this is from our my perspective. Ah, you don't know who your roommate is. All these new beginnings, right? And it was silent for a little bit, and she looked at us and it was, ah, group of folks. And she looked in, finally said something, cause we're like, OK, no one's responding to this, you know, I idea that we have, you know, going that next stage of life shows. You know what? Actually, that doesn't really happen to us anymore because of social media. Once we have said, Hey, we're going to this college or hey, I know I'm gonna be roommates with this person. I could go on their social media. I can see everything they've posted in high school and judge them based on those photos and those videos that they put out. And it was fascinating for us to hear that and go. Wow, that's a lot of pressure you don't really have. It's really hard to start over in college, like, you know, I did. I was like, I don't know anyone. And that's you know how I met Jess? Because she didn't know me in high

spk_1:   18:56
school, right? I was gonna say the same low you could say the same thing about the dating world. Yeah, you show up for that first date, and it's like, Okay, 1/2 the time people know everything about the person already so

spk_0:   19:05
100%. And so you can think about that for your career, to where you want Tokyo and are the things I've been posting, you know, Do they represent who I am now? Because I've changed. I would say that. You know, obviously, if you're doing something illegal or you know something of that nature, you're gonna want to go back and clean that up and remove that. Or, you know, if you've dated someone, a lot of people post a photo of some of their date, and now they're not anymore. And I've seen you know them. Go and delete those post. So you just have to be really careful. And so what ends up happening with a lot of people is they don't post anything, and I don't think that's, you know, not healthy is not the right word, but I don't think that's beneficial for you either. I think you just need to figure out if you haven't been posting anything or if you did post a lot of stuff about things you're not passionate about anymore. Then you need to decide. Is that need to live on your instagram page anymore? That's up to you to decide. I'm not gonna judge you if you do or you don't.

spk_1:   20:07
And you don't always have to have, like this perfectly rosy, idyllic social media. We always try to put our best foot forward. But the reality is you mentioned this earlier. We also want to be authentic. We also want to be too true to who we are and part of the application process and part of the essays we write and the stories were telling can be the journey story. Here's where I waas Here's how my life has changed. And so if you have some negative things from your past But they are now going to be part of the story you're trying to tell about. Why, why you now want to go back to graduate school, Why you want to be a nurse, why, you will have decided to become a lawyer because of your past, and that can become part of the story you're going to be telling. Anyway, You don't need to sanitize your social media, but what you're talking about exactly right. If if you were doing something illegal or you have a bunch of racist comments in your social media from five years ago, you may want to go back and clean those up. Assuming you're a different person. Hopefully, you're a different person today.

spk_0:   21:04
It all had to with with kind of what's happening with Tic Tac and people singing. If you're not familiar, Tic Tac, it's You basically can pick a song and start putting, you know, singing, mouthing the lyrics to it right? And there's been several athletes that have got in trouble for quoting lyrics with inappropriate language in them, and people have found those tweets. And so be careful with Tic Tac. If you've got a song that, as you know, negative language in it that you know back you'd even come back and haunt you hasn't haven't seen any of those stories happening yet, but for sure. On Twitter, you know, people have quoted lyrics to a song, and it used a negative word, and that's come back to haunt them. So thinking about that, too, even though it wasn't your words if it was someone else's, but it's attached to your name on your profile that something you probably need to take a look at.

spk_1:   21:55
Good advice. So let's talk about that now. We've talked about maybe looking backwards. Now let's look for words. So great advice to spend a little bit of time doing some soul searching, figuring out who you are, who you want to be, what story you will tell during the application process that takes time. It can evolve over time. But now that we're going to think a little bit Maur intelligently before repress that post button, let me ask you, I guess kind of this question First, which social media platforms should students be prioritizing? Should they limited toe like one or two? Should they be trying to be on three or four or five? How does a student decide which ones to focus on?

spk_0:   22:36
Yeah, and just to go back to recap What you just said is one of things to do is to do an audit you know is basically what we're talking about on your social media like Look at your posts. Look at your last 10 instagram post. Look, your last 10 Facebook post to those represent who you are. So but yeah, moving forward. Um, one of the things you know is developing some themes around things your passion about right and creating content around that end, you know, being being vulnerable, right? And that's really hard to do. Um, you know, and I still struggle with that in creating content is sharing some of the struggles. And I've got a podcast that I want to record about letting go. I've had to let go of a lot of things this year, and I haven't been hosting a lot of about that. But I need to get that out because it might help someone else that is going through those same things. And I've had those conversations with people, but they could be valuable to get that out on social media. So So when it comes to figuring out what platform you should be on, don't don't get hung up on that. Go to where your your net. You know, you feel comfortable, right? It's just like with creating. You know, if you're a good writer, then, right? If you're better at speaking, then you know, do a podcast And then when it comes to platforms, I think you need to be on all of them. But that's just my personal preference. But you need to decide. Hey, I'm really connecting and I've got a great community on Facebook, then put a lot of emphasis into Facebook. But don't put all your eggs in one basket either, because it also shows who you are. If you do have profiles on several different platforms, it shows that your diverse and that you know, you're sharing this type of content over here. But then, you know, you're really passionate about this and you're using this platform. So, you know, obviously the Big Four that I that I look at our Facebook Twitter instagram and then the fourth is linked in If anyone in your audience is not using league dead, uh, you need to hit pause right now and go and create a LinkedIn profile, because that's going to start moving up when people search your name. It's basically your resume. In a digital format Microsoft now owns linked in, and so they're pumping a ton of resource is people are posting a lot of content the organic reach, which means you know, Facebook is still flooded. Now, you remember scrolling through Facebook or I even remember going through Instagram and you would reach the end, you know, like you'd start seeing stuff you had already seen. That doesn't happen anymore on Facebook and Instagram because of the algorithms. Well, Lincoln is in that space right now is they're pulling stuff now from two weeks ago that I maybe didn't see. There's just not a lot of people posting continent lengthen. And so you can really become a thought, Peter, in your space, using linked in and especially for graduate students that have thoughts and ideas about certain things, they're going into share those or re share videos and articles from other people around. You know, the things that you're interested on. Uh, and you can do that on Twitter as well. So

spk_1:   25:58
that's actually a good reminder and encouragement for me kindly to do a little eyes. They're me, too. I'm speaking to myself. Let me actually come at the question from a slightly different angle. What about people who just might not be active on social media at all? They don't like social media. They just don't want to be on social media. I think about my brother who's a lawyer. He's still to this day, doesn't have a Facebook account. I actually get a lot of students, and if you're listening to this, you might fall into this category who are older. I have people who go back to graduate school in their forties, fifties, even sixties. I had a guy in the seventies decided he wanted to go back and get a PhD. I don't know if that guy has a Facebook or INSTAGRAM account or not. So I guess here's my question. Should students forced the issue? Should they actually create? You just said Go create a LinkedIn account. But should students decide to get more active on social media? I guess the question is, Ken social media actually be an asset that they should nurture. Another piece of the puzzle Is there telling story? Or if they're not really into Facebook, is it OK just to focus on other things?

spk_0:   27:01
It's a really great question, and I'm not here to tell anybody. Hey, you have to be on social media to be relevant, even though I did just say hip Paulison, go sign up of linked in. But, you know, I would like to use the analogy or example of, you know, we work with schools in a lot of schools, are using social media to get stories out and get the word out. And if paper news letters that were sent in the mail to every parent if they knew those were getting red, you know, front to back and things like that, then you need to be investing a lot of time in paper newsletters. Well, the fact is, that's not happening. And that's why we're going to Social Media is because we know that's where the attention is that. And so, if you want to be noticed, if you want to be recognized, that's happening on social media, and I get it. If you're a lawyer and you're like, Hey, I don't need to be on Facebook, I've got a great business or I'm a nurse. No. One. No one really cares about what I'm doing in my work. That's fine doesn't affect your job necessarily unless you own your own business or, you know, in this case, your audience. They're trying to get recognized for the things you know that they're doing in accomplishing accomplishments they've made. Then it's important. You know, it just depends what you know, space urine in your life, right? And so everybody is kind of in a unique situation for me, Social media has changed my life, and I've built a business around it, right. And so you have to ask yourself that question and and really again do that audit reflect, you know, is this something you know I want to invest in and learn more about because maybe they aren't. They don't understand it, they don't get these platforms, and that's why they're not on him. Right? And I totally get that I'm not. I don't do a lot of things because I like cooking. I want to get better at cooking. I don't know anything about cooking because my mom did it my whole life, and now my wife does it, and my wife's like guys, you don't know how to do anything in the kitchen. I I can rinse dishes right, and that's because I just don't get it. I don't understand it, right, But I want Thio because I want to eat healthier and I want to do all these things And so you gotta put in the time you got to do the research. If you know you think it's gonna benefit your life,

spk_1:   29:18
it can become an asset to you. Whether we're talking about cooking and in the kitchen, it conserve. You conserve your wife, it conserve your life. Same thing with social media. So I think there's an opportunity there. All right, so transitioning is we kind of wrap up this conversation. Let's say students already in school and thinking about their career beyond one of the things that you focus on that class intercom and you even have right on your website is empowering students to become digital leaders. Talk a little bit more about what that means, what you're talking about when you say becoming a digital leader and how it conserve people long term.

spk_0:   29:51
Well, we all know how important leadership is, and we've just put the word digital in front of that word because of social media and because of our phones and these devices and technology and how you know they've changed our lives. And so, being a digital leader looks like, you know, for you, you know, acting like the same person you are offline as you are. You know that you want to be online and being true to yourself, being authentic and real and so being example, providing value to other people is what being a digital leader looks like and creating content for maybe your business. And so, you know, it could mean a lot of different things, just like leadership is, ah, massive topic. But it's just how do you want to represent yourself as a leader? Online, you know, is what digital leadership looks like. And we talk a lot about digital citizenship as well. You know what is? You know, a lot of schools dive into that topic to teach them, you know, are your You have the good passwords, you know, is your when you go go your name, what comes up? You know all of those different things we think about with citizenship again. Just putting that word digital because of how much technology has changed. And, you know, we're putting our credit cards online to buy things. And like all of these things you have to think about in this digital world we live in,

spk_1:   31:13
that makes a lot of sense and thinking about maybe entrepreneurs or people who want to create success in the business world. You've talked about how you've done it in your own business. Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs or people who are going to school to go out and build and grow their own business in terms of what they should be thinking about using social media to do that?

spk_0:   31:33
Yeah, and I've got Like I said, it's changed my life. Um, and what social media has allowed is communities to be built on line. If you think about 2030 years ago where if you wanted to go get what's happening in the community, you'd go to the local coffee shop or, you know, community center or church or whatever. Now the walls have been broken down because of social media. And if you're interested in a specific topic and I'll use teachers, for example, or education, they've grabbed gravitated towards Twitter because now you can share something you're doing in your classroom, and everybody in the world can see that, and that's really powerful. And so they call him their personal learning network. Or, you know, professional development is happening through Twitter through Twitter chats and things like that. So whatever you're in, if you know if you're an entrepreneur, you can go to these social media platforms and find other entrepreneurs who maybe have done what you're trying to d'oh! And you can reach out to them and connect with them. And that's why one of the pillars in my life is, you know, connect Because I've used social media to introduce me and develop relationships like with Ben, my co founder. We interacted on Twitter first, and then we had a face to face conversation and became friends and now business partners. And so I think that's where a lot of people get hung up is they think of social media, the negative side of things. Use it as a gateway to get you to meet people face to face or connect or learn right. That's that's the power of social media. Not always talking about me, me, me selfies shoes, things like that. Use it to connect. Hey, this person is doing something that's really interesting. I want to reach out to them. Well, guess what? You can go to Twitter. You can go to Instagram and you goto linked in and you can message those people. You could not do that 20 years ago, right? I could get on Twitter right now and and shoot a tweet to Mark Cuban if I wanted to and say, Hey, what do you think about this business idea? And he's maybe has someone on this team that will read it. Maybe not, but the access the walls have been our broken down. Now with social media, if you have that lens, it really changes your perspective on how you can use social media and then, from an entrepreneur standpoint, just allows you to be visible to your customers. They got to see the human side of you. You know you've got this brand and but they want to know who Brett is, who Taylor is behind class intercom or the business name. That's what creates that story and engages them. And so that's what I've done in my my career. Working with schools is just sharing all the amazing things happening. Yes, there's some negative things, but we want to share the positive stories and encourage and bring valued other people. If you do that, your community is gonna notice that, and they're gonna be. They're gonna gravitate towards you because they want to be a part of that energy and the excitement that you're bringing. Ah, and using social media to showcase.

spk_1:   34:43
What I hear you saying is that Social Media presents opportunity regardless of what people currently think about it. And there may be some negatives, but there's also a lot of opportunity in all sorts of areas, and so students need to embrace that and learn howto how to use it for good. And there's it. Use it to empower themselves to accomplish their goals in their dreams and add value to others and make the world a better place. All right, so let's wrap things up with a quick discussion about logistics. I said I was gonna table this part of the conversation and come back to it later. Well, it is later, and we already kind of talked about how sometimes life can get in the way. We know we're supposed to create content and post instagram stories and maybe shoot a quick video or a Facebook live, and the next thing we know, the week is coming, gone, and we haven't put anything out there. What can people do logistically. Do you have recommendations for how students can actually, you know, stay organized and make sure they are getting content out in a somewhat consistent manner?

spk_0:   35:40
Well, the first thing I'll say to that is, you know, when you're talking about things your passion about it's naturally going to happen. If you're trying to force yourself to talk about certain things on social media, it's gonna be a lot more difficult on DSO if your passion about it, you know people are gonna get value out of it. Things will naturally want to share that on social media. But there are some kind of hacks you can kind of. D'oh. One is, you know, creating states of blawg Post. And you've got something that's really on your mind that you want to get out to the world. Ah, and you're really good writer. Then write it out and maybe that's a journal you've done, or some something you've been thinking about a long time. Take the time to write it out. If you're a writer, I am not a great writer, So I have people around me that helped me kind of organize my thoughts for writing but write it out and then take that long for a piece of content because that's the best part of social media is. Sometimes we don't have time to read a 10 minute blawg post. We just want to know kind of the, you know Ah, highlight reel, if you will of that block post. Take that log and break it up into 10 different pieces of social media content that takes a little bit of time. But if you want people to read it, you need to give them a reason to click on that link and sometimes a little graphic. Maybe it's a video of you sharing, you know, 32nd video going, Hey, I just posted this blawg up on my LinkedIn profile or on medium whatever platform you use. And here's, you know, three things. That three bullet points, if you will, kind of highlights on why you should go read the rest and kind of tease them if you will, Um, and if you're not a good writer than do a podcast, and so I kind of dove into that this last spring and, um, haven't been consistent with it, which I would suggest if you're going to get into something again. I'm speaking to myself here. Try to be consistent with it and find themes that you're interested in, Right? And so that was part of my struggle was kind of all over. The place is kind of experimenting. And so, like for you, you've got a theme, like spin, very specific niche type of podcasts and that that really helps you narrow down and then don't put pressure on yourself. If you don't get something out that week, you know, no one's gonna be like commenting negatively saying, Hey, I you know really mad you didn't post a podcast this week. They might go. Gosh, I really value your podcasts. It's been helping me a lot. Um, you know, Sorry you didn't get one out this week or whatever. Those don't happen a lot of time, but we put pressure on ourselves and we beat ourselves up, and then we don't end up posting in content like the podcast of starting about that I have in my head that I was going to do over break and then kids, you know, work. Everything got in the way and I haven't got it out um and I'm not beating myself up over it, but, you know, it's it's gonna be written down. I'm gonna try to knock that out, but do it when you know when you have time. If you think it's gonna provide value, other people like I can't emphasize that enough.

spk_1:   38:39
And I know class intercom is also a great way to keep things organized. You can schedule post in advance so you could do what I call batch ing content. You can create a tonic content now, maybe have a power hour. Sit down for two hours during your work day on a Monday, and you schedule out for the entire week. And I know class intercom gives you the ability to do that. So if you're a high school student, if you're in a school of her an administrator, definitely check out class intercom by the waist class intercom usable by people not in high school.

spk_0:   39:09
Yeah, we're built for K 12 education, you know, public, private charter, whatever, just because of the moderation process and things like that. But we have other educational organizations using it because it's the power of it is you can collaborate with as many people as you want to create social media content because if you're a school, you're a bank. Whatever it is, it takes a lot of people to kind of coordinate and create social media content on A lot of these schools have one person, and so that's the idea. To get students or even staff involved is intriguing because they can't be everywhere at once. And it's It's not a one person job to do social media. And so we kind of introduce this idea of getting everybody to be storytellers on your campus on, and they can do that through a mobile app. But you can still have control and moderate that post before gets published. So it's been a fun journey, and we're excited for this year. And I really appreciate the opportunity to share what my passion is and creating content and working with schools and and and students to, you know, have a future because in creating content because whatever they go into, you listed several different you know, career paths. Most likely, even if you know their doctor, they're going to need to be. If you want to be noticed as a doctor, you need to be creating content, be a thought leader, and that's the world we live in on. And I think it's exciting.

spk_1:   40:35
It's very exciting. And I know what you have shared has been incredibly valuable and powerful for people listening as well. So I thank you for your time quickly. If somebody wants to learn. Maura's interested in learning more about class intercom. How can people find you?

spk_0:   40:48
Yes, So personally, I'm just Taylor Siebert on all social media platforms Facebook Instagram linked in and Twitter and then class intercom misses class intercom dot com You can check out all of our resource is there. We've got a blogger. We have a podcast called the Content Generation where we're kind of revamping Now we're gonna feature a lot of teachers who are creating content, um, out in the in the world and just, ah, heart for helping people create content. And so you can check that out webinars all that on class intercom dot com,

spk_1:   41:24
and I'll put some of that in the show notes below. So go ahead and check the show notes. And with that, we will wrap up this conversation on social media. I look forward to seeing how your business evolves in the coming year and a social media changes. Maybe we can touch base again at some point in the future, but very much appreciate you giving your time and expertise here on the Dominate Test Prep podcast.

spk_0:   41:43
Awesome. Thanks, Brett.

spk_1:   41:50
This'll weeks from the mailbag question comes from Ibrahim, who wrote and said, Quote, Please, Do you have any advice on how to prepare for the writing part of the G. R E test? Thank you very much for your time and consideration. End quote. Well, Abraham, thank you for reaching out. Hopefully you're listening to this. And yes, I do have some advice for you, not only as you're preparing for the g r E, but anybody who's looking for help on the writing portion very similar on the G Matt, for example. And they're kind of two parts to your question or two potential ways of going about answering it. One is how to actually prepare for the writing part, and that is a very in depth discussion. Like we could do a whole podcast episode on that I have an entire section of my courses devoted to teaching you how to actually prepare for it because in a lot of cases on the G, R E and the G Matt, for example, there's an essay where you have to analyze an argument. And that requires learning how to analyze arguments in the parts of in arguments and patterns of arguments and how to identify and find assumptions and strengthen. And we consumptions. And and all of that is a fairly lengthy discussion, not to mention a discussion around kind of what the test makers are looking for, what the greater zehr looking for, how to structure an essay and all of that, and so that's more in depth and I can go to hear. But I think part of what you are asking that I can answer and will answer right now is how to practice for the writing part of the G R E. And obviously part of practicing is just to do it. You need to get your hands on some sample, prompts some sample essay prompts and just practice writing your essay in 30 minutes, which is how much time you have on the G, R E and G. Matt, incidentally, but really any standardized test you're taking If there is an essay portion, you want to practice that because being able to effectively analyzing, argument or evaluated issue, for example, which you have to do on the G r E and take some some work in some practice and you have to learn. But then, just because you know how to do it, can you do it under the time constraints? And so that takes some practice. But here's really my advice for you, and here's where I want to point you to. Ah, lot of people don't know about this. They don't know this website exists, and that is the official E. T s website for the g r E. It's actually a really good website. So even if you are taking the G Matt, for example, or any standardized test where you have to write an essay analyzing an issue are analyzing an argument, the GR ease website is actually a great resource, because here's what they dio. And so the website is e t s dot org's forward slash g r E, and I'll go ahead and post direct links in the show notes. But you can kind of navigate to the part where they talk about the test and then you can kind of drill down preparing for the test. And they have a section about the analytical writing section. And what they do is they have actually made available publicly for free every single potential issue task, an argument task that could appear on the G r E. And so obviously they may or may not appear in similar form on the G Matt, But again, they're great toe practice. Even if they're not the exact prompts that would be on the G, Matt or the S, A. T or the A. C. T is still a great source of S a promise that you can use to practice. And then here's where it gets really cool. They also have links. You can click on that again. I'll post in the show notes below where they give you some sample essay responses with the grade for each of those responses. So you can start toe, learn what is a 1.0 level s a look like what is a to score of a two s, a look like a score of a three all the way up to a score of a six. Like if you're trying to get a five or a six, what is a really good s a response to this particular sample issue task or argument Task look like And you can learn a lot from that. So obviously leads You're thinking about preparing. I do encourage you to take a course like mine or get some sort of instruction on howto. Actually answer these questions. Evaluate argument, structure, good essays. But you can still learn a lot just by reading some of the sample essays that have been published for you for free on the e t s dot org's Web site and also get a better sense of kind of scoring guide and what test makers are looking for in terms of what constitutes a good essay. All right, here we are at the end of another episode of the Dominate Test prep podcast, and it is time for your action item. I hope you enjoyed today's conversation with Taylor about social media, and I think the key point of what we discussed. Obviously, there's a lot of technical stuff and things that you can think about in terms of going back and scrubbing through some of your social media pages and maybe you goto linked in. And so there's some obvious to do item some obvious action items. But I think the most important thing you should take action on is taking some time for reflection, for thinking about who you are, who you want to be and the image you want to present about who you are authentically not trying to conjure up some sort of fake image that you can portray through. So some social media, which is what so many people do, can only painting the positive parts of their life. But no, rather like who are you authentically and how can you represent that in the types of things that you are posting online? Because a little bit of forethought now a little bit of soul searching a little bit about digging into what you are all about will go a long way in terms of helping you think through and prepare for the content you will create to put out through your social media channels And by the way, as we talked about it, will also serve you well. As you think about crafting other aspects of your application, including the essays you will write and and so forth because it's all part of that same story. So carve out some time even today, to sit in quiet reflection. Maybe put on some good music's and classical music. Get out your journal blackout the outside world for a little bit. And oh, by the way, kind of, ironically, may be turned off your social media for like an hour or so and just sit and think and reflect. Connect with your Why connect with who you are and who you want to be, and it will serve you well. So there you go, go take action on that. I would love to hear from you and kind of what you what you come up with and what you may have questions about. You can always reach out. Tow us at support at Dominate test prep dot com or me directly. Brett B R E T T. At dominate test prep dot com. We would love reviews. We would love your five star ratings, so definitely subscribe to the podcast. If you haven't already, we have some great stuff in store for you throughout the rest of this year, on the Dominate test prep podcast. And thank you for listening. Thank you for sharing. And we will look forward to seeing you next time on the dominant test prep podcast. Take care, everyone.