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Author of The Pornographer's Daughter providing commentary on pornography, life and much more.

Anatomy of an Elevator Pitch

Kristin Battista-Frazee

 From that first “hello” - not the song by Adele, but when you meet someone at a social work conference - it’s the opening that can take your career or services you provide to a new level. What you say in these moments can make a difference in nabbing key opportunities. Understanding the parts and anatomy of this “elevator pitch” will make it easier to develop a unique introduction tailored to your goals.     

The way you deliver your pitch is also important to establish rapport and trust.  This is similar to when you work with new clients and your first interaction sets the tone for building a successful working relationship. For social workers, our work is so diverse and, whether you are networking with people inside or outside the profession, you need to succinctly explain what you do. A great elevator pitch can create those real connections for future work and better explain the social work profession.

Read more about how to plan, craft, rehearse and deliver your elevator pitch. 

What We Gain and Our Goals for Personal Branding: It’s Different for Everyone

Kristin Battista-Frazee

As you watch your colleagues and social work experts share resources and network online, you might emulate what they do in your personal branding. But what might work for them may not work for you. The approach will be different for everyone, and our unique personalities play a role. Our goals and what we hope to gain in our branding process will naturally vary.  

I asked some social workers from different parts of our profession how they approach branding and what they have gained in the process. Good marketing and personal branding ideas might come from those highlighted here, or you may get ideas from many of your friends and colleagues you admire. What you learn, who you meet, and the fulfilling work you do is up to you. I hope these social workers can provide some inspiration for your personal branding efforts.

Read more to learn about the branding strategies of Jonathan Singer, Ph.D., LCSW, host and founder of The Social Work Podcast and associate professor at Loyola University Chicago; Deona Hooper, MSW, editor-in-chief of Social Work Helper Magazine;  Samara Stone, LCSW-C, Stone Foundation Center Counseling Group, CEO and Perfected Practice founder and coach; Dawn Shedrick, LCSW-R, JenTex, founder & Chief Learning Officer; and Julie de Azevedo Hanks, Ph.D., MSW, LCSW, author, relationship expert, and songwriter.

Four Steps to Managing Your Brand on Social Media While in Clinical Practice

Kristin Battista-Frazee

As you engage happily on social media, you might finally feel like you’re taking control of your brand, until you receive a Facebook friend request from your client. The ethical dilemmas are immediate, and hopefully you’re prepared when and if this happens. Here are four steps for managing your brand on social media while in clinical practice.

  1. First, develop your brand to clarify your best attributes, understand what to say to the right audience, and set goals for your purpose on social media. Once you have a handle on these aspects of your brand, it will make creating your online presence easier. Remember, there’s a difference between using social media as a communications tool and the strategy behind why you are on social media in the first place. Learn the difference.
  2. Next, rely on a social media policy, either one for a private practice or for an agency, to guide your online interaction with clients. This policy should detail best practices for ethical social media use, protect client confidentiality, and address a host of other issues. If you don’t have access to a policy, see the resources below on how to create and how to use one.
  3. With Steps #1 and #2 providing a good foundation, move forward in honing a strong brand presence and interacting online to meet your professional goals.  Your use of social media is key to establishing your expertise, networking, and possibly gaining the trust of your future/current clients. 
  4. Lastly, realize managing a balanced presence on social media, where you are supporting your career goals and protecting your clients and your own privacy, will be ongoing. If questions arise, rely on the NASW Code of Ethics, colleagues, and supervisors about how to address problems.

Read the full article on The New Social Worker Magazine.


Authenticity and Your Brand

Kristin Battista-Frazee

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One of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes is, “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you!” This captures in catchy wordplay that you can’t escape who you are. This is also the essence of authenticity, which is the bedrock of your personal brand and will help you better connect and build relationships with people. Just being you makes the personal branding process easier, too. You don’t have to act like the Grinch when you feel like the Cat in the Hat. Remember, it’s tough to perform and sustain a persona that’s not inherently within your nature.  

 In the early stages of developing or repositioning your brand, you’re identifying strengths, challenges, values, and passions. All of this culminates in the promise of what you provide to your audience, whether it is great content, strong work ethic, or specific expertise. In summary, you are getting in touch with your authentic self and figuring out how to position your skills in the marketplace. Your authenticity also needs to be balanced with a good sense of how much to share, what to share, and when to share it.

Read the full article on The New Social Worker Magazine

Ask a question or share your brand today.

Are You a Social Media Introvert? Break Out of Your Shell (Online)

Kristin Battista-Frazee

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If you prefer spending time alone and when at social gatherings feel more comfortable observing others from the edge of the room, you’re most likely an introvert. These quiet tendencies may carry over into the social media world, too.  Since social media is essential for shaping your personal brand, and has made the world a smaller and more interconnected place, I encourage you to get out of your comfort zone to interact online.

I’m not suggesting that you become an online extrovert overnight and tweet incessantly, but instead think about how to use social media in a way that is most comfortable for you.  As it turns out, interacting on social media is sometimes a lot easier for introverts, and—think about it—you can network in your PJs instead of going to events.  Social media also provides you a quiet space to be more thoughtful in your interactions and more purposeful in your connections.

Read the full article on The New Social Worker Magazine

Ask a question or share your brand today.

How Do YOU Stand Out? Exploring Your Social Work Brand (#YourSWBrand)

Kristin Battista-Frazee

Below is the excerpt from The New Social Worker Magazine about my upcoming personal branding column.  I am so excited about this and I hope you participate!

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How do YOU stand out? Personal branding is not just important for start-up entrepreneurs and Hollywood stars, but for social workers, too. Creating a brand unique to the work you do and the issues you care about can have a positive impact on shaping your career. Also, social workers who brand themselves well will change the way people view our profession and create a better understanding about the breadth of our work.

In the coming months, The New Social Worker will feature articles by Kristin Battista-Frazee, MSW, marketing professional and author, about how to create your social work brand by leveraging your values and training. Also, Kristin will answer questions submitted about personal branding as it may relate to the challenges you face as a social worker. You can provide your name or submit anonymously.

If you’re doing a great job branding yourself, let us know so we can feature you as a branding star in one of our round-up posts. We see no better way to convey ideas about personal branding than with real-life examples and answering questions to discuss together

Ask a question or share your brand today.

Read more about upcoming topics on New Social Worker Magazine.

Our Forgotten Immigrant Roots

Kristin Battista-Frazee

My Great Grandfather Biagio Evangelista about November 1919

My Great Grandfather Biagio Evangelista about November 1919

As a child of the 1970s I danced around on Saturday mornings to School House Rock's memorable song The Great American Melting Pot. I proudly sang the lyric "it's great to be an American and something else as well," while thinking about my Italian heritage and remembering my family's immigration story. Today, the loudest voices about immigration reform seem to be from the likes of Donald Trump, and I sadly wonder if we have become so American we have forgotten our immigrant roots.

It's not only the xenophobic characterizations of immigrants to the U.S. as terrorists and criminals but also America's lukewarm response to support allies in Western Europe in dealing with the refugee crisis. I hope America's melting pot heritage can guide decision makers to do the right thing here and aboard. Our country can serve as an example about how immigrants and refugees can offer so much to our society.  Read the full blog on Huffington Post. 

Join the #MacroSW Chat on 6/25 at 9 PM EDT About Implicit Bias in Social Work

Kristin Battista-Frazee

As our society grapples with why the killings of African Americans in the U.S., particularly by law enforcement, happen and racially motivated hate crimes and murders occur like the one at Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17,  we must consider the role implicit bias.  Implicit bias in not a conscious avowal of a stereotype but a covert attitude, a lack of awareness that these biases even exist. Implicit bias can also be positive; a white person may have a bias in favor of African Americans, for example, or be unbiased regarding all religious faiths.

Most of white Americans consider themselves to be not prejudiced based on race or ethnicity. Social workers have, as a fundamental value, the obligation to help all people, “with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vunerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.” (NASW, 2008)

Over 40% of social workers are involved in some form of advocacy or community organizing for at least part of the their professional lives. Our cultural competency requires understanding oppression based on race, color, gender, ethnicity, age, ableism, gender expression, and more.

Does this mean that our profession has less implicit bias because we consciously work to address oppression in all its forms?

In this twitter chat, hosted by  Pat Shelly, University at Buffalo School of Social Work (@UBSSW), we will discuss implicit bias in the social work profession.  Before the chat we urge you to anonymously take one of the Implict Attitude Test (IAT). This  test measures attitudes toward or beliefs about certain racial, ethnic or religious groups. You may be favorably surprised at your results; there is also the possibility you will receive disappointing results.

For discussion question for this chat and to read the full post, visit #MacroSW site