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At the beginning of this journey, my very first trackback came from no less than BlogHer’s Maria Niles.  This, my friends, is enough to humble anyone.  So I hooked myself on Maria’s heels and started to follow her around and noticed:  she is awesome and approachable.  I mustered up my courage and asked her for a guest post!  (Yes, *you* should also just do what you have on mind… sometimes great things happen!  Honestly, what are you afraid of?)

Here I present you with Maria‘s great advice to leveraging this hustle for a really goode job to bring you further in your social media career!

You can be the “social media guru” many companies are looking for

a guest post from Maria Niles of BlogHer and Fizz

When it comes to the Murphy-Goode social media guru stunt casting contest, much like Thunderdome: “many will enter only one will win.” And much like the Australian tourism “best job in the world” it looks like a wonderful fantasy – get paid a ridiculous amount of money to live in a beautiful place and do what you’d do anyway – snorkel or drink wine and then blog and twitter about your fabulous life.

The Really-Goode job differs from The Best Job In The World in a key respect. The Aussie gig did a spectacular job of driving attention and PR impressions and the 60 second “dazzle us” video application method was a perfect fit for this goal. The Murphy-Goode position is a bit different, though. They are looking for the best of both worlds – someone who not only has a personality that pops off the screen but who can also demonstrate a solid skill set in using a range of social networking tools. This is an opportunity where your love of blogging as well as having a substantial number of Facebook friends and Twitter followers will likely serve you in good stead.

However, in case you are in the many and not the one and don’t end up with a Really-Goode job, the application process is a great opportunity to build your understanding of and skills in social media marketing. Many companies are increasing their use of social media marketing. And, even if not quite in the spectacular manner as this contest, these companies are looking for knowledgeable social media marketers to add to their team. But many companies are not yet savvy about social media – they just hear that they need one of them there Facebook fan pages and someone to run it for them. Therefore running a blog and posting every day and amassing Twitter followers and Facebook friends can make you the kind of “social media guru” those companies are looking for. However they and you will both be happier and better positioned to create long term value if you understand how, when and most of all why to use the various tools of social marketing.

Don’t just broadcast what you had for lunch, your favorite LOL cat and a link to your latest blog post. Focus on following people you can learn from. Learn how to listen, set up alerts for topics of interest, go find great blogs and read and comment. Become a student and don’t just focus on building your brand if you want to learn how to help companies build theirs.

Here are just a few suggestions for places to start your education. Check them out, find favorite teachers of your own, begin to grok, and, just in case this one doesn’t work out, position yourself to pwn the next great social media gig you find.

Inbound Marketing University

Society for New Communications Research
Susan Getgood at Marketing Roadmaps
Rachel Clarke at Digital Stuffing
Lynne d Johnson at Fast Company
Mashable and Pete Cashmore @Mashable

Good luck!

Maria Niles blogs business and marketing at Fizz (from ConsumerPop) and is Contributing Editor-at-large for BlogHer.com.  You can also catch her on Twitter @MariaNiles