Unlock the power of your social network
We’ve all seen the classic graduation photo on Facebook or LinkedIn: someone wearing an academic cap, holding a degree certificate and a proud partner standing close by. It’s right up there with marriage proposals and baby announcements for attracting the most likes and comments on social media. Graduating is undoubtedly an exciting milestone, but there are also many benefits of letting your networks know that you’re studying much earlier than that. Here are the three ways that connecting early and often with your online community can maximise your study success.
You’ve got a friend in me.
Publicly announcing that you've taken the plunge and become an online student will drastically widen the pool of people to meaningfully connect with. It’s impossible to know who of your 500+ LinkedIn connections has also undertaken postgraduate study or has the same professional passions as you. Posting that you’ve enrolled into an online program will unearth these people who may be a fount of knowledge and great ideas. You’d be surprised how many people will jump at the opportunity to help you achieve your goals. Finding a formal or informal mentor within your existing network can be a great ‘low hanging fruit’ exercise too.
Enrolling into an online postgraduate program is an exciting life milestone. It’s a marathon not a sprint, so it may require some sacrifices and a good dose of understanding from your family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Quietly working away on your program may leave people wondering why you’re less active in other spheres of your life. But once they’re aware, your community will understand why you’re dedicating that weekend to finishing your assignment and they may not see you at the pub or conference room. They’ll no doubt be in awe of your dedication and hard work.
Find your motivation.
Another benefit is accountability. Research has found that individuals are more likely to achieve success with personal goals when they make a public commitment to achieving them. It makes sense too. If people are aware, they’re more likely to reach out and offer encouragement and support. This can be a great motivator to keep going when the going gets tough.
Become a thought leader.
Studying online is a great way to boost your personal brand. Throughout your program, you’re going to be learning the latest thinking on highly relevant topics. People would love to hear personal reflections on the insights you’re discovering. Establishing yourself as an expert in your chosen field will pay dividends throughout your career. You can never know what impact your post will have, which only makes the exercise more exciting!
Here is a real example. One of our students was studying Marketing for Managers as part of our online MBA and they posted on LinkedIn their top 5 takeaways from the course. A senior leader at their company saw the post and noted that they were very knowledgeable in that area. Two months later, the company started to refresh their marketing approach for the South Australian branch of
his company and his name was mentioned, even though he didn’t directly have marketing responsibilities. Presto! One simple LinkedIn post and he was able to apply everything he learnt in a real-world setting.
Where to begin?
It can be daunting to post on social media, especially if you prefer to consume rather than create content. If you start small, you’ll quickly discover what works and what doesn’t. Here are some thought starters:
- A simple announcement that you enrolled with our new student graphic that you can download here and here.
- A more detailed announcement that covers why you enrolled and what you hope to achieve from the program.
- Three key takeaways per teaching period on what you found most inspiring.
- Ad-hoc deep dives into a topic you have found particularly interesting.
- A shoutout to your support network to thank them for their help.
- An honest account of what studying online is like and tips you’ve found helps.
Download this graphic and post on LinkedIn to get noticed by your community!