I don’t know if this is an ideal time to launch my long thought-about series of free, monthly webinars on social media. But I believe it’s a good time.

(Note: a week after this post was written, a trademark was issued for the words “Social Media Roadmap” and this was drawn to my attention in early February. Accordingly, I am in the process of re-badging the seminars. The naming issue will not detract from the value of the content – if anything, I will be just even more determined to provide great content!)

More and more business people and freelance professionals are starting to think about how they can tap into what is going on with Facebook and Twitter and blogging and all the rest of it. Part of their challenge is knowing what questions to ask.

So next week, January 24 in the USA and Canada, January 25 in Australia and environs, I’m launching my Social Media Roadmap Webinars.

Going through to December 2011 (at least), this series of free monthly webinars will provide a way for business owners, entrepreneurs and freelance professionals to tap into current developments and thinking about social media in a business context, or ‘”social business”. One of my aims is that the webinars will help participants ask better questions about social media. It will also provide a “space” to help participants develop social media roadmaps for their own businesses or careers.

Clearly there is not one roadmap for all. Or even a handy set of “template” roadmaps.

While there are some markers and signposts, and some salutary tales of what has or has not worked for others, there is still enough that is new, unresolved, even unpredictable about social media that each of us in business must, to an extent, devise our own roadmap, fitted to our own business or career objectives, our business values, our mission, our business culture or ethos.

In his excellent book Engage! The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate and Measure Success in the New Web, social media thought leader Brian Solis says (Preface, p xi):

We are at the beginning of something new and incredible, and its paths and processes are for the most part undefined and far from standardized.

It’s not that we can’t with confidence say some things about the path ahead, more that we are all to one degree or another learning as we go.

That’s why I want the Social Media Roadmap Webinars to be as interactive as possible, consistent with each webinar being as valuable a learning experience as it can be for each participant and as useful as it can be for his or her business or career. When there is interactivity, I always find that there is something I can learn from others, or something I can look at in a different light because of someone’s question or other contribution.

Who will benefit?

  • Generally, people working on their business or career social media strategy
  • Anyone already developing a social media roadmap and looking for ideas and feedback
  • People who prefer interactive webinars to being lectured at
  • Anyone looking for frameworks, ideas, or tips on effective use of social media
  • Anyone who likes the idea of hype-free monthly updates on the state of social business

Why free?

  • An obvious reason for providing these webinars free of charge is that I am hoping they will help me build my business coaching and social media strategy business (but I am committed to keeping them going for at least 12 months even if that doesn’t happen).
  • I  like sharing what I know and rather than doing that as I have been for too long now, in piecemeal, off-the-cuff, unstructured conversations here and there which may or may not be in fact very helpful, I wanted to set up a way to help people more systematically, including those who might not now or ever decide to avail themselves of my paid services.
  • I love teaching, both for the help that can give others and what I can learn in the process.

Details

When: every fourth Tuesday Australia and New Zealand, fourth Monday for US/Canada,

Times: Australia 12 noon (AEDT) Tuesday, New Zealand 2 pm Tuesday; USA/Canada 5 pm PST, 8 pm EST Monday

Where: my online conference room – details to be sent to those who register.

What if those times don’t work for you?

They are not set in stone. If there is a case made for a different time and perhaps even for a different day, I’ll be as receptive as I can. Also, the sessions will be recorded, so if you register you will be sent details to enable you to download them and play them at a time that suits you.

More information

You can get more information and register at this link. If you want to contact me directly to ask questions or get further clarification, send me a message via the Contact page.

I’m excited about this. I hope you’ll come and join me and help make this a great learning experience and ideas exchange for all of us.

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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).