Posts tagged ‘matt’

Can Social Media Lead to a Green Job? A Tweet for Thought.

mattpenned by Matt

Here at Bright Green Talent, we talk a lot about social media. We try to figure out how to use the tools at our disposal to best reach our audience. At a social media webinar last week focusing mostly on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, the moderator asserted that the more connections that you have through these outlets, the closer you get to reaching your target audience (based on 6 degrees of separation) – whoever that may be (a potential customer, employer, etc.).

But can social media be green?

This question struck me while working on a Pottery Barn photo shoot this week (I work occasionally for them while I career transition – see last week’s post on how to transition into a green career) producing their print catalog (the ones you may get in the mail every season).

Although I have been working with this client on and off for a few years, things had dramatically changed this time; a morning debriefing session revealed that 80% of their product sales (sofas, tables, bedding, etc.) were purchased online. During this morning meeting, a flurry of keywords and web 2.0 concepts (pre-coffee, mind you!) was dropped on us: Blogs, Tweets, Search Engine Optimization, YouTube, Owning a Category for Search-ability on Sofas, etc.

Now since this is exactly what I have been working on with Bright Green Talent, I got excited, but my enthusiasm didn’t stop there…

You have to realize that Pottery Barn is quite a conservative organization and has been resistant to change for many years — it’s a subsidiary of Williams-Sonoma Inc. and very large, with over 200 stores nationwide and millions of $ in annual revenue. It didn’t always used to be sales ratio of 80-20 (internet-catalog) — in fact it used to be the exact opposite. The mail order catalog has been integral to Pottery Barn’s past success, filled with enticing images of fine living that are very effective at selling LOTS of product. Now, although times are tough in retail, Pottery Barn is still a robust company with a surprisingly nimble quality – they may be late adopters to such things as digital photography and e-commerce, but once they move, they move fast.

And fast they are moving to (what I can see will be) the elimination of the paper catalog completely, replacing it with e-commerce and interactive web tools. We are seeing this trend with all forms of printed word, including newspapers and magazines. All of these businesses are trying to reinvent themselves – to become more transparent, more authentic, and more engaged with their audience. Not only is this a better option for all the trees of the world (Pottery Barn puts out tens of millions of catalogs a year), it also opens up a HUGE opportunity for a generation of facebook-savvy social media web nerds.

I can only imagine that there is a team of web gurus, leading the “new” Pottery Barn through the darkness that is social media and e-commerce. You may think that this is a waste of time or not really sure how to use it, but the numbers do not lie…Facebook  reaches 79 million/month, LinkedIn has 30 million professionals, Twitter reaches 6.1 million/month, YouTube – 80 million/month (Quantcast).

If you can learn how to leverage this opportunity and become a social media expert web guru, you WILL be an asset to any organization. At the very least, you can put these skills in your tool belt.

It has helped me 😉

And used creatively you may also be able to call it a green job.


March 26, 2009 at 5:17 am 1 comment

The long road to a green career: perspectives of a green career transition -er.


penned by Matt

My name is Matt and I’m a green career transition-er.

I have been working with the fun, ambitious and extremely intelligent crew over here at Bright Green Talent for just over a month now as “A Computer Whiz Kid/Internet Guru” fellow (cooler name for intern) working on their internet marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization, for those new to the term).

Well, actually, I also have an internship at a Sustainability Consulting Firm ( So, I am working two internships simultaneously as well as working occasionally in my previous job as a commercial photographer – a very busy schedule indeed!

Despite feeling like I am spreading myself a bit thin at times, I feel like I am completely on the right track as I have finally found a sector where I feel like I can make a difference. Yay for green jobs!

So what has my path been so far?

I graduated UCLA about 10 years ago with a degree in Int’l Economics with my sights focused on investment banking. In one I-banking interview I was asked what my idea of “success” was and after a reflective pause, I replied: “To make a lot of money?” (thinking that was the response that they were looking for). That’s when I realized that my heart was clearly not in finance. I was too young to know what I wanted and thought that’s what they wanted to hear. Bad idea.

I then went on to work for British Petroleum (or, Beyond Petroleum as they are now called), following in my father’s footsteps (he worked in oil exploration for most of his career). It has definitely helped my resume to have worked at a large company like this. This corporate experience has been crucial to my skillset, giving me some great business skills.

Being a photography enthusiast, I then went on to start my own business as a freelance photographer (see my arty photos at working for advertising and editorial clients. This developed some of my marketing skills and made me persistent and resourceful. Being able to problem solve is something everyone should work on.

“Jack of all trades, master of none”? Well, for me I think this broad range of experience has been an asset. I can pull from lots of life experience on a range of different problems.

Here are my quick tips for you green career transition –ers:

  • Getting informed, but get focused. Once I decided that I wanted to make this move, I read as much as I could on everything and anything “green”. Since I am interested in Clean Tech, I read “The Clean Tech Revolution” by Clint Wilder and Ron Pernick – a great overview of the tech side of the green industry (highly recommended). However, once you have a good handle on the big picture, try to focus on one specific area of focus. Informational interviews are a great way to gather information, meet new people, and find out more about a particular job role.
  • Networking, networking, networking! The sooner you learn this skill, the better. When I decided that I wanted to “go green” I started attending all sorts of networking events and got lots of cards, entering all contacts into my personal address book. Leverage LinkedIn ( to find people that you might want to meet or work with. I kept bumping into Christina at tons of networking events, including Green Drinks (, to the point where it ended up being ridiculous if we DIDN’T work together.
  • Develop your personal brand. Create a blog for you own voice. Use social networks wisely to engage your friends and colleagues. How will people talk about you and describe you in one sentence? Consider it like a company tag line, like: “Matt is the guy we can rely on for blank”.
  • Get a new – and specific – skillset. You might want to take a class on something. I took a series of night classes all summer on Integrated Marketing. When I got the chance to use this newfound knowledge at Bright Green Talent, I jumped at the opportunity.
  • Get involved. Engage with your contacts and get involved in events. I submitted photos to BGT’s photo competition. Get out there and do stuff so people can see you!
  • Love what you do, but also and maybe more importantly, love who you work with! I am enjoying my time at BGT because the people here are young, smart, and fun. Remember how important that will be in your long-term career…

I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me if any of you career transition people need some specific advice. I am happy to share my knowledge.

P.S. Bright Green Talent is hiring two new interns! Go for it!

March 19, 2009 at 9:02 pm 2 comments

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