Harness the crowd, social entrepreneur says

Andy Osburn of Equals6 is encouraging students to build social relationships now

Young people need to improve their use of social platforms in order to build their careers.

That was the message a social media entrepreneur told to a group of media professionals earlier this week at Women in Film and Television Atlantic.

Andy Osburn encourages students to reach out and network. (Photo: Carlie Connolly)

Andy Osburn, the CEO of Equals6, told the audience that crowd funding is an effective way to expand networks and build support for projects.

“Any person that has a creative project or undertaking, it’s a tremendous way to generate some funds to support the project or even get some feedback on whether or not the project is going to resonate with the public,” he said.

Osburn, who is Atlantic Director for the National Crowdfunding Association, said crowd funding has been successful in developing and promoting new media projects and finding individual donors to support them.

“It really is a good way to put the power in the hands of the individuals that are looking to raise funds, but also for individual donors to be able to make micro-donations,” he said.

Most people donate between $10 and $25 to a crowd funding campaign, Osburn says. Those numbers quickly add up.

Projects that are on the more creative side do well through crowd funding because people become engaged and feel like they can be an early supporter, he said.

Osburn said the numbers of donors, projects and platforms are exploding.

“It’s shown in the statistics across the industry that there are an awful lot more platforms out there that are supporting and allowing projects to be established and promoted,” he said.

Using who you know

Equals6 is a social recruiting site for students. The company helps students build a social network, then “use that network to get their first entry-level job when they graduate.”

Osburn said students need to understand the job market is increasingly social in nature. He recommends they join LinkedIn or Equals6 and get involved in social media.

He says students need to make personal connections with employers by using social media for research and finding the people they are looking to connect with. Personal face-to-face-meetings can then  solidify connections.

As for Equals6, he hopes it will grow in terms of geographical reach.

“We have got a good position here in Canada,” said Osburn, “but the goal is to grow in the U.S.”