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mia pearson

Social media has provided individuals with an amazing platform to increase their public profiles and build their personal brands. In fact, the opportunities to build thought leadership positions through social media have become so vast, that our digital and physical personas have started to collide as a result.

This merger is known as 'the New Aesthetic,' a term coined during a panel at South by Southwest 2012, which included James Bridle among others. According to Mr. Bridle, "the New Aesthetic is not a movement, it is not a thing which can be done . It is a series of artefacts of the heterogeneous network, which recognizes differences, the gaps in our overlapping but distant realities."

It's also the subject of a considerable discussion among leading social media commentators and is even emerging as an area of academic study. For a quick review of how everything from Google Glass to Streetstyle blogs fit in, check out this post on Tumblr .

The intersection of the physical and digital offers a powerful vehicle for thought leadership, if leveraged effectively. It's really about getting the most impact out of any given activity. It also happens to be great for busy entrepreneurs.

Here are some tips to leverage 'the New Aesthetic':

Come up with a stump speech: All the politicians do it and you should too. The message stays consistent and the basic presentation stays the same. From there you can customize it to suit a given opportunity or audience and build the key messaging into all your profiles.

Use SlideShare : Chances are you've already done the work to create a great presentation to go along with you speaking opportunity, why not share it more broadly? This online presentation sharing tool offers a great opportunity to add depth to your online profile for people looking to get to know you or your work a little better.

Take advantage of video: When you're doing an important presentation or taking part in a panel, record it and put it online. You can use a Vimeo or YouTube profile to host the videos and then link to them through any of the major social networks. This gives you a chance to reach a new audience and gives a presentation a whole new shot at a life online. You don't need to look any further than TED to see how successful this can be.

Bring social to your business: LinkedIn is a tool to bring real life and digital together. If you meet someone at a conference, add them on LinkedIn as soon as you can. Or use Twitter to arrange a meet up with someone you follow at an event or after party. Finally, get some social on your business card with a link from , or .

Don't forget to do it in real life too: With all these digital opportunities, it's important not to get out there and attend conferences, do speaking engagements and take part in panels. It's a great way to make new connections and add some colour to your digital profile and learn new approaches.

Personally, I have spent a lot of time refining a social media stump speech that has seen numerous iterations and revisions to keep up with trends and new developments. In the next two months alone, I will be speaking at three conferences on changes in social media. It kicks off this weekend with by the IABC 2012 Canada Business Communicators Summit followed by the Scala Network 2012 Women in Business Conference and the WXN 2012 Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Summit . These conferences are terrific opportunities for attendees to get up to speed on new trends and network, but also to meet some thought leaders in the industry. For me, I get to connect with many of my online connections as well as meet new people in person to continue the conversation with online after the conference.

Special to The Globe and Mail

Mia Pearson is the co-founder of North Strategic . She has more than two decades of experience in creating and growing communications agencies, and her experience spans many sectors, including financial, technology, consumer and lifestyle.

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