Amy Howell is CEO of PR and marketing firm Howell Marketing Strategies. She's also a sought-after speaker on social media, business, and marketing communication.

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I invited Amy to Marketing Smarts to discuss the book she recently co-wrote with Anne Deeter Gallaher, Women in High Gear: A Guide for Entrepreneurs, On-Rampers, and Aspiring Executives.

Here are just a few highlights of our conversation.

To build your Twitter network, select people who genuinely engage online (11:54): "The most important thing to me is engagement and feedback. I'd rather have ten Twitter followers that I talk to regularly than a million that I don't."

Become a "people broker" (12:38): "If you don't like people, you're not going to like Twitter. If you're not a people person, you're missing a lot of great opportunities... Most of our business comes through relationships."

To succeed in a male-dominated work environment, learn to make people comfortable (17:32): "Get [male colleagues and clients] comfortable with you. The only way to get them comfortable with you is to have them respect you. You have to be good at what you do, but then you have to be appreciated in a way that's not threatening to them. That's where most women stumble."

When mentoring others, exemplify what it means to have a good work ethic (19:10): "You have to practice what you preach. Young women especially need to set an example... Deliver on time. Deliver quality work. Do what you say you're going to do. It's a culmination of a lot of little things that leave you with a big impression...a lasting impression."

My conversation with Amy included much more. I encourage you to listen to the entire show, which you may do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!

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Music credit: Noam Weinstein.