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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

ARTICLE: Personal Branding

So, today I done a little talk at CPUT, chatting to 3rd year Multimedia students about PERSONAL BRANDING. Some of them look like they know a bit about what life is going to throw at them, others, look blissfully clueless at what lies ahead!

But that's how students are right?

I decided to put my notes from the powerpoint I used on here. To share with you all :)



HAVE AN IDENTITY

Have something that makes you stand out from the rest of the cool kids. Whether it be a name, a logo, a phrase, a hashtag that you use in every tweet that you can use to reference and build seo, anything really. Anything that makes you different from the pack of sames out here on the interwebs and in life

HAVE A SITE

A site just like this one. It doens't need to be fancy. Keep it clean and simple. I'm not saying create a site from scratch. With Wordpress and Blogger you don't need to know coding and don't have to worry about hosting. So there's no excuse to not have your own space online. It’s essential to have a headquarters, where you can share everything that encompasses who you are, what you do, your thoughts, your projects.

HAVE A VOICE

It is essential that you have a social media presence. Engage often on Twitter and build an audience by sharing often. You'll have no idea what power lies in Twitter until you engage more. It will click eventually. Just keep tweeting and keep sharing and engaging socially.

Use Facebook to share with friends and network more officially. Twitter, although a serious mechanism for networking, is seen as the less serious of the two, as Facebook carries your identity as a genuine person. It has your real name, your real details, not a funky twitter handle and whimsical bio. Use it correctly and it can be an asset. Use the FB fanpages to build audience as well. It's a great place to keep portfolios or whatever art/creative things you do, and also Work In Progress pics. It's especially great if you don't have your own site or blog.

For creatives, use platforms like Deviant Art and CG society to network, grow and share with creatives. You'll find that the critique/advice/quality artists on these platforms will inspire and encourage you to be better and grow.

BE CLEVER

The internet is littered with lots of crap, so in your attempt to reach new eyes and ears and if you're trying to get a new/better job, try to engage in clever ways to keep and entertain your following and to extend your brand further

Use YouTube/Instagram to present/share your work but also do tutorials and help others. You'll get different kind of people interacting with you with these two and you must try to be as visible as possible. You see if you have a Twitter/FB/Blog/YouTube/Google+/Instagram that all share the same brand name, you're building your brand and buidling an improved SEO to make people searching Google find you so much easier! 

Share often, but don’t spam. Incentivize sharing with free downloads of things you create that others can use and share. People who design fonts/icons/psd presets/etc many a time share their work for free with others, but use an incentive like joining their mailing list, or sharing a tweet about said download as 'payment' for the download. Things like this work well.

Learn. Often. And don't stop. Do tutorials often and grow! Go to sites like videocopilot to learn from experts who present hard to learn things in easily digestible portions.

Take criticism, critique and comments from people willing to engage with you, but DON’T FEED THE TROLLS. You'll end up degrading yourself and look second best because trolls are very good at what they do; making people feel bad about themselves by flinging insults from behind their keyboards.

BE FREE! NOT DOM!

Your voice is important. Be creative, exciting, edgy, but know the boundaries, but remember, you want people to hire you, not hate you. You have freedom of speech but don’t be silly. We've seen many a person land in hot water about a tweet or a rant.

I'm definitely not saying be fake all the time, but express yourself wisely. A bad rep can follow you around and be hard to shake. Be strong, have an opinion, don't be a easily-swayed, but don’t force it on others.

MY STORY

I studied 3d animation for 2 years to get Btec diploma, then worked 4 ½ years as a 3d artist at the place where I interned after during college, as I impressed in my internship. After growing unhappy in my job, I found myself tweeting a lot more and built up quite a good rapport and following with many cool folks, and found that blog (my fourth attempt at a blog) was doing ok for a new comer. I had inadvertently used personal online branding to get myself set up to get another job, I just didn't know it yet. I was asked by one of my Twitter followers to come do a similar talk that I done today with his 2nd year journalism students at Bellville's CPUT campus, and it went swell. A few months after that, he called me, asking me if I'd like another job? I was like HELL YEAH! Turns out one of his peers had a new job opportunity open at their company and was looking for fresh blood with fresh ideas. I went for the interview, got the job as a Digital Analyst, and since then I've been promoted twice to be where I am now, a Digital Magazines Sales Manager. And I'm still growing all the time. I'm studying part time to get a BA Communication degree through Unisa, and although it's very draining and time consuming and energy sapping, I'm sure it will be well worth it in the end.

My Goal? Following my degree completion, to have my own mixed media company. Until then, we hustle.

LEARN FROM MY ERRORS

I'm far from perfect though. You can learn from my experiences. 

  • I’m too scattered and not focused.
  • Try your best to find your niche and stick to it, too many things, and you might lose track
  • Have many ideas, but don’t get lost in them.
  • When a project is not working for you, either put a deadline to it and finish it, or cancel it completely. Half projects that never get done eat at the soul
  • Consistency over frequency
  • HAVE FUN!




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