The week 6 lecture is titled “Social Media and Your Career”, it spoke of using social media to get your work out there and to promote yourself to your (hopefully) growing audience. The key points of interest were creating a compelling portfolio, establishing online identity that will attract the appropriate audience and how your content and products will spread through your fans and their social circles.
In essence the lecture said that the key to the success of your portfolio was to make it appropriate for the industry, that it shouldn’t be bland. It also stated that people respond better to your online identity if it has personality, if your identity has flaws people can relate to and criticise then they will be more responsive to your successes and become more loyal followers. Finally, the most interesting point to me, the lecture referenced a very interesting TED talk that spoke of how product adoption and behaviours spreads through social circles.
From my understanding it is always best to present yourself and your work in a manner that is appropriate for the context, so I see no reason why that would change when entering the creative industries and presenting your portfolio, the only thing that changes is the context. So in the creative industries the rules for presenting yourself change to other circumstances, I would think that the key traits you would want to highlight are your creativity, skills, work ethic and reliability, although the last two traits seem to transcend all industries. The reality is if you are applying to a job for graphic design or character development you don’t want your first impression to be a generic “cookie-cutter” portfolio. Something that looks bland and like everyone else’s won’t get the attention of potential employers. Your portfolio should portray your creativity, your skill and most of all your personality.
The second interesting point was that your online identity affects your audience. I think this is very true and that their perception of you will alter your success in the industry. It can sometimes be difficult for people put themselves out there as they fear how people will respond and often this inhibits them from ever trying. When forming an online identity it can be easy to fall into the trap of only presenting the good side of things, although it makes it less likely for people to criticise you on what you put out there, they will soon come to the conclusion that you are either a robot, a saint or a fraud. From my experience it makes life easier to keep people on your good side and present the good side of things to others but true connection and the best friendships have come from when I have put myself out there and let people see who I am, the good and bad. I would assume that this extends to creating your online identity as you will get more loyal and devoted followers that will stick with you and your products for longer if you present them with a complete personality instead of a generic one. The flip side to this is that you will also gain a greater following of people that dislike you too, although that is the nature of the creative industries, some people will like your work and some won’t.
Finally the TED talk highlighted that in any given group of people there will be leaders and followers but regardless when one person in a social environment discovers a product they will likely tell their friends who will tell their friends and so on and so forth. This is both a good and bad phenomenon, if the leaders of a social circle like the product than the followers will all like it too, the converse is also true, and thus your product spreads through others.
I am positive that there are a host of external sources that both agree and disagree with my opinion on these topics, some of which are part of the lecture, however as this is specifically my reflection on the content and so no one else will have this particular point of view on the topic. I attempt to look at all angles of the content but at the end of the day I have strong opinions on the topics the lectures cover and thus it can be polarising.
Concluding this reflection I feel like after taking in this content I would move forward mostly the same as I would have before with the exception of I am trying to put myself out there more in the sense of a complete personality rather than just portraying it in a good light. Although this may not be the best strategy for becoming an overnight success I would rather build a great client base and audience than a larger more fickle population.
Here are some links to some additional articles or resources on the topic you might find interesting.
This is a list of some basic rules to follow when using social media as a marketing strategy.
Another resource regarding marketing strategies and social media.
By James Day – 1002467