What you say and do on your personal social media account has nothing to do with your work life, right? Wrong. As long as it’s public, and even if it wasn’t, as long as you’ve decided to post something online, who knows whose eyes your content will reach. Whatever your talent is, a lot of social media platforms act as a real-time, flexible version of your CV/portfolio with personality.
FEATURED IMAGE – INFLUENCER // BONNEE F
A little unsure on how to set up your professional self on social?
Here are 5 pointers from us to help get you started.
Business or pleasure?
Keep them separate. These days it’s very common for brands and employers to jump onto social media to get a better feel of a potential talent’s personality, work ethic, and general interests etc.
Things can get messy and awkward when you’re trying to share everything on one account, so we highly recommend showcasing everything to do with your work and talent on a separate account.
Your personal account doesn’t have to be private, but make sure to call out your work account in your bio description so people know where to find your work. Even if you love sharing your work on your personal account, it’s time to create a professional profile on a few platforms for people in the industry who are curious about you.
Care to share?
So you’ve got all your professional profiles set up on social media, it’s time to start posting! Whether you’re a model, photographer, stylist, makeup artist or any other creative talent, it can feel risky to share your work including your tips, your processes, your challenges and solutions etc. In the wise words of Bobby Solomon (creator of designer blog The Fox is Black):
“Put yourself, and your work, out there every day, and you’ll start meeting some amazing people”.
Don’t be afraid to share your work and ideas, ask questions to learn, seek out criticism to improve, and see things from others’ perspectives. A lot of creative talent keep their ideas and processes secretive because they don’t want others to use them.
So what if someone else uses your technique or tip? That’s the greatest compliment around, and it should simply drive you to find more new creative ways to improve yourself.
INFLUENCER // DAN CONN
Triple C’s – Content, Consistency, Credit
It can get tricky and time-consuming managing multiple social accounts. It helps to focus on the triple C’s: Content, Consistency and Credit
Write down one main thing you want to achieve for each of your social channels. Then narrow down your content to a few themes that you can use on a recurring basis e.g. if you’re a photographer, your Instagram is going to be a visual real-time portfolio of your work from your photo shoots to behind-the-scenes tips. So you may decide to stick to 3 themes on Instagram, which could be the final result of a photo shoot, a behind-the-scenes shot of your current location, and a shot of the devices you’re using for specific jobs.
PHOTOGRAPHER// FABIO O
While you’re updating your social accounts with fresh content, remember to stay consistent with the way you talk across your social accounts, as well as have a consistent schedule of what and when you’re posting to make sure your followers know when to look out for your next update.
It’s simple – you would absolutely hate it if someone took your work and used it as their own work, so don’t do it yourself.
Many creatives will post content that acts as inspiration, motivation, or simply something that they loved and wanted to share. As long as it doesn’t belong to you, follow social etiquette and give credit to the source.
It sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised about how many people out there who still publish content (that doesn’t belong to them) on their accounts without credit. Plus, you’ll never know when it could come back and bite you in the form of a legal tiff.
Quality over quantity
It’s great to keep all your social accounts up to date, but don’t feel pressured to post all the time. If something isn’t valuable or interesting worth sharing, then don’t share it for the sake of being online. Doing so will just bring down the image and quality of your talent to others. Focus on your content themes and write down a list of criteria to help decide whether something is worth sharing or not. Some examples include:
For models: Is this image high quality? Does the image showcase my versatility? Does this image highlight my best features?
For photographers: Am I 100% happy with my final image? Does this shot highlight a new technique of mine? Does this image showcase my strengths? Was this image featured or published somewhere?
Talk, talk, talk!
The name says it all – social media is about being social.
Acknowledge If someone comes across your work and tells you they love it, thank them! Show people that you take your work seriously and that you appreciate the feedback.
Engage: No one likes a one-sided chat and if you want love, you’re going to have to give love. Ask questions, give feedback, start the conversation!
Observe: Check out other talent similar to you to see what they’re up to in both their work and the way they present themselves on social, a little competition is healthy and knowing what competition you’re up against will give you better idea on how to stand out.