I am a big advocate for the saying community over competition.
As a solopreneur in business in a competitive industry it would be easy to foster a scarcity mindset and be jealous and just out for myself.
But I have found so much more joy in fostering relationships and building connections that have a sense of community.
I will gladly shout your name from the rooftops, I love to support other amazing women who are good at what they do.
I have belief in myself and that those that are meant for me will find me, it’s all about quality over quantity.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and reach out to other people that you admire or might want to work with. I have made incredible friendships online that also became friends in real life.
The social media landscape can be a tricky one and you will of course encounter the not so nice part at some stage. But if you put out positivity and are supportive, you’ll generally get that back.
I don’t think people stress enough just how important networking and building your community can be when it comes to building a business (or a career). If I wasn’t the sort to genuinely comment and engage with other people, I don’t think I would be where I am today.
Which isn’t a massive following by any stretch of the imagination, but I have forged amazing friendships and I show them love right back. I appreciate each and every single one…but especially the ones that take the time to send me a DM or leave a comment.
Social media isn’t just about followers and sales, the clue is in the name…SOCIAL. If you truly want to build a community of your own, you need to put in the work. Reply to every comment and DM, take time to go and engage with other accounts you follow and sprinkle some love around. A little goes a long way…
So this is my little pep talk to you, to encourage you to try and be more social (my introverts, I know this is hard for you…a simple like still shows a creator you like what they do!).
I feel like most social media managers can relate to that saying.
So many of us are busy giving advice to clients on best practice for their socials yet tend to neglect our own. The busier we get the less we implement all of the things we know we should be doing to help build our own business.
It’s a bit of a catch 22…makes you feel a little bit hypocritcial if I’m honest. I would be lying if I use the age old excuse that I don’t have time, I could find the time…get up earlier, not binge netflix shows etc.
I kind of compare it to chefs that don’t necessarily enjoy cooking when they are at home because they’ve been doing it all day at work.
The last thing I want to do is burnout or post content for the sake of posting content. I don’t want to lose my love for it or feel resentful about having to ‘do all the things’. The reality is that if I want to grow my business and attract new clients…I need to be showing up consistently.
The whole reason businesses outsource to SMM’s in the first place is because it is a struggle to do it all. As a small business owner you wear many hats, some of them are out of your wheelhouse of expertise and you might need a helping hand to juggle it all.
It’s knowing when to do that and reaching a place (not just financially) where you feel comfortable taking that step. It’s no small decision to entrust your baby with a total stranger. Finding someone that you click with and who you feel will be the right person to help kick your business goals is a big deal.
The journey feels more like a rollercoaster than a leisurely Sunday drive sometimes, social media can be fickle. Things can change at the drop of a hat, the goal posts move. Finding someone who becomes a part of your team/cheer squad is nice to have.
I’m not necessarily just referring to myself, there’s plenty of us out there. We get a thrill out of watching you succeed and grow, that is our job afterall.
I didn’t really have a point to all of this, I just wanted to do a post to kind of explain why I haven’t been active on here. There’s really no excuse though, I could have made the time. If it is a priority you will find the time.
I can say that I am more consistent over on Instagram, that is where you’re more likely to find me. I’m not throwing in the towel here but if you come back in a couple of months and I still haven’t blogged…my bad, I’m sorry.
If you ever have any questions, want a chat or are maybe looking for that right fit you can always shoot me a message or an email. x
Apologies for being a bit quiet round these parts, I’ve been a little busy….working on my business (am I the only one who sang that like the Fergie song…’workin’ on my fitness’). It’s early stages yet, but yes you heard that correctly. I’m taking this here venture legit.
I have taken steps, set myself up as a sole trader with an ABN (so grown up, right?!) and registered a business…oh em gee! Then I went ahead and paid for a proper domain, someone pop the confetti.
I’ve been doing The Digital Picnic’s Social Media Manager School, not only have I learnt so much (honestly, invaluable content and knowledge from Cherie) but it has inspired me to take these steps. I am making my dream a reality, I can’t wait to begin my new career.
So watch this space…whilst I am the equivalent of a baby giraffe taking their first steps, I am passionate and keen as a bean to learn all the things and then provide value to you guys.
I feel like I am only just scratching the surface, there is so much to learn…and I plan on continuing to keep taking courses and upskilling, there’s at least 3 more courses with The Digital Picnic that I want to do. I thoroughly recommend checking them out if you are wanting to learn some skills yourself.
I always visualise myself as a little sponge just soaking up all the knowledge, squirreling it away in my mental compartments for future reference. This industry is ever evolving, change is inevitable and I just need to keep up with it.
I may not be your typical, super profesh business guru…I am uniquely me, I am not trying to fit into any perfect mold. What you will get is honesty and authenticity, I am playful and fun. I think I will appeal to fellow crafty creative types that don’t take themselves too seriously.
Think of me as your hype girl/wing woman, my mission will be to help small businesses to grow & elevate their business…and have some fun in the process. I am not quite at the point where I am out there actively pitching myself, but it is only a matter of time and I cannot wait.
In all honesty, there is some serious imposter syndrome kicking my butt…I am learning to turn that little negative voice off in my head and change the narrative – I’ve got this, you’ve got this. We are capable of so much more than we allow ourselves to think. So if you take anything away from my ramblings today, let it be that. Back yourself!
So scuse’ me while I throw myself a little party and pat myself on the back for taking those steps. I hope you’ll stick around for this journey, I promise it won’t be boring.
Also side note, Unsplash is a great free resource for businesses that are looking for great stock images that are copyright free. Hope that helps someone.
What seems like the blink of an eye and here we are embarking on the beginning of Trimester Two.
I had so many plans to create content over the uni break and barely did a thing. I think I was more fried than I realised…3 units, homeschooling and moving will do that to you. I did enjoy the sweet downtime and relaxation the break provided even if I wasn’t as productive as I would have liked.
Given that I am only studying my last unit this trimester I plan to make an effort to continue blogging and posting on socials. Afterall, social media is a passion for me and I cannot wait to get started working in the industry.
I am eager to gain the all important hands on experience that only a job can provide. Part of me wonders just how people in the industry got their start in it, because there always seems to be the catch 22 of every employer wanting someone with experience. If you are someone working in communications/social media I would love to hear how you got your start and what advice you have for those just starting out.
Actually that just gave me an idea to reach out through some of the connections I made last Trimester and ask those very questions and compile their answers in a blog post. I can’t be the only one interested to know just how they did it. Watch this space…
I think networking and making connections online with other people in the industry could potentially hold the key to gaining employment. The community that is available through those online connections is invaluable.
So a word to the wise for an fellow students who happen across this blog post, engage with your peers online…form those connections. You never know where the path may take you but try and enjoy the journey along the way.
I am always down for a collaboration so if you want to collaborate on something leave me a comment or contact me through my social channels.
And breathe….all assignments have been submitted and I’ve had a week to decompress, I finally feel a little more relaxed. For those that don’t know, I just finished my first trimester of uni. As a first time uni student I had planned on blogging my experience along the way.
However, I just didn’t feel like I had enough time to post much when I was in the thick of it, now that I’ve finished I finally have more time on hands and I’m eager to start creating some content.
I definitely needed that down time after the final submission, that last month especially was rather hectic. When I signed up I never could have predicted how things were going to play out…I don’t think anyone could have predicted that.
It certainly made for a unique experience, I personally didn’t mind the switch to online learning. I was also incredibly lucky that the units I was taking all lent themselves to a fairly seamless transition. Especially the unit ‘Social Media Content Creation‘ which almost the entirety of this blog has been for, it was a more practical unit with ‘learning by doing’. It was also my favourite unit in trimester 1, I really felt like I learnt a lot and was exposed to new technologies that helped expand my skillset. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone considering studying communication at Deakin.
Overall I am fairly happy with how I have gone so far, it was difficult at times trying to juggle homeschooling my kids while taking classes myself and working on assessments. I feel given the circumstances I did the best that I could and I am good with that.
I still have one more unit to complete in Trimester 2 but I am already thinking about taking that next step in looking for work in the digital agency space. I am a little unsure how I go about getting my foot in the door given I haven’t worked in the industry, although on the other hand I have a lot of work experience behind me and I have a lot to offer.
Now all I need is someone willing to give me a chance. I am eager to get started and learn all of the practical job experience and putting what I have learnt in to practice. I am confident that I will prove myself; so I am just going to put that out in to the universe and hope that the right opportunity comes along.
I am also super excited about another course I have signed up for through a company that I am obsessed with called The Digital Picnic. The course is their Social Media Manager School, it kicks off next month and I cannot wait to get started. I love everything they do and their CEO Cherie is an unknowing mentor to me…ha ha. That sounds a bit stalkerish but I honestly respect and admire her and the company is goals. If you don’t already follow them on social media you should because the advice and authenticity they offer is hard to come by. I’ll make it easy for you and link their insta here.
So that’s a little look back on the last few months, it went by a lot quicker than I thought it would. This year has both dragged and gone incredibly fast at the same time, hard to believe we are more than halfway through.
I don’t know what the rest of the year holds but I am really excited to start working in a career that I am passionate about. I’ll keep you posted…
I don’t know about you but being the social media enthusiast that I am, I have downloaded many an app with a barely a thought to the permission and access I am granting to my life and information.
To me it is as simple as if I want to use their platform, I need to agree to their terms and conditions. Obar and Oeldorf-Hirsch (2020, p.129) refer to the saying ‘I agree to these terms and conditions’ as the biggest lie on the internet. I would have to agree, I know that I am guilty of not taking the time to read them over. I was curious to know what the general consensus was and took the question to twitter. You can see the results in the poll below.
Obar and Oeldorf-Hirsch (2020, p.140) also go on to say that when people do read the policies, they usually only remain on the page long enough to scroll to the accept button.
What some people may not realise is when you click on agree you are giving those apps permission to use your content as well as your data. Troni (2020) suggests that social media is the Holy Grail for marketers.
In this thoroughly 21st Century communications channel, old notions of privacy simply do not apply; sharing personal information, experiences, and opinions is the whole point of the service. And, wonder of wonders, consumers don’t only provide it willingly—they provide it for free!
Naomi Troni (2020)
Obviously there are sometimes cause for concern in regards to your privacy and sometimes we see a particular platform end up on the news. Recently there has been plenty of coverage around Tik Tok. Tik Tok has become widely popular with over 800 Million users and is expected to rise to over a Billion this year. It is used for a variety of content creation with many users becoming viral sensations. It was a recent conversation with a friend online that caused me to dig a little deeper. Below is a brief video I have made on the subject, I would love to hear what you think about it all.
We are aware that certain apps ask for permission to access our phones data, like our photos or audio, what you may not be aware of is that the information is being shared with companies you didn’t sign up for.
Warzel (2019) advises that when you enter into the contract, you are also exposing your sensitive information to dozens of other companies. With each app potentially leaking your data to 5-10 other apps.
This is done through something called an SDK (Software Development Kit), before reading that article I had never even heard of an SDK. It is a set of software tools and programs used by developers to create an app. So rather than having to build parts of the code for their software from scratch they use existing SDKs, which in turn gives the companies that own the SDKs access to your data.
Binns et al (2018, p.3) advises that third-party companies gain access to our data as a result of integrating into first party apps and websites, with the concern being that the more websites and apps that integrate those same third party entities the greater the tracking power becomes for them to access a wider range of our personal information.
Social media is what you make of it, the choice is yours whether you are comfortable or not in using it knowing that your data is a commodity. That is the price we pay to use these platforms freely in the first place.
In saying that, I found a quote that is great food for thought.
Remember if the product is free, the product is you.
Ray Shaw (2019)
I am happy to offer up my data if it means that I get to use the platforms to connect with my friends and family. If what that entails results in some targeted advertising, then target away. Although I don’t know who else finds it eerie when you have a conversation with someone about a specific topic only to then be shown ads online for that very same thing. It is a running joke that our phones are listening to us, but they totally are.
Everyone will have an opinion on social media but given that I intend to make a career in that field, I am very much on the pro side. It offers us entertainment, an escape, connection and a service. Just be sure that you are going in to it eyes open and fully informed, do your research and follow what feels right for you.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject, feel free to leave me a comment below or come and say hi on social media (links are on the home page). I am always up for a thought provoking discussion, hope to connect with you soon.
Binns, R Zhao, J Van Kleek, M and Shadbolt, N 2018, ‘Measuring Third-party Tracker Power across Web and Mobile’ ACM Trans. Internet Technol. 18, 4, Article 2018, pp.1-22 https://doi.org/10.1145/3176246
Obar, J and Oeldorf-Hirsch, A 2020, ‘The biggest lie on the Internet: ignoring the privacy policies and terms of service policies of social networking services’, Information, Communication & Society, 23:1, 128-147, DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2018.1486870 To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2018.1486870
I have never attempted to make a podcast before, however my university assessment called for it and I set out in my attempt to learn how to do it.
I encountered some difficulties along the way, such as trying to find copyright free music to use in my podcast. I’m going to try and save you the trouble should you ever choose to start your own podcast; my lecturer shared a site that has royalty free music that you can use. You can find that here, it should hopefully make life easier and there is a plethora of different genres/songs to choose from.
The next challenge was learning a new software to edit my podcast, there are so many options to choose from, but I went with the recommendation of my lecturer and downloaded Audacity. It is free to download but not the simplest of programs and will likely take a bit of playing around and watching tutorials to figure it out.
I’m also not set up with proper equipment, so I did the best with what I had (the voice recorder on my phone). Finding a quiet place to record and not be interrupted proved to be another challenge. It is really important to try and record nice clean audio without any distortion or background noise.
You can check out a tweet I did below trying my best to offer some tips based off my experience and what I learnt when making this podcast.
That’s the technical stuff out the way; the next and most important element is the content. My topic is to do with the use of digital media in education. There has never been a more relevant time than now when we are turning to online sources to educate ourselves. Not only in the traditional sense such as school and university but in a myriad of ways of learning something new. The future, in my humble opinion, is leaning to an overwhelming amount of choice in the digital space. The knowledge available to anyone with an internet connection is almost infinite.
Lastly you need somewhere to host the audio, we were advised to upload our podcast onto Soundcloud, they allow you to upload up to 180 mins for free before you would need to upgrade to a pro account. Setting up the account was straightforward; I created the header image for the background and uploaded the logo I had previously created as my profile pic. If you want your podcast to be accessible across various listening platforms you will need to add it to an RSS feed. If you end up using Soundcloud I have sourced a handy how to article here.
I would love to get your feedback on how you think it turned out, so I have included it for your listening pleasure below.
Glenn, M 2008, ‘The future of higher education: How technology will shape learning’, Austin, Texas, The New Media Consortium, p.4, Retrieved April 29, 2020 from www.learntechlib.org/p/182088/
Network Support, n.d., ‘How Can Teachers Use Digital Media to Improve Teaching and Learning?’, Professional Learning Board, retrieved 5th May 2020, https://bit.ly/2L5x2ws
Rajabalee, B. Y, Santally, M. I and Rennie, F 2020 ‘A study of the relationship between students’ engagement and their academic performances in an eLearning environment’, E-Learning and Digital Media, 17(1), pp. 1–20. doi: 10.1177/2042753019882567
Sobko, S, Unadkat, D, Adams, J and Hull, G 2020 ‘Learning through collaboration: A networked approach to online pedagogy’, E-Learning and Digital Media, 17(1), pp. 36–55, doi: 10.1177/2042753019882562
I was reflecting on my decision regarding setting up my social accounts under a ‘brand/business’ name instead of my actual name. It honestly hadn’t occurred to me to set everything up as Keshena. It wasn’t that I was trying to hide my identity, in fact quite the opposite, I want people to know who I am.
I immediately knew that I wanted to create a brand that would continue beyond university and into my future. I wanted this to be the beginning of my new career. Even though I didn’t use my name, it is all still very much me.
I wasn’t overly aware of personal branding, however, that is exactly what I have been doing online for many years now. Every interaction and piece of content I have shared online has been collectively forming part of my personal brand. Whether that has been intentional or not, both the good and the bad.
Smith and Watson (2014, p.79) suggests that we curate ourselves online, creating a multimedia CV that represents us as a brand. Marketing our narrative through social media platforms, sharing our stories and personalities.
I would hope that if you were to do an audit of my social media accounts and online presence that you would find that my message of kindness, creativity and inspiration has been an ongoing theme (you will also find that I love a good cup of coffee). These traits are ingrained into who I am as an individual and form part of my core values.
Perhaps the most significant reason why personal branding is important for creative professionals is that there is now so much more competition, and with that has come a greater need to stand out from the crowd.
(Kelly, 2017 p.54)
I am only too aware of the vast amount of competition that exists out there and if I want to succeed then I need to build a name for myself and showcase who I am and what I have to offer.
When I first set everything up, I didn’t go into it with a brand mentality and a specific look and feel in mind. Although it was still very much me, the profile picture I first created was pink and gold glitter. I could never pick something plain or boring, that is just not my style.
You can see that the idea of a brand theme and colour scheme was starting to form when I created one of my first graphics, still showcasing my aesthetic and building upon it.
It wasn’t until our class started discussing our online identity’s that I started giving more consideration to myself as a personal brand and taking steps towards a more cohesive and curated version of that. I recently did a blog post further delving in to my branding that you can check out here.
If I consistently create and share content that is themed and in line with my brand and persona, the aim is that in time it will become synonymous with my personal brand.
“authenticity today is more accurately described as ‘calculated authenticity’—. . . stage management. The best way to sell yourself is to not appear to be selling yourself.”
(Pooley cited in Smith and Watson, 2014 p.75)
I would be lying if I said that what I am doing isn’t selling myself, I want to showcase my skills and put my best foot forward. I am conscious of what I share across the platforms and keeping the public and private versions separate.
I came across an article online recently about how to brand yourself that might be of interest, you can check that out here. I think it all begins with being mindful of your online presence and how you present yourself.
I decided to create my own info-graphic with some tips on Personal Branding, which I hope you find helpful.
If anything, I hope that talking about creating a personal brand might encourage you to consider what that might entail for you. It may be the catalyst for you to be more aware of what you are sharing and putting out into the world and how that may reflect on you in the future.
I’m not saying that you need to do what I did and create a logo or a brand theme, because at the end of the day it is more about the content and the message than about how it looks.
One of my goals is to inspire, I hope that in discussing my journey so far and how that has evolved could in some way spark something in you. Be sure to let me know your thoughts, leave me a comment or find me on social media.
All images on this site are my own unless otherwise specified.
Kelly, S 2017, Personal Branding for Entrepreneurial Journalists and Creative Professionals, Taylor & Francis Group, ON. Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central, retrieved 30th March 2020
Smith, S and Watson, J 2014, ‘Virtually Me: A Toolbox about Online Self Presentation’, in Poletti, A and Rak, J (eds.), Identity Technologies: Constructing the Self Online, The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, pp. 70-95, retrieved 15th March 2020
I don’t know about you, but I’ve recently come to realise that if I want to actively grow my brand, consistency is key.
What I mean by that is being mindful of the content you are creating across your social media platforms. I don’t have a highly curated feed over on my Instagram (although those can look amazing), however I am trying to share things that align with my brand. I almost want to put brand in captions because I don’t feel worthy of that description.
I am only a tiny blip on the internet but I have always kept in mind the fact that I want to expand on what I started and grow it to bigger and better things. It was only recently that I put more thought behind the branding.
I’m a creative person but I find it somewhat restrictive when you have to stick to a theme and certain fonts etc. I like to play around and create visuals that are exciting and interesting to me. I also understand that if I want to be more professional then I need to take it seriously.
Which means narrowing down on what my theme is and sticking with it (for the most part, I think I will still create the odd graphic that tickles my fancy). So I have spent the last few days coming up with what that looks like.
Here’s what I came up with…
This gives you an idea of what I am going for and my brand colours. I also made a logo and a header image for my soundcloud account (podcast to come, watch this space).
I’m a total novice and definitely no graphic designer but I am pretty proud of the above image, I created those icons myself using Illustrator. I’m also taking a design unit so I love that I can use those skills to benefit my social media and learning new skills as I go.
I am no expert (yet) merely reflecting on my own experiences as I go. The more I learn along the way the more wisdom I hope to impart.
I’ll leave you with this quote…
Branding demands commitment; commitment to continual re-invention; striking chords with people to stir their emotions; and commitment to imagination. It is easy to be cynical about such things, much harder to be successful.
Are you the same person online as you are offline? Or do you only tend to show the highlight reel of your life?
You wouldn’t be the only one guilty of wanting to curate the most flattering image of themselves online. You best believe that if a friend tagged me in a picture that made me look bad I would be untagging myself quick smart.
Social Media is a powerful tool for communicating with many different audiences; how we approach each platform depends on who you are communicating with. What I mean by that is, typically you would adopt a more professional approach on a platform such as Linked In as opposed to the more casual version of you that you present to friends and family on your private Facebook account (assuming that you have one of course).
We often hear ‘just be 100% yourself’ or ‘be authentic’ when it comes to advice for social media. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could hand on heart say that I am 100% myself online. I certainly don’t share pics of my crazy hair, no make-up self before I’ve even had my morning coffee…nobody needs to see that.
A good Snapchat filter is my friend, could it be a lack of confidence or it could be that I just don’t want an unflattering image of myself kicking about the interwebs. I am all for a good selfie, if you are feeling yourself you should document that.
I just wish that people wouldn’t compare their normal everyday lives with the highlight reel of someone else’s. We are all unique and finding your people online can be highly rewarding. There is a sense of community once you find your niche, people with similar interests etc.
The internet and social media is what you make of it, if you go looking in dark places and get sucked in to the drama it’s not going to be a good time. I personally try and spread a little kindness, the world needs more of that.
How we portray ourselves online is ultimately a part of us. William James, American philosopher and psychologist, suggested that our digital identity is somewhat split, with our various online personas leaving breadcrumbs of our core self.
I don’t see social media as the enemy or that it is destroying us but I did find the YouTube clip below interesting and worthy of sharing. I’d be curious to know your thoughts on it…?
Do you agree with the quote by Elon below, are people trying to make their lives look more interesting than they are?
‘People look like they have a much better life than they really do’
Who wouldn’t want to share an image like the one above, if you were sunning it up in Greece you would want to capture that moment and look back on those precious memories for years to come.
I do my best to be myself as much as I can be online, without overstepping…people don’t necessarily need to know every nitty gritty detail. But also bare in mind that once you share that photo, comment, tweet, it is out there for all to see. Try and think of the future and make sure you don’t do something that may come back to haunt you (teenagers take note: your future employer will Google you!).
Ultimately it is up to you how you appear online, you control the narrative of your own life (both online and off). If you want to share only the good, there’s no shame in that. Let’s all do our bit to be the good though too.
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite sayings: ‘spread kindness like confetti’. Yes, let’s!