Updated: Jul 17, 2018
I was super happy to receive a questionnaire from someone who I had e-met through Instagram. One of the reasons I love social media so much is that it provides channels for people to meet - who would otherwise not have had the opportunity to meet.
I thought I'd share it here in case anyone gets any value out of it.
This questionnaire was to be used for her final exam, and here were my answers.
1. Describe your work:
I'm a Social Media Marketing Consultant and Strategic Creative Director. I work alongside businesses to build full-rounded social media strategies which help them achieve their long-term and short term goals. I also facilitate guidance into their shift into the digital world being that this can be an overwhelming experience for long-standing, successful yet traditional businesses. On the other end, as a Creative Director, I am responsible for providing guidance when it comes to creative productions in Photography, Videography and written marketing campaigns dedicated to the digital space. I work alongside businesses and translate their goals and strategies to creatives who are responsible for media productions.
2. How did you get into this position?
I created it :) Initially, I wanted to work in corporate marketing as an employee, but as soon as I realized that social media was still a budding industry and had very few decision-makers (i.e. business owners, head-hunters) who understood what this space had to offer. So I started my own business, which was initially a social media marketing AGENCY, however, I soon realized that - again, there was a massive gap in service provision. Many other digital agencies and social media agencies lacked experience in the space, and needed an Advisor - which is ultimately what I do now. Therefore, I created this job role and title based on my existing tasks and my understanding of the lack of service providers in the industry.
3. How did you prepare for this position?
A lot of experience! What I do is quite unique and still new to the business community. However, I built my path based on my passions and my ultimate life goals. My passions were initially based in Writing, Photography and Videography. I used social media spaces to place my work on, and people would enjoy following my content. I started to learn social media technologies to understand how to move and shift with the changes. I then developed business skills by going to networking events and meeting experts in business development, finance, systems and administration. This helped me build my business base. I did not finish a degree in Business which is ironic! In the end, it's all worked out :)
4. What do you think are the skills needed for this position?
Creativity, Ability to take initiative, ability to see creative solutions to problems and challenges. STRONG communication skills (I work in distance from my clients and team members and require the ability to guide well-rounded, honest communication) and Adaptability.
5. Is attitude/values important in the workplace? Why?
HUGELY, Yes. My entire business, its growth and what it puts out is entirely based on strong values in positive impact towards people. My business is PEOPLE-centric - not client centric, or staff centric. In the end, we're all people and when we understand and have empathy for humans, growth happens organically. We align with the ideal clients by leading with our values. We have an optimistic attitude, and always perceive challenges with a can-do perspective.
6. In what particular aspect of your work did you find challenging? What did you do?
Starting from scratch and having ZERO business knowledge. Back in the day, I thought I knew what it took to start a business and grow it. But new processes and requirements kept on coming up as I evolved the business. For example, I created some specific processes around Social Media strategy. I worked really hard to create these items, and then I realized that in order for me to distribute them and have "intellectual property" rights on them, I had to work with a lawyer to have the "I.P." contracted. So any money which I earned from clients, had to keep going back into the business to help it grow in the right direction. What did I do? I had to learn how to make bold decisions and really sharpen my skills as a business owner through personal development and coaching. I learned that a lot of tough decisions needed to be made by myself, so I decided that the best way to deal with tough decisions is by being more self-aware. In short, I invested more into myself.
7. What is your advice to us future professionals?
Be easy on yourself, be open to learning. Understand your goals - your "big picture" goals, and understand short-term goals. Be firm on your goals, but be flexible on how you get there :) There are many roads to the same destination.
8. In what way can we be professionals in our work?
You can be a professional in your work by being open to continuous learning. The best way to grow as professional, in my opinion, is to embrace the way in which you will evolve as a human through your professional journey. When I was new in business, I spoke differently, I had different perceptions of what was important, I was hugely enthusiastic but lacked awareness around processes. Learn to be an expert in your field and evolve your expertise. Stay focused. Stay humble. And be patient.
9. Individual Reflection
I have a lot of gratitude for my journey. In so many ways, all I really wanted was to have freedom, be able to live through my passions and to make a positive impact on the world. I didn't always know "how to do stuff", but i stayed open and resilient. I always heard that "believing in yourself" was important. It was only through my business journey where I really realized how it is ALL ABOUT BELIEVING IN YOURSELF. There have been times that people didn't believe in my vision or my actions, but to be able to look introspectively into what's important to me, and how I can evolve my knowledge and practices to make sure that my visions stay clear, and the process is fluid, I had to stay humble. Without humility, there is no learning; without learning, there is no evolution. They said that the business journey was tough. I didn't believe them. And I'm glad I didn't believe them because if I did, I never would have embarked on this to begin with. I urge people to be fearless and to hone their ability to get up after they fall. That's all that I did - I got up when I fell, and then when I got up, I looked back to investigate what caused the fall so that I could prevent it again in the future. Yes, this has been a tough journey, but the level of happiness and fulfilment that I have in my life is immense; I wake up with purpose, and even on a "tough" or lazy day, I still get up and have contentment in what I do and what I have set for the day. Anyone can do this. If I can do this, anyone can do this. :)