Welcome to our new career section; Careers Under the Spotlight. In this modern world, with things changing at a fast pace some roles are becoming permanently redundant and new jobs, careers we had never even heard of, are not only springing up, they offer exciting, fulfilling, rewarding opportunities.
Is this the career for you?
It is a new concept, based on relationship building, being authentic, transparent, providing information, being helpful and useful and developing a personal presence.
* set up your social media accounts
* create and distribute content, listen to your customers
* identify new partners
* build your networks and
* find out what your competitors are up to
Being accessible through social media network channels is as important as having a website and a phone number.
I chose this as a career because I love that social media has the potential to create so many fantastic partnerships and make the world a better place.
It is such a baby industry, so it is great to be pioneering and leading the way in the UK. There is so much potential.
It is not always easy. People don't fully understand how it works and those who do not understand the new paradigm but want to be part of it can be difficult clients. For example, old school marketers and sales people can be very tricky to work with. The last thing you want to do is become a spam merchant which is what you will be if you try to advertise at people rather than building relationships.
A large part of what we do is educating and convincing clients to abandon old ways and be patient.
Social Media takes effort and does not result in instant sales, although it can result in spontaneous partnerships and contracts and projects. It can be time consuming and overwhelming and frustrating when everything changes so fast. The biggest challenge is working out how to measure the success of your efforts beyond return of investment and how you will be paid.
In our experience, you can be paid in two ways: One is by the hour or project (we charge £40 an hour) or the other way is joint venturing where you take a share of the profits. This is hard at the beginning but can lead to financial freedom. The second way involves contracting the time consuming bits out to someone else and managing the strategy and the important relationship building yourself. So there is no standard yet as far as salary goes, there are all kinds of offers out there and it is such a young industry. Someone offered me a job for £23,000 a year, which I thought was a total joke after all the learning and training I have done and the long hours of working things out. I also realise that I have an expertise in a new industry and there are a lot of businesses looking for help.
The best way to get started is to roll your sleeves up and learn. We have put together a training course aimed at people who want to start. It is geared towards beginners and businesses who want to do it for themselves. University courses are available, but not able to keep up with the speed at which everything changes, so I think an apprenticeship style of learning is much more beneficial. The university courses are however excellent for teaching the technical and IT aspects and also there will be many opportunities opening up in the media world.
At the moment YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are the big 4 and your blog is key too. You may also need a website but Facebook Pages are taking this role lately. I think the next big thing will be location based marketing and I think 4 Square will be the next big buzz.