The other day, I brought up the term ‘the digital creative’s brand state’ during a debate on social media presence and I received nothing but blank looks from everyone. “What is this ‘brand state’ you are talking about?” asked my somewhat tipsy friend. The answer to his question inspired the article you are about to read.
This is not an official term but more of an easy way for me to categorise the topic of creatives and their social media state. Either they are not on it enough or on it too much. You know who I’m talking about, that brilliant photographer you met over the weekend and would like to use for your upcoming wedding but he is nowhere to be found online. Or the copywriter who you follow on Twitter for professional reasons, but all he does is tweet about how much he hates his ex-girlfriend and how to down a litre of beer without gagging.
These types of creative are all too common and if you’re going “huh?”, I’m probably talking about you. What is the state of your social media portfolio? The answer can make or break your next business deal. Yes I know, your awards do all the speaking for you, but in the words of all models out there “that’s so 2005” *flick my hair and pout*.
Social media profiles are not personal diaries, they are the first impression seen by potential clients, customers and employers. Teenagers and equally delinquent celebrities may get away with controversial social media profiles, but as professionals we put a permanent stain on our brands when we put our laundry out for the world to see.
Facebook’s new timeline feature has been said to be the new personal digital CV and this should be a big concern for all of us creatives as we party too hard and get tagged in the most awkward situations. This feature is able to expose every dumb thing you’ve done since joining the network. Tweets are equally as incriminating; a simple Google search may pop up a drunken tweet from Saturday. Now add all of this up and think from a recruiter or a potential client’s point of view – what would your first impression be?
Then there is the creative who is too cool to go digital. I’m sorry but you’re not, all you are doing is running in the rat race without legs. A client who can’t see you can’t hire you. The interweb gives you the opportunity to show off and be seen. Besides being noticed, clients need to see how tech-savvy you are and not having a Twitter account is the first step to failing that test.
So, what am I saying?
You should have full control of ‘your digital creative brand state’. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be yourself, in fact if you are not yourself, it will show – big time. Talk the way you talk, have a good laugh and do all the stuff you do in real life, which is not swearing at Jim because he is a Nonhle fan.
And if you are not on the platforms, get on them. Tweet when you can or share a link every now and again. Start a blog, have a fan page for your work, just make sure you are findable. Make sure we are not forced to pull out that dusty, primitive book, what’s it called again? Oh yes – the Yellow Pages.