Stop Stealing

As I look across social media, I see plenty of people who call themselves entrepreneurs/brands/creatives taking content from those who created it. I’m not talking about reposting content. That’s cool. Honestly, I love seeing my stuff shared and reposted, especially by people I’ve never met. And, sure, I like being tagged in those instances but that doesn’t always happen, so I’m cool with that. What should never happen is my watermarks being removed from my work and the same goes for any artist. We’re not out here putting our time into creating branded work for the brand to be erased. We’re creating content for exposure so that we can live sustainable lifestyles putting quality out for the world. But, when I look at some profiles and see work that has obviously been cropped so that the poster can seem that much deeper or more talented than (s)he is, I lose some respect for that person. And, if I like some content that I see has been cropped, I at least work to find the original. That’s the least I can do to show appreciation to the creator. We’re too old to take stuff we didn’t come up with and try taking credit for it.

Grow up.

 

Make giving credit where credit is due.

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What Do They See?

I’m not advocating that you have a professional photo shoot every time you dress up. But if, in 2017, your LinkedIn profile photograph looks like it was taken on a Motorola RAZR, I’m going to need you to update it. The same is true for a résumé or a cover letter or a blog. If it doesn’t look like it was professionally done, you won’t look professional.

Right or wrong, these days as much emphasis is placed on how someone looks as is on what they know. So, whether we’re talking about the layout of your résumé or the aesthetic appeal of your brand’s Instagram content, employers and potential clients will always judge you based on the way you look online before they ever meet you off line.

Make sure you’re presenting yourself in the most intentional manner possible, while paying attention to whether or not your look aligns with what your target market is looking for. And, if you’re having a tough time doing that, reach out to me or someone else who takes their brand seriously. I’m definitely here as a resource.

 

Make professional development a priority.

Your Brand is Looking Hazy

So you want to start a blog… or a clothing line… or a consulting firm. Cool. But what sets you apart? I see screen printed tees every day with logos that are only slightly different than what I could find on Instagram. How are you special? If you’re going to brand yourself, brand yourself. Don’t replicate someone else. Improve upon the foundation that they’ve set. Add value. No one in the history of the earth has ever been a bonafide original but, in order to establish something you can call your own, it has to be different. And, if you want to be more than a flash in the pan, it should be both different and of high quality.

What sets you apart? What gives you an edge on the competition? If you can’t answer these satisfactorily, maybe you should figure it out before taking any more steps.

 

Make professional development a priority.

Wear Dreams

“I don’t wear clothes. I wear dreams.” — D. A. Daniels, Jr.

Develop a style. A style of your own. A style that, though cognizant of contemporary fashion norms, is nowhere near restricted to them. Allow your style to be timeless, not just timely.

I see people I work with every week outside of work settings. They shop at my grocery store. We go to the same park. They’re members at the same Costco. And, whether they see me at the gym or the movies or out on the town for a night, though my clothes may change, my style is proprietary. It is a part of my brand. It can be imitated but I have yet to see it replicated. Can the same be said about you?

 

Make professional development a priority.

The Necessity of #InstagramStories

Yes, Instagram did take Snapchat’s idea. I posted about it on Friday. That’s old news. And, really, it’s none of our business. Sure, it sucks for Snapchat but how can you, as a business/brand, leverage this to your benefit?

I’ll tell you, my personal Instagram is going to be pretty story-less. I dig Snapchat because I (feel like I) have more privacy there. But, when it comes to building a brand, privacy isn’t what you want. So @DanDailyReader on IG will be posting something to stories pretty frequently. More often, it will be lifestyle than the hard rules that relate to professional development but still, it will be content that is engaging and relevant. Snapchat just wasn’t the platform for me to do that. Sure, I promoted the brand but it wasn’t brand-centric. Instagram stories, however, can and will be. So make sure you’re following @DanDailyReader on Instagram (and same handle Twitter as well, since we’re at it). Take advantage of this horrible situation for Snapchat (though I don’t see it shortening the lifespan of Snap too much. Maybe it’s growth but those of us who liked it before will probably keep liking it {until Instagram gets some better filters. Then Snapchat may have a problem or twenty.}.).  <– I need to look those parentheses up to see if I placed all punctuation correctly. You should too. It’s always a good time to learn.

 

Make professional development a priority.

A Bit of Polish Goes A Long Way

I was born into a generation where folks believe that what you see is what you get.  I’m here to refute that.  Stop being OK with mistakes.  Yes, they happen but, if you can fix them, do it.

I was looking at an acquaintance’s social media account the other day.  The person wrote something along the lines of “These Are tough days In america. No one knows Which way is up.”  Now, this is a degree-holding adult with no understanding of where to place capital letters.  Or, worse, it may be that she just doesn’t care.

Now, on to the next example: Recently, a gentleman reached out to me on LinkedIn.  I didn’t know him from a stranger on the street but, sometimes a person’s profile will intrigue me enough to accept the invitation to connect.  Sadly, his did not.  Immediately, I saw that his profile photograph was scanned in, poorly cropped, and discolored.  Additionally, the positions he listed on his profile didn’t align with my professional goals.  All in all, there was nothing that made me say “It would behoove me to connect with this fellow.”  A polished profile may have done that though.

I’ll put it this way: Shoes are made to serve a functional purpose, but the unpolished shoe won’t get you past the interview.  The same applies to your presence online; it serves a purpose but, if the purpose it serves is unintentional and lazy in nature, you won’t get past Point A.

 

Make professional development a priority.