Become Your Own Influencer

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019|

Social media influencers are changing the way we think about marketing. You don’t need fancy vacations or five-course meals to make use of the concepts behind influencer marketing. As a creative professional, the success of influencers can inspire you to build your personal brand, increase your network and reach, and find better professional opportunities.

Know Your Niche

As a creative professional, the more specifically you define yourself, the more you will stand out. This means honing a concrete elevator pitch and choosing a niche within your industry. “An easy way to select your niche is to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses,” says digital marketing consultant Shane Barker. “Choose a niche that allows you to showcase your strengths and hone your skills further. Deciding on a particular niche will help you streamline your audience and tailor your content to suit their preferences.”

Develop a Content Strategy

Once you’re clear on who you are, you can create content that reflects your skills and values and establishes your presence and authority in your industry and community. Your content strategy can encompass your design portfolio, your social media activity, blogging, video, or anything else that gets your message out and makes others aware of what you do. To become more influential, treat yourself like a small media company, and be thoughtful and deliberate about what sort of content you put out and how it aligns with your brand.

Choose Your Channels

There are many digital channels available, with more emerging all the time. Rather than trying to use them all, it’s better to choose a few you enjoy the most and are best for transmitting your work. If you’re a visual designer, you’ll want to use video or image-based channels to showcase your aesthetic sensibilities. If you’re a copywriter, you can publish articles on LinkedIn or use Twitter to test your concepts, slogans, and taglines. Newer channels can present unusual opportunities for those on the cutting edge.

Keep It Consistent

Your choice of channels is less important than your commitment to show up and stick with them. To build influence, you should be willing to put out a steady stream of content, provide value for your audience, and pursue continuous growth and improvement. With social media, being “always-on” can be a challenge; automation software can help, allowing you to create lots of posts in one sitting and parcel them out over time.

Engage and Grow

If you persist, iterate, and keep putting your best self forward, don’t be surprised to see your influence grow over time. As your work touches people’s lives and new opportunities present themselves, be sure to engage with those who support you. The ability to develop a worldwide professional network and work out your ideas with a supportive audience in real-time is perhaps the most rewarding perk of being an influencer, even if it’s just in your small corner of the world.

At Artisan Creative, we help creative professionals find new ways to enrich their portfolios, networks, and careers. Contact Artisan today to learn more.

Job Hunting Best Practices

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019|

When attempting to move up in creative careers, especially when switching fields, job seekers are haunted by one perennial frustration: it can be hard to get experience when you don’t already have experience.

Hiring managers and creative recruiters gravitate toward candidates who already have proven track records and know how to navigate the responsibilities that come with new opportunities. If you’re angling for a job or a career in an area in which your prior work history is not applicable or sufficient there are steps you can take to compensate for a lack of relevant professional experience. Career coach Martin McGovern suggests three moves that can open new opportunities that you may not be able to get with your CV alone.

Side Hustles

“Let’s say you want to be a copywriter at a food publication,” says McGovern. “Don’t wait for them to hire you before you start writing about food. Create your own food blog and get to work. I have a close friend who was able to break into the highest reaches of the culinary world through strategic use of Instagram, blogging, email marketing, and outreach. Give yourself permission to do the work and others will be clamoring to work with you.”

Developing a side hustle in your field of choice is a great way to choose yourself, explore your passions, and show potential future employers and colleagues what you can do. If you properly manage your schedule, you can usually pursue some freelance work without sacrificing your day job.

Meetups

“Recently, I had a student who really wanted to work in sportstech as a web developer,” McGovern says. “So he started a sportstech meetup. Instantly, 35 people joined the group. He was able to leverage this to reach out to CEOs from his favorite companies and ask them to speak at the first event. After the event, they came up to him and asked if he was looking for an internship, which allowed him to completely circumvent the whole job search process.”

Meetup groups are an excellent way to engage with your professional community, broaden your own horizons, and unearth the sorts of opportunities that may not readily present themselves through Google searches. Spending time with successful peers can also help you become fluent in the language of your chosen industry, which can be an enormous help in tailoring your resume and maximizing your social media presence.

You can look for interesting communities in your area on Meetup.com, or attend a lecture from Creative Mornings. If you can’t find the right group, start your own. You may be surprised at how many like minds you find.

Professional Organizations

“Most cities have professional organizations for your line of work and they are always in need of help,” McGovern says. “Sign up, go to their events, volunteer, and join the board! This will show you are ambitious, forward thinking, part of the community, and knowledgeable in your desired field.”

Local creative communities tend to be particularly well served by professional organizations. For designers, there’s AIGA. Marketing professionals have the AMA with many other local alternatives. For those on the creative side of the technology world, exciting organizations such as World IA Day can always use volunteer help, providing ample opportunities in return to tap into your skills and make life-changing professional connections.

Whatever your current level of experience, you can always find creative ways to improve yourself and build a career you love. At Artisan Creative, we help creative professionals make the most of their many opportunities. Contact Artisan today to get started.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 537th issue of the a.blog

Emphasize Responsibilities vs. Job Titles

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019|

A job title is a noun. In terms of your professional life, it is what you are. If you want to unlock more opportunities, level up in your creative career, and maybe even feel better about yourself, we suggest thinking in verbs and focusing less on what you are and more on what you do.

When you’re reworking your creative resume or embarking on a new creative job search, it may benefit you to place less emphasis on the job titles you’ve held and more on the responsibilities you upheld. Go beyond the title and get to the real story.

Let’s Be Clear

Silicon Valley startup culture – with all its innovations, disruptions, and eccentricities – has been a big influence on the culture of work for over a decade. As part of its subversion of old corporate power structures, it created enormous fiscal wealth, along with a wealth of strange and often blatantly inflated new job titles, as many Senior Road Warrior Marketing Interns and Wizards of Lightbulb Moments might attest.

The most extreme (lampooned well on HBO) are now running their course, leaving a lot of these Chief Thought Providers and Digital Overlords struggling to explain what it was they actually did.

Specificity kills ambiguity. Even if you’ve had some odd job titles in the past, you can strengthen your resume by emphasizing your day-to-day activities, larger objectives, and concrete contributions. Show your solid skills and concentrated work ethic. Eliminate jargon and explain your work in the most literal terms you can think of.

If you’re having trouble with this, work with an experienced creative recruiter to rephrase your resume and highlight real accomplishments that hiring managers will understand.

Quantify Accomplishments

When you write about your responsibilities, show that you took them seriously by connecting to the results you generated.

If you were in charge of a campaign or a project, be sure to mention its goals and how you achieved them. Especially if you delivered it in three days ahead of time or 25% below the requested budget, or with results that exceeded expectations by a factor of four. (Specific numbers and metrics, if applicable, are always good.)

Share Your Journey

Since our early days, humans have made sense of reality through storytelling and the metaphor of travel. Your resume should suggest a narrative arc, a journey from there, to here, to the next opportunity you’re angling for.

You can use classic story structures to show how you overcame adversity, built on your past experiences and achievements, and evolved. This will make it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to picture you in a new position that represents a logical progression.

When your terminology is clear and purposeful, your career can be grand and glorious, and you can conjure many more lightbulb moments into watershed moments.

At Artisan Creative, we help creative professionals surpass their own expectations. Contact us today to learn more.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 535th issue of our a.blog.

Storytelling and Interviewing

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019|

If you’ve spent any slice of time searching for a job, you’ve probably experienced this. At some point in a typical job interview, often right at the top, your interviewer will say, “tell me about yourself.”

Technically, this isn’t a question, it’s a prompt. It puts you on the spot. It can be intimidating!

However, with the right preparation – along with dashes of confidence, enthusiasm, and self-awareness – “tell me about yourself” can be your opportunity to shine.

In preparation for this inevitable inquiry, here are a few ideas to keep in mind.

Tell Your Story

Intrigue your interviewer, engage their interest, and make them want to learn more about you – make use of your storytelling skills. Go on a journey, from the moment you realized your professional passion, through the experiences that honed your skills, to the conversation at hand and the opportunity currently in front of you. Explain how you’ve grown and evolved, and share anecdotes that support your big idea (e.g., “I’m curious,” “I’m an enthusiastic collaborator,” or “I’m a shameless data geek.”). Some classic storytelling structures used by great writers can serve as outlines for your own tale of inspiration, perseverance, and success.

Show Some Personality

Refer to your hobbies and the unique life experiences you’ve had. If it seems appropriate, you can even sprinkle in a bit of self-effacing humor. With the human element in play, the “tell me about yourself” portion of your interview can help you stand out and determine whether you’ll be a match for this team and its culture.

Specificity Kills Ambiguity

When you can, talk about your experience in terms of quantifiable accomplishments. “I had a job in digital marketing” makes less of an impression than “I led a Facebook ad campaign that grew my company’s email list by 300% in Q1 of 2019.” Similarly, when you talk about your personal qualities, use pictures, sounds, and feelings – this will give you an edge over competing candidates who lean on vague generalities, superlatives, and played-out jargon.

Cut to the Chase

You should avoid rambling and be able to comfortably wrap up your answer within 60-90 seconds. For practice, write out your answer, read it aloud, and cut anything that’s awkward or inessential. To get things moving quickly, hook your interviewer with your very first sentence.

Make It Relevant

“Always relate your answer directly to the job in question,” says Coach Tracy of The Career Launcher. “Tie your answer directly to the mission of the role and the challenges that typically are dealt with by job holders, and try to differentiate yourself with evidence of your skills for the job.”

Your interviewers want to be convinced that you’re right, as they need to know you’re the perfect match for this particular job. Whenever you tell your story, include variations each time to align with the details of the job description, the specific needs of the company, and how your skills and experience apply to the opportunity you’re applying for.

Spin the Table

Career coach Liz Ryan introduces “spinning the table,” a sophisticated method for transitioning out of your own story and into the substance of the interview, specifically your interviewer’s pain points, which you can then address. Answer your interviewer’s question, then ask them a question in turn. “You aren’t asking questions just for fun,” says Ryan. “You want to find out what the job is really about… You want to find out where the pain is because once you’ve got the hiring manager talking about their pain, the conversation can go to a completely different place.”

At Artisan Creative, we place creative, marketing and digital talent with the companies and opportunities that will give them a chance to do their best work and live their best lives. Contact us today and let our a.team find your dream team.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 534th issue of the a.blog.

Cool Job Perks

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019|

Whatever you do for a living, you’ll be spending a good amount of time on it. Thus, it’s important to choose jobs, gigs, and careers that are aligned with your values, your strengths, your goals, as well as with your sense of adventure and fun.

When you’re job hunting or looking for a new creative career, simply picking an opportunity with the largest salary attached may not lead to as much happiness as you might be expecting. Take some time to look at the whole picture, including job perks that will make your job and the workplace you’ll be spending 8+ hours a day in uniquely welcoming and rewarding. And, if you run a business and you’re hiring talent, consider offering enticing and unusual job perks to help attract the right team that can take your entity to the next level.

Here are a few job perks to consider, from the common to the quirky, to the cool.

Flextime: The ritual of working regular shifts Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 5:00, is based on an old industrial model of workplace efficiency that is not necessarily applicable or useful for all modern businesses. Flextime gives workers and their managers the opportunity to collaborate and create slightly offbeat schedules that may better accommodate the circumstances and needs of everyone involved.

Remote Work: As the capabilities of workplace technology improve exponentially, entirely remote teams will become more and more common. It’s how we’ve been working at Artisan Creative since 2009, and for us (and a lot of our clients), it’s working quite well.

Unlimited Vacations: American workers are notorious for their relative lack of long vacations, but things may be changing. Some top companies are no longer doling out small allotments of PTO and sick time and are switching to something more like an honor system, granting their employees full freedom to vacation as they will and trusting them to do so responsibly.

Fitness & Health Perks: Many employers are becoming more focused on the overall health and wellness of their talent, providing yoga sessions, bikes and other perks that help them feel good and develop good habits, inside and outside of work.

Dry Cleaning: Hate doing laundry? Need to be spotless and wrinkle-free for client meetings and presentations? Consider a job that will steam your pants and tumble-dry your whites, on the house.

Nap Rooms: Naptime may have felt like punishment in kindergarten. Now as a hardworking adult, you could probably use some R&R on the clock. More companies are providing small sanctuaries for meditation, contemplation, or simply catching a few Zs.

Life Coaching: At Artisan, we believe creating the right career is about aligning all aspects of life to orient yourself toward your true values. So we’re entirely in favor of getting a gentle push from a qualified life coach, especially when it’s part of your job.

Ax-Throwing Lessons: Then again, some people need more aggressive catharsis than others. If you want to release some tension and be prepared to kill your own food if necessary, there are job perks out there for you, as well.

Together with our top talent and world-class clients, we’re helping to shape the workplace of the future. Contact Artisan Creative today and discover better ways to work.

We hope you enjoy the 522nd issue of our a.blog.

 

 

The California Job Market

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019|

California is home to the world’s fifth-largest economy, worth nearly $3 trillion per year. Much of its economic activity is based around Greater Los Angeles (the entertainment capital of the world) and the San Francisco Bay Area (home base of the tech industry).

If you’re building your career in design, technology, or a creative field – or you’re launching or expanding a business of your own – which of these two world-class cultural nodes is a better fit for your skills, goals, and temperament?

San Francisco: All Hands on Tech

The Bay Area served as the cradle for the personal computing revolution of the 1970s, the popularization of the World Wide Web in the ’90s, and the current dominance of giant Silicon Valley corporations such as Google, Apple, and Facebook in global commerce, communication, and culture. It’s the place where engineers and entrepreneurs first fully embraced the world-shifting potential of connected gadgets.

With record-low unemployment and plenty of San Francisco open jobs, designers, developers, marketers, and other tech-savvy creatives are still feeling the love in SF, even as the city deals with staggeringly expensive… well, everything, especially housing. The city has its problems, and it will need its best minds to put their heads together and think up unprecedented solutions – and that’s what the Bay does best.

Fresh opportunities arise at the intersections of tech with other emerging fields, and the tight-knit cultural communities of SF are ideal for the formation of these sorts of symbiotic relationships.

“The Bay Area has a history of bohemianism and sophistication that is now melding with a technology-driven culture,” says author and economic geographer Michael Storper, in conversation with urban studies theorist Richard Florida. “One hopes that the Bay Area will not become a one-horse town, but will retain the mix of culture, criticism, eccentricity, and hard-driving entrepreneurship that has made it so dynamic for so long.”

Los Angeles: The Show Must Grow On

Since the beginnings of film, LA has led the world in entertainment. Now, that’s creating new opportunities in technology and content as tools change, economic power shifts, and showbiz dramatically evolves.

“We’re going through a renaissance at the moment because of the growth of entertainment and content,” says CBRE vice chairman Jeff Pion, in a Curbed exploration of LA’s growth in tech. “There’s a merging of tech and entertainment, and content is king at the moment. The potential for harnessing the existing entertainment workforce in LA immediately is incredible… Five years ago, a founder who wanted to keep their company in LA would get a lot of questions. Today, it’s like, why do I need to be anywhere else?”

Bay Area beasts such as Google and Facebook have bustling offices in Silicon Beach, as well. And SoCal is home to its own thriving breed of tech unicorns. With its deliberate and widely supported efforts to improve mass transit, build more affordable housing, and mitigate the stifling effects of its legendary urban sprawl, LA city is rising to the challenges of changing times. Los Angeles open jobs are more interesting and diverse than ever before.

“LA has had some hard economic times, but there is no doubt that it is an increasingly worldly city with an effervescent artistic and intellectual culture,” says Storper. What LA needs is to harness these advantages to better fundamentals: better and denser leadership structures, more connectedness among economic communities, more employment density, better basic education, and a focus on skills.”

Golden State of Mind

Los Angeles and San Francisco are both changing landscapes. Creative professionals and business leaders in both cities are defying outmoded stereotypes to nurture new ideas, build new communities, and help determine the futures of the places they love.

There’s much more to LA than great food and warm weather. And SF isn’t just for hippies and geeks.

Artisan Creative has many years of experience in the San Francisco and Los Angeles markets. We’re immersed in their communities, we pay attention to changes, and we see new opportunities as they emerge. Contact us today to start building your own California dream.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our 515th a.blog.

Using CE to Boost Your CV

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019|

Technology is changing the world continuously, and the world of business is changing with it. To seize the best creative professional opportunities, it’s increasingly necessary to adopt the posture of a lifelong learner. You may choose to go back to school to supplement your education or become an avid and engaged student at the school of life.

As a creative professional, updating your Curriculum Vitae (CV) at regular intervals is a must. Make sure that, when that time comes, you have useful and fascinating things to add. Here are four quick pointers on how to take advantage of an increasing array of opportunities for continuing education.

Get Schooled

Graduate programs, trade schools, and boot camps provide opportunities to immerse yourself in acquiring new knowledge and skills. You can also build your network by working closely and in person with teachers, mentors, and peers. If you have the time, money, and bandwidth to devote to it, this sort of continuing education can supply you with Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or certifications that can enhance your next career advancement.

School Yourself

If you want to save time and money, and you have the self-discipline required for distance learning, the internet provides a rich bounty of opportunities to engage with any subject you can imagine. Skillshare, Teachable, Khan Academy, and LinkedIn Learning are just a few of the platforms that provide substantial continuing education online. Through Coursera, university-level courses are available with the support of many higher learning institutions. Anyone interested in professional growth can easily explore the vast and expanding landscape of modern e-learning.

Participate in Your Community

Classes, networking events, professional associations, and volunteer work opportunities in your area can help you get the lay of the land, find out where your passions intersect with market demands, meet people who can help you find the right opportunities for success, and build your resume, portfolio, and CV. Stay informed, so you have interesting things to say. Look around and ask yourself, “how can I help?” With a positive attitude towards service, you’ll establish yourself and build strong alliances soon enough.

Ask Your Creative Recruiter

The benefits of working with creative recruiters include access to resources, inside information, actionable insight, and opportunities for training, testing, skill-building, and peer interaction. At Artisan Creative, we have decades of experience in professional self-actualization, and we know how to help you build a resume and develop the body of work that best suit you. If you want some more oomph in your CV, contact Artisan today.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 507th issue of the a.blog.

 

Workplace Trends in 2019

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019|

Every day new talent enters the workforce, with new skills, new experiences, and even new expectations. Various industries will become more diverse, others will hang on as long as they can before they disappear. Innovations in technology will impact our careers and our lives.

A new year brings new changes. Existing currents will strengthen, fade, or continue. Here are five trends that we believe will shape the workplace in 2019 and beyond. These are already in progress.

Emphasis on Purpose, Wellness, and Growth

Surveys of younger workers indicate they feel happier and more accomplished when they work for companies with a sense of purpose, have flexible work schedules and offer continuous learning.

With a greater need for skilled and experienced labor, employers will provide new opportunities for training, upskilling, and mentorship. This will coincide with greater awareness of mental health and the unwavering importance of personal and financial stability. Ideally, these trends will lead toward professional relationships that are more mindful, more respectful, and better built to last. 

Adaptation to AI and Automation

Artificial intelligence and automation will continue to rise. Some occupations will decline, some will become far more powerful, and many people will find themselves partnering with new robotic coworkers. Much workplace activity will involve new training and new priorities to accommodate these new technologies until they become invisible.

Strength In Diversity

Recent controversies in the workplace are reshaping entire industries, making them more welcoming for women, minorities, and others who struggle against discrimination. Creating diverse workplaces and nurturing a culture for all isn’t just good karma; it’s necessary for doing business. Those who embrace changes and opportunities will help define commerce and culture for the years ahead.

Generation Z Goes to Work

The oldest members of “Gen Z” will turn 23, and many will join the workforce, of which this rising cohort will comprise an estimated 36% by 2020. They will usher in new expectations around technological competence. As Debby Carreau of Inspired HR said, “Even if you’re not a member of Gen Z you’ll start seeing software strategies, solutions and training trickling into your workplace; because if your organization doesn’t offer them, Gen Z will find an employer that will in short order.”

Meanwhile, members of older generations will continue to work longer and adapt their wisdom and experience to new circumstances. Chip Conley outlines this beautifully in his article calling himself a mentern (a mentor and an intern simultaneously).

Thus, we come back to the power of communication. If you are the sort of person who knows how to help the members of these different groups better communicate and more effectively work together, you will reap significant dividends in the years to come.

Change is the only constant. At Artisan Creative, we have years of experience in helping creative professionals and organizations thrive in times of change. Contact us today to learn more.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 505th issue of our a.blog. 

Job Search Best Practices in 2019

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019|

The beginning of a new year is a time to try new things, spruce up your perspective, and take stock of the opportunities in front of you. As a creative professional, you can take this cue to get serious about your job hunt. You’ll increase your odds of success when you act mindfully and deliberately and know clearly what you’re going to accomplish.

Whether you’re angling to rejoin the workforce, looking for a new role that better matches your goals, or simply want to keep your job-search skills sharper, here are some best practices that will give you an edge and help you find work you’ll love.

Know What You Want

Before you begin your search, take the time to form a clear vision of the job you’d most want to have, with the company that best aligns with your objectives and values. Then, you’ll have clear guidelines on the sorts of opportunities you’re best suited for, and that best suit you in return. Spend an hour or two to tailor your resume, write a passionate cover letter, and complete a thoughtful job application for an opportunity you really want; it’s worth the time rather than many more hours of applying for jobs at random.

Specificity Kills Ambiguity

Be specific about your skills, write out what you’ve achieved, and how you hope to grow in the future. When you crystallize your goals and can see them in detail, you’ll find your job search gets more efficient when you explore the right niches. Collaborate with a creative recruiter to narrow down your job hunt and save yourself a lot of effort, time, and uncertainty.

Handle Your SEO

As part of cultivating the professional image you want to project, it’s increasingly essential that you pay close attention to how you appear on social media and the web. Make sure your digital portfolio and any associated sites are up-to-date and portray you in the way you want to be seen by recruiters, hiring managers, and others in your industry. Plan to get professional mileage from your social media channels, particularly LinkedIn, or lock down personal accounts if you don’t want them to be seen by curious strangers.

Work Your Network

The beginning of the year is a fine time to check in with your contacts. It’s easy to let your mentors and peers know you acknowledge and appreciate them. A quick note can pay massive dividends throughout the year. If you’re feeling lonesome, schedule some networking events. Commit to expanding your horizons and put yourself out there. A small interpersonal risk can go a long way.

Be the Best Version of Yourself

Getting specific, helps you appreciate the talents and skills that set you apart from the rest. Eliminate jargon and buzzwords from your resume and focus on ways in which you really stand out. Regard yourself as a brand and zoom in on the aspects that differentiate you from others. Learn from your experiences, emphasize your strengths, work on your weaknesses, and approach your job search from a spirit of optimism. When you’re unique, there’s no competition.

At Artisan Creative, we have decades of experiences in connecting creative professionals with the opportunities that help them soar. Take advantage of this season of renewal. Contact us today to get your 2019 off on the right foot and get the support you need to thrive through the year and throughout your career.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 504th issue of the a.blog.

 

Our Top 25 Blogs

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018|

We are thrilled to publish our 500th blog today. As we approach the end of 2018, we’d like to share some of our a.team’s favorite blogs.

These cover a range of topics from self-development and time-management to job search, hiring and much more.

We hope you enjoy this top 25 greatest hits compilation.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our 500th post.  You can find plenty other tips, inspirations, best practices and advice on our a.blog.

We look forward to connecting.