Pride & Professionalism
At some points in all our careers, we allow our pride to get in the way of progress.
Especially those of us who have worked in the industry for some time. When met with a new app, platform or programme we can catch ourselves resisting change.
Years ago, I was guilty of recoiling from programmes and platforms like Lightroom and Illustrator in favour of what I was comfortable with. But only to my own loss of time, convenience and opportunities; but no more!
Have you ever caught yourself thinking, "This is how I have always done it, and it has worked for me all this time - why would I change it?".
So, so, so many reasons why!
1. Why do popular apps/platforms and programmes change?
To improve! They are developed to make for a more user-friendly, faster and convenient experience. So overall, you only stand to gain from taking the time to learn something new.
2. DEVELOPMENT IS CONTINUOUS
Social platforms are constantly adding new features and exploring different avenues. So as soon as you grasp an understanding of how things work, they go and change it. But don't let it get you down! It's only going to present new opportunities and approaches to your business.
3. RESPECT YOUR JUNIORS
We are at a unique time in marketing, where innovative technology and social media are leading the way in producing content and speaking to audiences.
The younger generation, more au fait with this new tech, are suddenly having to educate the rest of us; and it can be a dent to our pride to accept that age & experience doesn't count for all that!
4. PRIDE DOES NOT MAKE YOU MORE PROFESSIONAL
Learning does not make you any less skilled or accomplished at what you do already and sticking to what you know does not make you more of an expert.
You don't have to be at school or university to still be a student - and there is no shame in needing or wanting to learn; from Youtube, Google, your target audience, other professionals and yes... even young people!
I find myself writing this blog at 2am not by random chance, but because I caught myself falling into this old bad habit!
The same week I published this blog, I attended a workshop called 'Instagram for Creatives: Beginners Workshop', and I am ashamed to say, before I attended, I was sceptical.
I had no doubts about the expertise of the two inspiring freelancers (Anna Clark and Olivia Bossert) leading the workshop. However, I was more doubtful of what I could learn from it; I found myself saying "I have two instagram accounts and have been entrusted with the responsibility of running clients' accounts. I wouldn't consider myself to be a 'beginner'!"
And yet, I found myself pleasantly surprised at the benefits I gained from attending this workshop: >>>
1. UPDATES + INNOVATIONS
Instagram is continuously developing and it's improving all the time! It's seeking to become more engaging and personal, constantly; and it was great to learn how to utilise these new features.
2. BALANCING BUSINESS + YOU
With instagram accounts, it is so easy to fall into the habit of losing sight of your business or yourself. You want your profile to have personality and a soul; but you also want to remain professional. This workshop showed how to find a happy balance, and focused on what can make your account 'you'.
3. LEARNING FROM OTHERS
That day reminded me of the value in other people's approaches. Everyone does things differently, some people do it better than others - but sitting in a room of young freelancers, marketers and business owners, who are all working to master the same social platform, offers methods and approaches to problems that I hadn't even considered!
4. FEELING LESS ALONE
I know, cry me a river! When you are self taught it is easy to feel that you're just making it up as you go along or that you might not be 'getting it right'.
But, that is how the majority do feel, especially when you start comparing yourself to popular instagram accounts. As long as instagram keeps changing, the majority of us are going to feel like amateurs. But this isn't the case, as long as you keep learning!
5 F*** FOLLOWERS!
Excuse my french, but with Instagram I found myself forgetting it's 'quality not quantity'.
It's not the number on the counter or the amount of likes on a post; It's about creating a community, reaching out and actually engaging with a group of people who give a damn. Obviously, the bigger the community the better, but more importantly; maintain engagement and a connect with people. It is a social platform after all!
So to get to the point:
1. No one is too experienced to learn!
2. Talk to professionals, beginners and your target market.
3. Don't mistake stubbornness for being 'a specialist.'
4. Listen to your juniors; they could teach you a thing or two.
5. Remember humility.
Last but not least,