6 Skills to focus on in 2019

We’ve rounded up the top 6 skills to help you grow your career in 2019. Whether you’re a freelancer that runs their own business, or a creative mind marketing your work to the masses, here are 6 skills we think might be useful for you in the coming year.


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Negotiation skills

A recent study by Harvard University showed that men tend to get better economic results out of negotiation, and that whilst women negotiate assertively on behalf of other people (or their company) they’re less likely to be as forceful when negotiating for themselves. 

Whatever stage of your career you’re at, negotiation skills are crucial- whether you’re bartering down a third party provider or sat in front of your boss, asking for a payrise. The study also showed that the gender gap when it comes to negotiating narrows when women have been on a negotiation training course… if you needed another reason! 

 

Analytical skills

Analytic skills aren’t just for digital marketers and finance managers, they’re for anyone responsible for calculating business growth, forecasting results or problem-solving an issue. Having a solid analytic foundation is key as you work your way up the career ladder and are expected to be more and more involved with big-picture business plans.

You don’t have to be a numbers-whiz either: data analytics skills can help you calculate things like employee turnover, identify fraud and manage your own business.

Strategic skills

Honing your strategic management skills is a great way to ensure you’re ready for the jump between middle management and being part of the senior team. Despite this, Forbes reported that less than 10% of leaders exhibit strategic skills, and tend to fall-back on fire-fighting operational skills, which can lead to a lack of overall direction for the company or team they’re working in. 

If you can sharpen your own strategic know-how you’re putting yourself in a very strong position versus your competition. 

Entrepreneurship skills

Did you know that in 2018 only one in five small-to-medium business were run by women? And that in the UK, there are nearly twice as many male entrepreneurs than women?

If 2019 is the year you strike out of your own and put your business-nouse to use for your own projects, then an entrepreneurship course might be just the thing to give you a the competence (and confidence!) to make it on your own (and balance out those statistics).

Whilst you can’t learn the passion that entrepreneurship demands, you certainly can learn how to manage every aspect of your business (as likely you’ll start as your own CEO, CMO, CFO and office administrator). 

Writing skills

It might sound basic, but excellent writing is one of the most common skills asked for by employers – and it’s also one of the biggest employee skills gaps according to a 2018 report. 

This doesn’t just mean writing in a way that’s grammatically correct: different industries needs different types of writing. For example, you might need to learn shorthand in order to take business minutes accurately, or you might need to learn how to write bid proposals, reports, white papers or specifications. 

Think about your current career path and whether there’s any writing elements that feel like they’ll push you out of your comfort zone, because those are great places to start building your skills.

Presentation skills and public speaking

Public speaking seems to evoke one of two reactions in people: either they shrug, or they immediately break out into a cold sweat. If you’re in the latter camp, then you’re not alone. In fact, nearly 25% of people say they have Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking. 

A study by Psychology Today suggests that a large part of the fear comes from how skilled you perceive yourself as being at public speaking (and on the flip-side, being a confident public speaker does not entail being a skilled public speaker). So whether you’re a shrugger or a sweater, put public-speaking on your “done” list in 2019.

 


Penguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is a group of creatives with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping our way into the arts industry and helping other creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact us any time for penguin chats via email:info@penguinintheroom.com or Facebook.com/penguinintheroom or waddle over to our website: www.penguinintheroom.com

What Value Do Brands Add To Social Media?

In 2014, we were talking about the necessity of brands being on social media. “We need to be part of the conversation online! We need a social voice!” were sentences that I’m sure were bandying their way around a number of executive boardrooms.

In 2015, brands realised that in order to appeal to their (human) consumers, they needed to come across as human themselves. We moved away from copy-and-paste responses and added a personal touch across communication on social media, signing off with names or initials to show that there are people behind the screens.

Now, however, it’s 2017 and we’re seeing brands mourning when celebrities die. They show solidarity to movements. They stake a political claim.

For some brands, this makes sense. For others the link is more tenuous. For the most, it’s non-existent (see above).

But in all cases, we need to be asking — what value does this add for my followers?

Your followers are your consumers, and they are savvy. They know you’re in the social media realm to market to them. They know that what you are posting is always, even if not overtly, an advertisement. You may not be writing “buy this now!” but what you’re asking your consumer to do is spend some of their attention span thinking about you.

So why waste that opportunity by posting something like this?

(Put into context — Dorothy Perkins tweeted that the day after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union 52% — 48%, so there was a high chance the majority of their consumers were not, in fact, feeling it that Friday…)

Consumers are flooded with online advertisements. It’s estimated your average consumer views between 500 and 5,000 advertisements in a single day (although the exact number remains fiercely debated).

With organic social, you may get one opportunity to make an impression on an existing or prospective customer with what you post online. You have less than 8 seconds to stop their thumb scrolling past you and onto the next brand.

So make the most of that time.

The best brands and individuals on social media are the ones that add value to their followers. They enrich the user’s experience of the platform by adding insight and information that your reader otherwise wouldn’t have had access to.

A great example of this is news outlets on Twitter, a platform where they perform exceptionally well. When a story breaks, live updates are posted on Twitter not just by the reporters, but by people who are there. It boils down to value — news companies bring something valuable to the party.

So, how can you ensure that you’re adding value to your consumer with what you post on social media?

Each time you go to post, ask yourself three questions:

1. What’s the purpose of this post?

2. Who cares about this post?

3. Why will they care?

Let’s take the Dorothy Perkins example used earlier.

What’s the purpose of this post?

I would assume this was a scheduled post, intended to piggy back on the almost-guaranteed trend of #FridayFeeling.

But it was a white noise post — words for words’ sake. Often disguised as a ‘brand awareness’ post, or a ‘presence’ post, the white noise posts are pointless both for the person writing it and the person reading it. There are no links, no calls to action, nothing to make me want to engage with the post. The purpose, it seems, was to fill an empty schedule slot.

Which makes it difficult to answer Question 2…

Who cares about this post?

At the time, this tweet actually got some attention — mainly because of its catastrophic timing. But let’s assume it was posted when it was originally intended, some benign Friday. Who cares about it? Who sees it as they are scrolling and pauses for this type of post?

Or perhaps more pertinently, who wants a clothing brand asking them how they feel? (Answers on a postcard please…)

Which means it’s impossible for us to answer Question 3…

Why will they care

— because they most probably won’t.

Now, I’m not suggesting that all text-only posts are white noise, or a waste of time. You can use text-only post to build on your brand’s persona to great effect. But the posts must have a purpose and therefore value for your consumer — even if that value is just “it will make them laugh”.

As someone who manages social media content, I have certainly been guilty of the ‘low value’ post. Or perhaps even the ‘no value’ post.

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in your own brand that you forget that whilst you may think this cake gif is brilliant for #NationalCinnamonBunDay, your followers don’t care. They’re just wondering what on earth a comedian is doing tweeting about pastries.

So look at your social media pages and have a think. Be your own analyst, get 50 weeks deep in your own content and ask yourself ‘what value is this bringing my followers? Who cares about this content? Why do they care?’

And make social media a more enriching place to be.

A shorter version of this post originally appeared on Medium.com

penguinPenguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is a group of creatives with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping our way into the arts industry and helping other creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact us any time for penguin chats via email:info@penguinintheroom.com or Facebook.com/penguinintheroom or waddle over to our website: www.penguinintheroom.com

Time to achieve! Why you should write down your goals for 2013 and some top tips …

write down goals

Image from: http://www.stockfreeimages.com/

It’s 2013: a new year and a new start! So what do you want to accomplish this year?

As with social media and marketing and even acting (according to Stanislavski) it is always important to have an objective, and this applies to your year too! If we have objectives/goals it gives us something to aim for and drive towards. But hey its not just me that thinks so, there are studies!

Proof

There are varying statistics but all agree that writing down your goals is a good idea:

“Committing goals to paper and reviewing them regularly gives you a 95% higher chance of achieving your desired outcomes. Studies have shown that only three to five percent of people in the world have written goals – the same three to five percent who have achieve success in business and earn considerable wealth.” – Tony Brooks, Building Bridges

Dr. Gail Matthews in America found that people who wrote down their goals, shared this information with a friend, and sent weekly updates to that friend were on average 33% more successful in accomplishing their stated goals than those who merely formulated goals.

Goal Writing Tips

Well that all sounds good doesn’t it?! But how should you go about it?

1. Have a brainstorm and then write your goals on a piece of paper in a list. Think about your personal life as well as your career.

2. Be positive. Concentrate on what you want to achieve rather than what you want to leave behind.

3. Be specific. Know exactly what you want to achieve and in what time scale. For example actors you don’t just want to book a job, maybe you want to book a feature film job or be in a horror film or soap. Writers perhaps you want to finish a screenplay and get feedback but when do you want to finish it by and how much feedback do you want eg. finish screenplay by May and get feedback from 5 industry professionals.

4. Have measurable goals eg. use numbers or amounts. So Casting Directors might have a goal of casting 100 commercials in 2013 or 5 feature films or both! Actors might have a goal of going to 52 auditions in 2013 (one a week). Artists might have a goal of selling 15 paintings in 2013. This way at the end of the year you can directly measure how successful you were.

5. Have believable goals. Give yourself something exciting to work towards: challenge yourself but also keep your goals within the realms of possibility. ie. if you are currently earning £15,000 a year a goal to earn £150,000 might be a bit of a stretch! Make your goals achievable!

6. Don’t loose or file away your written goals, put them up somewhere prominent! Your goals need to be somewhere you will see them daily/weekly to remind yourself of what you are aiming for. Keeping them on the inside of the wardrobe door is my favourite, but on the fridge or next to the mirror in your bathroom or keeping them on the back of your toilet door means that you can’t help reminding yourself of them.

7. As well as reminding yourself of your goals you need to keep reviewing them. Tick them off as you achieve them and even alter goals that you achieve too easily. This will keep them relevant and will keep you motivated.

8. Believe! Believe in yourself – yes its sounds a little American, but you can achieve your goals! Trust me, if you strive for these written goals you will be very happily surprised by how much you have achieved come 2014.

Penguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is one penguin with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping my way into the arts industry and helping creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact me any time for penguin chats via email: info@penguinintheroom.comorFacebook.com/penguinintheroom or waddle over to my website:www.penguinintheroom.com

Penguin chats with…. Casting Director Nicci Topping

Bubbly Casting Director and Penguin in the Room client Nicci Topping from Topps Casting visited the penguin pool this week to answer some casting and online marketing related questions.

Nicci Topping, Penguin in the Room, Casting

Casting Director Nicci Topping

Follow Nicci on twitter @niccitopping and Facebook.

Whats the biggest misconception about casting directors?

That we give actors a hard time. But saying that, we are brutally honest!

Which do you prefer London or Manchester?

Both, as long as we are casting a great project it doesn’t matter where it is!

What are you up to at the moment?

Up to my eyes in scripts…

Top casting tips for actors?

  • Make sure you listen to the casting director, and act accordingly to the direction thats been given
  • Do not be late
  • Dress appropriately
  • Make sure you are fully aware about the part you are auditioning for
  • Look pleased to be there
  • Please don’t waste our time

What do you think of social media?

It’s a great tool if you can use it properly!

You are on twitter and Facebook, do you post castings?

It depends what I am looking for…… but yes sometimes!

Do you think it’s important for actors to be aware of their online presence?

Yes i do a lot of people in the business don’t realise how important it is nowadays.

Do you chat to actors on twitter?

Yes. You can find me @niccitopping

Do you google actors?

Yes always!

If you do google an actor and nothing comes up, what do you think?

Where are they?

What do you think about actor’s websites?

I think they are a great idea! Great additional PR. It makes them look professional.

Well there you have it some top tips from a lady in the know! See some of the awesome projects Nicci has cast at her website: www.toppscasting.co.uk

Penguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is one penguin with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping my way into the arts industry and helping creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact me any time for penguin chats via email: info@penguinintheroom.com orFacebook.com/penguinintheroom or waddle over to my website:www.penguinintheroom.com