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Make your Talents Go Viral

One of the wonders of the modern world is the distribution of information across the internet. The ability for someone to share a resource with millions of people is now very real but in truth you are more likely to share a funny cat video than showcase your skills. So what can you do to stand out amongst the other 2.9 billion* internet users?

We are big on pushing the importance of your online brand. Your brand showcases your skills, kind of like a pre-interview. LinkedIn is a great starting point for your brand but it’s not likely that your profile will be shared widely, without a good reason, so here’s a couple of other ways to get seen.

Enter Competitions

Now these aren’t the same sort of competitions that you might see in magazines or during the ad break on TV; these are competitions that require you to produce something tangible in order to show off your talents. They can have some amazing prizes behind them but what you are really looking to achieve is exposure. Use the fact that this competition is in your area to self-promote and build your contacts.

Following the competition page on social media, using the hashtag, commenting on other like-minded people’s work are all great ways of doing this. The judges or sponsors are likely to be influential in your sector so there’s also the possibility your work will be seen by them. Or even a giant like Google might pick up on your work.

The video above was picked up by several tech websites, including Gizmodo, believing that it was a product coming out from Google. Actually it was a competition entry for the Future Lions marketing competition which had been shared out of context and got onto Google’s radar.
There are competitions for a variety of different sectors, not just the creative fields either:

Collaborate

Often we will think we have all the skills we need to complete a task and that should be enough. But some of the most successful people and projects in the world are due to collaboration; combining skills and ideas together in order to create something larger than can be achieved on your own.

Let’s look at a hypothetical situation; Dipak is a Sport Science graduate and who has an excellent idea for a new exercise that can be done at your desk during your lunch break. It’s revolutionary and could have health benefits for office workers the world over. But when he comes to describe it to people they look at him blankly. He has the problem that he needs to demonstrate the exercise to explain it but he can’t visit everyone to show them how to do it. What he needs to do is collaborate. His friend Lucinda graduated from her Film and Television course and wants to expand her portfolio with some extra projects. They discuss getting a promotional video together to demonstrate the new exercise, bringing in an actor Lucinda knows who wants material for a showreel.

Nixie wearable camera drone takes top prize in Intel tech contest

Already there are three distinct skills coming into a project which is going to help with Dipak’s promotional problems. Not only is Dipak getting benefit from it, Lucinda and her acting friend also get something to showcase their skills. And that triples the promotion as well as they will all be sharing with their networks. I could carry on but you get the idea.

Today, people want information at their fingertips wherever they are and whenever they want it… Businesses can take advantage of that by collaborating. “I really believe it is collaborate or die alone.”

Kirstine Stewart, Managing Director of Twitter Canada

If you’re currently a student, look at the other courses running at University; can a fellow student be of help to you? Maybe you need a website designed, marketing copy written, product design drawing completed, or help with legal jargon. If you’re a graduate, start connecting with your networks, following projects and ideas and offer help when you can.

Collaboration isn’t losing control of your idea; it’s building on it and expanding the scope. You can also work collaboratively to enter competitions bringing a variety of skills together to boost your chances. Companies look out for team work experience from students and graduates all the time, as you’ll likely be collaborating at a company internally and externally – make sure you take the opportunity to get that experience.

 

*approximately, according to Internet Live Stats

JP Profile

Jerome Price is the Online and Digital Content Manager in the Careers and Placements Service at the University of Hertfordshire.

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