Is writing a blog post calling businesses out for their chronic under valuing of Creatives whilst job hunting risky? Yes. I am doing it anyway? Also yes.
Look, businesses, we need to talk. You’ve heard on the grape vine that this ‘social media’ thing is around to stay and that you need to up your game. You put out a job ad for an all round social media expert and await the floods of applications. All you’re asking for is three years of experience in social media management (paid and organic), digital audience growth, somebody to write your blogs and develop your digital strategy. If they could produce and edit short videos about your product too that would be great. And if they knew Photoshop that would be wonderful because then they could do all your graphics and newsletters too! Oh speaking of newsletters they need to know Mailchimp and also Wordpress so they can update your website. Perfect. How much money should we offer them? Like £23k yeah?
By undervaluing your talent you’re undervaluing the importance of your digital presence. We’re easily in our second decade of the internet being important, so it’s time to start seeing it as a real career and not just something you can get the intern to have a go at, in between admin.
I’ve seen actual job adverts that list 5–7 ‘must have’ skills across copywriting, design, and marketing where the salary is little more than minimum wage but requiring 3+ years of experience. All this is saying to prospective employees is that you don’t understand the amount of work that goes into their output. There isn’t a magic ‘make video’ button that will edit a video for you — somebody has to sit through the clips, make decisions, put them together. A brand doesn’t develop an online presence itself — it takes time and research and patience and expertise.
If you want a digital manager you need to pay them a management salary.
It may come as a shock but most brands with a successful online presence have a full time team dedicated to its development. When a brand goofs up, it’s not ‘the intern’ (as most people on Twitter seem to think), but the result of misjudged, but very much planned, strategy. To be good at my job I need to be aware of current trends and developments, which requires vast number of hours spent online to make sure I’m in the loop. To be good at my job I need my employers full support, and that starts with showing that you value your staff. You can start be paying me the same as you’d pay anybody else with five years experience and a demanding workload. My work is more than pretty pictures — it’s an asset to your company.
(I am looking for full time work producing Creative Content in Toronto and I’m actually very nice really. My portfolio can be found at www.alicecorner.work)