Last week I received the unfortunate news that I was laid off at my day job where I worked remotely as a Social Media Manager. My first reaction was to cry, obviously, but after further contemplation I saw it as a new opportunity knocking at the door.
I have been a student of social media since the first social platforms were released. I studied Public Relations at Boston University where I learned how to successfully navigate various campaigns for many different companies. I have 5 years worth of experience negotiating contracts, executing creative campaigns, and creating ad-driven lead generation. I know being laid off doesn’t reflect on my performance or personal character, but it did hit me like a bag of bricks. It was unexpected (thanks North Carolina for being an at-will state – meaning you can get laid off on the spot with no rhyme or reason).
Getting laid off really sucks because there are so many variables to consider. It can put you in a really weird head space that is hard to bounce back from. I think the most important thing is to not catastrophize the event. Make a plan, get organized, and get back into the job hunt. It honestly could all be a blessing in disguise, which is how I am treating this situation for myself. The crazy thing is that my initial reaction wasn’t to start worrying about how I would pay my bills or rent, but instead I felt empowered to dive into something that I have been wanting to pursue for a while. I was able to stay motivated after getting laid off because I had bigger dreams to chase.
I have been tossing the idea of starting a creative consulting business around for a few months now. I am actually working with some clients now – I currently am offering my services for free in exchange for a personal review and my ability to make a case study to then pitch to future clients. I want to help brands work with influencers, I want to help design their websites, I want to help increase their presence on social media, and I want to create marketing materials with my professional photography.
I have learned all of these skills while in college, while working at my day-job, and by being an infleuencer myself. I know a brand’s expectations and I know the influencer’s needs. I know a good photo when I see one, and I know how to target advertisements so brands are getting the bang for their buck. I have had companies put tens of thousands of dollars into promoting my social media posts, and my day-job invested over $300,000 into Facebook and Instagram advertising alone.
Last month I was talking to an older man about what I do for work. He laughed when I said I work in social media. He said “I had a feeling you were going to say that.” In a way I was insulted because every older person thinks every young person works in social media, and that social media is an inferior job position to that of an accountant or someone working in sales. The truth is… he’s wrong. I can’t blame the 50+ demographic for not understanding the power or NECESSITY of a brand having an online presence. With my creative consulting I want to assist with anything and everything from hashtag curation to front end WordPress. My skill set is truly unique, and it’s something I have learned in my 5 years of WordPress front-end development, social media managing and various marketing campaigns.
I’d love to talk to that same man again next year and tell him how great my consulting and social media business is going. That is my motivation right there.