If you are a dedicated LinkedIn user, you may have heard of the Pretty Little Marketer page. The blog talks about everything from marketing to careers and has become especially popular amongst graduates and young professional.
We chatted to its creator, Sophie Miller, about how young professionals, freelancers, or individuals looking to enter a new industry can make their own experience and boost their personal brand without relying on traditional employment.
With Pretty Little Marketer officially celebrating its first anniversary on June 21st, Sophie has had quite the year building the page, which now boasts a following of over 40,000 on LinkedIn and 25,000 followers on Instagram. Sophie started PLM in the first lockdown of 2020, as a second-year student at the University of Gloucestershire, struggling to navigate the world of graduate employment amid a global pandemic.
“I had experience in recruitment from previous jobs, but I was really interested in understanding what words recruiters don’t like to see on a CV or what kind of experience certain sectors would be looking for, but every website I visited said something different and I remember wishing that there was one place I could go where someone could tell me the answers or tactics that were tried, tested, and true.”
When Sophie set out to find that kind of resource and came up empty-handed, she decided to set up an Instagram account to help people in a similar position as her. The page gained significant attention, eventually becoming a community platform that allowed graduates, workers, and freelancers to connect from across the UK.
Now, Sophie has graduated, securing full time employment, and establishing a successful freelancing business through the work and experience she gained managing the PLM platforms. It can be difficult to gain the necessary experience needed in certain industries without first securing a position, internship, or placement in that sector. Managing PLM gave Sophie the space to develop her skills in copywriting, content creation, SEO managements, and email marketing; the work displayed on the blog helped her secure an expert status, boosting her CV and personal brand.
“In my case, I carefully considered where I wanted to be when I graduated. I knew for me, it was social media so, what goes into being a social media manager? What skills do I need and how can I build them before I start job hunting? I think it was a huge benefit for me to get ahead of the curve, starting to think about the career I wanted early and working towards that meant I had built a platform and built up my experience while still studying, so when I was ready to apply for jobs and commit to full-time employment, I had a solid personal brand that showcased what I could do.”
Creating a space, platform or even just a profile where you can highlight your knowledge, expertise, and skills in a particular industry can help launch your career, particularly if you are struggling to gain traditional experience in the specific sector you are aiming for. This could be the case for people already in full-time employment or professionals who are looking to go freelance but do not have the time to start cultivating a list of clients. Building a personal brand that is recognisable and showcases your abilities is the first step towards the job or lifestyle you want. And it doesn’t have to be a big platform.
“I think Twitter is a really easy way to get started. You don’t necessarily have to put your face to it if you don’t want a large social media presence but becoming an information source or a thought leader gives you the chance to position yourself as an expert in your chosen field. If we think about it in terms of marketing, managing a Twitter account that regularly shares updates, news, or opinions on certain topics shows you understand the platform’s algorithm, copywriting, and condensing information within a limited number of characters, and that you have knowledge on your particular audience.”
Curating a personal brand and publishing content within your relevant field can help you find the right connections or the right clients to help start your new career. Running a platform and regularly creating content, while studying or working, showcases high-quality soft skills employers are intrigued by: time management, independent working, digital literacy, and dedication. Making your own experience helps you stand out, control what skills you are developing, and make amazing industry connections.
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