The dawn of new-age jobs
When I graduated in 2004, all my brainiac friends went on to become doctors, engineers and architects in their own right. Little did we all realise, back then, how social media would change our career paths. Cut to date, a whopping 75 per cent of those friends have quit their established practices to follow their individual passions, thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and what have you (Me, Myself and Marketing, Nov 4)!
Newborn baby photographer, heritage sites walking tour planner, cake decorator and quiet books creator are just some niche business ideas on the ever-evolving list that makes the rest of us in monotonous 9-to-5 jobs envious. What is interesting is that these entrepreneurships would perhaps not have seen the light of day, were it not for the massive backing of free social media channels.
The key to marketing yourself is to avoid coming off as a braggart, to display consistency, and occasionally bring in some excitement with fun quips, interesting facts and giveaways (who doesn't like freebies?). Just as a badly Photoshopped picture is easily exposed, attempting to portray a fake exterior can easily be your undoing. For anyone attempting to go down this path, stay true to yourself, and to the path you are trying to carve. Success is then just a few mouse clicks away!
H. Kunkolienkar, by email
» GET IN THE GAME
"Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories that you tell." - Seth Godin
How relevant is this quote to the article on self-marketing (My, Myself and Marketing, Nov 4). It has become all about reaching out to the relevant section of the audience - as loudly as possible. An earlier write-up in wknd. had quoted, "People don't connect to businesses, they connect to other people." Being seen is everything, and being 'searchable' is absolutely essential in this age.
Of course, there is always the risk of going overboard. We all have those Facebook friends whose annoying posts make us cringe, roll our eyes and very nearly 'unfriend' them! Then, there are those who aren't happy with just posting every single detail of their lives, and so use filters and apps to make their photos more 'likeable' - with the final results having very little semblance to their natural selves!
In the end, it is all about being plausible and credible. Tweeting 10-15 times a day seems a bit much; you want to be visible and, yet, leave your audience wanting more. The significance of marketing on social media is undeniable, and will only increase in the future - but its correct usage is paramount. As Erik Qualman says, "We don't have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it!"
Valiny Rodrigues, by email
» BEING NICE IS CLASSY
Whether in our personal or professional lives, observing niceties and extending kindness are of vital importance in our daily interactions with people ('Dust it all off and get back into the game', Nov 4). Acclaimed American actor Samuel L. Jackson once said, "The natural progress of the works of men is from rudeness to convenience, from convenience to elegance and from elegance to nicety." It is a misguided notion that accomplishing success in business is impossible if you are mild-mannered and lack shrewdness. Being ruthless, power-suited and practical may help you to a certain extent. But, for a steady professional and personal growth, you need to have some sterling qualities.
Being nice and approachable yet firm at the same time is an essential quality. Letting go of ill will, hurt and humiliation is required to sail smoothly in life. A likeable personality and a lot of empathy will help in the long run.
Jayashree Kulkarni, Abu Dhabi
» HEALTHY PERSPECTIVE
Your article, 6 Whopping Health Myths (Nov 4), made for a great read for two reasons. One: I'm a huge fan of eggs and always feel sorry for my mom when she removes the yolks from her portion and keeps them on the side of her plate due to 'cholesterol issues'. I was really hoping the article would say this was ridiculous. Sadly, it erred on the side of caution and advised a chat with the doc. Still, I found it very interesting that multiple studies could not find a connection between consumption of eggs and bad health!
And, secondly, the misconception about overweight people being unhealthy - that was news to me, but it sure made sense! Reminds me of my overweight classmate who always outran the rest of us during athletic meets. Maybe I need to get off my sedentary butt and quit assuming that slim equals healthy!
Rania S, Sharjah