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An Intern's Diary

My CV Bucket List

Chapter 6 – My Cv Bucket List

After looking at a lot of internship blogs on medium.com I have realised that many people whom after finishing their ‘contractual obligation’ aka a placement have become well, cynics.

Writing bitter blogs about how they walked into their new role with enthusiasm and to be fair (in hindsight, unachievable) high expectations and they walk out accusing the whole idea of a good placement as being a myth, left disappointed and hopeless.

Do you know what real working people call it? Life.

Come on now guys. I know we have been living in our student bubble for a couple of years but we’ve all worked part-time before. We’ve pretty much all experienced the horrors of retail or hospitality. We know what work is like.

We know that not every responsibility we get in a job is fun and games. Otherwise we’d all be doing it! (Kidding, we all know why we do it. Gotta get that $$)… But I’m not saying that money is everything. I’m not saying don’t strive for a job you love. Personally, I think it’s more important to love what you do every day than how much you get paid, because you will do it. Every day.

And let’s face it the stakes are high from the off. It’s difficult getting a placement. Every year, students from all over the country and overseas are fighting for these opportunities. You can’t possibly expect to waltz into your first internship and find the job of your dreams — already taking the right steps into your career path.

Don’t let the team down. Naivety isn’t as admirable as the Kooks may have you think. Believe it or not internships aren’t entirely about us. Businesses benefit from them too. Of course they do. They aren’t here to give us the best experience. We are here to help them (meanwhile experiencing the ‘real working world’).

Your next steps

Inevitably, you have to go back to university for your final year. What a beaut thing to have in the back of your mind. Well, it’s comforting for me anyway… Buying as much time as a teenager as I can before I commit myself to a full-time job for the rest of my life!

I have come to a realisation very recently …I don’t know whether it was from watching that Making a Murderer series on Netflix (which is actually outrageous… you should watch it!) or whether its the placement portfolio I am required to build before July slowly creeping up on me (admittedly it’s really the only big deadline I have this year…).

…But what I’ve realised is that you can’t let your placement be the only thing you do this year. You have to build your CV in the background. That’s a constant battle. Regardless of the fact you are working full-time.

(way not trying to stress you out or anything but…) WHAT ARE YOU DOING OUTSIDE OF YOUR PLACEMENT?!

So someone asked me this the other day, and the only way I could react was with a couple of murmurs under my breath and some uncomfortable shuffling…

Well I say that, If you’ve seen my most recent blog you would know I have a part-time job outside of my placement. But honestly, for a little while now– that’s been it. That, and Netflix.

I’m now going to solve all of your problems…

So if you have made it this far, you have basically just read a whole lot of irrelevant thoughts I have been having to get yourself to this here main point. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you but… I have officially wasted your time.

There is no solution. This is actually just a trick blog.

Kidding, come back! There is a resolution. Obviously. My blog is always filled with little life lessons for you to tag along with on my little placement journey. It might not work but c’est la vie.

Well, really I have already kind of told you what I’ve been thinking. But my plan is, to plan my CV in advance. Hear me out. I’ll ‘design’ the CV now and then chase those achievements from here on until I have achieved them all.

Bit backwards I know but then I can design what I want my CV to be instead of doing something here and there and adding it on because it might show my skills to a potential employer. You know what I mean?

So to start off my CV Bucket List, I have decided to achieve these things by September.

· Speak a little Spanish

· Blog, blog, blog!

· Event Experience (outside of placement), i.e. something like Bournemouth Air Festival or for a BIC event.

· Complete Bournemouth Ambassador online Training

(And more to come… not going to give you all my CV for nothing!)

Online Marketing Blog Content

Who’s Marketing Whom? Co-creation

Who’s Marketing Who? Co-creation

Customers are not just spectators who absorb marketing campaigns and accept it these days. They are very much a part of the creation and marketing themselves and you should tap into this opportunity to create a personal experience around your brand.

Part of the reason for Social Listening is to create an experience for your customers, and for this to be seen by other people that may be interested in your products or services. Try to think of yourself as the customer. You probably trust another person who has used the product or service more than the company itself, and might even look into reviews before committing to buy it.

If you encourage your audience to make their own content around your product and publish it to the Internet, you are adding value to your business and possibly reaching more people than before. Also, by not focusing on transactions or sales all the time, you are probably likely to get more of them.

Be aware that people are attempting to do things for themselves before going to a business for help. It is so easy for them to access information from a trustworthy person that can walk them through a process on YouTube or online forum. Perhaps scan the Internet for the information that might hinder your sales, and prioritize these users who uploaded the content as ones you would like to engage with.

By scanning the web for readily available information that may be hindering your sales you may find the places already being visited by potential customers. If this is the case should you not prioritise these platforms as ones where you become the accepted expert..?

Online Marketing Blog Content

Our four top picks for free Analytics tools

Our four top picks for free Analytics tools

Now this section does seem a bit daunting, and frankly too time-consuming to do thoroughly for many small businesses. Luckily, there are tools available that allow you to keep track of the searches you do and convert all of that information into an overview.

The information can be put into dashboards, graphs or charts and they let you keep the content for future use. As these tools are flexible, you can focus more narrowly on what you would like to know.

For example, the frequency of mentions over time, demographics, urgent content that you need to respond to much more quickly and you can even use it as a personal ‘database’ for you to pick and choose what you need when you need it.

Online tools that are available to you:

Socialoomph: On Socialoomph you can manage your social media accounts and blogs as well as schedule posts in bulk, target users to follow and download analytics that have been gathered for you.

Although scheduled posts are handy and can save you a lot of time, you might want to consider whether this feature will be particularly  helpful to the variety of audiences you want to reach on different online platforms.

Hootsuite: This tool is highly recommended by experts. You can subscribe to the free version online or (if you are willing to pay), you can add features such as private chat. If you are a manager for example and will have multiple employees using the tool, you can see when they are logging in, delegate work online as well as chat with employees (which is great if your employees work out of the office).

The cost of this feature increases per member so if you are a smaller business the cost is not too extortionate. Analytics are sent by email reports, which you can file or download to your desktop.

ManageFlitter: A great feature of ManageFlitter is the ‘power post’. See when most of your followers are online and schedule posts appropriately during this time. Other features involve tracking ‘unfollows’ and are soon to be introducing an analytics feature in some form.

Social Mention: Social Mention is a slightly different social listening tool. Instead of a dashboard of your accounts, it is a real-time search where you can find the most up-to-date information at that time. Just like other search engines, it is free and based on keywords or phrases.

You may have to filter out some irrelevant sources, but this tool does consider the meanings behind what you search and the information it finds, as well as brings up related keywords, mentions per second and the top users. Of course you would have to keep checking the same keywords over time if you would like to monitor them.

There is also the option to download the data. A very good tool, but depending on the aims of your business, it may not be the best if you are going to be away from the office and unable to monitor the information in the background.

Online Website Marketing Blog

Keywords are key

Keywords are ‘Key’!

Imagine you wanted to find a good quality printing company that offers next day delivery. How would you find out? Through a search engine like Google most probably, right?

Most people tend to search a question or phrase to get the most relevant information (based on previous searches of other people). You can do the same for your business, and this is probably one of the first steps to take if you want to understand your business and your customers.

One of the ways that you can benefit from the basic method is that you can keep track of trends in that subject area. If there are frequently asked questions about a product or even growing concerns, you can analyse these over time and plan how you will communicate (and adapt) your message to appeal to these trends.

Google actually provide a tool that can help you with this, called ‘Google Trends’. It essentially does the analysis for you. If you are interested in the tool, what it does is it condenses the data into a basic form about how much interest there is in your product over time, where it comes from as well as other categories such as related searches.

An example of a web designer using this in action

Someone may post on a public forum asking if anyone has had any experience with a good web designer. That person through a referral may then find a web designer.

However if the web designer was tracking the questions “where can I find a good web designer?” or the trend of having a responsive design (Albeit they may have to sieve through some irrelevant data) but they then have an opportunity to respond to that individual within a short time of them posting. Then they can introduce themselves as well as ask about what that person has in mind.

This is the good news! The web designer has not only targeted an interested individual but also reached many more by engaging in conversation through an online forum. This content will stay online indefinitely and therefore always accessible for individuals who may find the forum in the future.

Again, Google Trends is a great tool to start you off as you can monitor how interest in the topic fluctuates over time. If interest picks up, then you have that prior knowledge of the trend that you wouldn’t have had before to dive into a discussion with these people, at the perfect time.

Online Video Marketing Blog Content

4K Video Review

A Cracking Media Exclusive “4K” Review

You might have noticed that “4K” has been thrown around quite a lot lately. But do you actually know what it is? Well it isn’t as much of a mystery as you are initially thinking. To put it simply, 4K = 4000 pixels.

I guess you could say it is the Iggy Azalea of video formatting. …Don’t get it? Fancy. So if you want higher resolution, then 4K might be the one for you. (4K is so fancy, you already know!)

Don’t fret if you aren’t a videographer though, 4K is perfectly as useable for non-professional purposes too! Very soon, you may start to notice 4K becoming available in cameras, TVs, you name it. And if history really does repeat itself (and we think it does) then soon enough 4K will be the norm across all of these. It’s just not quite there yet.

If you are into editing your photos and videos, present lectures or even create show areas for your job, it is pretty much guaranteed that it will be much easier and cleaner looking with 4K.

And bonus! As larger TVs have become more affordable, 4K is quickly becoming the format of choice for at home television and event displays. Especially on larger screens.

 

Well that sounds all well and good, but what’s the catch?

Well, as you’d expect, using 4K is excellent! But it does require more power and space… So, if you plan on using 4K quite religiously you should consider a wizzy graphics card with at least 2GB of memory and increased hard disk space to keep up with the demands that 4K inevitably brings with it.

*Sidenote* Depending on your computer, you may find that your desktop may struggle to cope with 4k.

 

If you want to get the best from creating 4K content, your essentials are: 

  • – A powerful computer.
  • – Lots of fast hard disk storage
  • – Efficient 4K capable video editing software (like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro).

 

But we can work all of that out later right! Lets leave it on a positive and think about this, if you invest in 4K now, you won’t have to worry about your video going out of date! Gradually, as with all technology, 4K will take over the format that preceded it, in this case HD.

So if you love recording your favourite moments via video or use video for professional reasons, your content will last a longer time before you have the need to replace existing videos with whatever supersedes 4K down the line… Just thinking of you!

Some wise words…

“4K is big. You won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-mindbogglingly big it is.”

                 – Adapted from Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

 

Douglas Adams of course was talking about space, however in terms of video, 4K is ACTUALLY really big.

An Intern's Diary

The Truth About Unpaid Placements

The Truth About Unpaid Placements

So what’s the truth? That’s a good question. One that I’ll try to answer for any future placement students considering it. Mainly because this year so far has been a crazy year for me.

In short, there are easier options. For sure! Taking on an unpaid placement in some ways has been a blessing and a curse for my placement year so far. And like my other blog posts, I am going to give you the finer details of my experience in the hope that you might learn from my mistakes and successes…

So lets get to it…

I’m not a student…Not yet a working girl (Spears. B., 2001).

Students are used to getting their loans in on a regular basis (without working for it) and if up to this point you have had a part-time job, then congrats. You are way more sensible than I was.

For those of you that don’t know, in your placement year your student loan gets cut quite dramatically. Now, if you are getting paid the average salary for a placement salary (approximately £1,000 pm) then that’s fine, no biggy right? If you are in my position and you aren’t getting paid, you need to do some real evaluations.

First, how much value will you get out of this placement; will it add to your experience and future career? And also what are your other options? Can you get the same experience and get paid for doing it?

I wanted a more hands-on placement than my course really gave me knowledge for. Studying marketing hindered me in a way as I was attempting to apply for web design companies, creating portfolios to prove I do have skills and potential as well as a lot of enthusiasm to learn. No one took me.

I found a 3 month placement advertised in Marketing but in the job description it had all of the same skills as other web design companies (without the requirements!) I jumped on it. I got it.

You will grow up if you have an unpaid placement. I’d say more than a paid one. You have to show the same dedication to work as someone who has the incentive of money for the same jobs as you.

You will have to be careful with your finances. Because you aren’t getting any more. And frankly, you probably aren’t a priority to the university any more.

“Placements are designed so that you can get a part-time job alongside them” Well that’s all well and good Janine but you still have your weekends. I’ll tell you it’s exhausting!

The Highlights of working TWO jobs

  • I don’t get weekends
  • I am tired all of the time. ALL OF THE TIME.
  • Coffee is my best friend.
  • I am either sat down at a desk thinking a lot or stood up, not doing a whole lot of thinking.
  • My social life has taken a hit.
  • I still don’t really have money.
  • Nostalgic about being a student always.
  • My weeks go so so quickly and no day is ever the same.
  • I have met a lot of people.
  • I have been put out of my comfort zone a hell of a lot. And that’s pretty cool.
  • I am actually having fun.

What have I learnt?

I have learnt so much since I have been at this placement. Honestly. I know everyone says that anyway because you don’t want to come back and tell everyone that your placement was admin and making coffees while theirs was directing their first press event for the latest Warner Brothers movie or something! But I genuinely have learnt so much. And not just about the industry. But myself. And adulting too.

I have my first day off next week. And in case you are wondering whether I am going to grab the bull by the horns and make use of this day; Maybe see my friends, hit the town, reinvent myself on this day…

…I will probably just be in bed surrounded by takeaway food, binge watching whatever is the newest TV series on Netflix without even seeing the light of day. And I can’t wait.

*side note* working an Unpaid placement may affect some of your choices like where you choose to live. Do not, I repeat, do not under-think these decisions. I have a lot of stories about the house I ended up living in because of the price and convenience for my placement. Maybe I’ll explain these to you one day. But if nothing else, trust me on this. Never buy a room off of Gumtree without looking at it first. Just saying…

Online Marketing Blog Content

How to tackle Content Marketing

How to tackle Content Marketing – Be aware of your surroundings!

I guess you could say Content Marketing is one of the latest crazes! But some people have done it since marketing began.

So much plays a part in how we choose to deliver our content. Everything from our social and cultural groups to our individual preference affects how we interact with content. Not to mention the different tones and atmospheres on each social media platform that already exist, and how people are already using them.

If someone wanted to post a quick, witty comment about current events or something that happened in their day, they are probably more likely to use Twitter. Twitter is generally recognised for the sense of humour in the content.

Instagram of course is used differently. Do you see what we mean? This puts you at an advantage because you already know who it is that you want to talk to and the type of content to create.

But bear in mind too that people tend to behave differently behind a computer than face-to-face, including when they interact with businesses/ a brand.

Consider how you would deal with a customer in person; you wouldn’t take every customer out to a 3-course dinner with wine to discuss potential business opportunities as different customers are worth more to you. So you should do the same online.

Staying relevant can be a tricky and time-consuming task. Even if you are engaging with conversations regularly, you may find yourself having similar conversations or even pestering people.

You are probably thinking how do I avoid pestering my customers? And still stay relevant in their minds? Get involved with or start conversations about relevant topics that are happening locally or even globally as well. Don’t only post about your business. And post where conversations are already happening.

Tip: Make sure you keep the values of the business throughout any opinions you or a colleague expresses towards controversial topics.

Online Website Marketing Blog

Traffic vs Conversion

What is the difference between traffic and conversion?

So you have got more traffic to your website. If your website is not good quality, you will have a low conversion rate, i.e. not many genuine leads. You could get hundreds of people visiting your website, and still only have a handful of people who will actually get in contact with you.

Nevertheless, more traffic means more potential leads. Hopefully though, the content on your website alone could increase the percentage of people who ‘convert’, without having to increase the amount of visitors to the site.

There are a number of factors to consider about your actual website too. More functionality features than style tips, but anything down to the colour of a button can affect how users interact with your website. Yes, you may have a colour theme or a preference in your mind. Try to remember though, that the reason you have the website is for your customers and not for you.

What would you rather, a slightly different appearance to what you had in mind but more leads that follow through with a purchase…or would you prefer the pretty design you pictured, a lot of traffic to the website but not a lot of business heading your way. Of course this is an exaggeration and other things come into play but it may be beneficial to research these things when designing your website. We are after all, simple creatures…

Tips

– Any traffic is not good traffic.

– Create content because you know that’s what your customer wants to know, not just what you already know.

– Visitors will ‘convert’ if they trust you; try customer reviews, case studies…a ‘meet the team’ page? Some businesses upload photo albums from behind the scenes in the office to show people that they enjoy doing what they do.

– Call-to-actions. Have opportunities for conversion in more than one place on your website and social media, without saturating the site with popup forums. You don’t want them to feel like they are being hassled.

-Include video on your website.

Online Video Marketing Blog Content

The 4-1-1 to Explainer Demo Videos

The 4-1-1 to Explainer Demo Videos

So what are they?

An explainer video or demo video is a quick video that is designed to educate you on how to use a product or service.

A demo video actually shows the product in action so you can see the quality of the results you will get by using the product (or how it will solve your problem).

Why would I want to do that?

Maybe your product or service isn’t tangible. Maybe it speaks for itself. Maybe an Explainer video isn’t on the top of your To-do list. But here is what you are missing out on… The whole aim of the video is to increase your conversion rates!

To reach maximum potential, you can even upload them to YouTube. After you have put them on your website and various other social media sites would be a good time to do this.

Many people use YouTube as their choice of search engine if they are looking for this kind of information. Now it’s not necessarily the easiest thing to engage with these people through YouTube. Hence why we have created this beginner’s guide to Explainer and Demo Videos.

We have outlined some basic things that you should consider when creating one for yourself.

Steps to creating your explainer video…

Brainstorm

To get you started, we have come up with some questions to ask yourself at this point of your creative journey. Hopefully, with you answering these questions, you will have more relevant ideas in mind when designing your video.

What is the problem that your customers are facing? How can you provide them with a solution?

What are the questions that your customers are often found asking?

Is there something about your product that may put off your customers from buying it? (ex, If the customer cannot see the price straight away, they may look elsewhere where they can get any idea of price and value of a similar product?).

What kind of personality do you want to be expressed through the explainer video – how?

How do your customers feel about your company?

You have to answer these questions honestly and this will form the structure of your explainer or demonstration video.

Action Plan

Introduce your product.

Write a script. This is the main way you will deliver the message.

With the answers to the questions in the Brainstorm section, answer those before your customer even has a chance to ask.

Take advantage of the visual platform you are using. Show off the product’s features in use and how it solves the more popular problems that your cusotmers have.

CALL TO ACTION – ‘buy the product’ or ‘sign up for a free trial’ or ‘get in contact with us’. Make it sound simple, quick and easy.

Any other concerns expressed by customers; here is your chance to answer any final concerns, doubts or deal breakers that could convince even the more stubborn of customers.

EVIDENCE – to nicely end the video, some companies use the product or proof of happy customers.

Final Tips

If your explainer video sounds complicated, confusing or hard to understand your customers won’t even stick around until the end. They will be looking at other resources to see if they can find someone else to help them. One way to prevent this is to

AVOID BUZZWORDS! Talk to your customers the way you would if you were stood in fornt of them. Don’t have them googling on the other side of the screen what every other word means!

If your video confuses them or leaves them with questions they may not even bother with the whole idea at all. If that is the case, you have not only lost a potential lead. But you have potentially lost someone’s interest in any product type similar for you and other similar businesses.

If you have a lot of products or services, it is not necessary to have a video for each. If you choose to do a series of products just make sure that the structure is consistent in all of them.

Online Marketing Blog Content

Have you heard about Social Listening

Have you heard about Social Listening?

No? Well you have come to the right place. Long story short, it’s all about paying attention to your customers online.

Here is the low down on how you could benefit from doing this!

You can use Social Listening to manage the mentions of your brand as well as communicate your message to a new or existing market! Just keep in mind that you need to create up to date and relevant content that does appeal to your business needs, and this tool will do all the hard work for you.

If you are a start up business or perhaps just using social media as a new strategy, Social Listening is perfect for managing mentions of your brand or creating a strategy to reach as many people as possible for example.

It may seem daunting at first; however stick with it as we will be talking about simple to use tools that will help streamline the process.

Social Listening is a tool, but it is also a long-term strategy and a commitment. The first steps are as easy as researching your target audience, influencers, keywords and trends. Your social business strategy will start to take shape.

You will be rewarded for your perseverance when the business suddenly has a lot more opportunities arising that you wouldn’t have come across without Social Listening. If you do feel like you need a little extra help, subscribe to a tool that you think will fit your business best for getting you started or feel free to leave us a comment with any questions.