Beginning a career on social media is like any other small business. When starting out, you might hear the phrase, “Wear many hats.” What this means is that something that you might not initially consider in your job description actually falls to you because it has to be done and there’s no one else to do it. This is common among small and grassroots businesses, and by employees ‘wearing many hats’, the business saves a lot of money by not hiring expensive professionals to do the work. The problem is, of course, that with amateurs doing the work, the end result is, well, amateurish. This is usually due to the fact that the people doing these jobs are outside of their comfort zone and are not trained in the proper techniques necessary for adequate work.
But technology has advanced far enough to where fancy and expensive equipment is not necessary for every trade, especially in the entertainment industry. During the pandemic of 2020, musicians took to doing at-home concerts where they all connected online and live streamed playing music together. It’s easy to do and fans enjoyed seeing their favorite artists play live without having to leave their homes.
You Don’t Need to Buy Expensive Equipment
With the free spread of information across platforms such as YouTube and other websites, it is easier than ever before to learn any skill without leaving the comfort of your own home. There are articles and videos explaining how to properly use your phone’s camera to record high quality videos. In fact, Lady Gaga’s music video for “Stupid Love” was shot entirely on an iPhone 11. So yes, it is possible to produce professional quality content without a massive budget, you just need to learn the skills. After some basic lessons in lighting and color theory, film editing would be a good thing to look at. Programs like iMovie and other extremely popular video editing apps can prove crucial to someone looking to start a career in social media. Sound engineers used to use expensive audio programs such as ProTools to record albums. Now, a program called Reaper is completely free to use and does everything the expensive programs do.
You Do Need to Learn Important Skills
If you’re looking to stream video games like pro-gamers Markiplier, JackSepticEye, and PewDiePie, it would be prudent to first learn how to record screen. This way you can show your fans what’s happening on your screen at any given time. However, it’s not just for video gamers. Screen recording is vital for a lot of online businesses, as it is easier to just show somebody a video of your screen instead of writing an extremely long email or trying to explain something over the phone. IT companies use this method frequently to assist customers.
Other skills necessary to learn are computer operations, scheduling, and Microsoft Office products such as Excel. It may not sound like a lot of fun, but starting a career is going to be work no matter what field you go into. Learning computer operations skills will assist you in figuring out how to troubleshoot. YouTubers like Markiplier and the personalities on Game Grumps often experience technological difficulties during their videos and streams. Their knowledge of computers allows them to fix the problems without having to call IT support. Scheduling is a must, as you’ll need to coordinate when you record your videos, and when to upload them. If you’re uploading daily, you’ll want to stick to a strict regimen. Microsoft Excel can help keep your schedule in check.
Algorithms and Trends Are Your New Best Friends
Other things important to learn are the various algorithms these social media sites use to define who sees what and when. There are certain days—and certain times of day—to post videos or pictures on various sites. For example, posting a video on a Monday at noon may prove to have completely different results than posting that same video on the same site on a Thursday at 4pm. Learning the different algorithms for each site will very quickly boost your fan base and start your career ahead of the curve.
Trends are necessary to follow as well. In early 2021, a genre of music known as ‘sea shanties’ saw a sudden spike in popularity. It started on TikTok with a video of one user singing the song ‘The Wellerman’, followed by other users singing along in harmony. Shortly thereafter, companies YouTube and Facebook promoted videos of sea shanty songs, especially different covers of ‘The Wellerman’. This created a self-fulfilling prophecy for a few months as more people watched the videos because companies continued recommending them. After three or four months, the popularity eventually died down and the algorithm began to change and interest began to fade. It is often argued that algorithms make trends, rather than simply follow them. Keeping up with these trends and the ways these algorithms change over the months and years is just as crucial to maintaining your fan base.