Thanks to the internet, life is more full of gray area than ever. For most of us, social media has a huge presence in our lives, and it’s rife with… well, danger, kind of. There’s the danger in being too public with your personal life in a context that can be accessed by people you work with professionally. And one could make the argument that there is such a thing as your professional presence imposing on your personal world, as well. And yet, it’s only become more of a necessity to be present on social for anyone working in a creative field.
How to navigate this minefield of mixing social media with business? Keep the following in mind at all times!
1. Accept modern reality
For creative workers, especially freelancers, social media participation has become a necessity. Maybe you don’t think it’s fair, but that’s the way it is. Bearing that in mind, think of ways to approach it that you enjoy, that don’t make you feel violated, and that will reflect favorably on you and your career and experiences.
2. Use it, but only if you use it right.
Social media can be a powerful tool to spread the word about your name and brand, but if you have a hard time drawing the line between what’s appropriate for different audiences, you might want to do some serious homework before plunging in. Think about what would work best on each platform. What would work for you on Instagram may not work for you on Facebook.
3. Maintain neutrality.
A professional social feed is not the place to put anything remotely controversial. This is not to mean you shouldn’t have an opinion but keep it positive and avoid expressions of divisiveness or anger. Direct your audience to our work, not your words. Think good vibes!
4. Draw a line.
You can have more than one account! If you’d like to share your weekend shenanigans with the world, create a personal account that’s completely separate from your professional one. Then, consider making your personal account private—if you don’t, people from your professional life are probably still going to look at it.
Good luck out there. The forecast is that there is much more gray area to come as the internet continues to redefine human society!
Marjorie is a Creative Circle candidate based in Portland with a longing for work-related travel. She is a writer/editor and stylist/producer with an emphasis in the design world. If you are interested in working with Marjorie, please contact Creative Circle Portland.