I Got My Current Job Because of Linkedin!

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There is a misconception that Linkedin is not effective in Jamaica. Although recruiters and hiring managers may not frequent Linkedin as much as they do in the US, it is still a relevant way to network with other professionals and make valuable connections.

I got my current job because of Linkedin! When searching for candidates, my name kept coming up in search and so they reached out. So Jamaican employers are headhunting, especially in niche industries like Advertising.

First of all Linkedin is focused on showcasing professional accomplishments, a lot of which we don’t go about displaying in our daily lives. So put that award you won or that MBA you worked hard for. This is the place to brag a little about your accomplishments. It is the perfect place to connect with people in your industry who could potentially hire you or recommend you for a job.

So here are a few tips you can use to make your profile more appealing to potential employers:

  1. Use a professional profile photo: Take the time to invest in a professional photographer. You can hire one of many spectacular freelance photographers there are out there or you can visit Photodayz in Soverign Centre. Depending on the industry you work in you can dress accordingly. For example, if you work in accounting, you should wear a suit. However, if you work in the creative industry, you can get away with a crisp, white shirt. Women, spend a little extra and get your makeup done. A nice professional photograph just makes you put your best foot forward.
  2. Create an impactful headline: The headline under your name is the first thing people read when they search for your name. Make it count. This you can use to say one, amazing thing about you as a professional. Use adjectives that describe who you are. For example, mine says, “I build brands!” which in a nutshell what I do in my professional life. It’s catchy and it gets the attention of the people that I’m targeting– potential employers and clients.
  3. Tell a story with your bio/summary: This is the opportunity to tell a story about your professional journey and list three accomplishments you’ve made in your career thus far. Keep it concise but quanitfiable. Like for example say, “I increased productivity by 25%.”
  4. Network, network, network: Reach out to people you’ve met offline and in some instances, reach out to people you may be interested in meeting but haven’t had the opportunity yet. Be tactful in your approach. Note that while not everyone would be open to connecting with people they don’t know, others see the value in connecting online.
  5. Share valuable content: Just like any other network, sharing valuable content like blog posts, articles in your industry and quotes is crucial to raising your profile and rank on Linkedin. Share once a day to really add value. People in your network will see you as knowledgeable and come to you for advice when they need it.

Top Ten Jamaican YouTubers you Should Know

After the success of my blog post: Top Seven Bloggers to Showcase your Brand, I decided to take a more in-depth look into the YouTube industry. This is my top ten list based on subscribers and the quality of the original content:

1. Andrew Trabass is not based in Jamaica but you would never know as his accent is straight “yahdie.” His blogs are original and hilarious! Trabass’s has over 284,081 subscribers and over 49,286,894 views on his channel.

He also has a personal v-log that showcases his day-to-day life. He’s a singer/songwriter and even sells t-shirts on his website.

 

2. With boy band looks and charisma, the YaadBwoys are the hottest “yahdies” on YouTube. They over 143,844 subscribers and over 14 million views!  These guys technically don’t live in Jamaica, (they are based in Florida) but the content produced is appealing to the Jamaican teen (girls) market.

3. JamaicanMakeUpArtist offers makeup tutorials and weave reviews. She hosts over 120,000 YouTube subscribers on and 1,393,935 views. She’s ranked in the Top 100 YouTubers on Social Blade. Great for beauty products and makeup brands.

4. See2TwinTwo are Jamaican twins who basically v-log about their lives. Even though they are all grown up, these young ladies would be great for the tween market. They have over 62,000 subscribers with over 4million views! Lots of tag and challenge videos.

5. Copping the Personal Achievement Award for Excellence in Blogging at the Caribbean Blog and Social Media awards last year, Dutty Berry has been an overnight success since he started posting his reviews of Tessanne on NBC’s “The Voice.” He hosts over 60,334 subscribers and has 4,984,166 views on YouTube. He’s currently the spokesperson for #NuhDuttyUpJamaica, a Jamaica Environment Trust public education initiative geared towards keeping coastal environments clean.

He’s also been nominated for YouthView Awards’ Favourite Break Out Celebrity of 2014.

5. Award winning Jamaican Video Blog of the Year in 2012, The Duke Powell Show is funny, authentic Jamaican content with over 49,375 subscribers and over 5 198 302 views.

Popularly known for his video that went viral: “The Pum Pum Tun Up!”

6. Bella Blair is a comedic actress who writes and produces a lot of her own content. She also has a show on RETV called Bella’s Bizarre World. She was recently appointed the brand ambassador for Cran Wata. She boasts over 36,141 subscribers with over 3,690,984 views.

7. With over 15,900 subscribers, Wally British is the rawest talent on the roster. Her unorthodox preaching keeps fans engaged and screaming for more. Subject matter is very adult, so best suited for the 18 years or older crowd.

British would be a great candidate for a public awareness campaign around sex education or any subject matter centered around sex and reproductive health.

8. A modern day Louise Bennett, Carla Moore was inspired to start a channel devoted to sharing her love for her country after going away to study. Just recently, Carla presented a competition sponsored by Jamaica Jazz and Blues requesting video submissions of their best Mariah Carey impression. The winner received a 3-day pass to the event.

With over 10, 463 subscribers, she would be a great spokesperson for anything Jamaica.

9. MakeupbyPetiteSue showcases mostly makeup tutorials and weave reviews. Interesting note, she doesn’t wear foundation! She has over 5,996 subscribers and over 110,201 views on YouTube.

10. Mamachell is a well-poised, sassy media personality and lifestyle blogger who talks about everything from Teen Wolf to the Kartel Murder Trial. She would be great for partnering with brands targeting the entertainment or travel/tourism industry.

Top 7 Jamaican Bloggers to Showcase Your Brand

With the Jamaican blogging community steadily growing and brands trying to find new and innovative ways to engage, marketers need to go beyond traditional media.

Here are a few of my favorite bloggers by category:

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Fashion & Lifestyle

1. Natasha Leeds is a young, stylish fashionista who blogs about her fashion and natural hair journey. With over 16k followers on Instagram, she has the potential to reach a wide audience. Best for 16-25 yo. Great for fashion designers, retail and department stores, lifestyle and cultural events, natural hair and beauty products. *Updated: Natasha moved to Miami but visits Jamaica every year.

2. Natalia OH: is a mother of two who blogs about Fashion, DIYs and Lifestyle. Best for 25-40 yo target, Twitter Followers: 5k, Instagram Followers: 8k.  Lots of #OOTDs! Winner of the 2012 Jamaica Blog Awards for the Best Beauty and Fashion Blog and is a Gleaner Lifestyle contributor.

Best for fashion designers, retail and department stores, makeup and beauty retailers, restaurants, lifestyle and cultural events and lifestyle brands.

*Updated: Nataliah is now Marketing Manager for Maxie stores.

3. Lauren O Lauren has been around for long time (see previous post on our interview with Lauren O Lauren). She moved to the US couple of years ago but still has a strong following in Jamaica. Best for 18-30 yo hipster, Gen Y group.Talks a lot about weave! Twitter followers: 6k, Instagram: 7k. Over 5,000 subscribers on YouTube. Best for tech companies, fashion designers, lifestyle and beauty products and services, fashion and retail outlets. See her most viewed blog which has over 21,000 views.

*Updated: Lauren lives in California with her husband and dog, Henry.

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4. On Orange Street: Lifestyle blog for the life and style of young Caribbean women. Co-founded by Afayah Pendergrast and Monique Kennedy. The content is vivacious! They blog about budgeting and career building. Won the 2014 Caribbean Blog & Social Award for Best Lifestyle Blog. Small following on social networks but there is potential for growth.

Best for banks and insurance companies, the automotive industry, fashion designers, boutique shops and furniture stores, lifestyle and cultural events and lifestyle brands.

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*Updated: This group no longer has a blog together but both are doing well as individuals.

5. Irie Diva: is lifestyle Jamaican blogger who writes about a variety of topics including recipes, hair and beauty products and cultural events. Oh and her munchkin!  Twitter Followers: 3k Instagram followers: 1k

Best for cultural and lifestyle events, ital/vegetarian products, natural hair and beauty products, travel and leisure, kids

 

Make Up 

6. Chunchi is a YouTuber who averages over 500 views per video. She vlogs mostly about her makeup skills and reviews beauty products both Jamaican and US based. Twitter Followers: 4k, Instagram Followers: 1k. She would be a great advocate for makeup and natural beauty products.

Food

7. Jessica in the Kitchen won 2014’s Caribbean Blog and Social Media Award for Best Food Blog. Creates innovative, vegetarian recipes fit to be in any food magazine. With beautiful imagery, this blog would be great to feature natural food and drink products. Twitter: 1.4k, Instagram: 1k

If you know any bloggers who you think should be featured, let me know! I’m always looking for new bloggers to follow!

How you tweet @Tessanne tells so much about you

@Tessanne has captured Jamaican’s hearts over the past few weeks with her musical renditions on The Voice. Many Jamaicans at home and abroad have rallied together to support her through social media.

Several companies have also jumped on the Tessanne train, sharing Jamaica’s sentiments of love and support.

However, when a brand or company’s social media manager gets so caught up in the competition and forgets who they are representing – where do you draw the line? Are companies or brands entitled to express a clear distaste for a particular contestant or song?

I understand the need for engagement,  but posting negative comments about other contestants is very unprofessional. Companies shouldn’t show dissatisfaction so intently that they risk alienating their core audience. Remember, you are managing not only reputation, you are representing Brand Jamaica.

How to Reinvent Yourself

After struggling as a graphic designer in a third world country, where design skills were not appreciated, I decided to move to the U.S. to re-invent myself.

Here’s how I did it:

HOW TO REINVENT YOURSELF

These tips can help anyone else who is also struggling with changing their career or wanting to expand their capacity within their current field.

1. Determine where you want to go. When I started out, I wanted to remain in Advertising, but to switch roles to  Account Management, working on Strategy and dealing with clients’ needs, determining the best approach to expressing their key messages – my role is constantly evolving and as social media becomes a driving force in PR, I will stay in it.

2. Develop a Narrative. Explain your past and find a way to bring the story to the present. In my situation, Communications and Graphic Design are in a way still very much related, so bridging the gap was a very easy transition – my interest came from wanting to offer more services to my clients.

3. Reintroduce Yourself. My colleagues know me as a Graphic Designer because I have spent most of my working life as one. Even when I apply for jobs people still want to put me in the Design role because that is where I have the most experience.

Emailing everyone you know individually of your new path will help to redirect your goal. People will then remember your new title and recommend and refer you to new jobs and potential business ventures.

4. Show what you are made of. If you don’t show people what the new direction of your career is they will never know, which is why I started this blog.

5. Go to events and show them your business card . Become more acquainted with people in the industry. Make sure you introduce yourself with your new title. If no name cards are provided at the event, make sure to make one of your own and wear it. This will help people to see you and remember the title you have decided to acquire.

If you need any advice, tweet me @KesiAGardner