We currently live in an era like no other where we are more than ever deciding that we want to entrepreneurs. With creative media jobs scarce and with automated life on the rise we have an exponential amount of free time. Infact “608,110 businesses were started in the UK in 2015, a new record compared to 2014’s 581,173 start-ups and 526,447 in 2013” (Maximilian Yoshioka, 2016).
With social media accessible to everyone and website building sites free and easily manageable it’s never been easier to try and test out your product or service in your spare time or full time and a high percentage of my friends alone all have their own businesses ranging from jewelry stores to fully fledged recording studios earning thousands.
I myself have set up and ran my own business for 3 years using the power of social media and my own drive for my product. It was hard and I didn’t quite understand what I was doing but somehow managed to get quite a large and respected name for myself and my business.
I was never interested in doing business at A Level it all sounded very hard and boring and I was more of a practical person anyway. It wasn’t until University when I began to realize how important business knowledge was to someone working towards a career in the media industry. A lot of graduates and media workers are freelance and you need to learn how to sell yourself pretty quickly with little if not any knowledge on how to present yourself on social media.
It wasn’t until i began this course in MA Social Media did it hit me how easy but easily missed opportunities are on social media in order to build your social profile.
It hit me the other night when a friend of mine in London uploaded a video to Facebook on how to get more response to your emails. He had set up his own magazine in London and it was doing really well, admittedly the magazine wasn’t anything I was interested in but he sold it so well on social media that I subscribed for alerts to it. He was so talented in business management that I was jealous and wished I knew whatever he knew without having to read all the books and take all the classes.
Why is there not a website where people like me who are setting up their own business can go to and learn from daily or weekly. Where other people who have made a business work make short videos about their adventures and help you build yours. It could be sectioned in each sections on how to utilize social media for marketing, which hashtags to use on which day to get the largest interaction etc. There are a number of pay to watch sites which probably do have everything I need but if you are setting up your own business you really probably don’t have that kind of money to be wasting on stuff you could learn by trial and error.
So my idea is to create a site which does this. It will offer tutorials on how to utilize social media to build your online presence. When to post and what to post, who to follow and what to hashtag. There is clearly a rising audience for this from the stats and I already know a few people who could use this and who could contribute to it.
Questions I need to ask myself though are:
- How will this be funded if I am offering the service for free?
- Who will record the videos and talk about the weekly subjects?
- How many videos will I need before I launch the site?
- Will it just be videos or blog posts too?
Idea 3- Uni Con
If the “Business Model Canvas” taught me anything, it is “don’t fall in love with your first idea” (Nguyen Phuong, 2015). The second in this case; after pitching my concept to an online social media focus group I quickly came across a number of hurdles and problems that after sleeping on, made me realise it would be pointless to carry on with this idea.
As you can see it got a number of comments sending me to similar apps which once I took a look at what exactly what I wanted to offer and also a number of people brought up the issue that a lot of food is questionable if it does have gluten or not in it and can be quite dangerous to let a community put in what they think is “gluten free”.
I also pitched my idea to a local app developer I found through Google and I got this email is response:
For an app i wanted to be free to the public, he was sure going to cost myself and the business a lot of money but not only that, he goes on to say that he doesn’t believe there is a database big enough to hold my idea!
So after a lot of consideration I will stop pursuing this idea but I am glad I have done this and done this early on so I know and can work on another idea which may work.
My third and hopefully final idea is to organise and host a comic con but purely made to showcase Universities and what they have to offer by their students presenting and testing their work to potential buyers or investors.
“Comic con is a great place for exposure and it’s a big chance for me to get myself out there”(Morgan Spurlock , 2012)
Comic cons have grown substantially in popularity in the past few years with Disney buying Marvel back in 2009 for $4 billion. Since then they have accelerated the speed in film production for the comic series and some older ones such as “Guardians of the galaxy”. (John Kell, 2015). They have taken not only the UK by storm but the world with San Diego Comic Con selling out every year on the day of ticket release.They offer personal meet-and-greets with Hollywood’s actors and directors, to small-time comic artists to an array of wonderfully creative cosplayers. The shows have something for everyone interested in the comic culture.
My convention would run every year in the first few weeks in September and tour across the UK so every University has a chance to showcase their work to their demographic and local opportunities. For example a West Midlands con hosted in the NEC center would have a number of the local University’s present: Wolverhampton uni, Birmingham, Warick, Coventry, Aston etc. Then one for London, then one for Scotland etc.
The Universities would each put in a payment to be at the convention and with this payment they get maybe 10 slots for each section at the con for their students to claim:
Sections of the con:
- Games development: (games developed by students on all platforms, this includes PC, and VR)
- Apps (This would blend next to games because some games may be app exclusives but this section is anything app related)
- Film production and television studies: (here there would be a mini cinema similar to what Cineworld sometimes do for MCM, where you queue up to see a few select trailers students have made and you can give your review on after, or even have a screen and seats in the open so people can come and watch when they want)
- Illustration and Graphic Design: (this is where illustrators are with a selection of their comics on show and art to purchase or subscribe to)
- Local businesses (this is current students or recently graduated students who have set up their own business sometimes not related to their degree, they can sell their product or service here)
- Fashion (in this section would be all the fashion designers and print makers, they will host a fashion show and there would be prizes for categories such as best costume piece, most creative, skill etc)
Having only a small selection of students from each University for each section of the con allows a diverse range of productivity and an equal chance for each University. Also it would provide competition and a reason to push yourself while studying so you can be selected for this chance.
Instead of having celebrities like a typical MCM has there would be investors, and talks with them in what they look for in products or even famous app developers or even BBC and SKY who would come to the event looking for potential recruits. There would be talks throughout the day with each of them and maybe even ex students who used their skills to get where they are now and talk about how they did that.
This I feel would be great for graduating students who may need that push to get their product seen but also for freshers who are new to it and need inspiration in their creative topic.
Along with the Universities paying to be apart of the event I could also include relatable freshers products who would pay for space which I have seen at previous MCM events such as:
- Dominos pizza- Could possibly give out free pizza or vouchers
- Cineworld- They do offer a special rate for student subscriptions which they could promote
- Pure GYM- They also offer a 20% discount on student subscriptions
- CEX- I see these almost at every comic con and feel they would be interested in my event as it is again their target audience
The event would be open to the public also to see the work and what the Universities have to offer but they would pay on the door a higher price while students would pay half price entry for themselves only. That would also bring in more revenue.
To test my idea I will go to local Universities to pitch my idea to students and higher faculty to gauge an interest.
Earlier this month I finally got diagnosed with a mild intolerance to gluten, fantastic I thought another thing to worry about along with the coursework and crippling financial debt great! The inconvenience of it did not hit me until earlier this weekend when my friends and I decided it would be nice to go out for a meal together and as we began naming our favorite restaurants and fast food joints I had to hold up my hand and confess I could no longer eat at any of those. Much to my disappointment and frustrated they ordered a extra cheese pepperoni pizza from Dominos and I had to sit down with a bowl of salad. I had to wave goodbye to my favorite foods; pizza, pasta, lasagna, chocolate, how am I to cope!?
I began to google “What can I even eat?” and “something has to be gluten free” and I came across some fantastic recipes and tips on how to substitute certain foods and ingredients. But what is gluten? what part of this bread am I not allowed to eat? And most importantly in what foods does it lurk.
Not to my surprise it is in a lot, and it hides it self very well. Some chocolate has it some do not, some cakes have it some do not, fish fingers? they are a no go too! I got so confused and I still am! If you ever bump into me in a shopping mall crying it is probably because I still can’t figure out if I can eat a yogurt!
But my idea will change that, it will stop un educated people like myself from feeling overwhelmed and hopeless when shopping or going out with friends and family.
My idea is to create an app where you can either scan the barcode from your phone into the app and the app will register it in its database and come back with a simple “yes, you can eat this! It is free of gluten, wheat and soya” or “no, you cannot eat this as it contains gluten”. The app does the work for you and suddenly you can start to enjoy shopping and eating again.
The app will be a bit more complicated then that though as I want the app to create a sense of community as well. It will allow each user when they install the app to create a profile and with this profile they can add foods which may not be on the app so other users are not left in the dark; the more users that join the more the app is updated with new products.
But it still won’t stop there! I hate being told what I can and cannot do let alone what I can and cannot eat even if it is for my own benefit so I don’t want people who come to this app to be told “no” to every piece of chocolate they scan only to left disheartened and now they understand the full extend of their intolerance, so I will use advertisers to “recommend” their supplement product. This bring in money into the app to help pay developers for updates and control of the app but also it helps people understand that eve though you may not be able to enjoy these sausages there are some gluten free ones in Asda at the moment on special offer.
Then from here we can branch out into a website where these same users can upload stories of their lives and struggles but also recipes they have come up with themselves or found online. This bring the users together in a kind of social media.
There are already a few apps with a similar concept to this but as a quick glance I feel they do not offer to the extent what I hope to offer with my app.
Eating shouldn’t be a chore and until this app is developed or until I can find the time to memories all the secret words for gluten it will be for myself and hundreds of others across the country.
As a recent graduate within the creative media sector like many others I left University with a lot of hope and aspirations but little real life experience or work to show for my efforts and debt. I worked hard over the post graduate months to try and secure placements, yet I was unsuccessful. I began working on my own blog, reporting on local news, photographing friends and family and simply just using my skills whenever and wherever i could.
I quickly built up a basic portfolio but still I was challenged with the task of actually getting it out there, getting it seen. It seemed no matter how much I posted or work I put into it I would never get as many views or comments as a video of a cat falling off a table on Facebook.
I began dwelling into other social media platforms to hone down on my skills and hopefully be noticed by other artists and or employers. It was then I began to realize that most creative social medias are not social at all. Most let you comment, and most let you send a direct message but not a single one let you use a variety of skills in one place.
That is when it hit me…
My idea is to create a social media platform for a more professional creative audience. I want it to be easier for people to create and view each others work in a more social and user friendly format.
There are already a number of social media outlets allowing similar interests such as LinkedIn, Deviant Art and Facebook but each one of them has qualities which lack from the other platforms. LinkedIn is great for social networking with local people who share similar skills and careers as you and also helps you network with future possible colleagues and employers but doesn’t present your work in an “easy on the eyes” way.
Deviant Art is a great site to show off your art and work and their monthly and weekly promoted Deviant artist is a great way to get noticed. But its social element I find hard to follow and doesn’t allow you to talk in depth about your work, inspirations and progress.
Facebook is perfect for socializing and works well as a community for all your different circle of friends. Although it has nearly perfected the art of virtual communication I find it lacks professionalism and character building for a career.
But by combining the 3 platforms together you get a social media network which helps you show off your ability in photography, written journalism, video production, presentation etc, network with other people with similar interests and also still socialise and communicate with friends and professionals.
It will allow everyone to structure their own magazine, daily, weekly, monthly and gain subscribers to their magazine. The more subscribers to your magazine the more likely you are to be noticed much like Instagram. Whether you are an artist, a photographer, a journalist you can use the sight, you can produce all the work or work with friends to create something spectacular.
You will have a similar timeline to Facebook where the magazines you subscribe to their latest updates and posts will all appear for you the read and look at.