Right now is a stressful time to be a creative. In a time when so many around the world are deeply affected, creative professionals face special challenges: live shows are being canceled, craft fairs, events, and conferences are being postponed, and many revenue streams for creative people are disappearing.
More creatives are struggling to survive in this new normal. Between lockdown in St. Catherine, lay-offs, curfew, and social distancing, creatives now have to find unique ways to connect with their audiences and make money.
When HootSuite issued their annual 2020 Digital Report in January, of the 1.63 million internet users in Jamaica, there are 1.30 million people on social media. 660,000 of those are on Instagram. YouTube is the second most frequented, next to Facebook.
However, most creatives aren’t able to navigate the space, especially during COVID-19.
“I’ve been preaching about personal branding for about seven years. Since watching Gary Vee, the US-based social media guru, a couple of years ago who constantly preaches about documenting your story and using your online platform to build relationships, I realized that I needed to write something specifically for the creative industry. Since COVID-19 a lot of creatives are at a loss because they don’t understand the digital space.”
The digital space is constantly changing with Instagram adding different fonts, challenge stickers, and new platforms like San Francisco-based crowdfunding/membership platform Patreon which saw 30,000 creators launch new funding accounts in the first three weeks of March.
The platform has now released additional figures that highlight a growing surge in sign-ups of both creators and patrons during the ongoing Coronavirus lockdown.
However, somehow that hasn’t translated to Jamaica. “We’re not keeping up with the technology. And so there is a great divide between the younger people who are thriving by doing YouTube and being influencers and the older generation who are averse to using social media, or solely confined to Facebook.” marketer Kesi Gardner said.
Kesi Gardner has been a marketer and communication consultant for over 16 years. She has worked in the non-profit world, PR, and marketing positions for more than 10 years and provides consulting services as Director of The Storyteller Agency. Co which focuses on public relations, content creation, web development, marketing consultation, and influencer marketing. She also manages an international model, celebrity photographer, influencers, and bloggers.
“The creative industry is being touted as a critical and viable sector for the promotion of economic growth and development, through entrepreneurship. However, the changemakers haven’t equipped them with the tools they need to monetize. My ebook is the first part of our plan to help them learn how to use their personal brand to tell their story, build relationships, and monetize their platforms on a global scale. We are also launching online-based short courses where people can sign up to learn the basics of how to live blog, how to pitch to brands for sponsorship, personal branding, how to take great photos, and how to start their own podcast.” Kesi Gardner said.
So who is the book really for? By definition a creative is someone “having or showing an ability to make new things or think of new ideas.: using the ability to make or think of new things: involving the process by which new ideas, stories, etc.
A creative can be anyone from an artist, writer to musician, photographer, influencer, blogger, podcaster, poet, chef, baker, dressmaker, jewelry designer, filmmaker, fashion designer, stylist, dancer, painter, videographer, marketer, web or game developer, that uses their skill to create something.
“While writing the book, I interviewed and studied different creatives and looked at their best practices to grow their personal brand and get opportunities. With face-to-face being hindered, what you post online, is now more critical than ever. I’ve posted the interviews on my website www.kesigardner.com