COM0014 – Blog #7: Personal Reflection 

Thanks to this course, I have realized that storytelling is even more important to digital content than I had first figured. I always knew that storytelling was the main way that digital content from long blog posts to quick 140 character tweets, but this course showed me that there are so many different steps to ensure that the storytelling method is successful. If you do not choose the right style of storytelling, then your digital content will not be successful and not make a splash in the way your business wants. If you pick the right style of storytelling and do it effectively, then that can make a world of difference in regards to site traffic, sales and your target audience. 

I will keep my content consistent with what my business and I am. Business to Consumer (B2C) is the communication style I will be focusing on as my business is writing commissions. I will keep a personal touch to my promotions and interactions while ensuring that my clients feel as if they are talking to a professional, but also a real person. I want them to know that I am not a faceless company behind the words I write, but a person just like them. I will build current and potential relationships to the best of my abilities using personalized storytelling styles. 

I want to tell stories that make an impact on each person who reads them, no matter how small or large. I want them to come away from my writing feeling good, feeling as if they spent their time wisely and hopefully willing to return to my writing regularly. I want my stories and the emotions they bring out in people to bring them back for more via my writing commission business. 

COM0014 – Blog #6: Do People Know Your Story?

What is your greatest fear for your business?

When I began taking writing commissions, I truly worried. I knew that I had a decent-sized fanbase for the free writings I put online, but expanding into paid writing? That was a big step that had left me unsure. My readers enjoy what I post and have been lovely enough to leave reviews to tell me so in their personalized ways, but I worried that people don’t enjoy my writing enough to pay for it. That is a fear for my business that is still at the forefront of my mind each time I promote my commission business online. 

Thankfully, I have been slowly but steadily building up a stream of clients that have become my regulars over the past few years. There is always room for improvement like in any business and I fear that my commission business will remain stagnant. That I will ever only get a few commissions every few months and this side of my writing will never take off. I fear that my writing will not reach a wider audience if I can’t figure out how to expand my business and remain a small name in a niche market. 

COM0014 – Blog #5: Personal Brand 

I do not own a company, but I do take writing commissions in my spare time. I enjoy writing and creating something new and fresh, my writing style and way with words help me stand out from my competitors in this field. I am a prompt and polite responder, I keep my replies professional and yet I manage to remain personable and I can connect with my clients. They come to me because they enjoy my style of writing and creative ideas. They know I can take a simple idea and spin a world around it with just my words. 

I always do my best to ensure that my writing is up to the standard that I hold myself to when I am writing a paid piece of work. I make sure to clarify and run any new ideas by the client to make sure that they are fine with the changes I think of and if not then those changes can be easily scrapped. I lay out my ground rules in a clear conscience way and I am always willing to bend and twist to make sure that my clients are happy. With this method, I am slowly building up a solid if yet small customer base that comes back almost monthly that has spawned from the free pieces of writing I post online to expand my fanbase. 

COM0014 – Blog #4: B2C Case Study

Shea Moisture Canada 

‘Shea Moisture Canada’ is the Canadian branch of the mother company ‘Shea Moisture’. I will be focusing more on the Canadian branch as I live in Canada and have to adjust my social media search accordingly. This company was created by a black woman in 1912 by the name of Sofi Tucker. It has expanded from her simply selling her homemade hair care products in her village to an international name that all people with curly hair know the name of. While Shea Moisture does supply larger name stores such as Walmart, Amazon and the like, they still purely focus on Business to Customer when it comes to their online presence. 

‘Shea Moisture Canada’ has a well updated Instagram and Facebook presence. They are not shy about sharing images from Shea Moisture users, to help promote their brand and show their customers that their products truly do work. Instagram does focus more on the image-sharing aspect while Facebook focuses more on their current campaigns and new product launches. Currently ‘Shea Moisture Canada’ ran a ‘Salon Relief Fund’ contest where they awarded a local GTA black woman-owned salon the prize of $3,000. They also are standing strong with all the anti-black racism movements. 

Oddly enough while their Instagram and Facebook pages are public and easy to view, when searching them on Twitter. Their ‘Shea Moisture Canada’ page is locked until you are accepted as a follower. On the other hand, the main page for ‘Shea Moisture’ is open and easy to access. With the stances and hashtags they are using, I believe they are reaching their target market rather well. They even have an online viral series in partnership with ‘Code Black Communicator Network’ called #SheaBusiness both their Canadian and main YouTube channel, which also offers handy tutorials on how to use their products on different types of curly hair. 

COM0014 – Blog # 3: Target Audiences

HBO Max

HBO Max’s target audience has settled in the range of 16 to 35. HBO Max has cast their net wide enough to catch every one of all material status, genders, single or families along with those of different ethnicities and religions. HBO Max is targeting those of middle and upper-class incomes as they need to be able to afford HBO Max as a luxury and not a necessity. 

HBO Max is geared towards entertainment lovers with less active lifestyles with high school education and up. HBO Max has plans to focus more on young adult-orientated shows than HBO has available hence the younger target audience. HBO has a target audience of age 40+ and that reflects in their more adult and sometimes slow-paced programs. 

HBO Max is keeping their updates consistent throughout all their social media platforms to ensure the correct information is spread through every channel available. Youtube is one of the best social media platforms for HBO Max to use as their company is video and streaming-based. So a platform like Youtube is perfect for HBO Max to showcase their new content as they do their best to rouse interest in their new streaming platform. They are recently diving deeper into TikTok and Instagram, which is what I would have suggested doing as it is a fresh platform that not a lot of video and streaming companies have delved deeper into using. 

HBO Max’s current brand campaign slogan is ‘Where HBO Meets So Much More’ showing clips of iconic Warner Media movies and television shows from the new ‘Zack Snyder Justice League’ to classics like ‘The Wizard of Oz’. This is showing that HBO Max will one day be merged fully into HBO, but for now, they want to showcase the difference in content between the two. 

COM0014 – Blog # 2: Storytelling and Communication Styles

In module two we learned about digital storytelling and the inverted pyramid. When writing an online article the most important thing to focus on is to have a headline that catches the eyes of potential readers. Having headings and subheadings within the article helps the inspectional reader to skim and decide if the content is worth an in-depth read. 

When writing blog posts it is best, to begin with, the end in mind. If you don’t know where your article is going it is hard to figure out where to begin. Any sort of writing no matter how long should be checked for grammar, spelling and punctuation errors. At this point, analytical readers who absorb and interact via leaving comments will begin to form from interested inspectional readers. 

From analytical readers, synoptical readers can emerge. Synoptical readers are those who build new idea’s from what others have created. Inspiration can come from anywhere, from articles to videos even from comments left on online media. When it comes to the written word there are passive and active voices. A passive tone of voice speaks in the past tense, telling the reader what has already happened. While an active tone of voice is focused on the present, telling the reader about what is happening as if it is going on right at this moment in time. 

COM0014 – Blog # 1: What I Did on My Vacation

Ontario’s All-Inclusive Resort

Cast your mind back to the year 2019, when we were all able to wander the great outdoors without a care. The summer of 2019 is when my last vacation took place, in a wonderful hidden gem right here in Ontario that we have visited annually since my sister and I were children. 

The Fern Resort, Ontario’s All-Inclusive Resort. 

It is nestled on the shores of Lake Couchiching, directly across from Orillia and down the road from Casino Rama. It is a family-friendly resort that includes lake edge cottages to a lush forest that surrounds the far side of the resort. The beauty of this resort is that they have programs for every age group from young children to adults so you have your choice of being active or being at complete leisure. 

I tend to lean towards leisure when I visit with my parents and older sister. Their two lake-side pools and terrace bar are the places to be when the sun is shining. When I’m not swimming, reading or dipping a toe in the chilly water of Lake Couchiching, I am walking around the grounds or taking part in one of the many activities that take place every day. 

Personally, archery is my favourite thing to do while visiting the Fern. I did try axe throwing for the first time and boy it is harder than it looks! However, my sister did try axe throwing at an actual range and found that the Fern Resort’s version was harder, who would have thought! 

Other than taking part in the buffet lunch on the pool deck at noon, archery and axe throwing, I tend to stick to things like badminton with my family and then swimming in the pool before lounging in one of the two hot tubs that overlook the lake. 

Usually, about halfway through the week my family and I book a sunset cruise. After dinner is served in the dining room, we venture out to the boat dock and climb on the resort’s pontoon boat to be given a guided tour of the numerous islands and the harbour of Lake Couchiching while the sun sinks below the horizon. 

Every night there is some form of entertainment for the guests and on Thursday nights, the employees put on a creative lip-sync show to wrap up the week.

Have you ever tried axe throwing before?

Are there any hidden gems that have you have discovered like my family and I  those years ago?

Independent Artists and Social Media.

Thanks to the quickly growing popularity of Social Media, there has been a surge of independent artists joining. These artists can specialize in any format of art from digital to charcoal. Before social media, many of these artists would struggle to get visibility for their work. Artists in the world of fandoms usually had to get a table at conventions and generate sales the old fashion way. Now, however, thanks to the many different platforms online, getting their work out for the world to see couldn’t be easier! 

There are free sites that artists can simply use to display their art and interact with their audience. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and DeviantArt, just to name a few! These sites are extremely good for generating interest and prompting the viewer to take a closer look at the artists and their works. These sites are good for word of mouth and raking up views, follows and likes. 

Many of the free sites listed above are the perfect places to put links to where the artist can sell their art to the viewer. Patreon is a highly popular platform where people can subscribe a certain amount of money at different tiers. This allows them to gain access to art that is not shown to the general public and interact with the artist on a more intimate level. Etsy is on a lower level than Patreon, but still highly used for selling handmade products. Etsy allows you to talk with the artist directly in case of problems or questions. 

While Patreon and Etsy are perfect sites for selling and interaction, sites like Redbubble and Society6 are perfect for those who want variety. Both of these sites showcase independent artists and ensure they get their cut when their art is ordered. These sites allow the customer to select what sort of medium they wish to purchase artwork on (ex. metal, canvas, clothing, posters, coasters, etc) so in that aspect, there are many more choices and the customer can get exactly what they are looking for. 

Do you have any art from an online artist that you adore and now are considering finding in a different medium?

Redbubble Example

Twitter: Selling Made Easy! Independent Artists and Social Media. https://bit.ly/37hdIc0

Facebook: Do You Want To Promote Your Art? Social Media Makes It Easy For Independent Artists! https://bit.ly/37hdIc0

Social Media Saves Shows

Social media has grown in power over the years, it has become a way for fans to voice their opinions directly to those in charge. Sometimes their opinions are heard and action has been taken. Sometimes, cancelled shows get a second chance because their loyal fans fought so hard for it. 

Shows such as ‘Lucifer’, ‘Wynonna Earp’, ‘Sense8’, Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, ‘Timeless’ and many more shows have been given new life thanks to fans on social media. An article from insider.com lists 16 shows that were brought back or were given a movie for closure thanks to dedicated fanbases and their creative ways of showing their adoration for their favourite shows and cast.

On the flip side, shows with strong followings even years later such as ‘Hannibal’ its fans are still campaigning for their show to be saved. I’m apart of the #Fannibalfamily for ‘Hannibal’ and have seen firsthand how dedicated the people who love this show are. 

Not to mention the series ended on a cliffhanger, literally. [SPOILER ALERT] The series finale had the two main characters falling over the edge of a cliff, so we have no clue if they are still alive or not. When shows end like this, the need for closure only grows stronger and that translates into the dedication of the fanbase and the ongoing support of the cast and crew behind it. It is all done in hopes that one day the show will be revived and carried on from where it left off. 

Such strong commitment spreads and people and companies begin to take notice. 

Social media has given us the viewer more power than we ever had in the past and because of these platforms, we can make a difference. Hashtags are universal on social media platforms, they make it easy to connect with others who are talking about the same topic. If that topic gets enough buzz then it will show up as trending and that helps gain attention. That is what most online campaigns to save shows boil down to, the more you post with certain hashtags the more visibility your cause gains. 

Twitter: Take a look at my thoughts on how Social Media Saves Shows https://bit.ly/3129ilA

Facebook: The New Way of Saving Shows. Social Media! https://bit.ly/3129ilA

The Rise Of Cosplay

According to dictionary.com (2020), the term ‘cosplay’ means “the art or practice of wearing costumes to portray characters from fiction, especially from manga, animation, and science fiction”. For some (like myself) it is a creative hobby that occurs once or twice a year, while for others it is their way of life. Thanks to the rise of social media, those dedicated cosplayers can now make a living off of their passion in a way that not a lot of other people can say they do. 

Cosplayers would spend months and many hours working on their cosplay to debut it at a convention. To show everyone their love for the character they decided to cosplay as. However, thanks to social media they can now showcase not only the finished product at any time but also the creative process that goes into each cosplay. That is much more intensive than you would think! 

Thanks to sites like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, cosplayers from all over the world can easily create large fanbases. The more followers you get the more money the cosplayer can make and therefore the better quality their cosplays can become and then the cycle repeats. 

Most cosplayers focus on one or two characters when they are first starting and become well known for those characters before they branch out. For example, one of my favourite male cosplayers Phil Mizuno had his starting point as Bakugou Katsuki from Boku No Hero Academia/My Hero Academia before he started branching off into other characters. Note: yes, everything in the photo below was handmade!

Instagram: Phil Mizuno as ‘Bakugou Katsuki’ From Boku No Hero Academia/My Hero Academia.

With the popularity of Comic-Con’s and other conventions throughout the world, cosplay has become more accepted and mainstream. If you are popular enough you may even be asked to appear as a cosplay guest at conventions and your fans will come from far and wide to get a photo with you. They are celebrities in their own right. Syfy even created a show ‘Cosplay Melee’ bringing in the best of the best to create intricate cosplays in a competitive environment. 

Thanks to social media cosplay has become less labelled as something only ‘nerds’ enjoy. In reality, dressing up on Halloween is a form of cosplay that everyone is actively encouraged to participate in! Cosplay is the freedom to be creative and show your love for what you enjoy, no matter if it is anime, movies, books or video games! 

If you could cosplay as any character, who would you cosplay as? I’m posting one of my recent cosplay’s below to show that you can become anyone you want. Her name is Lacus Clyne from an anime called ‘Gundam SEED’ and she is a Captain of a warship. 

Instagram: Kim Sanders as ‘Lacus Clyne’ From Gundam SEED

Facebook – Ever wonder how social media works hand in hand with cosplayers? Find out in my new blog ‘The Rise Of Cosplay” https://bit.ly/3n34c1V

Twitter – “The Rise Of Cosplay” will tell you everything you need to know about social media & cosplay https://bit.ly/3n34c1V

References:
Cosplay. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2020, from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/cosplay?s=t
Phil Mizuno. (n.d). Retrieved September 26, 2020, from https://www.instagram.com/p/Bm3iX3ngDjy/
Cosplay Melee. (n.d). Retrieved September 26, 2020, from https://www.syfy.com/cosplay-melee