How to Start a Career in the Creative Industry

Want to make a career out of the stuff you make? The creative industries describe business and organization that focus on creativity: music, design, art, publishing, literature, architecture, film, visual arts, fashion, and drama, to name a few.

Within those industries are needs for high-level design, marketing, and advertising professionals.

Why are creative careers so important? They’re creating jobs in the digital sector and the economy at large. “Creatives,” as employees in the creative industry are called, are in high demand.

What’s great about the creative industry? It’s constantly changing, and you get to work with people who are just as passionate as you are.

Let’s take a closer look at how to start your career in the creative industry—and Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) where creatives succeed.

1. Get exposure and make your art

How? Network, network, network, and don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. The more contacts you have in the field you want, the more likely it is that you’ll find work.

Make a few phone calls to companies that interest you, and see what they offer.  Not quite there? Check out their websites, and prepare a few pitches for projects that you’re interested in doing.

If that’s getting you nowhere, find someplace you might want to work and volunteer, apprentice, or intern. Cast your net wide, make the connections, get out there, and do it.

Lorenzo Longo, a designer in Milan since 2006 and graduate of IED, tells about his first experience working for Pirelli tires. He said, “In that occasion Pirelli choose me to be part of their engineers’ team and I developed the design of new tire patterns for them. I worked for Pirelli tires for about one year, in the same period I opened my studio.”

De-Signum, the studio he opened, is a multitasking design enterprise that works across architecture, interior design, and product design.

2. Work hard

This shouldn’t come as a shock: you have to work hard. Positions in the creative industry are competitive, especially if you’re just out of school. The key? Experience and attitude. Get as much experience as you can, and as many key connections as you can while you’re in school. It will pay off.

Longo says, “Creativity is an attitude, it’s very difficult to learn to be creative if you are not curious and interested in everything that surrounds you. You should be as a “parfumeur,” you should learn how to develop your own smell, develop your own spirit of observation, work hard, not be boring, learn how funny it is to be working in team, have patience.”

3. Follow your passion

Do what you love. Don’t worry about what other people think. As long as you care about what you do, respect others, and work hard to make a positive impact, you can make it in the creative industry.

Anna Rogg, coordinator of the Career Services Offices at IED Italy and responsible for the official IED Alumni platform says, “My advice, for young creatives, is to try to share ideas with colleagues, your boss without being jealous, never criticize other people, but try to find always positive sides. Always attending specific courses during weekends, evenings… be up-to-date!”

4. Get the right master’s degree: IED

Ready to launch your career in the creative industry? Already have your bachelor’s degree?

Get the right master’s degree at IED in Italy. With specialized and technical training, real projects with partner companies, and a wide alumni network, IED offers students masters courses in contemporary art, design, fashion, and communication.

Long says he’s still in touch with IED. He says, “It still happens that IED calls me for special projects. I worked for the Campari Group about a year ago.”

Rogg echoes the sentiment. She says, “We help students for twelve months after their graduation. This year we are going to launch our first IED Alumni platform with special deals, partnerships and job postings dedicated to our IED Community. Last year, IED Milan found internships for 92 percent of our former students who recently graduated.”

If you’re looking for a step up in that creative field that you’ve dreamed about forever, now’s your chance. Check out IED and give your creative career the boost it deserves.

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.
[“Source-masterstudies”]

WeTransfer’s Plan To Disrupt The Creative Process

Enter your email address. Read the fine print. Sign up. Login. Exit out of the pop-up. Most digital services force you to take several steps before you can actually do what you came to the site to do. But at WeTransfer–a file-sharing service designed for creatives–the user experience has always been about getting out of the way. Now the company is growing into its next act to become a service that facilitates the entire creative process–by applying its UX philosophy to advertising, editorial, and a new mobile app.

[Image: courtesy WeTransfer]

“What we would like more than anything is to keep people in their work flow,” Damian Bradfield, U.S. president and chief marketing officer of WeTransfer, says. “Those who produce work know what it’s like to be in that moment of flow, when work is pouring out of you. There’s nothing worse than being pulled out of it or being disrupted. That’s what we wanted from a service. There’s no sign up, it’s a lean data policy, no intrusive advertising, no banners, no pop-ups, no irritation.”

[Image: courtesy WeTransfer]

When users send a file through the site, there’s no sign up necessary to use the free service. (But there is a premium version that charges a fee.) Every step in the file-transfer process happens in a compact box on the home page. The attractive background is a full-bleed image of either an ad (produced in house), an editorial (curated and authored by WeTransfer), or wallpaper. All share similar aesthetics. They’re eye-catching enough to get your attention, but so consistent in their sensibility, that you could gloss over them entirely if you wanted and go about business as usual, undistracted.

[Image: courtesy WeTransfer]

Earlier this week, WeTransfer launched a new, free mobile app that builds on this approach. Before, the company’s app was essentially a mobile version of the desktop site–a file-sharing tool. Now it’s Pinterest-like. Users can create mood boards and collect the links they read, photos they take, and music they hear all in one place.Dutch creatives Bas Berens and Ronald Hans (who goes by the name Nalden) founded WeTransfer in 2009 with the idea of creating the file-sharing service they wanted, but didn’t exist. Today, it has 40 million active users; 75% of whom identify as creatives. Every month WeTransfer sends 1 billion files and its ads achieve a click-through rate that’s two-and-a-half times higher than the industry average–a rate the company believes it receives because its treats advertising like art. (You could argue this is a dark pattern because the ads look so similar to WeTransfer’s editorial and other wallpapers.)

Unlike most tech companies that take on venture funding early on, WeTransfer bootstrapped itself to profitability, which it reached in 2014. Without investor-added pressure to meet certain growth goals, the company had the freedom to focus on UX and crafting the brand it wanted. Proving that its approach found the audience it wanted, WeTransfer was able to get a $25 million dollar investment from Highland Capital in 2015. Now it’s in expansion mode. In December 2016, the company hired a new CEO, Gordon Willoughby, who was previously at Amazon.

[Image: courtesy WeTransfer]

“We don’t necessarily get that excited about the concept of mass storage and synchronization,” Bradfield says. “The future, and the things that will motivate us moving forward, is producing experiences that’s aren’t going upstream into cloud storage, but downstream and simplifying the web, decluttering, and creating more trust between us and the other experiences we have.”

From its outset, WeTransfer has been building goodwill with creatives and constructed its entire experience–from product to branding to marketing–with this audience in mind. It donated 30% of its wallpapers to artists–visual, performing, musical–and picked people to feature based on who its employees liked and were passionate about. (“The goal was to send so much traffic to their site, it would bring their site down,” Bradfield says of the artists they spotlighted.)

The company has steadily, and quietly, been expanding its properties under the leadership of its head of experiences, Nelly Ben Hayoun . There’s a chance you haven’t heard about most of them. (I use WeTransfer’s free service regularly–along with a host of other file sharing services–and didn’t know about most extras until researching this story, a testament to their unobtrusiveness.)

[Image: courtesy WeTransfer]

In 2016, the company formally branded the production arm of the company that creates content for artists as WeTransfer Studios. That same year it formally grouped its editorial as This Works, a blog and online magazine. Last year, it launched a browser extension so that users could be greeted with a WeTransfer-curated image upon opening Chrome.The idea is that by producing good creative work, people who make good creative work themselves will recognize it and continue to turn to WeTransfer for whatever new vertical its creates.

“It’s a [Main] Street-store mentality,” Bradfield says. “The front door is always open. You can come in use our service and leave, and come back. We have the confidence that they will [return].”

The company also has a number of efforts outside of digital products that caters to its audience. It co-sponsors a free architecture school, donates free premium accounts to art students, and offered former SoundCloud employees $10,000 to fuel their creative pursuits instead of immediately jumping into a 9-5 post-layoff.

[Image: courtesy WeTransfer]

Since its launch, WeTransfer hasn’t been building a better file sharing service. That part of the company has remained relatively unchanged. But it’s been building an audience of creatives and keeping them in mind as they expand.In 2015, WeTransfer had about 30 employees; now it’s up to 100. Bradfield says the company is experiencing double-digit revenue growth year on year. Speed of growth–in terms of user numbers–hasn’t been the goal; rather, retaining the audience along the way has. The company plans to keep this approach as it moves forward, always keeping in mind that its experience be centered around simplicity and making it easier for creatives to be creative.

While other file-sharing services, like Dropbox, are rebranding and trying to emulate WeTransfer’s punchy look, at their core they’re still cloud services and are competing with one another. But WeTransfer isn’t just competing against Dropbox and Hightail. It’s competing with NownessDazed, and Dezeen for editorial; Vice for sponsored video production; and even Google (since the company also has an email service). When I ask Bradfield about one of the biggest challenges for growth, he says it’s maintaining credibility.

“We’re broad enough in our user base to move into different avenues, but we couldn’t do that if we didn’t have the creative community,” Bradfield says. “As long as we’re cautious and credible, we have many opportunities. It’s similar to Apple in that Apple isn’t a technology company–it’s a hardware company, a music company, it’s a retailer, it’s a space that the creative audience trusts.”

[“Source-fastcodesign”]

Five Hacks To Produce High Quality, Low-Cost Facebook Creative Today

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In recent years, one of the most consistent concerns of both existing and prospective clients has been, “how can we generate more high-quality creative quickly and affordably?”

With Facebook favoring video in the newsfeed and Instagram’s rollout of Stories, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and assume regularly producing high-quality creative requires a dedicated design and videography team.

That’s simply not true. From my experience working with many emerging e-commerce leaders, you can achieve your goals — whether they’re increasing engagement, greater click-through rates, or lower cost per acquisition– by following the five strategies below. I’ve seen these strategies used over and over to achieve great results without breaking the bank.

1. Create High-Quality (Not Overproduced) Content

One of the biggest misconceptions of Facebook advertising is that every piece of creative needs to look like it was made by a professional photographer or Hollywood filmmaker. More often than not, creative that looks user-generated will outperform its more polished counterparts. When an ad is overproduced, it can create “banner blindness.” Fast-scrolling thumbs won’t slow down to look at something if it looks too much like an ad. On Facebook and Instagram, ads that look like a photo or video from a friend are more likely to catch a prospect’s attention.

2. Use The Boomerang App

Boomerang from Instagram allows you to create captivating mini videos that play forward-then-backward, creating a neat, GIF-like video loop. These videos are fun, eye-catching and, most importantly, only take a second to produce. Boomerang videos do not include audio, which makes them great for mobile.

One of our clients, Brooklinen, has done a great job using Boomerang in its Facebook Ads. The bedding company created boomerangs of people jumping into bed, putting on a luxe duvet cover, etc. These eye-catching ads increased click-through rates, which in turn created lower cost-per-click and overall lower cost-per-acquisition of new customers. Customers have also responded positively, leaving comments on the ads describing the fun and quirky format.

3. Repurpose Online Reviews

Many online retailers would be surprised to see how many customers have created “unboxing” videos and uploaded them to YouTube. Unboxing is the unpacking of new products, especially consumer products, where the process is captured on video and uploaded to the internet. According to Think With Google, “unboxing fuels anticipation and provides useful product information.”

Many people think that unboxing videos are just for tech gadgets – not true. This same Google publication reports that “Food and drink, fashion and style and mobile phone unboxing videos have seen 42%, 90%, and 200% growth in popularity, respectively.”

Combining user-generated content with useful, relevant product information is a proven winner. Be sure to always reach out to the creator first for permission to use their content.

4. Crowdsource Creative

User-generated content, or user-created content, is any form of content created by customers or end users. UGC most often appears as supplementary to online platforms such as social media websites and may include such content types as blog posts, photos, videos or reviews. Many emerging brands are using UGC in their advertising campaigns as it speaks in the voice of the customer and is highly relatable.

According to the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Internet Trends 2017 Report, “Effective UGC can create 6.9x higher engagement than brand generated content on Facebook.”

Many successful brands have leveraged contests to generate more UGC, including one of our clients, MVMT Watches. The MVMT team holds a monthly contest where customers upload photos of their purchase to Instagram using a specific hashtag that enters them into the contest. This contest has generated thousands of pieces of high-quality content that are used in future advertising campaigns. It works because MVMT customers are highly engaged with the visual brand and want to help build the brand, thus creating more customer loyalty and further building brand identity.

Just remember to have clear rules and rights to ownership of content produced.

Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?

5. Use Snapchat Lenses

If your goal is to reach millennials, pay extra attention to this. According to a TechRadar writer, “Snapchat lenses are augmented reality filters – you’ll typically find these on the selfie camera, but some are available on the rear-facing camera – within the SnapChat app … use these to make your face look like a dog or give yourself a strange hairstyle.” These are fun, social and highly recognizable, which gives your brand familiarity.

These short videos can easily be repurposed and used for Facebook advertising. Another plus: They’re vertical (mobile-first format), which generates a full-screen experience on mobile.

These five tips alone will not create winning advertising campaigns, but they certainly can help take the headache out of creating content. With strong technical knowledge of Facebook advertising and consistent testing, you should be able to easily identify and source the creative that works best for your online brand.

[“Source-forbes”]