We’ve all see the click-bait ads on Facebook and Instagram about being a social media influencer but I’m gonna give you some cold-hard truths…. Being a micro-blogger isn’t as easy as it seems.
I’ve been in the social media game since 2014 thanks to a little organisation called NASA. I attended my very first #NASASocial event which is an application/invite only experience for those who use social media. #NASASocial changed my life and I am forever grateful for the experience because it opened an entirely new world that I didn’t even know existed.
I have since traveled the world covering all different kinds of space events. For example, I’ve explored the Australian outback covering a deep space listening array dedication at New Norcia, Western Australia. I’ve also live-tweeted a bunch of different in Europe for the European Space Agency. Also, I had a three month social media gig in Cork, Ireland thanks to the International Space University and just recently I spent a week wandering the dry coast of Chile checking out all the extraordinary European Southern Observatory facilities! These experiences I’ve listed are only a TASTE of the events I’ve covered!
So how does one do cool stuff like this? First up, you gotta find a social media element that works for you. You might love taking photos and writing about them or you might like to write about events. For me, I like to live-tweet and periscope events. To me, it’s kinda like modern day reporting. That means, I attend events and write or talk about them live online.
Once you find that element, find your passion. If you already have your passion – great! I actually didn’t and had to go on a exploration of self discovery to find what the heck I wanted to talk about. Basically, I started out as a travel writer and, yes, I still do a lot of that but, I really became hooked in the space community when I discovered it.
I started to follow people who were into the same thing and then I joined their discussions. When I became more savvy at Twitter, I bantered, ran polls, started my own discussions and really interacted with everyone online. At first I found it quite scary, but eventually I realised that the people who use social media are just like me. Users like me have the same interests and just want to share!
I also discovered that there were ‘social’ events like #NASASocial and #Social4Space events that I could attend. That REALLY opened my mind. I could go and meet people justlikemethat I’ve interacted with online! That’s how I became hooked!
The events that I attended were life-changing, the people I met were inspirational and the topics I was covering were mind-blowing. With those properties combined, I was completely hooked into this subculture and I just wanted to be a part of it even more.
That’s the good part… here’s the hard truths and you might not want to hear them:
Realistically, there are is a very small handful micro-bloggers in the world that can fund their lifestyles. Seriously. Yes, you can be the next big thing online but it’s quite slim… so my advice to you is, find what you love and throw as much as you got at it.. but keep an open mind and if opportunities come your way, amazing.. if not… don’t beat yourself up.
Events cost money. You gotta get to them, so you may need to fork out flights and accomodation. Some events dont even feed you, so you might need to pack a lunch.
Also, it takes a mountain of time and hard work to to achieve crazy levels of success- whatever that means to you! I’m not saying give up on your dream to be heard, but keep that in the back of your mind – it’s hard. My advice is to love what you and the minute you don’t, take a step back… Why? Because your followers have invested a lot of time in you and can actually tell when you’re not having fun.
Never forget where you’re from. Basically, what I’m saying is… don’t be a dick. There is absolutely NO reason to be a dick online. It doesn’t help anyone and the world has enough dicks out there. Help one another. Be kind and don’t forget the little guy because you were there once, too.
Try new social media channels. You might find another platform that better works with your message. Plus, there’s less chance of tiring yourself out.
From experience, social media can be a bit of a gift. You just need to be open to it. If you are, you’ll be a success. Every day I learn something new and I’m really thankful. Platforms like Twitter and Instagram can be a beautiful tool.
Be sure to check back as I’ll be providing more tips on how to brand, form your message and create content for your audience.
And, if you want to see more content that I create, you can find me over at Twitter at: @Taraustralis!
An Aussie girl gone walkabout in the great big world!