The rise of the #selfie

If you know about or use Instagram by now you’ll probably be familiar with the #selfie. I don’t agree with the current Urban Dictionary definition of #selfie, as I think it’s evolved from the world of myspace and duckface to one where a selfie is basically a self-portrait using a phone camera. The images are designed to be used online and shared on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

I’ve been thinking about the #selfie photo, and how we can apply the same term to the #selfie business person.

What are some of the traits of a #selfie business?

1. Selfies’ do their own design work, including designing their own business cards, stationary and promotional materials, using the best design styles that Microsoft Word has to provide.

2. Selfies’ use free web services like Hotmail, GMail and Yahoo.

3. Selfies’ create their own websites from free sites like Blogger, WordPress, and Wix. Often they don’t own their domains, so you’ll see www.myAWESOMEselfiebusiness.blogspot.com for their websites.

4. Selfies’ do their own photography and love auto-filters like Instagram.

5. Selfies do their own social media and have do their social media training from inexpensive or free ebooks and blogs by the big experts.

Being a #selfie doesn’t mean you’re unprofessional and it doesn’t mean you can’t do your job. Nor does it mean that you’re not a real business. I’m a #selfie, and different parts of my business share the classic traits listed above. But instead of being embarrassed by it, I’ve decided that I’m defining what business looks like for me and am gradually feeling less pressured to have it all polished and put together.

There are pitfalls to not owning your own systems of course. For example, while I love Blogger, it lets me focus on content development and nothing else. I know that a bad “report this blog” from a stranger, can mean that my Google Account could be ripped from underneath me in a second.

I believe there will be more #selfies in the future. As more people find themselves not in full-time employment but as outsourced contractors, where selling your smarts on a project-by-project basis can earn you a living, more of them will use the free tools available to them.

While we can laugh about the over use of comic sans in #selfie businesses, and raise our eyebrows at the DIY websites, I have nothing but respect for people who are having a go at making a living out of what they have in front of them. I’ve also been around the webz long enough to value good content over super slick design.

If you’re a #selfie, I say be a proud #selfie, own that hotmail account, and work it hard.

If you’re looking for a supplier, I say consider using the #selfie. Don’t judge the dodgy website, and the correspondence to their hotmail account. Look beyond the surface and find out if they can deliver before you choose who you will go with. Remember, everyone had to start somewhere so give them a go. They’re not sitting on the couch, they’re making a go-of-it.

Is your business a #selfie? Do you use or avoid #selfies?

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