• Matthew Cotter

Updated: Jun 20, 2020

It was a muggy Saturday in March. A few days prior I got an email from my university that the rest of the students and faculty would be completing the remainder of the 2020 school year online. At this same time I knew I was about to have a whole lot of free time to do things. Before we get into that, lets go back three weeks prior.

I stopped into Dr. Thomas Tanner's office, a professor of mine, for a little chat about whatever was on my mind that day. During our conversation we talked about how I could get more experience in marketing, so when I would apply for these full time marketing positions that required 2 - 4 years of marketing, I could prove it. During this time, I was doing an internship for a local company in Bloomsburg but soon enough that would end and I still felt like there was something else I could do to help me earn the edge when applying for jobs.

Dr. Tanner mentioned doing some marketing consulting. I looked at him, not sure what to think. I wondered, well I guess I'll just start my own company then? He said of course not. Just reach out to small local businesses for some work and see if your can earn a few bucks here and there. Then he joked about a Fivver account. Of course I had heard of Fivver from the massive amounts of YouTube I have watched in my lifetime, but never thought, I, out of all people would consider opening a Fivver account.

Jumping back to present day, I created an account. Telling myself that I "just wanted to see what it is like". By that night, I had my first two "Gigs" uploaded. I was open for business. At first, my Gigs were titled "I will set up your Facebook and Instagram business pages and link them" for as little as $5. The other, "I will create Wix website pages for your business" for as little as $10.

That night I went to bed with dreams of starting my first Gig the following day. When the sun came up, I had 0 new orders and only 3 impressions. I didn't worry, I had other things to keep me busy. Continuing my certifications I had started, I learned a bit about SEO and HTML but I knew at some point I would get bored of the certifications and would want to try to learn other things in new ways.

So start the clock. Tick Tock. 44 days later I received my first order. For $5, I was to link someones Facebook and Instagram account together. Little did I know this was going to be the first of many orders.

There were a few bumps in the road when completing my clients order. It took me about 30 min to figure out what the issue was and then to link the accounts. The client was nice enough to tip me $5 (wahoo!) which made the first Gig even sweeter. As you see above I cashed out $8 (after Fivver tax) and let the world know!

Jumping to present day, I just hit the $100 revenue mark. Slowly but surely, clients have found my services and signed up. From Wix Gigs to poster design, my Gig portfolio has expanded along with my client list.

As many who work in consulting, you may know that setting up a website for someone is worth more than just $15. I aim to slowly ramp up the price as I am able to fine tune my services and be able to dedicate more time and effort to these accounts. It's the experience I am after, the money helps support my hobbies as well as current and impending car/apartment/school/insurance payments.

My advice to you, if you've made it this far, is to get your services out there. You went to school for 4 years, maybe more, and are a qualified expert. Show that to people and they will pay you. You also don't know where it may lead. You might get contracted by them monthly or you may just earn that edge in the next interview.

You can find me on Fivver here. If you have any questions or want help navigating Fivver, contact me at mattcotter3@gmail.com and we can find a time to talk.

  • Matthew Cotter

By Matthew Cotter & Autumn McGrath

Social media has become a large part of our generation and culture. According to WP Engine, the average hours spent per day on mobile devices have shown an increasing trend from generation to generation.

The majority of college students make up Generation Z, which includes individuals born between mid-1990’s to late 2000’s. On average, we will spend six or more hours per day on our mobile devices. At minimum, three of those six hours are used specifically on various social media sites. Because of this increasing trend in social media usage, it has changed the way companies market to their consumers. For example, according to WP Engine, 73% of Generation Z would make a purchase based on recommendations found on social media.

Companies have had to adjust to this increase by creating mobile friendly applications and providing content that is short and to the point in order to keep the attention span of these consumers. With research indicating the amount of time various demographic groups spend on social media, and in particular, college students, companies had to redefine their promotional strategies in hopes to capture the most from their target market.

The American Marketing Association (AMA) has done research to determine when the best times were to post on social media. Based on the findings of their research, they have concluded the following days and times per social media site:

Facebook Wednesdays @ 11a.m.-1p.m.

Instagram Wednesdays @ 11a.m. and Fridays @ 10a.m.-11a.m. Twitter Wednesdays @ 9a.m. and Fridays @ 9a.m.

LinkedIn Wednesdays @ 9a.m. – 10a.m. and 12p.m.

In most cases, unknown to the average college student, they are directly impacting the marketing environment and how companies promote and sell products online. Smaller companies who focus on local target markets, especially in college towns, rely on these social media usage stats to help create relationships with their consumers.

So how will smaller companies and college students understand how to utilize this information to better capitalize on their social media posts? The obvious answer is to post on those specific days at those specific times, but the reality is that is not always possible. So companies have found ways to continue making our lives easier by introducing products, such as Buffer, to step in and help manage and organize our social media posts.

The fact is that we college students will probably not refrain from using social media, the next best alternative is to understand tools available to us like Buffer.

Buffer is a social media post planner platform that is made for posting at specific times and planning out a calendar of social media content. It allows you to have all your social media accounts on one platform, allowing you to post at any minute, on any account, on any day, years in advance.

Do you want to schedule a tweet for Christmas, but are afraid you might get caught up with projects and finals? Buffer can plan and post this for you.

Do you want to wish your boss a happy 90th birthday 30 years before it happens? Buffer can make this happen. Buffer isn’t the only brand, there are plenty out there, they just happen to be the leading product in the marketplace.

How does this affect the everyday company or even college students? Companies are able to use the information found by the AMA to actively target their consumers guaranteeing that they are getting their products and content in front of their main target.

Companies are able to then use tools like Buffer to spend less time worrying about posting and spend more time on content creation for their brand. Scheduling an entire week of content out in a single day allows companies to have more time to do other things.

But as college students, we can use this tool in two different ways: using it for our personal benefit and for our clubs and organizations we are in. The amount of time we spend on social media per day posting and looking at things can be unhealthy.

At minimum, students typically spend at least three hours a day on social media. Those three hours could instead be used to exercise, complete school work, or get a few extra hours of sleep at night. If we’re so concerned about getting the most likes on Instagram, just remember to post at 11am on a Wednesday. Simple as that.

As far as using this for your clubs and organizations, it is more helpful than ever. The biggest objective of clubs is to grow; using social media is a big way we try to achieve that. Having the information from AMA allows clubs to know when they should tweet their meeting times or when they should post last week’s event photo on Instagram.

Getting more people to see your posts will allow you to become a lot more well known around campus.

Now adding products like Buffer to the equation, clubs and organizations can plan out content almost weekly and let Buffer do the work for them. Give it a shot and thank us later.