Did you know that roughly 75 percent of First Nations communities in British Columbia do not have internet or affordable access to broadband? Did you know that in 2016 the Canadian Radio and Telecommunication Commission deemed equal and affordable access to broadband internet as a basic service and thereby a right for all Canadians?
Without access to internet, how can one develop the technological skills necessary to succeed in today’s business market?
Not having access to fair and affordable internet for First Nations communities results in a ‘digital divide’, where only those privileged to live in an area with such access is able to thrive in today’s digital economy.
Although our award isn’t specifically targeted to those in communities without access to internet, we want to emphasize our passion for economic development through practical education and the installation of skills that are relevant to today’s market.
The Skills Needed to Succeed in A Digital Economy: Website Design, Digital Marketing, Social Media Management, Videography, Photography and Graphic Design
Each of the skills mentioned in the title to this section are necessary to running a successful operation in today’s market. In an expanding, globalized society, the market is becoming saturated with competition that only 10 years ago was not imaginable.
No one needs to be an expert in the skills mentioned above, however, being literate in them allows anyone to make educated decisions surrounding the hiring of potentially expensive or incompetent contractors, employees or paid services.
So why are each of these skills important?
Understanding how to create an effective sales funnel starts with how your product/service is shown to the world. An ineffective website may include slow loading speeds, poor copy-writing, navigation difficulties, layout inefficiencies and more. Learning the ins and outs of website development and design and faux paus that many beginners make can save you a lot of time, money and frustration.
You have a product or service and you are really good at providing it; great. How do people find you? The old fashion way of going door-to-door is great but it limits your potential to scale and for some, direct sales is not their calling. Here enters digital marketing. Advertising on platforms such as Facebook and Google is fantastic as what you do is basically pay a small licensing fee to access their database of information on its users (and they have A LOT of information). Digital marketing allows one to shred their old marketing budget and spend it on the most effective form of advertising available today.
Social Media Management:
Knowing how to develop a brand is paramount in today’s globalized economy. Especially this is applicable to First Nations artists and creators. Around the globe there are people culturally appropriating Indigenous creations for their own monetary gain. This can be countered with one thing; Authenticity. Developing authenticity of a brand is important as it makes consumers more likely to be a repeat customer, trust you, feel comfortable paying more and many other branding related benefits. Learning the types of content that is most effective in developing brand loyalty and building a brand that is seen as authentic is crucial to succeeding in today’s globalized business world.
Content creation is key to instilling the desire for your product/service. Using every medium available to instill that want is critical to driving sales. High-quality video content is the best way to showcase your businesses credibility and pierce through the noise of the busy internet (lets face it, people are lazy and don’t read long blocks of text; videos make their job easy). Photography and graphics play an important role themselves, people want to know what your product, service and business is really like; these skills are ones where a little bit of training can save you a lot of time and money.
As mentioned before, we do not think everyone should become a master website designer or invest the years it would take to become an epic videographer, but rather to understand what goes into each of the above skills and then be able to make educated managerial decisions involving them.
The Criteria: Be a Youth with an Interest in Entrepreneurship, Technology, Marketing, Social Media, Videography or Graphic Design
- Be an Aboriginal youth of or between the age of 17 and 25
- Be seeking to enter a career in entrepreneurship, technology, marketing, social media, photography, videography or graphic design
- Preference will be given to local applicants of aboriginal ancestry, however, in the absence of quantity or quality of applications applicants from anywhere in Canada and of any background may be considered
- Application to be completed by August 20th, 2019
In order to be considered one must submit a letter addressed to Longhouse Consulting by the due date. The letter should include:
- Details about the applicant (name, goals, life story)
- Description of the applicant’s passions and long-term ambitions
- An included portfolio of past projects within their passion (ie. Photo album, video reel, digital designs, business descriptions/web pages)
- A resume detailing your employment and education history
All of the things above are requested in order to a paint a true snapshot of who you are!
The Award: $1,000 and In-House Training in Web Design, Digital Marketing, Social Media, Videography, Photography and Graphic Design
At the root, Longhouse is a business consulting company that strongly advocates for education and skill development as a means of fostering economic development. By that token, we opted to not strictly distribute a financial award, but to also include a practical skills training component.
The training component of the award is not mandatory, but we encourage applicants to include their particular passions in their submission and we will customize a training program to said interests and instruct on the strategies, tools and platforms that we use to provide the services we offer. The skills that Longhouse consulting offers include but are not limited to:
- Digital Marketing
- Social Media Management
- Content Creation (videography, photography and graphic design)
If you wish to apply to the Longhouse Consulting Aboriginal Youth Mentorship Award, you can find our submission page here.
If you are able to support this award through sharing, please do! If you have any questions, feel free to reach us through our contact page here.