Social Media has radically changed the way brands market to and interact with their clients and customers. Social Media has given the individual their voice back. If you are not actively participating in social media, you will be left behind.
Below are 13 tips for successful social media for today’s photographer.
1). It all starts with a good story!
Who you are?
What makes you uniquely you?
What have you done? Or aspire to do?
Why are you special?
Why should people care?
These five questions are essential for you, today’s photographer to answer and publish for their business. These questions are your master narratives which will guide your business. Your goal in answering these questions is to develop your story, your style, and your brand all revolving around you.
Your clients want to connect with you. They want to find that common thread or a connection with you. That connection can be anything, gardening, riding motorcycles, or hiking. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you are being uniquely you. Your client wants to know you and you should want to know them!
The 5 questions above are key in developing an online brand and reputation. A solid following in social media equals and reaffirms a trustworthiness. You are no longer a commodity. You are no longer just selling images. You are selling your knowledge, creativity, your expertise and yourself.
2). Keep your branding consistent across ALL social media platforms!
This simple statement can have a huge impact on how successful your social media plan is.
If you are using different screen names across all your social media platforms, how are people going to find you? For example, on Facebook, I am Elise Ellis. My Facebook page is Elise Ellis Photography. My twitter handle is @eliseellis. My YouTube channel is eliseellis. On Pinterest, you can find me at elisemellis. I am Elise Ellis on Google+ and my business page is Elise Ellis Photography. All of my branding is consistent across ALL social media platforms which makes it easy for people to find me. You want it to be EASY for your clients to find you so you may starting building relationships and communities based around your photography. So if your twitter handle is @momof10boys and your Facebook business page is ABC Photography, change your twitter handle to match! Your clients will thank you!
3).Â Establish a presence on EVERY major SM platform: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
If you have not created a profile on every major social media platform, you need to. Now this does not mean you need to be active on all of these sites, just have a presence. Complete the profile. Make a few posts. You never know when a social media site will take off. You want to be on it if it becomes popular!
4). Become an Expert.
Everyone is an expert in something. Become an expert in something you love or something your are passionate about. When choosing your topic be careful. Too broad of a topic makes it hard to dissimulate the information. Too narrow of a topic and your audience becomes too small. It’s a fine line to walk but it can be done.
Now that you have your chosen topic, start posting your expert information on your chosen social media outlets. Make sure your are intermixing your expert information with personal information about you!
5). Be Consistent.
Be consistent in your chosen social media outlets. If you only have time to post to your Facebook page once a day. Then post once a day. If you only have time to blog once a week, then blog once a week. Only you know what amount of time you can devote to social media. Define that amount of time and stick to it!
6). Be Efficient & Effective.
To be efficient and effective, you must participate actively. Once you begin participating actively in social media, you will begin to build a community around you and your photography.
The community you are building around you and your photography, needs to care about you. All you need is a few quality people who love your work to give your career a boost! Seth Godin calls these people Sneezers. Sneezers are experts who tell all their friends and colleagues about a new product of service on which they are a perceived expert. Sneezers have influence over their peers. Look for Sneezers to incorporate into your community!
Two more thoughts to keep in mind: Quality of followers over quantity of followers will help you get on the road to reaping the rewards! Followers have to be interested in you then they will begin sharing the good about you!
7). Be Sincere!
Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment. â€” Anthony Robbins
If you are not sincere in your motives, your community will know and abandon you. Here are some questions to ask yourself about your level of sincerity:
1). Are you acting the same way alone as you do when around others?
2). Are you doing things out of the goodness of your heart or for personal gain?
3). Are you doing or saying things you don’t truly believe in you heart?
Think about these questions. Write out the answers. Make a change if need be.
8). Be Influential.
Influence is earned not a given. To earn influence the first thing you need to do is establish trust in your chosen market by doing the things you have stated you are going to do. Once trust is built, opportunities will start to develop.
Think about these 3 questions when looking to build influence:
1). Who gives you the most business?
2). What is the common thread?
3). How can you serve them best?
For example, if you are a baby and children’s photographer, your best resource might be a boutique baby store, or a hospital or a stay at home mom that blogs about all things baby. Look for these types of opportunity to build your influence.
9). Ask Questions!
People LOVE to talk about themselves. Give your followers the opportunity to talk about themselves by asking your community questions on your Facebook page or your blog.
It can be as simple as ‘What are your plans for the holiday weekend?’.
10). Cater to your Audience.
Catering to your Audience and Asking Questions go hand in hand. Find out what your audience wants to hear through asking questions. What are the interests of your audience or community? What do they want to hear from you? What can you do to make others look better?
People like to help people who like and support them. Once you have defined what your audience wants to hear from you, you can begin giving them the information they desire.
11). Look at your SM Solar System: is everything directing your audience back to your website?
Your website is the sun or the center of your solar system. It is your portfolio. All your other social media outlets orbit around your website. Your social media outlets need to point back or take your community back to your website. To do this make sure your profiles are filled out completely on all your social media outlets. Be sure to include your website, your phone number, your email, etc. All your contact information needs to be readily available for your community to find and use!
Are your social media outlets pointing back to your website? If they are not, make a change so they are.
12). Be Authentic!
Being authentic means being the real you. Authenticity comes when you are honest, genuine and speak from your true self. PluginID has a a fantastic article on The Art of Authenticity. Read it. Think on it. Incorporate authenticity into your brand.
13). Have a plan.
Just like a business plan, you need to have a marketing plan for your business. Some call it a marketing calendar. Whatever you call it, you need to have a plan. Something concrete, written down, to help keep you on the right track in your social media marketing. Post your plan in plain site so you may refer to your plan constantly. This will help keep you on the path to success. If you find yourself going in the wrong direction, make a correction and get back on track!
Do you have a social media plan in place?
To see more of Elise’s photography, check out her website.