The glory days of your big sister’s social media for reaching potential clients to show and share what you have to offer is rapidly changing.
I will speak of Facebook mostly because it is the #1 platform where photographers easily create and maintain a business page to connect with clients in the private sector for studio and wedding work. For those utilizing Twitter, the connection is easy to post on FB and populate a tweet of same post, both a time saver and efficient. Google+ may not be an option soon if the rumors are true. While many photographers started to semi migrate there and hang on the wire, setting up a platform … the clients were not following and the birds of the same feather were talking to each other and enjoying each others ability and work. Fun, but not the best use of time to create buzz for new business. The quirky set up kept clients in the FB nest while flying over to Instagram and Pinterest as a fun, refreshing adventure.
In 2004 Facebook launched a college campus directory of sorts where through a few years attracted the youth culture and was a fresh diversion to MySpace. Gaining monumental popularity through time, by 2008 became a mecca of social online interaction for all ages 13 and over. Suddenly parents, eventually grandparents had a wall and a profile pic, enter the selfie … sorry, different conversation.
Within the Facebook platform, the incredible gift of Pages was created, utilized and loved by businesses, both start up and well established. Photographers especially, had the ability for the first time to show, share and talk about what they do in a very direct way. The ones who did it right and got in early, flourished and prospered with a virtually free, powerful medium. Likes and shares were abundant during the romance period of FB culture.
Enter 2012. Eight years later Facebook goes public. Time to embrace change in a love / hate relationship. Strange things start to begin on our pages, we are still struggling to understand the inner workings of these changes. Notably, the Promote Post button on each one. It is currently being scrutinized as to where the post goes once paid for. Facebook tells us that only a fraction of your fans will see it in their news feed. This only after we learned we must go back to our list to ask our fans to (follow) us, didn’t they already via clicking like in the first place … Ick factor? Indeed. In real time during this writing, I popped over to FB and checked my own News Feed, both Top Stories and Most Recent scrolling about 50 or so posts on both. There are NO page posts from any of the ones I have liked or then followed. We have went from 100% discovery to possibly zilch. Therefore, new ways of reaching clients within the platform of FB are paramount to continued growth and success. I have always said you must spend the time creating your presence via a good portfolio on a custom URL, representing the work you want to attract from clients. In the future, this is more important than ever. Everything links to your site. Everything! If your portfolio is only built on a FB page you will surely meet a decline of discovery. It’s happening, it’s now, honeymoon … over.
I do not profess to be an expert on the subject. Keeping up with it is a daunting task. However, I will be watching a very timely broadcast to further my own plans going forward. Lawrence Chan is a marketing expert for creatives. He does the research and work, we only need to listen and follow his advice. The folks at CreativeLIVE are bringing Lawrence in for a free, live streaming 2 day course. Do not miss it.
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The Photographer’s Guide to SEO and Online Marketing
with LAWRENCE CHAN
Lawrence describes what you will learn and can expect.
The current and future of business is digital. A big part of that consists of social media and search results.
Long gone are the days when you could create a free and viable word of mouth campaign with just social media. Organic sharing is becoming less predictable.
Facebook, for example, has dropped the exposure rate for brand pages from 100% to 1-10%. Google+ is rumored to shut down. Plus, there is a large problem with social media fragmentation – posting to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Flickr, LinkedIn, etc.
What do you do?
Additionally, social media and word of mouth marketing both rely on existing clients to sing your praise.
What if you have no existing clients?
What if you want to price out of your existing pool of referrals?
What if you simply want more traffic?
What if you relocate?
And even if you have the traffic, are you converting them?
This is where branding, content strategy, search engine optimization (SEO), and conversion come into play first. Next, you use word of mouth and social media to propel your efforts.
Whether you are a novice or a veteran, I welcome you to join me on CreativeLive where I will share various marketing strategies for free to endure changing digital climates.
Lawrence Chan of tofurious.com
Get to know him … he’s a photographer too!
See you in class!
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