How much junk mail did you receive at home in the past week? Doesn’t it feel like an anachronism to kill trees to send information out that’s out-of-date by the time it reaches you? And while the trees are dying, other companies are encouraging you to follow them on Twitter or join their Facebook fan page. They are fostering social interaction with their brands, while building communities.
When you need something nowadays, do you find yourself flipping through a magazine waiting for an ad to inspire you? Or do you Google for instant suggestions and comparisons? Maybe you jump on Facebook and ask your friends for recommendations?
Marketing is changing everywhere in response to how we consume and share information, and the way you market your photography should be no different. Interruptive outbound marketing (like ads, direct mail, and even email) is losing ground to inbound marketing. Inbound marketing focuses on optimizing your presence online so people can find you precisely when they’re looking for whatever it is you offer. Inbound marketing – making use of your website, your blog, SEO and social media – has become a powerful and efficient way to market a business – any business – including photography.
We’ve exhaustively explored SEO for photographers and have taught you how to measure and optimize your websites with Google Analytics. We’ve seen plenty of live evidence that these free resources have helped photographers improve the way they market their businesses online. So, the next online marketing area we’ve decided to tackle is social media. Now, we see plenty of photographers already participating in social media. You’ve got a blog. You’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, and probably one or two more. Unfortunately, we see very few photographers using social media in a truly productive way.
So today, we’re launching Social Media for Photographers, a free 55-page guide to how photographers can make better use of social media.
The goal of this guide is to help photographers grow their social media presence, set goals, and measure their efforts. Social media enables photographers to build a following, engage in dialogue, and find new opportunities to showcase and share their work. Ultimately, social media is about being part of (or controlling) the conversation and increasing your online presence. It’s about connecting directly with potential clients and multiplying the ways that others can find you online. This comprehensive guide covers the ground rules every photographer should know about using social media, choosing where to participate, smart strategies to foster conversation, tips to increase social sharing and generate quality links, measurement, and tools that can help achieve maximum results. We want to help photographers make better decisions so that you maximize the returns on your investment of that precious resource: your time.
To make this guide, we spent months researching and interviewing the leaders in Internet marketing, and gathered insights from photographers who are succeeding in social media. Seeing how they do it will certainly give you some ideas for optimizing the way you use social media too. We made a point not to focus too much on only brand name photographers, but rather everyday pros and aspiring photographers who were applying smart strategies to succeed, like:
- John Lander – http://asiaimages.blogspot.com/ – who specializes in images of Asia. Every time he completes a shoot, he posts slideshows on his main blog and any one of his six topical blogs. Guess who likes this? Google.
- Rosh Sillars – http://www.newmediaphotographer.com/ – a commercial photographer who uses social media to market his photography and teach other photographers about using new media.
- Jim Goldstein – http://www.jmg-galleries.com/blog/ – a landscape and nature photographer who has figured out how to turn his blog into a true two-way conversation that involves others.
- Luceo Images – http://luceoimages.com/ – a collective of commercial and editorial photographers who use blogging, Twitter and Facebook to build a following and market each other.
- Leah Fasten – http://www.leahfasten.com/ – a Boston commercial photographer who uses LinkedIn to monitor clients’ movement from agency to agency, and keeps them aware of her work.
- Craig Holmes – http://archive.imagesofbirmingham.co.uk – a UK based on-location photographer who specializes in stock images of Birmingham, yet maintains two separate websites and Twitter profiles for his fine art prints (http://gallery.crowdedgallery.com) and commission work.
Social media is about the conversation. You need to give people a way to engage with you on their terms. You need to put yourself out there in a way that can be found and shared. Our new guide can help you get there. Download Social Media for Photographers now!
And hey, PhotoShelter members – you’ve got a head start, because we’ve built social media tools into PhotoShelter that let you share on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.