“My mom always told me, ‘Find what you love and do it. Otherwise you’re spending your life working for someone else and trying to find time to do what you really love.'” — Lindsay Adler
How many times have we heard this piece of advice in our lives? Plenty. And now that anyone — yes, even you — can productize what you know, sell it, and make a living being your own boss, this advice seems less like a pie-in-the-sky dream and more like a hell-yeah-I-can-do-this rally cry.
But the trick? Building an audience for what you’re selling. These days, social media is the go-to source for tribe-building, and for good reason — a single Facebook post, Tweet, Instagram image, or Pinterest post has the potential to reach millions with a few strategic moves. Today at Adobe Max, Lindsay Adler gave us a peek behind the curtain on how she put social media to work for her business in her session, Building the Life and Career You Want With Social Media.
Lindsay has a following of over 275,000 across all of her accounts, so girlfriend knows a thing or two about how to build an engaged audience, and supernaturally summon clients and brands to knock down her door to work wth her. There was a lot of goodies to uncover in her talk, but here are three very important steps you need to take in order to transform your social media presence from hobby to business bad ass like Lindsay Adler. And here they are.
1. Define Your Brand
If you’re a portrait photographer, a sports photographer, a landscape photographer, a street photographer, an everything photographer, no one will take you seriously as any of those things. Think about it: when you’re on the hunt for a portrait photographer, you don’t (literally, in Google) search “photographer.” You’ll search “portrait photographer.”
This is exactly why it’s so important for you to define your brand and what you do as a photographer — to attract the right kind of clients to you. Your ideal clients. I know it might be hard narrowing down your niche because it might seem that you’re narrowing down your options, but what you’re actually doing is becoming better, and more well known for ONE THING. Wouldn’t you rather be the absolute best at one thing than sniff around for sloppy seconds (or thirds or fourths or fifths…) of many things?
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2. Add Value
We hear this all the time, too, amirite? “You gotta add value to your audience’s lives.” Great. But what does that ACTUALLY mean? It means, that you become the go-to for helpful information that your ideal client needs. Let’s say you’re a wedding photographer. You know that your ideal client is a bride-to-be looking for a wedding photographer. No brainer, right? So how would Lindsay get in front of her ideal client and add value to their lives if this were her?
For one, she could write a blog post about the best poses for brides. She could create a free download about what to look for in a wedding photographer. She could continually provide tips on her social accounts about things brides need to know: vendor recommendations, how to work with photographers, the kinds of timeless hair and makeup styles that work best on camera.
These “value-add” activities allow her potential clients to get to know her. They start to trust her. And when it comes time to select a wedding photographer, they’ll want to work with her. They may even recommend her to others and that, my friends, is the ultimate seal of approval.
3. Analyze What’s Working For Others
Let’s face it: it’s hard to stand out in a crowded space and you don’t want to be someone who just copies what everyone else is doing to see if it works for you. Lindsay Adler agrees, that’s why she looks outside of her own industry for inspiration and ideas on what to incorporate in her own business.
For example, Lindsay looks to the fitness industry for content ideas. Challenges are all the rage right now in the fitness industry (and others, including photography, hey!) so she started her own challenge based on some key learnings from fitness rockstars that were making challenges work for them, their audiences, and their business.
Lesson here? Don’t be afraid to lean into what others are doing, but look outside where you normally would for inspiration for your business.
What About You?
Where are you finding success with social media in your business? Leave a comment below!