- [Male 1] He's one of the most influential photographers on the internet. And just three years after picking up a camera for the very first time, he was leading expeditions in the Antarctic for
National Geographic. In addition to that, he's passionate about art, business, and helping people. For the very first time, would you help me welcome to the CreativeLive stage, Mr. Colby Brown. - [Colby] Hello, everyone. Welcome to developing a social media strategy for photographers, my name is Colby Brown. Now first, I want to thank CreativeLive for hosting me. This is again my first CreativeLive class, and I'm really, really excited to be here. And I'm not just excited to be here because it's my first time, I'm excited to be here because I'm genuinely passionate about the idea of social media. Social media has played an integral role in the success that I've had over the last 10 years of a photographer. And I've had many different challenges and overcome many different obstacles to get to ...
where I am today, and it's giving me a really intimate knowledge of social media, and what benefits it has to offer you, which is why I was really excited to put this class together. Now, before we dive into a lot of the different content, I want to introduce the class a little bit, I want to talk about why you guys are here and why it's beneficial, so let's go ahead and jump into that. Now, the first question that I want to answer is essentially the question of what problem does this class solve? I think for photographers when it comes to social media, a lot of people are confused, you feel a little bit lost. A lot of people don't really know where to start, or really where the value is in social media itself. And I think that it's really, it's an interesting place to be in this time space as a photographer because social media has opened up so many new doors. And I think that it's a prime time to be in social media, to use and learn how to leverage social media as a photographer, to really learn to achieve the different goals that you guys might have. Now, I get the frustration, I've been there, all of us start somewhere. Over the last 10 years, I have amassed close to 4 million followers on a variety of different platforms. But I had to start from the beginning, just like everyone else. And I want to say that I understand your frustrations. And that the class that we put together today is based on 10 years of my experience using social media, try to work around those, work around things like algorithms, and building followers, and finding value. So, this class is going to help you feel a little bit better about social media and feel a little bit more confident. So, by the time we finish, what are my goals? My goals for all of you guys that are here in live studio as well as those that are watching, and the thousands of people streaming live across the internet, I want you guys to feel more confident and feel like you have a better understanding and a grasp of not only what social media is, but how it works, and how you can understand the core fundamentals of social media to learn how to leverage to achieve your own goals. It doesn't matter if you're a fine art landscape photographer that's looking to sell more prints, or a new photographer that's simply looking to connect with other people to find inspiration, or to learn a little bit more about photography, or you're looking for advocacy work to help use photography to the betterment of humanity. Regardless of the reason that you're here, all you guys that are here in class and all those that are streaming live, I want you to know that we're going to work together to lay that foundation, to give you more of a better understanding of what you can do with social media, how it works, and ultimately, so again, you can achieve those goals. So how are we going to get there? I've put together over 38 different topics, and arguably covers around 12 hours of content that counts on a lot of different types of subject matter when it comes to social media. We talk on the core concepts of what makes social media, what makes it work, how does it happen, what are algorithms, where'd that come from, why do we have algorithms? We're also going to talk about how to build your audience and make it larger. And what can you do once you've actually built your audience? How do you leverage your following that you have right now? How do you get to where you want to be? We're going to ask questions like why, why are we on social media? Why are you here to begin with? Those are the core questions that help determine the direction we want to go. And the answers to some of those questions we're going ask throughout our time here for this class are going to dictate those choices, and those directions that you can go, how you can leverage social media and we're going to cover those things. Now in addition, we're also going to talk about six other prominent, highly successful photographers that are from a variety of different genres and backgrounds, and we're going to talk about how they've learned to use social media, how they've built their following, how many times do they post to Instagram, what do they do when they do that, do they use hashtags, do they do not? How do they make their money, how do they make their living? We're also going to talk about, we're going to have in-depth conversations that talk about engagement. When you write a post, how do you get the most amount of engagement and why do you want engagement? What can you do with it once you have that engagement? Again, these are all very important questions that we're going to be covering in this class. Now throughout that time, I'm going to be sharing my thoughts, and my opinions, and my own experiences throughout this course. I'm going to interject some of that in between different segments. I'm going to do that in our conversations back and forth when you guys have questions. But overall, I want to share a lot of what I've learned over the last 10 years with you guys. What if you don't watch this class? Well, the biggest sacrifice, if you want to call it that, is simply the idea of stagnation. It's a simple fact that wherever you are right now, you're having trouble getting to where you want to be, you're having trouble building followers, or getting engagements on your post or figuring out where you want to be, because things aren't going to change and that's a problem for a lot of photographers. That's where a lot of the frustration when it comes to social media comes from, is that idea of stagnation. Not too many people are actually complacent with the fact that they have a certain following, whether it's small or big or that they don't know what to do with, a lot of people want to get to that next level. And that's what I'm here to help you get there, to lay that groundwork for you to start moving in that direction. Now who is this class for? Now, initially when I put this class together, we kind of marketed it, advertised it as kind of beginner to mid-level content in terms of the type of photographers we're going after. But in truth, this class is really for everyone. It doesn't matter if you're a beginning photographer, you just picked up your camera for the first time, and you're just trying to again look for other photographers to connect, you're looking for inspiration, you want to know where to go if you want to be a travel photographer, you're looking to engage. it doesn't matter if you're an emerging photographer. So you're photographer, maybe you've made a little bit of money here and there, and you're realizing just how expensive this passion and this hobby is, where you're trying to offset the gear costs or the travel, and you want to make a little bit of that extra cash. Or if you're a professional, maybe you've built up a following, but you haven't really learned how to leverage it. You don't really know what you can do with your following, now that you have some sense of momentum. This class is a little bit for everyone. So why me? Why Colby Brown? It's a really good question. And I'd like to answer that question with an analogy. So, who here, raise your hand if you've had a pipe break in your apartment or your house before? A couple of people, okay. Myself included. So, when you go to hire a plumber, and you're looking to find the right plumber. And say you had a chance to actually look inside their kitchen, and you realize that their kitchen, their own pipes were broken, and they weren't fixing it. Would you hire that person? Probably not. The benefit of me teaching this class is that over those last 10 years, I have found really interesting ways to leverage my social media to be very advantageous towards the goals that I set out to achieve. I started Colby Brown Photography in 2006, which was my first company, I started The Giving Lens, which is my humanitarian focused philanthropic arm in 2010, I believe. And over that course of these 10 years, I've built up 3.8 million followers. And with those followers, I've been able to find and extrapolate an extensive amount of value for my brand, with my photography work, for my family, for revenue, for inspiration, for really everything. And so, the question of why Colby Brown is an important one because when it comes to social media, when it comes to SEO, when it comes to marketing, it's important to make sure that the people that are teaching you how to do these things have proven experience and actually achieving those goals that you guys are looking to attain. And that's again one of the reasons that I'm excited to be here, because I really like this stuff, I love social media. I don't look at it with these eyes like, it's something that I have to do. I think in life when you put a lot of negative energy towards something, you really don't do it that well, or you certainly don't do it as well as you could do. So, for me, to really love photography, to really love the business side of things, and to really love social media, love the time that I have to spend in it, I think is a testament to a lot of the successes that I've had and that's a big element and a big part of that process. Now, I wanted to talk about one more thing before we start getting into the content. There's a few things that I want to bring up to see you guys are aware while we are going through this course. The first thing is that you'll notice that the presentations that I put together does not include live broadcast of me actually on Facebook, or Instagram, or Twitter, or Snapchat, or any of those things. The reason for that is that I'm sure some of my friends, or colleagues, or the internet trolls that are out there would be sitting there and we're live streaming, I'm showing you guys how to create a Facebook ad and then some checkbox would pop up and then something would be said. And so, the reason that we're not doing social media in terms of a live demonstration is because the live nature of it makes it a little bit more riskier for broadcasting out live for our two day session. Now, the people that might purchase this later on, you guys would never see that anyway because we would edit it out. But to save all of you guys from having any of that stuff happen, everything that put together is essentially screenshots from my phone, my tablet, my laptop, or desktop. And I will extrapolate information based on those graphics and what topics I want to cover. Another thing that you're going to notice is that a lot of those screenshots are going to look like they are CIA redacted documents. And what I mean by that is that legally, we don't have the rights to sit there and show you images that we haven't been given permission, or that I don't personally own myself. That includes the names of other people out there. So, a lot of the times that have comments on a lot of the screenshots that you're going to see, they're blurred out. So, if you look at the document and it looks like it's something you've seen on C-SPAN or something like that before, there's a reason. There's a purpose. We're protecting people's identities, we don't want to have any issue from a legal standpoint. And overall, I think it's just the courteous thing to do, even though we're talking about stuff that's in the public space. So, good information to know. Now, the next thing I want to talk about is essentially the idea that I want this class to be conversational. And what I mean by that is that when it comes to education, oftentimes, it's a linear relationship. What I mean by that is essentially that as an educator, most educators are talking to their students. I want to change that paradigm. I want to shift that a little bit and I want this to become more conversational. I want to sit there and have discussions based on the topics that we're having. You guys represent the photography industry as a whole. You guys are the embodiment, the contrast between what you guys are looking for, where you guys are at right now, the challenges, and the successes that you guys had are very representative of photographers of a whole. So, there's no question that is inappropriate, there's no question that is too stupid, so to say. I want you guys to ask the questions and I'll do my best to try to answer them, so that after two days, after all of this time we've spent together, you guys make sure that you are getting what you want out of this course. And at the end of it, if you haven't asked questions and there's something that isn't covered, well, I feel a little bit less bad about not covering it, because again, I couldn't read your mind. So, please speak up and don't be shy.