Identify Why You're on Social Media
Asking the question of why. So, we've dived into this quite a bit, but I want to extrapolate just a little bit. So, "Why?" That question of why, that initial part of the developing a social media strategy, is essentially a core element. It is, again, the element that dictates all the other choices you make. And I like to use the idea of photography as an analogy. So, for photography, that choice of why you became a photographer dictates the choices that you've made since that point. I've talked to you, a couple of people about that before, but essentially, it's that idea that for me, like I don't have some nostalgic story where one of my parents handed me a camera when I was young and it's something I've always wanted to do. I became a photographer solely because I wanted to continue to travel around the world and have unique experiences. I was single, I was nomadic at the time, and that was my deciding point where I sat there and said, "I would like to travel. How can I make that happ...
en?" And in 2006, it was right when digital SLRs were starting to become a little bit more affordable, so it was a realistic potential opportunity for me. But it was that point of why that got me into the field and dictated the direction that I head that helped me get to where I am today. And I can't stress enough the significance of that "why" because that is how it works. You ask yourself, "Why? Why am I a photographer?" That's going to dictate the choices you want to make whether it's business or inspirational, educational. It doesn't matter. And when it comes to social media, it works the exact same way. Why do you want to be online? Really ask yourself. And as we talked about, you know, we asked that question, and it was like, "Why do I want to be on social media?" Well, I want to, you know, create more marketing projects. Well, who do you want to market with? Like, you have to dive into those details to figure out really where you want to be and why you're trying to be online in the first place. So why are you on social media? We talked a lot about this. People are looking for clients, people are looking for inspiration, I mean there's all sorts of different reasons why people are trying to get online. And trying to make sure that we have that end result, that end focus, that sense of direction, is kind of what I want to continue to talk about because, again, I think it's so important. A lot of people are probably just going to shrug this off and be like, "Why does it matter?" But it's important, because again, it's dictating all those different choices. So, for me, I'm online to connect and engage. I want to have conversations. I'm not online particularly just to sell stuff. I certainly need to make a living. But I'm online to connect and engage with individuals all across the world that have shared interests and passions that align with myself. I want to get online because I want to educate people. I love teaching. I love having those "Aha" moments where you're teaching someone about a subject, and they have that moment where they're just like, "I get it. I get what you're talking about." To me, that's...it's addictive. To me, I love that. I love teaching. So I'm online because I love to educate. I'm online to inspire. I like inspiring people, whether that's through marketing campaigns to inspire people to purchase a product or travel to a location to pick up a camera for the first time to have a creative outlet that changes their lives, whatever. The active inspiration is a big draw, it's what pulls me online. To be inspired, we've talked a lot about the idea of collaborative learning. Like education is not supposed to be this linear, "I'm talking to you and you guys have nothing to offer me." Like, it's a two-way conversation, and in some way, three and four and five, and ten-way, depending on how many people are joining in a conversation. I love sitting there... I bring up Iceland. I've been to Iceland, this summer will be my 23rd trip there. I take people there multiple times every single year to teach workshops. Every time I go, I am still amazed by people that are looking at scenes that I've seen probably hundreds of times, in some of the most beautiful and amazing light that I've ever seen, and they come away with something that truly blew me away that I've never seen before. We can learn something from everyone, and the minute that you feel that you can stop learning or that you don't need to learn anymore, is usually for me, in my opinion, a downward trajectory. We can constantly learn from everyone. And so I like to go online because I like to be inspired. I like to learn from other people. I like to find interest in your creativity and the way that you guys are going to find uses for social media. Because maybe what lessons you guys learn and apply to yourself maybe might have some correlation back to me, at some point. You never know. To grow my audience, again, we talked about the idea that growing my audience means that I have a larger brand value which I can then sell to clients. So I want to be online in order to grow my audience and have a larger footprint and a larger platform in order to publish content from. To fill photo workshops, again, photo education, it's a large part of what I do. So I want to be able to advertise my workshops out there. I want them to fill, continue making good money doing that. So that's one of the reasons that I'm online. Sell products and services, eBooks, video tutorials, all sorts of other stuff. That's the marketing side, the business side, of why I like to be online. So the foundation of every social media choice you make is going to be that question of why. And that's why I continue to talk about it. That's why we've brought it up a handful of times throughout this course, is because it's so important, and because so many people neglect to ever ask themselves that question.