Developing a Social Media Strategy for Photographers

Lesson 19 of 42

Social Media Strategy Hotseat

 

Developing a Social Media Strategy for Photographers

Lesson 19 of 42

Social Media Strategy Hotseat

 

Lesson Info

Social Media Strategy Hotseat

- [Colby] Who's next? You want to go? You want...two? Let's do two at the same time. This is going to be fun. Yeah? All right, both of you guys get mics. And everyone else going to grab a mic as well. I mean, normally, we want everyone speaking to have a mic but we're going to try to sit there and do this as best we can with, obviously, not everyone being mic up. So let's go ahead and start from the very beginning with you. - [Woman 1] Can I see the... - Yeah, sure, let's go back here. - Okay. - So let's start first, so what's your strategy statement, what are you hoping to achieve being online? - My goal for social media is to drive people to my website. - To drive people to your website? - Yeah. - And what's the purpose of driving people to your website? - Is to monetize my website. - Monetize your website, in what fashion? Are you looking to sell products or services? Be as specific as you can. - So right now, I have a travel website that has travel inspiration and my goal for this ...

year is to add video tutorials, a technical blog with affiliate links, potentially advertise myself to be hired by clients for travel shoots and print. - Okay, excellent. Okay, so we've established what she is hoping to achieve, and we'll go back and we'll do...we'll essentially run through it because otherwise we're going back and forth and there's maybe a little confusion. So, we want to drive traffic to our website, we're doing so for very specific purposes, print sales, video tutorials. What else did we mention? - Affiliate link. - Affiliate links, things like that. Okay, excellent. Okay, so you gave us a little bit of your content analysis as well, so kind of where you'd like to be. So let's go over that again. So give me... We'll actually combine content analysis and goals, so give me a 3, 6, and 12-month plan for what you'd like to do. If you have questions, ask, I'm happy to help and other people can chime in as well, so we want to make this, again, as collaborative as we can. - For Instagram, right now I am at about 5,700 and I want to be at 15,000 at the end of the year. - In 12 months? - Yeah. - Okay, what about three and six months? Where do you...where would you realistically think you can go? - Like, just... - Kind of a regular, standard... - A regular...yeah. - ...trajectory occurring. - Right. - Okay, fair enough. - So I've been on Instagram for a year, so I think it's realistic. - Is Instagram the only place where you're kind of investing most of your time or do you also see another platform? - I'm investing most of my time on Instagram, I'm also on Facebook and on Twitter. - Okay. Well, let's say Facebook for example, so where you are right now. So in my experience, I found that Facebook has been or can be very valuable in terms of linking back and doing things like that for a lot of the traffic you're talking about. So, just using my own experiences at that, let's say that it was important to you, it may or may not, but let's say where you at right now? - I'm under 700, I believe, on Facebook. - Okay, for a business page? - For a business page. - Okay, excellent. And where would you like to be? Or would you like to be? Do you care? - Three thousand I care. - Okay. - Definitely care, like about 3,000 by the end of the year. - Three thousand. Okay, fair enough. All right, so target market audience. So for the type of people that you're looking to go after to achieve those goals we set, what's your target...what's your ideal audience that would be for that? Not necessarily just people that you want to follow your stuff but who are the important characters that would play a role in you achieving those goals? - Two kinds of people: people who love to travel and who are into photography, not necessarily professional photographers but people who still want to learn more about it. And then people, companies who may hire me or work with me on affiliate links or products or whatever that will enable me to make money through them. - When it comes to the photographers, we kind of have somewhat of a specific idea of what you're looking for and the travel people, but when it comes to the marketing and working with companies, who do you feel is your target market audience? I mean, we talked about the companies, but can you be specific? Like, do you know who you want to try to talk to at a company if you're trying to pitch them the idea about something? - No, but you do. - Huh? - You do. - I know a couple of things. Anyone else has any ideas? Anyone else who was with the mic and passed it around. If someone was looking to establish more relationships with companies out there for as affiliate links and for what else? For... - Just doing shoots with the client. - Oh, doing shoots, working together, collaborating kind of projects. - Yeah, exactly. - So, any ideas? Can you pass the mic over? - [Woman 2] Possibly REI. - Okay, well we do specific companies even within the idea... no, no, that's good, no, that's fine. Within REI...so let's use REI as an example. Let's say that you want to create a marketing campaign. Or you want to create a campaign or maybe you just want to do affiliate links, who do you guys think at REI you'd want to talk to? - Social media manager? - Social media manager is a potential. Again, marketing managers are potential. You also want to see who's active on things like LinkedIn. So if you look on LinkedIn, it's like, "Social Media Manager" and then it's going to be a person and they haven't filled out their profile, most likely they're not going to be checking their LinkedIn messages coming in. So you might have to settle for an assistant manager or you might find the product manager, depending on if you're going after a specific product or something like that. But that helps narrow down your target market audience because you're sitting there and saying that it's specific individuals within specific types of companies, they're going to help achieve those goals for you. - What about tourism boards? - So tourism boards are interesting. So when it comes to both tourism and tech, and I guess probably a lot of the industry, what it comes down to is that most firms, at least firms of size that usually have enough budgets to be worthwhile, in my personal opinion, generally work with marketing firms, which means you work with a single marketing firm, like Ogilvy or something like that, that represents a lot of people. And so, it's a challenge or it can be a challenge to sit there and say... If I was going to reach out to a computer company that we won't name and say, "I wanted to pitch them idea," I might try to reach out to their social media manager or their marketing manager. And there's a chance I might not hear back because they might not just be active on LinkedIn or something like that. There's also a good chance that this prominent brand of computers might have a marketing firm working for them, in which case, it can be more challenging to sit there and try to figure out which marketing firm represents them. You can, again, do opposition research and try to figure that out, there are ways to do it doing Google searches and try to reach out and look at a lot of the major brands and seeing who they work with, figuring out the name of the entity so that you can then do a deep dive into a statistical search. But a lot of the time, for a lot of destination marketing, which essentially is what I call them, DMOs, they are represented by a larger firm. And I do quite a bit of travel stuff as well and a lot of the time, a lot of the work that I get comes through from marketing firms, not necessarily directly from the entities themselves. And what happen is these entities say, "Hey, we have a campaign, we have a budget. We want to work with you as a marketing firm, find us people to work with, find us people that we can work on this campaign together." So marketing firm gets a cut, I get a larger cut, but usually that's how a lot of the business for me comes in. So let's go ahead and do...so opposition research, so what others...do you know of other people that are doing stuff that you're doing? - Yeah, there are three people that I very much admire, which is you, Elia Locardi, and Cristina Mittermeier. - Okay, excellent. Cristina is a wonderful people as well. Excellent, so in doing to figure out how we've grown our following, obviously, I'm giving away most of my secrets or most of the stuff that I found, but looking at what works for Cristina and what works for Elia and sitting there and trying to figure out what has benefited them in terms of this stuff, maybe even reaching out, again, some people are friendly, you might get some extra information from it. But understanding it's good, again, part of our strategy just to figure out who else we are...we're trying to attain to. And then challenges, what are the challenges that face you for the next 12 months? - I'm really bad at business. - Really bad at business. Fair... Why are you bad at business? - I focus too much on providing value to other people, let's say inspiring them or giving them advice or whatever, and I focus a lot less on what I personally can get from that. - Okay. Fair enough. - Which I realize it's...I'm not saying this is, like, "Oh, I'm so generous." No, I realize that is a very big shortcoming for me and my business. - Fair enough, from the business side of things. Okay, well, understanding that it is a shortcoming is one of the first steps to figuring out how to get around it, so that's awesome. Okay, so let's do... You have any other questions about what we walked through? - No, nothing else. Thank you. - Okay, good. Let's do one more. Excellent. Got one? Get the mic? - [Woman 3] I got one. - Awesome. All right, so let's start from the beginning, strategy statement. So tell me what you're hoping to achieve when it comes to social media for you. - Well, we are wedding photographers, so we would ultimately like to find clients and also to network with other vendors in the area to do collaborations or... - Excellent, and what area are you in if you don't mind me asking? - We are on the Kitsap Peninsula, so just west. - Beautiful, awesome. All right, context analysis, where are you at now, where do you want to be? - We are right around 600 followers on Facebook and Instagram and I'd say...I don't know, maybe 500 followers growth each... - Each platform over the next 12 months? - Over the...at 3 months, at 6 months, and at 12, so ending at about 2,000. - Accumulating? - Yeah. - Excellent, perfect. Okay, so your target audience, so are you looking for specifically local clients? - Not necessarily. - Okay, so you're willing to do destination some? - We'd love to. - What's that? - I said we'd love to. - Excellent. Well, I can tell you from my experience, which isn't probably too great in the wedding photographer, I think I only actually shot one wedding, it's an accident. But what I've found from a building standpoint, it can be exponentially easier being as targeted as you can with your local area as a starting point and build a base of clients and then that allows you to get to a point where you can do destination marketing or destination weddings in a manner that is...you can charge enough to really make the time investment worthwhile because it gets exponentially more costly for you guys as a business to do those, in which case you got to charge more and it's very difficult to start off and charge X number dollars for local , all of a sudden, "I'm doing, you know, international trips, $20,000 weddings," like, it's going to be hard to find those clients. So building up that local stuff, so let's focus on the local stuff from this segment. So your target market audience is...from the work that you have done, what do you typically find? - We typically look for the couples in their mid or late-20s, early 30s. We don't particularly like to do DIY brides, we like somebody who just wants us to get in and take care of what's needs to be done and... - How do you find them currently, or how do they find you? - We've done a lot of word-of-mouth... - Okay. It's good. - ...which is actually probably counted for most of our business. We actually just moved up to this area, so we were in California before. So most of it was word-of-mouth down there, so that's another challenge, I guess, that we have is... - Absolutely, absolutely. - ...that we're new. - Getting your name out there? - Yeah. - Okay, so our target market audience, brides or couples, people 20s to 30s you said? - Yeah. - Okay. When it comes to the personality, how do you guys feel you're...like, what are you online? Like, what's your... How do you guys portray yourself? - I think we want to portray ourselves as kind of fun and approachable, maybe a little adventurous. We live on a sailboat so we... - Awesome. Very cool. I like sailboats. - ...not necessarily the box of normal people, I guess. - Do you feel that that's part of your strategy right now? Are you doing that or is that more where you want to be? Do you want to be more personable or do you feel that it is what your online personality or people's perception of your brand is currently? - I think we try to be personable and approachable and not terribly stiff. - Okay, excellent. So, like, some marketing stuff and you're mixing in some of your personal opinions and feelings and giving advice and stuff like that. - Yeah. - Awesome. Okay, so opposition research, have you done and checked out the local photographers and what people are offering in your area? - Yeah. - And what is that, what have you learned from that? - Well, we've actually spoken with a few of them. - Okay. And I think that they're probably...the people that we've spoken to are pretty much struggling in the same ways that we are. So... - Fair enough. Well, that tells you in itself something. Tells you about the market, maybe it's underserved, maybe there's much more opportunity for it because people haven't really broken in and established themselves as the people to go to hire in that region. - Yeah. - So that's good. Again, that's all part of the market research, it doesn't always have to be positive, sit there and say, "Oh, this other person's doing this." You can learn, again, from other people's either mistakes or the fact that here's the reality of the situation where wherever you're working in. And then challenges, you mentioned just moving? - Right. - Any other that you can think of? - I think if I feel really overwhelmed by social media, and so I think I feel like if I don't have something really good to posts that I shouldn't post and then sometimes I will wind up just posting something so that I have something to post because I know that it's important to post regularly. So if you look at our feed, it's probably a little less than as put together as I would like for it to be, so I think that's a part of everything. - Do you feel...and be honest, again, of course, do you feel even just the act of talking this up...and it sounds like maybe you guys have already done some of this, but just the idea of sitting there, kind of setting some of this stuff up, that you have actual goals to attain to, and again, maybe you've done some, but do you think that...do you find that it's helpful to give you...maybe not necessarily confidence just yet because you haven't started, but to give you a feeling a little bit more at ease with stuff? Things obviously haven't changed, it just has been a couple of hours we've been talking, so I'm not expecting miracles here, but I'm just trying to get to the idea that establishing a lot of these different things potentially is meant to help, it's meant to sit there and not necessarily saying, "Okay, I've decided what are my challenges are, so I know I'm automatically going to get around them," or, "I know what my goals are, so I know how to achieve them." But for I think a lot of people, as you said, it's like you want to post online but you don't really know always what to post and you want it to be good but you also know you need to do it constantly. And so, the idea of figuring out somebody's endgame goals hopefully will give you at least the beginning steps of actually working towards that, rather than just feeling like nothing is working or that you're kind of just stagnant. And so, does that...and again, don't respond favorably just because I'm asking, I'm just curious, because for me it's always helped with strategies but everyone is not always the same, obviously. - Yeah, I think it definitely helps to put it into this kind of perspective and to look at it that way because for me when I first started using social media, it was all on a personal level, it was just about connecting with friends. You know, I use Facebook back when it was just... - Back in the day? - Yeah, back in the day. - I like that day. - So I guess at that point, it didn't really matter, it was just posting stuff to post stuff for friends to see or for family to see for whatever, so I think to switch gears and start thinking of it in terms of business and a tool and to put all these things together to make strategic posts is... - At least gives you something... I think it gives you a direction, I think, in the very least. - Yes, yes. - That's awesome, thank you very much, I appreciate you guys, both of you guys chiming in. And I think, again, a lot of this stuff is important elements to do and, again, I totally understand that the idea of sitting there and saying...you're thinking about this stuff and it doesn't make things automatically better, I get that. But the fact that most people don't do this, most people don't cognitively think about this, let alone physically write it down and I recommend that everyone write it down, I recommend that you sit there and you print it out, whether you write it down on your notes right now or people that are viewing online you're taking notes, print it out, put it somewhere that it's visible. It's so easy to sit there and get wrapped up and distracted with everything else that's happening. Doing simple things... And now I feel more like an inspirational talk that we're having here, but setting these goals and setting this thing that you want to do and you actually writing it down, taking the physical activity of putting it down on paper and putting it somewhere where you can start to work to achieve those goals, I think is exponentially important. So I highly recommend that you guys do that. I hope you guys have enjoyed this little segment here, we'll continue on with our stuff because we have a lot of stuff to talk about, but this whole aspect, these six different...seven, two, three, four, seven different pieces are hugely important in helping getting you set in the right direction. And it's just the beginning steps so you're not going to instantly feel better about everything, but hopefully, after a few weeks, you can sit there and start moving toward something that is actually attainable and hopefully, having that sense of direction and purpose.

Class Description

There are no shortages of online networks for photographers to share their images, but which platforms are best for you and how do you utilize them to grow your photography? Sony Artisan Colby Brown will walk you through the foundations of social media and why it’s so important for your brand as a photographer. He’ll show you how to define what you want out of your online experience and how to maximize your time on each of the major networks. 

Colby will discuss:
  • What each of the major social networks are and what they’re best utilized for
  • Tips for growing an audience or followers
  • What networks to use to achieve your goals as a photographer 
  • Tricks to breaking down the different network algorithms to maximize your engagement
  • Develop a social media strategy to build your brand as a photographer
No matter your genre of photography, be it travel, wedding, or pet photography, social media has the power to grow your audience, business, and skills. Learn tips and tricks on where and how to invest your time using these free online marketing tools.


Hoping to go beyond growing your following and learn how to grow your business using these networks? Check Out Colby's other course: Monetizing your Social Media Presence for Landscape Photographers

Reviews

Giles Rocholl
 

This course is designed to help you develop a Social Media strategy if you are Photographer. I am a professional photographer with over 37 years of experience and although I know how to use Facebook and Instagram I didn't really understand how to use them to achieve business and personal goals. I started watching this course about 2 months ago and have just finished it due to work commitments. However I have put into practice his advice as I learnt new understanding and my following has grown rapidly. Also my work load and quality of assignment has increased dramatically too. It takes some brain rewiring to understand how social media has taken the place of many traditional media streams but Colby does an excellent job of painting a picture that helps hugely. The best thing about Colby's strategy is that it is real life, honest and something I feel I can personally and ethically live with happily. I happily endorse this course and recommend it.

Beatriz Stollnitz
 

I was very lucky to be in the audience for this class. Colby is an incredible instructor - he has the rare combination of being successful, knowledgeable and talented, but at the same time down to earth, approachable and genuinely willing to help others succeed. The content presented is actionable - I have so many ideas of things that I can do right now that can help my online presence! I can't wait to get started!

Rob Lettieri
 

I learned a few things I never knew...especially the whole inside scoop on LinkedIn....who knew??? Easy to listen to....a lot of deflection to later answers to questions...which would have made a director allow for less...why ask if you cant answer just then....and he says every question is a "great question" but it clearly isn't in a few cases....so credibility goes down...I understand positive enforcement for the millennials...but every question is not great. otherwise easy to follow and straightforward....