Marketing & Social Media Audience
Okay, so this is, um, a friend of mine workshop, I want to natural talk about these aspects of branding and marketing, but I think there are lots of on traditional ways that we market ourselves these days, so it relates a lock to social media, so I want to go straight into first talking about branding, marketing and how I interpret these words in line with typical kind of ways that we, brandon, market our photography today through the tools that we have. So this word branding, um, I've been mentioning how ms aniela is more brand these days, more of a business than just myself was one solitary artist, but that word that term, that name still applies to me, but it's, also a brand name I've showed here like a montage of different ways in which I put across my brand in terms of using my logo, red and black and particular fund. I've chosen on the way that I present that and that's something that I keep consistent across everything that I put albert, so we've got my websites on there. We hav...
e my newsletter, we have a business card, even invoice headers and model release headers and all of these things I keep my branding consistent across, so in terms of thinking of how being a photographer is like any other business, yeah it's that same element off consistency, and that becomes a professional consistency. So no matter how small your businesses you are waving that flag of reassurance that you basically are providing a particular service and you want people. We want people to know you for that. And that, I think, is quite interesting as an artist because thie potential there to be creative with your branding is quite interesting. It's not so much a dull and boring thing. You can be creative with the way you represent your name in the way you represent yourself in, like the logo design that you choose and that's an exciting part of branding yourself as a creative. So not one to be necessarily scared off but be embraced. So marketing. So I've just mentioned briefly about branding. What about marketing? So marketing is important for any business. So whether your photographer, obviously, or any any other profession marketing is all about getting the word about you out there. Um, when we go back to what I was talking about passion sometimes interesting. How when I said about not letting passion, not letting passion, makes you forget the line between on business. You might be really passionate about creating things and that's great, but it doesn't lead to automatic recognition. In the outside world. You have to work to getting noticed and recognized so it's not like you just get this automatic recognition. Because of how passionate you are, you have to put it out there. You'll have to learn how to put yourself out there and how to kind of market yourself to these different genres you might be trying to get into as a photographer. You are the brand, so been talking about the branding in the image of the logo, you're the other brand. So you and your reputation on what is what is going to be basically remembered by the clients that you work with. But the marketing takes on a more mysterious form, so there's less conventional, necessarily conventional ways of advertising yourself there's less conventional advertising or less conventional way in a tall, so a good example, or just a very plain example there, tio to tell would be, you wouldn't necessarily advertise yourself in the same way that another business might I. I think about we've paid for advertising once, and it was really, really waste of money when I say paid for advertising, I mean, like, paid for advertising in a way that a business would in terms of putting yourself on a website and paying for that for and that was just I don't really think that was very successful. I think that was a waste of money, and so you are putting yourself out there in a way that isn't necessarily the same way that a local business would put themselves out there. But then again, it would like it depends on what kind a photographer you are because you have your photographer that's just opened up a studio in town, and you want to attract people in the local area and put an advert in the local magazine is obviously going to be more appropriate. But for most of us, it's about just being globally relevant and putting our work out through the internet like most business needs time to build because the best advertising his reputation. So this applies to being a photographer but also applies to basically any kind of business even, you know, from a restaurant through, too. What we do creatively with our images it's about like I was saying earlier about that that agency who had their favorite photographer who they use because they're using time and time again and so they know that he's gonna fulfill they feel safe within they feel that the clients are gonna be pleased when they see the results he brings them social media is a free inorganic form of self promotion on also social media is a form of marketing that a lot ofthe business is using not just the creative industries but any industry um it's a very interesting phenomenon the way in which we kind of putting ourselves out there in a way that's like for free at first and then we're trying to find ways to monetize the audience that we build it's very interesting to see how people are doing that in different ways. So for example there's this fashion page on facebook that I've bean following lately and they've been amassing a lot of followers have got like corps of million followers and now they're bringing out a magazine and you know, putting advertising into it so I can see that they're model has bean that you know first want to collect all these people attract them with our fashion pictures and then we'll start mike money out so that's very interesting for me to see for anyone to see how they are using something free is thie kind of enticement enticing thing t bring people in to get all simply an audience for free so when I was putting my work out there, I was kind of inadvertently doing that amassing an audience that I could later kind of so things too in different ways but I wasn't I wasn't entirely sure I was doing that at first it was very much kind of subconscious thing at first when I was making my clone self portray ts and sharing them on flicka so social media facebook, twitter, google past flicker pinterest five hundred picks we all know off thes sites and some bigger at one time than others I think a moment it's, facebook and twitter are very big pinterest is one that's kind of coming in flick it used to be I think it's still fairly popular but used to be a lot more off the place to post your pictures we've got new ones coming up all the time, so my beginnings are really from flicker. Um I I think I've mentioned this numerous times through the course of my workshop, my power, my background and forms will I do now? I want to go back a little bit into the past and talk about how I started out making the virtual into the physical, so I've already mentioned how I've been showing my work online seeing my work build up like this tapestry on my set it's in my flicka sets seeing how that was becoming a particular style, getting the feedback from people as to what they thought of my work knowing that there was an audience there was interest in my work I mentioned the other day about someone making the gallery common that kind of put planted a seed in my mind to think out work like go with my work so basically I was showing my work online back in two thousand six on dh few through a few months of sharing my work I started to achieved this this attention from people who which basically led to my first local exhibition so I was living in brighton at the time and the exhibition with I was with a gallery called north lane photography and the first time I got that email asking me to exhibit always self portraiture that I've been doing for the last year or so it was very, very exciting because it was the first time that anyone would recognize something in my work and asked me to actually do something physical with it so it was very much about virtual going into physical making prince of my pictures for the first time I'm not really having a clue how the art world works, but just kind of like putting it all out there on this uh newspaper clipping is typical also of the publicity that I was trying to get on dh this also led to more exhibitions and exhibition. The next exhibition was one in madrid that I was really pleased about, because this meant it was going even further than just one exhibition. There's, vory and fascinating for me, it just felt like I was on this strange, just the beginning of a strange journey. I wasn't knowing where it's going, so what was happening is that a story was being shaped about the way I was sharing my work, and it became the path. The part of the way that my work was being understood was social media. The way that I was sharing it became part of my story. So here's a picture of me on cover of american photo back in two thousand nine on digital, pro photo masters edition as well. So you can see here the word flicker, master of flicker twelve, one of twelve flickers superstars, so the social media was part of the story angle that came to characterize my work and get me noticed. I'm not necessarily saying that's, good or bad thing, it's just what was happening, and I found it very exciting, but I also was wondering where it was going to go as well, because I was aware of the way in which I was being represented was interesting that I was not. Just being represented of an artist, but part of, like, a wave of some kind of use of social media, mulliken news angle, if you like, um, so I was really proud of these features don't get me wrong. I found it fascinating how my work was becoming something real in the real world, you know, people were talking about it, these works a lot of these works that I'd created very kind of organically, I use this word to describe situations where you just let it flow on. You don't necessarily have this intent that you're going for, so a lot of these images were celebrated in that light. This whole self portrait is thing and so that's great, but also I was starting to wonder where it was going because as I knew that, I didn't want to no, I didn't I didn't know where my self portrait was going to lead, and so I was wondering the way in which these articles were making sense of me. Is that to my advantage? Or is that just to their advantage for their particular news angle? What does it mean for my longevity in my career? So it kind of in terms of the milestones I mentioned earlier about milestones, this was one of I considered to be most self portraiture. Milestone is a publication of my first book, entitled self portrait photography on dh when I licks in uk first approached me and asked me to write a book kind of walk. What what is this strange e mail? That's come in and didn't really realize at the time how big it would be, because it basically meant that this this book was going all over the world and being translated into multiple languages, and I still now have versions in chinese sent to me and it's. Very fascinating. This was a great milestone for me to put everything all of my journey into this one piece of work, this book that was full of my work and talking about my journey and nice flick, a story and everything like that. And also in that book, why also enjoyed as kind side note, is that I had a contributor section. On dh this was because they wanted to know book the book out because they know I mean, you also they don't wantto taking a bit of a risk, they want to fill it with something that's goingto other people are going to enjoy as well, but I also really like the opportunity to show contributors because it meant I could talk about other people's work because I knew that it wasn't just all about my work that was important. It was also about the wave of self portrait that was happening around me, so there was, uh, eight I think eight or seven or the contributors in this book whose work I talk about, and I invite them to kind of submit their images and paid them a swell. So that was really exciting for me to curate that section and to be responsible for curating that and that that was something that I'm stuck out for me is the highlight of that particular experience, but then also, I brought my second book out. Now the interesting point I'm the real point I want to make about his books. I'm not trying to sell them, tio, even though it might just look like that, but in my meeting for self portrait photography, when I was signing the contract for it. Uh even though I was really excited about the book and everything, the thing that excited me more than anything else was the fact that they asked me if I would write another book potentially they said to me you know, maybe you could come up and do book on portraiture next time at that time I had no part tricks of anyone else I just had loved a self portrait but I thought to myself, well, I actually trust me too write another book on portraiture and that meant so much to me because it meant that I was being appreciate from more than just that angle off the flicker and self portraiture stuff that gave me this pedestal I wanted to do something next on that pedestal and I didn't want to be this kind of you know, I guess this self portrait sensation that would later than be forgotten I wanted to take it somewhere so my meaningful not just self portraiture itself. So then when it came to doing this book, uh, which came out a year later on by then I'd produced a lot of images at the big in the first fashion shoot experiences that we're doing and also other things where I was collaborating with some of the images that you saw the other day using these improvised locations to start doing fashion collaborations so all of these images became part my second book, which was turning camera away from me and looking at other people, but also with a continuation of self portrait that I've done since the first book, so that when he was a great milestone in terms of saying to me, okay, I'm these air, the milestones. This is where I'm going. I'm moving on. I'm evolving from that initial burst of publicity that I was very fortunate to tow have from my self portraiture, but really, I wanted it to go somewhere else as well. So your audience and social media, who are your target clients. So, um, when we talk about social media, we tend to talk about numbers of followers, and, you know, they say the number of followers being the important thing, you know, and getting more and more followers on more and more followers, a cz, we go on and many as we can. But then it's also important to think of audience this word audience because that ultimately is who your audience is who your numbers of followers are made up off the type of audience are following you sometimes you get so lost just wanting the numbers that you forget what kind of people do you want following you if you want to sell them something for example or is it just about the kind that the kind of expectation or the quality of followers you want so in a nutshell you know quality as much as quantity so your target clients might be for example everyday people and those who just seek port traits to be done of them if you're kind of you're offering a service where you're taking pictures of people justus part of what they want in their everyday life whether that's weddings or you know just pot traits that they have to commemorate milestones of their own personal life in that case everyday people your clients are collectors so you're fine artist you're looking for people who are going by your work when I first started sharing my work online and when I went onto the exhibitions that I showed you there that was great because people you know worse trying to buy my work but I thought okay well let's put my let's put a link online for people to buy my work and I was disappointed to find that not many people were buying it and that's because most people are following me all the photographers so other photographers aren't necessarily going to be buying your work because they're doing work of their own so my predominant audience were people that want to learn from me from for their own career not necessarily by my work for their walls, agencies and companies so are you trying to approach people who actually want you to promote their product? If so then are they going to be on your social other gonna be following you on social media or is it necessary that you withdraw yourself from social media a little bit to actually look outside the boundaries of it magazine editors, directors, writers, publishers all these different kinds of people that you might want to be reaching out to to actually publish or license your work or commission you to do something for them? You're going to find them through social media or not and also other photographers so I've just mentioned how most of my audience especially at the start being other photographers what does that mean in terms of if you're trying to sell something to them? This is great for our fashion show experience because we find a lot of other photographers are following me and they're interested in coming along on one of our shoots and shooting on it so other photographers that's in another part of a big audience online that may or may not be useful for what you're trying to sell so popularity on social media some photographers have a big following in plenty work have a big following and little work of a small following on plenty work. I think it's very important not to get too bogged down with numbers of followers because I am mentioned in the day that I came across an e liebowitz his page on twitter she's got like thousands and thousands of followers, and she hasn't written yet one tweet, so that just shows how you know she's, obviously not devoting our time to social media. She's got bigger fish to fry what have you so it all comes down to how you use your social media is a tool quality over quantity, using the followers that you do have in the way that suits what you are doing and how you are interacting with them. So it's not all about getting obsessed with numbers, because once you start doing that, you lose the meaning of the audience and what they how they actually play a role in your art making. Now, I admit, I fall victim to the tendency of wanting to pick put the picture out there and not necessarily properly like sometimes rushing to that point of wanting to put it out there rather than give myself time to breathe and think ok, remembering why had made the picture and why it's important to me, just kind of recollecting myself and thinking okay, well, it's not just about my audience and getting the numbers up it's about me and what satisfies me on also people outside of social media who this picture might benefit in terms of getting commercial work, it comes down to what you do with your social media, it comes down talk kind of audience you want to reach we've got I mean, can a spic unkind to mention our fashion to experience group a few times, which we just have on facebook dedicated to people who are interested in it? I find that that group is so much that is even more valuable than my facebook paige where I've got fifty thousand people falling your facebook but my group is so much more useful for promoting my event because that has collected people who are specifically interested in my event, so instead of just kind of posting it to fifty thousand people who may or may not be interested in interested in it, this dedicated, dedicated group is is invaluable for people who are particularly interested in it and that's a reason also why you might decide to have an email newsletter instead of just social media because email newsletter if someone's inclined to follow your newsletter, they're inclined to be more interested in what you do on potentially by what you're offering, whether that's workshop places or fine art prints or fox or whatever so social media is essentially a tool, a tool that you can use using it, it's not just about achieving the numbers it's about how you're using it, to put your work out there and interacting and make use of it. Who is your audience or who do you want your audience to be? If you won't work? What kind of work popularity on social media may not give you exactly what you want, but it's a stepping stone? Um, let me just say this is because you might have a certain number of followers on dh you might find you never able to sell anything to those followers, necessarily if you're getting to a point where you want to make a living from what you do or but you find that the number of followers on facebook or twitter or whatever become a tool for something else. So an example here is that you might put your number of followers into your credentials when you're approaching, for example, a sponsor and that's sponsor sees how many followers you have on whatever on dh then they think, okay, that's, great that's, that's um, potential outlook for us to promote our whatever through you so that becomes a tool it's not always something that directly leads to what you want, um flicker going back to my own evolution journey, flicka is kind of like part of the tangle of my journey. I wouldn't say necessarily that I could have done everything I did without it. Nor is it entirely responsible for my success is, if you like, because it was a tall that I used. I found it funny when they described me as a master of flicker or twelve you know, one of twelve flick of superstars because records just a portal, it's, just some where you put your pictures, it doesn't create the pictures for you, but at the same time it is a community that helped kind of helped draw the work out of me on doll. So it became a place of people to see my work. It was through flicker that I got noticed by somebody at microsoft who approached me to come and talk about my work at their pro photo summit back in two thousand eight, and that was the picture I showed you earlier, the three red clones that was that first trip to america, where I was invited over to talk about my work on dh that was a really great opportunity that basically stemmed from social media because of being on flicker, it somehow led to that person seeing my work, etcetera, etcetera, so it was a stepping stone. So I wanted to talk here about something I kind of recognize in the way that we are these days in the way that we function in the way that times have changed old school, hard work ethic versus modern day fast track epidemic. What I mean by this is that you've got these unconventional, nontraditional ways of getting into photography these days because of social media on because of the way in which information is going so much quicker around the world, and we can get things out there so much quicker, which I certainly am, you know, my my, I wouldn't be doing photography without the internet on without the whole digital revolution of photography in terms of digital cameras and boat shop, but there are upsides and downsides to each of these, so I've kind of done this little comparisons are the old school way you might consider to be, for example, going to college and studying for a number of years, studying photography and then kind of making your emergence into commercial world into the real world. So you've got institutionalization versus being independent with this whole fast track thing, so you basically don't goto college necessarily, and you just kind of make your own way in photography, which is how I did it, aunt, how I've always encourage other people to do it. Um, in terms of not necessarily needing a degree or such like a degrees at all, it's a tool that you have to use, it doesn't give you anything but gives you experience, it gives you knowledge, but you have to use them, so you can't. I remember and the shock of when I was little and realizing, but learning for the first time that when you go to university, you don't automatically get a job at the end, I actually thought that's, what happens? You kind of you guaranteed this profession I emotion at the end of it when I first learned actually, no, you're on your own to go out there and find a job for well, I don't know how well that wasn't a time very young, so that's, the way I got into photography on dh there are downsides and upsides to that you know, I I recommend is hell just go and do it thing, but also it's important to remember that you are self taught that there you have to basically find opportunities, teach yourself and not discourage yourself from learning as you would do if you were and arguably and studying and having the time to go into things and death so you got master your crap, marcio craft versus just do it's that life is short so old school is about this kind of stereotype of studying something for many years before you come out and do it versus just doing it and learning on the job. So in terms of firm which camp you feel, you might fall into more than one on one than the other, the question to ask yourself in terms of in terms of where you are on that spectrum, what would your work be like if you had to make a complete living on dh or double your income if you're already in photography from your photography right now, so a supposed this is for the question, for people who are perhaps studying photography or come out studying photography, and I'm not making a living from it yet. But one two on dh it's in hey there's, a question posed to help you think about what we're work would be like if you had to suddenly become very productive vs the second question, which is what would your work be like if you had time to study in depth or work intricately? So the ruse imposingly two questions is that if you're somebody who uses social media, you know a lot saturates yourself in in the online world, hasn't studied photography, is very self taught versus somebody who maybe has studied it and barely used these tools. It's. A case of thinking, how can one benefit you from either side of that spectrum? What would your work be like? So we've you had time to study in depth, so asking myself with my social media, I sometimes ask myself, what would howard my journey be different if I had gone to study photography and not kind of gone straight into social media on sharing my work instantly, piece by piece out there, how his social media shaped my work? Sometimes I think I wonder whether my work would be so kind of, like, bold and colorful and eye catching out small size is that because I share on the internet, and so I'm used to people looking at things small? Or is that just because I like things like that is an interest? The question that we'll hold my work differently if I'd gone to college and and studied it in depth. I did go to university for three years study english in media, but I didn't study photography itself that's something that emerged on the side just to let you know that because I didn't know at that time I wanted to go into photography, it was more like a general creative direction, but if I had years to actually look a photography in particular, would that have changed the way that I put my work out there? Or would it have done the opposite in a in a bad way? Would it have made it slower for me to make work? Would it have decreased my productivity? If I had that question posed to me? How would I go out and make a living from it? Is that increased my productivity to a point that is healthier? It's about this balance between the two and it's interesting, just to ask yourself those questions in the same vein I've mentioned already a few times this commission I did last year where I was working with the year before, actually, but this is a piece that I did that was very different from what I was used to doing. This is a commission piece that was hung in the sky mayfair restaurant in london, and it was commissioned, especially for the space on get involved months and months of work on one picture, which I really wasn't used to because, as I've already been talking about with my workflow, I spend normally a day or two max on one particular picture that I then release generally through social media first, not all the time, but most of the time and then I am we want to the next and next, but this involved like working on twenty pictures at once, and it was very strange for me to have to discipline myself, to keep working on this one piece. But what I found really interesting about this whole experience was how it drew something out with me that was of a different calibre and level of quality in terms of the demands, but it had in order to be that size and the level of intricacy that is involved in this piece. I don't show any details at this image now, but there's a video of this piece, but I a maid to share online, we can see all the close up of the many, many details I put into this image because this is not an image made for the internet where is most of my work generally does look good on the internet like because it's eye catching up this small size, this is an image that's made for large scale viewing, so it was hard for me to get my head round, okay? I'm not working on something for the internet. I'm working on something big. I've also gotta think about the quality demands of working off on something that is going to be printed in hung on, I was s I wanted to share it online in a way that was creative that's why I made this video, which you can go and check out if you want to see the detail in the picture, but this video helped share it to my internet audience in a way that could that was going to appeal to them because otherwise they wouldn't get it if they saw all this tiny detail and didn't really know how to see any closer on a side note, I was particularly pleased also about this because it meant that my work was going into a different kind of context. It wasn't just about going on the internet, and then maybe something happens to in the future. It was being commissioned, especially for space, and I was really proud of that prestige that came from having my work hung in what's. Essentially kind of like a public place where people were going to see it physically so again, going from virtual into physical. As with the flicker story earlier about this time, in different way in, in a way of on our commission, that was very thrilling for me is part of my journey. So social media culture, in terms of what I've described as this fast track kind of tendency of of us to want to get out there sooner rather than later, and not necessarily sit and learn everything but to learn on the job things, to just be aware ofthe seeking fans before you've anything to be found off. So this thing about passion, it's, great to be passionate, that's. How I got into photography purely based on passion, curiosity, no professional intention. Our goal didn't sit down and think about it as a business. Um that's great but then also you have to remember that like I was saying before you want to make something you had to prove to the world that you've got this passion you have to make something physical because that's how they view you they don't just look at you and see the talent pouring out of you they see your work so you need to constantly be harnessing your energy and your passion into that work so people can see how you're so passionate so remember that when you're putting yourself out there on your marketing yourself, your marketing, your work, you're you're not just marketing your work yourself for your work, but you're also making sense of your work as to how it belongs to the world and its genre specification. So what I'm saying is you might have made loads of pictures but you might not know what how to sell them to the world how to organize them on a web site so it kind of make give yourself time tio make sense of yourself before you then seek the fans because of fans on the followers the people who pressed like on facebook you want them to like what you're about you don't just want them to just you don't wanna masses just mysteriously big number just out of thin air just for the sake of it seeking a popularity, hampering your creativity on dh sincerity so a little bit like the last point, but as you go on making work and I've described about that thrill of getting, you know, the likes and seeing what's popular what's in trend and just just also remembering to withdraw and draw back and think, you know, what do I want to do? What what? What do I want to do to this piece that might kind of hamper its ultimate popularity online on give it something that you know is a little bit quirkier or idiosyncratic for me? S o just consider how you know if you're seeking popularity when your marketing your work through social media, how can you retain you in your personality, your creativity and the way you're sincere about it as well? And, you know, it's, a balance you know you're getting followers online, you might do a piece of work that's more popular than another, and that piece of popular work draws in fans that are then going to see your next quirky works so it's all about a little bit of one on the other and there's no perfect balance, you're gonna get between the two but it's, just something to be aware off photography and teaching don't have to go hand in hand, think about the purpose. I've basically constructed this whole workshop and especially the things I'm saying in this section of the last section I've constructed it around what would I want someone to have told me when I was starting out all of these points of things that I'm not just kind of throwing at you the things I've asked myself that I kind of almost wish I could tell an earlier version of me, so when I started out in photography, I guess I kind of fell straight into this whole notion that if you're creating images, you're kind of also want to show the world how you do them as well, how and why and how and why do you do these pictures? Maybe it was a bit early before I was really figuring out what I wanna do with my work. I feel confident in doing this crave live work shop because I feel like I've got these things to say, but if it came along any earlier, would I really know how to teach other people how to help other people with their career rather than just getting on finding my style and finding my feet in photography? So this point I've put here because I see young photographers who are starting out in photography and they're making block post about how they've how they made their pictures, that they're kind of putting it all out there and sometimes you don't that's great I mean if that's where your heart is but don't forget to to understand that photography and teaching a two separate things they do go well together but I don't always have to go hand in hand you can spend time and withdraw yourself from that crowd of work on what you do without having to question it without having toe show other people how you do it you can do that and there's no shame in that that's that's you being a photographer and if you want to teach that that's something that you khun slowly start moving your work into or do bits and pieces of it they don't just gel together straight way and that's something that I've learned myself over the years where is at first I think they were very much glued together I thought they were kind a part and parcel of each other so I'm talking about social media and how you might have loads I'm not sure exactly why this picture is relevant to this point I guess it was almost like the book the catch twenty two like laughing at you brute this picture but I've been talking about how social media is relevant to different relevant irrelevant to different degrees as to how you get out there find work well so how do you market yourself to get work so the catch twenty two no one will commission you until you've already done some commissions like I was saying, my very first segment, I was talking about how it's, a funny game of the art industry or creative industry. Full stop. You know, there's, this very funny way of working. And I discover more about it aside. Go on on dh. And I'd debate this whole idea of style versus reputation, and which is more important. And how do I keep the balance?