The Hidden Value of LinkedIn
Hidden value of LinkedIn, let's talk about this for a second. LinkedIn is by and far one of my favorite social networks, which is weird to hear myself say. I think most people don't understand that, they're like, what? Everyone loves Instagram. I love Instagram but LinkedIn is awesome. Because LinkedIn is all about business communication. And LinkedIn is one of the most underrated platforms out there, especially for photographers because I think they just don't know how to use it. They don't know what you can actually do with it. Which is something you can't do on any other social platform at least to the extent and the amount of detail that you can extract from LinkedIn. So LinkedIn is all about business to business communication. Now, I've been on LinkedIn for a long time and constantly to this day, I get a lot of photographers reaching out and connecting with me, and I think that's fine, but I think photographers are missing the point. I think a lot of photographers are reaching out...
just because they feel they should reach out and connect with someone like myself, just connect with another photographer is what I'm saying. Like we talked about before with the idea that nature and outdoor landscape photographers are constantly surrounding themselves with themselves. Other photographers are creating these small echo chambers, and from a LinkedIn standpoint that's not the benefit. Like, you don't connect on LinkedIn to connect with other photographers. I don't jump in and have conversations or want to see what's happening with the families of other photographers connecting with me on LinkedIn. If you want to connect with me, send me a friend request on Facebook or follow us, follow me on Instagram or engage with me on Twitter. But on LinkedIn, what I am in there for, and what you should be there for, is to connect and network with other businesses. Now there are individuals that represent other businesses. In order to create marketing campaigns, or partnerships or jobs, or whatever it is, Linkedin is the best place by and far in order to connect with other companies. If you are trying to get sponsorship and you tweet out to Sony or whoever, they are going to ignore you. If you use LinkedIn in and you reach out and you find the right person to connect with, that's a social media manager or something like that, you might have an opportunity to have a conversation, and a conversation with someone that can actually make executive choices. Because most people that are working on social media, most people A, farm that out to other companies. So you're talking to someone that represents Sony or whoever, or CreativeLive, or whatnot. Although at CreativeLive, I'm sure everyone does it here. But you're talking to someone else that essentially doesn't represent actually the company. They don't work for the company. They work for the firm that was hired to handle their social media. I constantly see people reach out, "Hey, I love free gear, I love this, I love that." They can't do anything. They're not going to help you. Finding the right person to talk to, that's how you get things done. So let's talk about that a little bit. So, let's say for example that you are an outdoor photographer, like we're all here watching today. And you take pictures while you are out there, some behind the scenes shots. This is a photo of me taken for my friend, Brian Matiache who is out here in the Pacific Northwest, and it's a great behind the scenes photo, it's great marketing, I use it for marketing my workshops, and ebooks and other things. But there is a lot of other things happening in this photo. So you have a Sony camera, you have an Induro tripod, you have Formatt-Hitech filters, you have an Arc'teryx jacket, you have a f-stop backpack, You have Outdoor Research gaiters, you have an Eddie Bauer little puffy jacket. All those things are things that potentially might be interesting for the companies that represent those products. So take in the idea of taking photos or just the photos that you're working with and trying to either license or using those images as a means to connect with said companies, can be advantageous using things like LinkedIn. Building up a portfolio of images based on stuff that you're already going out there and shooting and taking that stuff and saying,"Hey Arc'teryx, let's do something together." "Hey, Eddie Bauer," "Hey Sony, look at all this stuff I have." And you might not get big marketing campaigns, or big relations right off the bat, but it gives you an opportunity to start that conversation. So, let's talk about this for a second. So for potential connections, these are the kind of people that you want to think about connecting when you go on in LinkedIn. This is not company specific because whoever, whichever company you think you might want to work with is up to you. But product managers are a good place to start and most of these people don't necessary have large budgets, but they do oversee the product generation of a lot of products out there. And you might find interest in it, if it's a product that you're looking at, trying to get behind, or create campaign around; a computer, a phone, something like that. Find the product manager for it and try to reach out. Marketing managers. These are much much better, they have budgets. A lot of marketing departments have gotten larger budget because of how things have shifted and changed. So marketing managers are phenomenal. So you want to work with a certain company, do a LinkedIn search for so and so company, marketing manager; CreativeLive marketing manager. You might find someone. Social media managers. Now most people are on here because, or you guys are listening to this conversation, to this class, because you are interested in leveraging social media. So, say you have a little bit of a following, social media managers now actually truly do have a budget, whereas before they were actually rolled into marketing departments for a lot of companies out there. A lot of companies what happened, is that they realized that social media was important, but that they didn't allocate enough resources for them to actually do anything with it. So they're like, "Social media is important, we should be on social media." Social media department, you guys should be in the marketing department. The marketing department is like, we already don't have a budget so you're sure welcome but you're not getting anything. Now a lot of companies have a proper social media team and they're allocated large budgets, or larger budgets in the very least. Interior designers. Again this is much more talking about print sales, or that idea about doing mass sales, or mass product sales to people that can make choices for larger purchasing options for companies or hospitals, or things like that. Marketing firms and account managers. This is my bread and butter. This is my happy place. I'd rather much connect with a marketing firm that represents a lot of different clients and establish a good relationship, than I would with a single marketing manager for a company. Now the single marketing manager for a company could still lead to a great experience or a great marketing campaign, but I have gotten so much more business out of working with marketing firms, that after they are happy, assuming I didn't mess up on a campaign with that first job, will want to work with me again because they trust me, it's a known commodity. They don't have to go put out and find someone else because they don't know if it's going to be a good fit or not, if they're going to perform or deliver on what they said they would. So marketing firms that I work with consistently give me work. I literally got a job two days ago, from a marketing firm that this is now my fifth job with them, and this is my fifth client with them. And every single time, they have been happy with the results, of course, because I make sure that I'm delivering on what I promise. And in turn, I don't have to work for the jobs. I don't have to sit out there and go try to aggressively to pitch myself. I don't have to do the cold emails, which we're going to talk about in a second as much, because I have made my connection. And that marketing firm does the vouching for me. So that marketing firm is being hired by that company, that travel destination, or maybe a government entity or a tech company saying, "Hey we have this much money to spend, we want to create these type of campaigns." And this marketing company is then saying. ''Okay let me find the artists or the assets to make it happen." So it can be exponentially more beneficial. So marketing campaigns and brand influencer work.