There is so much hype right now to mix our services into a social world. The assumption is that photography would be a killer profession in the social media world. Everything is digital, images are essential, and as artists our creativity is paramount to others’ social image. My friends I would argue that the boom we expected is a slower process than any of us would like. We want this to be our payday, our ship has finally come in, yet I believe that the work has just begun.
I can’t get these two sayings out of my head and I think it’s because they relate so heavily to what’s going on in our industry, with our colleagues. The first that we should ‘Dance with the Devil we know.’ Lighting, Posing, Service, Solid Marketing are the devil we’ve known for so many years, social media is the new one just staring at us from across the floor. It’s WAY TOO SOON to give up on the one we know so well for something we really aren’t sure we can properly control or steer.
The second is to ‘Dance with the one who brought you.’ Hand in hand with the previous thought, we aren’t rocket scientists. We should know our strengths and weaknesses. We are in this business for a reason and it would greatly benefit us to remember just what it was that a) got us into the business and b) that which brought us success.
I can almost guarantee that it wasn’t facebook or a blog that made you a success, rather your ability to create lasting images while giving your clients a life long memory. Spending more time on your facebook account tweaking ‘education’ and ‘interests’ is not going to get your phone to ring anymore than saying those things to yourself in the shower. Clients don’t care that Ferris Bueller made you laugh 25 years ago, the care about what’s in it for them.
I am not saying that Facebook isn’t important. It really is, as this is exactly where clients spend time. I am not saying your blog isn’t important, as we all know that this allows for getting your message out in a far more personal and candid manner….and this is terribly useful. Not to mention how much better your online searchability is…
I am merely saying that a solid mix of your traditional marketing strategies and plans should not have suffered for the freeness of facebook. There is still no such thing as a free lunch. If every photographer in america is on Facebook, you are not set apart. But you need to be there and in a big way.
If every photographer is spending all of their time prettying up his/her blog, you should be prettying up your mall display, your mail pieces, and your studio for tours. It’s so easy to think that getting a lot of ‘likes’ on Facebook is essential to a successful senior portrait year, but in reality, it’s just one small piece of the puzzle.