Blog or Bedamned!
There is much fuss being made about the significance of social networking for photographers.
On one level, it's being touted as a great way to obtain exposure for one's works. Websites like Flak Photo give photographers the opportunity to extend the distribution and audience of their works. Andy Adams, creator of Flak Photo, is a proponent of leveraging social networking media (Twitter, Facebook, Buzz) to enhance distribution prospects of one's works and to also engage with a wider, international community of photographers.
On another level, photographers have been cannily using social networking media to reach new markets and audiences. Check out a professional photographer's website and you'll no doubt find enticements to follow their blog and tweets, find them on Facebook, LinkedIn or Buzz.
Web 2.0 has certainly taken photography beyond local clubs and professional associations!
The modern photographer must blog or bedamned!
I must admit to being curious about the potential of this phenomenon. This blog is, naturally, testament that I've joined this revolution. I've also established a presence on Twitter, and have been trying to work out meaningful ways in which I can use a Facebook page for the business.
I'm a latecomer to blogging for business. You could say I'm a recent convert.
Blogging has been good for business. Since establishing this blog, I've had customers find me via Google Australia - on fairly competitive keywords to boot. I'm no expert but here are some strategies I've found useful in blogging for business:
- Use the keywords often and meaningfully in the body of your blog, and don't forget to tag your blog posts with relevant keywords. Use keywords in headings and subheadings. They're great for Google!
- Keep your blog posts relevant to your audience. Don't hard sell (it's so transparent, and off-putting). Make the content of your posts pertinent and valuable. And spread the word - link to your post/s from your Twitter and Facebook so that you're directing attention to these posts.
- Write short sentences. Keep paragraphs short. Use headings and sub-headings, and bullet points. People skim-read online and these will help get your message across more clearly, and succintly.
- Don't just blog about business; create a more rounded manifestation of yourself as a photographer via your blog. Share your personal achievements and frustrations, your artistic projects and activities, your thoughts and tips.
- Blog about your business. There are some amazing and beautiful blogs out there by photographers who target the domestic market. These photographers share the results of their family/couple/baby shoots -- a great way for customers and potential customers to look at the photographs. You'll note that many of these photographers write beautifully about their subjects. It's flattery that works, and it brings in more business.
I must admit to having my doubts about Twitter when I first heard about it. I'm still learning the ropes as far as Twitter-use is concerned, but it's starting to take form as a significant means of broadcasting.
Twitter is also about sharing and connecting. Make your tweets interesting and relevant for your followers. I've started sharing interesting links and resources via my tweets and I suspect that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Tweets of interest may be re-tweeted, thus expanding the audience of your tweet. If your tweet links back to your blog or website, that means potential for more traffic!
More to come once I've sussed out what Twitter can do!
FACE > BOOK
Irredeemably addictive, Facebook lets you connect and share with friends, not all of whom may be your actual friends. On its most banal level, Facebook lets you rant and rave to a responsive audience. Every minute aspect of your workaday life can become a Major Incident on Facebook for discussion, dissection and dramatisation.
While websites like Model Mayhem and Flickrs may be great for finding new collaborators, Facebook helps you keep in touch with them; to inform them of new and interesting new projects and opportunities.
If you blog (and you should), then post a status update linking to your new blog post (which is what I'm doing once I've completed this bit of writing).
If you're holding an exhibition or launching a book, set up an event on Facebook and invite your friends, and ask them to invite their friends. We've all read about those crazy "Facebook parties" that get crashed by hundreds of people. Imagine the same thing, but for your exhibition launch, and with a more cultivated and attentive crowd.
WHITHER WEB 2.0?
It's a new world out there with Web 2.0 - one which can benefit or befuddle. It's a new world for me and I'm noting the sights, sounds and markers as I go.
It's not easy -- it requires attention and effort: what with blogging, tweeting and updating Facebook, where's the time to actually take photographs?
But it's entirely alluring.
It's a playground, a marketplace, a cafe, a club. It's getting word out there and word of mouth publicity through new channels.