Marketing Your Photography Week: What does social media replace?

July 28, 2010


[Editors Note: This week is “Marketing Your Photography” here on DPE with Rosh Sillars. Rosh will be bringing you a new article every day this week, make to sure to check them all out!]

Social media is here to stay, but it will not replace what is already working. It’s just another form of communication. You can use it effectively or you can waste time. Apply the same rules to social media as you would to your cell phone, e-mail, or your favorite chat platform.

Social media gives photographers the opportunity to share their portfolio with people around the world. Networking is a powerful method to grow a business. Social media gives good networkers the opportunity to put their skills into overdrive. The same rules apply.

The most valuable social networking tip is this: Educate, don’t sell, to the people with whom you are connected. They are already sold on you. Your job is to teach them how to find leads for you and to be enthusiastic promoters of your work.

Let’s take a quick look at three of the main social media sites: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These Web sites are the outer planets in your social media digital marketing solar system. These sites are where you engage with your community.

Facebook is usually made up of close friends, family and associates. Generally these are people you would not want to place on the hard sell. Use this platform to share your photographs in a passive way. Ask questions that encourage people to talk about your images. If you have photographed people in your community, make sure you tag them. Tagging people and sharing photographs is an extremely effective technique for wedding, portrait, and senior portrait photographers.

LinkedIn is about six degrees of separation. Wouldn’t it be nice to find out who works at the businesses, galleries and agencies before you call on them? How about knowing where a contact transferred to say connected. You can do all this and more on LinkedIn. Even better, the system will show you who you know who knows the people you want to know. In other words, LinkedIn gives you the tools to develop warm leads and referrals.

Twitter is a media stream. You share information that is of interest to you and you follow people who offer information that you find interesting. It’s like the People’s News Wire. Twitter is one of the best sources of traffic to my Web sites.

Remember Twitter is keyword sensitive. People find other people to follow based on the words they tweet as well as their biography. So if you wish to connect with a certain group of people, make sure you tweet about things they would find interesting.

YouTube, Flickr, Yelp, and FourSquare are a few of the hundreds of sites photographers could consider when developing an online networking solar system. Test them out and make sure the people you want to know are there. If not, move on.

Social media is not a fad. Someday it will not be new, but it will be a part of everyday communication. What standard forms it will ultimately take is impossible to know. What we do know is that if used well, social media sites will be some of the most powerful tools people will have to communicate with and reach the largest audiences for free.

I will present one of the most powerful digital marketing methods in tomorrows post. Ignoring it will cost you opportunities.

This post is part of a series on digital marketing by Rosh Sillars, host of the New Media Photographer podcast and co-author of “The Linked Photographer.”

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- who has written 10 posts on The Digital Photo Experience.

Rosh Sillars is a veteran photographer with a photojournalism background specializing in people, food and interiors. He earned his BFA in photography at the College for Creative Studies (CCS), Detroit. Rosh offers his services to traditional media, new media and corporate clients. You follow Rosh on twitter at:

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