Thursday, February 20, 2014

Social Media & Photography - Can it Make Cents?

Blue Petals
Nikon 600, 105mm lens
It's relatively easy to create awareness of your nature photography using social media. Generating an income however, requires engagement with your audience and a commitment of time.

Digital photography has made it easier for people to find their talent versus back in the days of film.  The outcome is many levels of photographers, more competition online and in the traditional retail space.

Let's face it, when you think of famous photographers, everyone is quick to say "Ansel Adams" or "Art Wolfe" and from there it can be a fairly short list.

So how do you create awareness?

Personal facebook page - use your personal page to introduce your friends to your work.  Post a couple of images at a time a few days apart for 2-3 weeks to see what generates interest (aka 'likes').  Your friends are your first real fans, and your fans 'likes' will help you decide what has broader appeal.


Duckling's Bubble Bath
Nikon 7100, Sigma 150 - 500 lens

Next, create your Facebook photography business page.  If you know the name of your business already, use it here.  It's very helpful if your business name reflects you and your type of photography.  This is the beginning of building your personal brand.  Don't underestimate the name, it's how others find your work.

When you create your page and make it public, initially fill the page with your images, interesting information about you and relevant links.  Immediately invite your friends to like your page!  This is where your audience begins.

Add one maybe two images per week to your page.  Adding many images at a time doesn't do your work justice. The attention span of the viewer is seconds, they won't look past the first few images.

Including an article, bloglink or other posting occasionally that is interesting and reflective of your brand can engage viewers. When your friends 'like' and share your postings, more people will see and 'like' your page.  Here is the link to get started: Creating Your Facebook Business Page

Cherry Blossoms, Nikon 600, 105mm

Network, network, network!  Find other Facebook photography pages and interact with other photographers. 'Like' their work (from your personal page so it will count on their 'like' counter) and if inclined from your own Photography Page too.  Photographers are not only helpful but their work can inspire you in taking yours to another level.

You'll find that there are sites whose mission is to share others work.  This may be in a given category, theme of the day, or hosting regular contests. (see a small list below).  These sites may share your work, the link to your page.  From there, their fans can 'like' your work and your page. 

If 'Likes' created revenue, that would be great.  But they don't.  'Likes' can validate what images have broader appeal and get your work more visiblity as their friends see what they 'liked'. 

Have I generated sales as a result of social media? Yes, which leads to my final tip for this blog. 

Create your website (see Why Re-create the Wheel? Your Photography Website Made Easy). After creating your site, embed your link on your Facebook page.  Announce that you have a website to your photography page audience and your friends a few times a year.

As you progress, you'll find other social media and photography sharing sites to use as well.

It takes time to get traction, but you have to take the first steps!

HAPPY SHOOTING! 
Sheen

Megashot on Facebook
Soulful Nature on Facebook
Camera Cruise with K on Facebook
Nature Photography | Wildlife Photography
Nature Photography on Facebook