This is the first in a series of posts based off a talk I used to give on social media marketing for photographers.
The traditional method for photographers to prospect for new clients is to market themselves using one of the following:
Sourcebooks (Workbook, LeBook…)
The problem with these methods of marketing is the prospect has no way to control it. Social media solves this by allowing them to unsubscribe from updates if they’re not interested. Of course the challenge then is to get them to subscribe in the first place, but I believe eventually all marketing will be received through these channels because they’re so efficient.
It’s helpful to think about social medial as just another publishing platform and delivery tool. No different than creating a postcard and mailing it to someone except that when you put something online it can be shared over and over again with no additional cost to you. The new methods for marketing are:
A blog is the perfect tool for tackling all of these at once. You can publish your marketing material on a blog and have it sent automatically to an email list and post on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Many blogging platforms (wordpress.com, blogger.com, tumblr.com) have plugins that will auto post and setup automatic emails. https://posterous.com is a blogging platform that was created for auto sharing and tools like http://dlvr.it will take your blog RSS feed and post to social media. If you’re uncomfortable with auto posting you can always use the blog as a home base and write something original for each platform but link back to the blog as a way to direct traffic to your site. The goal with all of this is to funnel people to your portfolio when they have a job to award. How will you know when they have a job to award? You don’t, but the more visible you are the better your chances of being considered when it happens. So, this isn’t to say you can give up on the traditional methods just yet, but it’s time to put more emphasis on the new methods.
It’s helpful to look at this from the clients perspective. Traditionally, if I discovered a new photographer I was interested in hiring, because I saw them in a magazine, an award or a colleague told me about them, I would visit their website and bookmark it and then add them to my photographer list. Now, I can sign up to receive information by liking their facebook page, following them on twitter, connect on LinkedIn, signup for an email newsletter or adding their blog feed (RSS) to my reader. Now, not only does your marketing reach me it can be recommended to me and I can even discover it without having signed up in the first place. Social media changes marketing in a good way.