How to make the most of the internet for your business
Look around you when next out and about…what are people doing?
That’s right, heads down (even while walking) checking their Facebook accounts, Twitter feeds, LinkedIn messages and so on…this can be huge for your photography business!
It used to be all about networking offline and in many ways, it still is. We all need that “human” touch but now we also need to learn a whole new set of life skills.
One of those skills is learning how to adjust and tweak our personalities to make it online. I for one have learned to do this over the past few years as I built and continue to build All Things Photography.
I have learned to be more patient, impartial and willing to listen to others rather than ranting and venting my own thoughts no matter what people thought of me. It is important for anyone wanting to start an new business to take heed of that.
I sometimes forget that I have “befriended” old wedding clients so have to be continuously on my guard as to what I say and do online although to be honest, I have the utmost respect for all my clients (they may well read this book ; )
When you are participating in heated discussions online, just bear in mind that a future client could well read it someday so as I said before, try and stay professional at all times.
Facebook and all the other social networking sites can be invaluable for getting yourself seen so if you haven’t done so already and even if you are not ready just yet to enter this crazy social world, I would suggest that you set up accounts for the future “just in case”.
Set up accounts with both your personal name and business name before someone else takes them. I have already bought the domain names and registered other accounts for my kids just in case one day these sites become incredibly important for future businesses.
Once you start networking, don’t just go at it hammer and tong.
In the beginning, people thought the most important thing with Twitter was to amass as many followers as humanly possible. People now have upwards of 50,000 followers which include people harping on about things that the following have no interest in whatsoever.
When someone decides to follow you and your business (or “tweets”) there is no reason why you should follow them in return. Have a look at their account and if they genuinely interest you, follow them. If not, don’t bother because you will only get inundated with thoughts and posts that mean nothing to you.
It is better to have a smaller number of people genuinely interested in you and your posts as they could well become customers as opposed to any old Tom, Dick or Harry that has no interest at all.
- Personalise your Twitter account with something related to your business. Create a background which includes your best images and details of how to get hold of you…don’t just use the generic Twitter background. Use the branding that we discussed earlier.
- Use proper etiquette when “tweeting” to avoid people un-following you.
- Build your follower list by finding people you are genuinely interested in hearing more about and follow them, hopefully they will feel the same and follow you but if not, so what? Read their posts and visit their links as you can pick up some amazing bits of information and inspiration every day.
- You could set up an “auto follow and reply”. This maximises your time and puts your account on more of an auto pilot although you may end up following “undesirables”.
- Gradually learn to advertise and make the most of your Twitter stream.
- Lastly, don’t waste too much time with Twitter if it isn’t working for your business…your time may be better spent marketing in other ways.
For more information and guidance, check out this truly in-depth social media course that will help your online business soar (click image or link)…
Facebook is pretty much the biggest thing on the planet right now. I like it for keeping in touch with people and getting back in touch with old friends. I like the fact I can take it or leave it and only use it when I have nothing better to do (like that ever happens)!
Being read by over a billion people worldwide, Facebook can also be a great marketing tool.
They offer paid advertising much like Google contextual ads and you can add links to your website/s within your profile (although they may have a “no follow” attribute meaning that are useless for SEO). Still, if people visiting your Facebook page click through to your website or pass it on to someone interested in hiring you, you have nothing to lose by getting involved.
As I said earlier, it is a good idea to have a Facebook page for your personal “doings” and a Fan Page for your business…keep them separate!
Update your Fan Page with events that you do such as weddings, portraits and so on, upload photos to keep people interested. Diarise future events, price changes, promotions and so on. Keep people informed as to what you are up to and make sure you reply to any comments and join the fan pages of others that you are interested in.
This is most definitely a good PR, marketing and business tool much like the offline business breakfast meetings. Worth getting used to and learning all about it now even if you know nothing about it or don’t care much for it.
Look into the other big names in social media and slowly start to implement plans and pages there such as Pinterest (great for photographers) and LinkedIn (great for all businesses). They are all good business tools that are being used by millions daily.
Even photographers need photographers to shoot their own or their daughter’s wedding. I have been the photographer at a couple of weddings for the daughters of professional wedding photographers…quite daunting!
Here are some other Social Networking Sites worth considering but remember, you don’t need to join them all, you would have no time left for taking photos!
Lastly, here are a few more courses that we recommend…speculate to accumulate!
- Social Media Marketing
- Social Media For Business Owners: Social Media Training
- Strategies for Marketing Successfully in Social Media
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