When Social Media Won't Help You

Monday, January 18, 2010

Heather Morton, an art buyer in Canada, made this statement on her blog a few months ago:

Do I have to actually tell you that the most important thing is that you have kick ass images in your book? Do I need to spell that out every time I talk about promotion? That should be a given! If you aren’t doing good solid work (mid tier) or super interesting work (top tier) then put down the laptop, pick up the camera and go shoot something fantastic!

This applies to every creative entrepreneur, not just photographers. You can update Twitter and Facebook all day long, continually tweak your blog, refine your logo every month, read every single wedding blog and website, but if you don't have solid work to back it up, social media will only take you so far.

When a bride receives a disc of images that are inconsistent and don't match up to the quality in the portfolio a photographer showed her, it doesn't really matter that the photographer is the darling of all the wedding bloggers.  When a groomsman gets alcohol poisoning or a guest has a heart attack on the dance floor (both have actually happened), your abilities and knowledge base as a wedding planner had better be solid enough to handle those crises in a professional manner in a split second.  The amount of Twitter or Facebook friends you have won't really matter if you get sued for professional incompetence.

Social media is meant to be a marketing vehicle for your business. You actually have to have a product or service to market and that product or service needs to be the best you can make it.  Don't spend all, or even the majority, of your time online. Turn off your computer and continue to educate yourself on your field whether that's through shooting more, taking a design class, studying risk management, etc. Commit to having a solid product or service and commit to constant improvement. Doing this will set you apart from 99% of your competition.

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