I want to start this on a positive note because the reason I felt compelled to write this today is that this morning I had an experience that was the opposite of what I am about to talk about.
I probably have a slightly different view of this than the average person sharing pictures of their dog on Instagram just because he’s so cute and adorable.
For me, social medial is an essential platform to market myself and my bussiness. I do have some Personal accounts but most of my time I am using it to grow and promote my own bussiness.
That’s the problem.
I interact with lots of people in the same position and I have noticed an increasing trend that just doesn’t sit right with me.
Many businesses are scared to share, like or comment on any business that is a little to close to their own. They have a belief that if they interact with an account that could possibly be a competitor it will take something away from them and their opportunities to grow.
It’s from a viewpoint of scarcity. To keep it simple I will focus on my situation specifically but this applies across the board.
Let’s get more specific.
I run a wedding photography business and have done for more than 10 years. It can be quite a competitive industry to be in but that’s true of many industries.
I have grown with social media and seen it change significantly over those past 10 years.
I have had other photographers clearly state they would never like, share or comment on any other photographers posts no matter how beautiful the images are.
I had a good photography friend ask me why I shared some pictures from another photographer like I had lost my mind.
I was recently involved in a conversation about Pinterest where one photographer said: “I only every pin my own work and even if I have images for another none photography vendor I make sure it links back to only my website”. It felt like if that person promoted somebody else it would take something away from them.
Maybe I’m wrong, many of these people appear to be quite successful with their strategy. It just feels like it goes against the social, sharing and working together with ideas behind these platforms.
Maybe it’s related to all these vanity metrics. I know from my past life experience that you can change the behaviours of companies and people simply by shifting how you measure success in their minds. We all have a desire to achieve our goals so if you make somebody believe their goal is in one direction that is where they will drive themselves.
Is Instagram the worst for this?
It seems that Instagram is becoming a race to get “influencer status”. Your worth is measured by the number of followers you have and the small number of people you follow.
“If you have 25k followers and you only follow 25 accounts you are a big success”.
People think if they make it to this level big companies will reach out to them and pay them huge amounts of cash to say “I use brand x” or us little guys will pay through the nose for them to give our little accounts a shout out.
And yes, some people have made some good money with this but Instagram is set to roll out its own adds linked to these accounts so the cut these people get will be shared and will probably start heading the same way youtube has.
Not enough followers – Not interested.
I recently had an odd one. A model reached out to me about a shoot idea I had posted. She was very excited about the project, she had seen some other shoots I had done and my pictures. We spoke about some ideas, set up a time and location and were good to go.
A few days before she made a comment that my following on that specific Instagram page was a little low and she normally only worked with photographers with +10k followers. It’s a new account for a specific niche I’m playing around with so I thought nothing more.
I got in touch the day before the shoot to confirm the details and she tells me she can’t make it, a few days later I’m unfollowed and ghosted.
It’s not all doom and gloom.
There are still many people out there who push my content. I have a fantastic group of people who regularly share, comment and like the stuff I post and I am eternally grateful to every one of them.
I would love to give you all a huge hug and kisses, it is down to you guys I have been able to grow my business and keep doing the work I love.
There are also many businesses within my industry that promote me including some wedding photographers that could be seen as my competition. In my mind, they are my “Collaboration Partners” and whenever I am unable to take a booking I love to pass their details on.
I am a strong believer that we grow by lifting each other and that success by pushing somebody else down is short-lived and unfulfilling. But hey I could be wrong, It’s something I saw and didn’t like in my past life working in the corporate industry.
A last thought.
If you think I’m wrong, weak and destined to fail then move along, bounce off the site so that google doesn’t think there is anything of interest here. “Long live unsocial media”
If you agree with me share this on your favourite social media platform. Add a comment and look at a few other pages on my site, Google takes that as a sign that you found something interesting here and it will boost my rankings.
Follow and support me.
“I love those vanity metrics” – Seriously if like my work and want to see more of it and maybe put up with the very occasional rant like this find me on your favourite social media platform. Lets put an end to “unsocial media”
Instagram – @uk_wedding_photographer
Pinterest – @uk_wedding_photographer
Facebook – ukweddingphotographer
LinkedIn – uk-wedding-photography-by-bryan
Twitter – bryanfarrell_uk