We're Erica + Jon, professional photographers, Mr + Mrs and Mom + Dad. We like to share insights into our industry, behind the scenes and stories about our life and chips + salsa obsession.
If you have read this far in our series on Social Media Marketing, you know that we are completely sold on the effectiveness of social media marketing and that we use it to attract our ideal clients and to create vendor relationships. There’s a lot of goodness in all of that, but we’ll be honest, we’ve saved the best for last. Similarly to what we talked about in creating vendor relationships, the key to using social media effectively is to bring real value to others. It’s the piece so many have missing and the one that makes the biggest impact.
We’ve been so blessed to have been able to learn from some of the best in the business. We’ve had one-on-ones and attended workshops early on in our careers, years before we decided to make this our full-time job. Each one was an amazing experience and we wouldn’t have traded it for the world! Those experiences also inspired us beyond the foundations of our photography business. They also demonstrated an example of sharing knowledge for the benefit of the community. These wildly successful people we sat under and learned from were sharing all of their ‘secrets.’ It may seem counterintuitive, but in reality it was one of the most powerful things they could have done for their own careers!
When we post on social media, if we aren’t showing our work to attract an ideal client or networking with another vendor, we are doing our best to bring value to others. That might be through educational insights related to our industry or even motivational quotes. Whatever form it takes on doesn’t really matter. What matters is that someone reads it and that it makes an impact on them. That’s also why we share blog series like this one, sharing things we have learned the hard way so that others might be able to take a shorter path to jumping over that hurdle!
Again, we know that seems counterintuitive. Why build a business and share what works and what doesn’t work with others? And how can we claim that the education from those that we learned was great for their own careers?
Because it’s true.
There is nothing out there that hasn’t been done before. Nothing is new under the sun. Anything that we were taught could have been learned elsewhere. It would have been a longer, harder road, but we could have learned it by researching online, studying books, and trial and error. But here is why we think bringing value to others on social media is so beneficial.
Our ‘why’ for our business is to make a positive impact on others. It’s that simple. Whether we are working with families or photographing a commercial brand, we want everyone to be marked by the time we shared together and leave feeling like they’ve been served with love and joy. That same motivation carries over to bringing value to others on social media. If we share valuable insights or motivation it helps to make others better, which in turn accomplishes our ‘why.’ So ultimately, we are winning!
If you are willing to share your experiences with others, it automatically establishes a degree of authority that you are qualified to share on the subject. Here’s the catch – don’t pretend to be something you aren’t, because you will be found out. Instead, be true and genuine and share things that you have learned in your own journey. You don’t have to be an expert to share something that motivated you that might help someone else. If you figured out a best practice for your industry that saves you time, share it! Chances are it will help someone else too. Along the way, you’ll not only be helping others (which should be the main focus) but you’ll also be establishing your own authority and a following that starts to look to you for advice.
So many people think that they need to keep everything close to their chest. That if they share anything about their business they will be ruined. The truth is, there really is nothing that someone else can’t replicate with time. One of our favorite business leaders shares openly on a huge platform about the specifics of what makes him successful. He was asked how he was able to do that and still increase in his success in the way that he has. Wasn’t he worried about others taking that information and using it against him? In response, he said, “I’ve come to realize that 99% of the people in this room will listen to me now and shake their heads in agreement, but do nothing with what I shared with them. The 1% that do are the go-getters who would have figured it out on their own anyways.”
Guys, there is so much truth in that. Many people set out to try something because they are inspired, but don’t stick with it for more than a week or a month or a year before giving up. While we wish that number of ‘doers’ was more than 1%, at least we know that the other 99% were positively impacted in a way that might motivate them in the future. That same leader put it like this: “The talented want others to win, because they don’t see it as coming out of ‘theirs’.” In other words, if you are good at what you do, you will succeed, so instead of tearing down others with jealousy or envy, build them by applauding and cheering them on!
If you weren’t convinced that social media marketing is an effective tool before reading through this series, we hope your perspective has changed now! There is so much upside and benefit to being intentional about using social media to benefit your business! What can you apply to your own profile today? Is it targeting your ideal client through an intentional post of your work? Is it creating a new relationship with a vendor that could ultimately bring you new opportunities? Or can you motivate someone today by sharing something that will impact them in a positive way? We can’t wait to see what you will do!
Did you miss the other parts to this series on Social Media Marketing? Find them here:
Part 1 – Does it Work?