At the Photography Show I popped along to the Mobile and Social Stage to hear photographer James Beddoes speak about building your brand through social media. Although he wasn’t a very confident speaker and he was a little patronising to those of us of more mature years, he did have some useful tips for us.
He suggested that we Piggyback on the back of other things, national events, national holidays and the like. A themed photo is likely to get added attention if it links in to whatever others are talking about.
Beddoes has had good success by submitting his work to others and asking them to share it on. People that you admire and follow on social media are likely to support you in this way.
Another message that I have heard elsewhere over the past few weeks is about specialising. He recommended that we develop a style and an aesthetic. He pointed out that agencies want to see a style and not a range of different things. He said that when people are looking for a photographer they want to know what they are going to get from you. He told us to become known as the person who shoots X…
It is a good thing if people can sum you up in one photograph.
Beddoes encouraged us to think about who we are targeting our work at. If we are talking to everyone, we are talking to no one. He told us not to post the same photograph everywhere but consider posting different photos to different sites. While Facebook is still the most popular social media site, Twitter, Instagram and even SnapChat are all key. I have found Beddoes on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogspot and Pinterest.
He suggested that posting something three times a day was a good number as people may be checking their social media sites on the way to work, at lunch time and then again on the way home from work. I thought this was a very good tip especially as it doesn’t all need to be brand new photos, some of it can be reposts.
Although we may not put much weight behind likes and followers Beddoes pointed out that Likes = credibility. He said that they have value and that agencies understand the value of a strong following.
Finally he said that the aim of social media was to drive traffic to your website where it can be used as leverage for book deals and other work. Surprisingly I have not been able to find his website though!