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This course was created and produced by Rich Harrington. We're honored to host this content in the lynda.com library.
- What is social media and why should I use it?
- Cutting through the hype
- Understanding trends in Internet usage
- Showing a genuine you
- Knowing what to post and how often to post
- Scheduling posts
- Protecting your reputation
Skill Level Beginner
We've talked about the reasons why you should do this. I'd like to push the reset button on your mental state. A lot of folks have hang ups about social media. They're worried that their stuff isn't good enough. I don't want to post until it's perfect. I put rough photos up all the time, rough videos. I get input. I share some of my failures, as well as my successes. At the end of the day, I'm little more human, a lot more humble, and I have better feedback. So a couple of tenets that you need to think about.
First up, there's always somebody out there willing to work for less money than you. As soon as you realize that there is going to be people that will take less to do the job, you'll realize that competing on price doesn't work. What you want to do is compete on the quality of your work and having samples that are easy to access will matter. Of course, there's always going to be some that are out there who has more talent than you. All I need to do is log into a photography website and I will find better photographers.
I can cruise around Vimeo and find people doing hotter work than what my company does, it's always the case. However, people still hire me, because they trust us and we do good work. There are lots of reasons that people choose to work with you and it's not always because your stuff is better than everyone else in the world. Maybe they trust you. Maybe they like the process of working with you. Perhaps your work matches their style. Remember, not everybody likes the same things, so get over your inferiority complex and just share your best stuff.
And sometimes you may not even be the judge of what your best stuff is. The use of these online communities can be really helpful, because you can get votes and feedback and help determine what content really does appeal to others. Realize that there's always going to be somebody out there who is smarter than you. You'll have problems, but online forums can often answer them, and even if they're not smarter than you, they'll often tell you that they are. Don't get hung up on proving yourself online. One of the things that I continue to struggle with myself is not taking comments personally.
You put a lot of work and you put something out there and someone leaves a snarky comment. Try to avoid getting into a flame war. It just makes you look lesser. You don't want people to think that you can't handle little bit of criticism. Nor do you really want to encourage the people who just go out looking for a fight. Engage the people who engage you and try to do it respectfully. Now sometimes you might misread a comment. I might get a comment that looks negative but by just politely responding and trying to answer it as if I'm assuming they're also being polite.
can really change the tone of the conversation. What's important to realize here is that there is nobody out there who is exactly like you. You are a star at something. You have the best work that people want to come and see. Put it out there, so people can find it. One of my business mantras that I try to always live by is that when people can choose, they will do business with people they like and respect. Making sure that you are genuine with your content, generous in your knowledge and share your best stuff will ensure that people will have the right opinion of you.
After all, the goal here is to be real. You want to make sure that your content is out there, that you're nice to people online and that you are being yourself. Be real, be nice, be you. These are the keys to success in a social media environment. So this is one of my profiles. I let people know a little bit about me. A simple portrait, not too stuffy, not in a suit. And a casual behind the scenes photo of me out there shooting.
I tell people what I'm into. I let them know that I try to have some balance in my life. I share my blog and my corporate website, and in my case, I'm proud of my family and my children and they're big part of my life. So if people are going to engage with me on social media, they're going to be experiencing my whole life. Sometimes that's the worts, sometime that's the laughs but it's often off-topic. And that's okay, I like to know about people that I care for. I like to know what's going on in their lives.
If I'm going to connect with you on Facebook, it's because I actually know you. Having a bunch of friends and driving that number up does nothing. Getting to know your clients and best customers does a lot. And that's what social media is all about. Take the time to let them know what you're up to, share the projects that will get them interested. I regularly have clients go dark, because the budget might be a little bit tight for a while, or they just don't need our services. But by letting them see the other cool things we're up to, we keep on their mind and when they're ready to spend money, they call.
Be genuine, be nice and be real. Share your content and people will have a greater respect for you and your company.