The fun of running a photography business is managing all the sites and locations where our photography needs to be seen. UH... NOT! There are more venues, media outlets, forums, social groups, business networks and social media plugs than any one person could ever keep up with. How in the world do we keep working the outlets so that we can market our artwork?
Some suggest paying a dedicated service provider to do this for their business. That's one option if it's affordable but even then, who do you trust with your brand? Giving some strangers the key to your branding is unnerving if your a control freak like me. (Yes, that's why I love studio photo shoots because I can control the daylight, night light & the weather but that's a discussion for another day.)
Just the research and effort to interview a few companies could cause a massive migraine. Which companies are going to be active in the right media venues for my business? Are they determining success by the same measuring scales as we do? Are they current in their technology selections? Do they have access to everything and what happens if they let something slip by? Who's responsible/liable for mistakes that become public? And let's not forget that once we contact one company, it's like knocking over a SPAM fire hydrant because many of them will be hunting us down for an opportunity forever.
The opposite view is to maintain things myself or with our partners. Now I have to admit, we are a two person shop, just me and Crystal. We have a bunch of teams we work with but they are composed of photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, fashion & wardrobe stylists, and print shops. That leaves the social media fun to just the two of us. We have to consider what we want to share, how we want to be seen in the market and what our overall branding strategy will be.
Who is Faith Fashion & Photos and what will these media outlets, both social media and forum groups, do to enhance our business. It's not always going to be a direct impact into the profit line. Where is the impact on our business for each outlet? How long does it take those outlets to become engines that generate real dollars. Let's be honest here, unless you're a non-profit organization, in the end, every business decision boils down to the revenue driven. Even those things we do that are not revenue generating, they somehow affect our bottom line. As an example, the time we spend making ourselves known to the world could be spent doing something different. Time is the most valuable asset we have so it has to be included in how we measure the success of a tool.
These are just a few of the problems that we face when working as our own social media managers. There are so many more thoughts on this but I don't have time to share them all and you don't have the time to read all of it today. You've got to get back out there and model, shoot or market your own career.
Do I have an answer for which option is right? Unfortunately, not yet, but I hope to have interviewed and tried several different companies and methods within the next 6-12 months. During this time, I'll try to keep letting you know what we've found.