People always ask me how I possibly use Twitter to grow my photography business. "Who cares if a ton of people follow you. How does that get you business?" And that's absolutely right; the number of people who follow you doesn't make a difference in the scheme of it. Its the community you build AND how you use Twitter to do research and start conversations that really matters. I'm just going to give you a few tips... and then on to a big announcement!
Let me give you a few tips on how I use Twitter to help grow my business.
1. Who I Follow:
I use Twitter to do research on target clients and to start a conversation. Its like Chase Jarvis says...Twitter is a 24/7 cocktail party where you have the opportunity to chat, pass out your business cards, start conversations and fine target clients.
Lets take a very basic example. Lets say that I want to shoot for VIDDI magazine (fictitious for this example). I've sent them emails with my photos, emailed the editor, and even called... yet no one has responded. This happens to me all the time with a variety of publications. I figure out the names of some of the writers and the editors of VIDDI magazine and follow them on Twitter. YES, I also follow VIDDI but more importantly I follow the 'decision makes' at these publications. Then I watch. I see what they are tweeting about and how me might connect on a PERSONAL and PROFESSIONAL basis. What projects are they working on? What hobbies do they have? I watch until they tweet about something I can relate to or something where I can give insight. Then I tweet at them. I introduce myself, and put myself in a positive light that I care about the same things they care about, and take an interest in them. I do this for awhile. I get my name out there to them associated with someone who knows about their business and someone they can relate to. Eventually they recognize "@lindsayadler" in a positive light.
Ideally, I am able to engage them and we even start a twitter conversation. I add comments, and ask questions, and I am no longer a random name "lindsay adler"... but now I am "Lindsay Adler" that girl from twitter I've been chatting with.
That next time I send the editor of VIDDI an email, they will recognize my name and perhaps open the email or take a second look. When I call and the secretary says "It's Lindsay Adler", they might answer the call. Or perhaps during I twitter conversations I can ask to call so we can chat in person. Or perhaps I watch the target clients twitterfeed for an opportunity where it looks like they may need my photographic skills. If there is a hot topic the editor or writers at this magazine are talking about, I might even do a blog post from my perspective and send them a link to show them we are on the same page mentally/professionally.
Its hard to say what exact opportunity will open up, but Twitter is your chance to join the online cocktail party where you have the opportunity to network with the people you are trying to work with/for.
2. Who Follows Me:
I have a lot of great twitter followers out there, and I try to be a resource for them. I try to share useful information or if someone needs help, I try to answer a question or two for them. I have worked to build a twitter community of 'virtual' friends and colleagues. Periodically, this community becomes a great resource for me. In my time on Twitter I've had people recommend me jobs when they knew someone looking for model portfolios or advertising campaigns, or knew of projects that would fit my skill set (either out of their market or didn't fit their niche). I've had people help me to put me in contact with my target clients, or give me advice on equipment, and a plethora of other things. Ideally you become a resource for your target audience... tweeting content and links that they will find useful. This way your target audience will be following you, associate you as an expert, and then when they need your photographic skills... you are the first person they think of.
In short, there is no straight explanation of how your twitter followers may help you. They might be your target clients and hire you for a job. Or they might just be a good network of colleagues when you are looking for answers. But if you don't have that community or network built... then you'll never know. I found my studio through Twitter, got major sponsors through Twitter, and got put in contact with editors from some target magazines... all through Twitter.
My announcements: DVD and Creativity KIT!
This week for WPPI, I am launching my online store where I sell a variety of cool products that I regularly use to help breathe creativity into my photography! I will be selling my books, DVDs, online tutorials, and much more! Ive got high resolution texture packs (5000px), my favorite lightroom presets, and the two big projects I'm announcing.
1. Fashion Flair: Creative Studio Lighting
In this DVD I share how to break the rules and create striking fashion lighting for your portrait and fashion imagery. Many photographers stick to 'the rules' of studio lighting. But YOU want to stand out from the crowd and create high-impact images. We will cover ring lights, lensflare, beauty lighting, composite lighting, unique studio modifiers, and much more!
There is over 2 hours of content, many demos, and is a great way to push your creativity once you feel you've mastered traditional lighting. This is a 'must have' for those of you that want to push your creative boundaries or just feel bored my the usual techniques of studio lighting.
2. Think Outside the Box: with Lindsay Adler: Creativity Kit
Creativity is so important for photographers. Its why we get into photography in the first place! Yet as a travel the country and speak to professional photographers, many feel drained and uninspired. This creativity kit is mean to be the solution to invigorate them and give them new tools and techniques to create exciting images.
This creative kit includes:
- Fashion Flair: Creative Studio Lighting: (see above)
- 20 Grunge Textures: Use these textures to add grunge and visual interest to your photos. Great for HDR portraits, textured fashion and more! I've used these textures in a variety of projects I've worked on through the years including photos of rappers, composites and high-fashion editorials. These textures are 5000px on the long side... in other words they work great for files taken with the 5D Mark 2 (21 megapixels) or smaller!
- 25 Fashion Presets: I utilize a variety of Lightroom presets in my fashion work, and I have made 25 of these presets available to you!
- Creative Retouching DVD: I get asked all the time how I do a variety of my creative retouching techniques like making skin look white/porcelain, doing a 3-D effect, adding textures and more. This download teaches you 10 of my favorite effects!
- Lensflare tools for in-camera effects: In the past few months of have be utilizing a variety of tools including crystals, acrylic ornaments, and more to create striking blur/flare effects in my images. I have received GREAT feedback on these techniques and now I share them with you by including several of these tools in your kit!
The value is WELL over $200, but for now I have a WPPI show special of just $124.99!