The Triple Threat: Search, Social, and Engagment

Change. Innovation. Speed.

That's how the internet works now.   

Remember when everything was linear? There was a beginning, middle, end.

Now content flows in every direction. And it comes in a larger variety of formats and platforms than we ever dared to dream possible.  

Social media and mobile usage are only going to grow and evolve. The mass adoption is going to continue. And people are going to adjust their online publishing as we adapt to all these new behaviors. 

Most people still think of search as our default discovery tool for information. For many it's true. Google still rules the online world. Bing is still making their search better. They're both evolving as they add more information coming from social media. 

If you have a reasonable idea of what you're looking for you head to your search toolbar or search engine of choice. You type in a query and off you go. Into the land of discovery. You're in search of the best answer for whatever you need.

How does the future look for search? What are teens doing? Kids?  

Do they think of it as "Googling" something or is it all just the "internet"?  

As more people adopt behavior patterns presented by browsers such as Chrome doesn't it just become content?

 It melds. It's the same. You type something into the address bar whether it's a website or query. It's just content.

For the future there isn't anything "magical" about this. Nothing special. And it certainly isn't limited to her computer. 

Content, or information, transcends devices and lives wherever they live. It's on their iPads. It's on their phones. It's on their Xboxs and is invading every other aspect of their lives.  

Information is ubiquitous

They're growing up digital. And we all have to keep this in mind as we move forward in our efforts to capture our audience. We connect and engage where they live.  

The revolution is global. And search is important in how and why we connect. What type of content we create. How we put it out there.  

Social and search are synergistic now more than ever and that isn't going to change.  

Are you ready? 


Work on Creating Better Experiences for Your Target Market

You already know that the world doesn't need more messages.

We get enough of them. All day. 

So when you think about having to "market" your creative work it becomes a bit daunting. 

We get those negative feelings coming in because we don't like being marketed to and we don't like advertisments.

Or do we?

I know. You're expecting me to defend advertising and marketing because I'm a digital marketer. But I'm not going to defend advertising and marketing.

I'm going to defend GOOD advertising and GOOD marketing.

The kind of highly targeted and helpful marketing that a good digital marketer specializes in doesn't have to come with baggage. We're not selling spam. You're not getting Viagra emails from us.

In fact, unless you're someone who is interested in art or photography, in some aspect, then I likely am not going to bother you. You won't even know I exist (unless you friended me on Facebook becuase we went to school together but even Facebook fixes most of that).

The world doesn't need more messages. What we need are better messages. Better messages about better products that will make our lives better in some way. Otherwise they are wasting our time and we don't want to bother with it. 

Think about that last sentence. ...we dont want to BOTHER with it.

When you're looking at marketing your art work, your photography, or your gallery don't bother people.

Help them. Inspire them. Find the people who are already in the market for your goods and help them discover what your products or services offer. Educate them on how doing business with you will enhance their lives. 

That's what good marketing really is. It's helpful. 

I love that cookies have enabled marketers to track our Internet browsing habits. I'm not saying this as a marketer. I'm saying this as a consumer. 

When I'm browsing the Internet, and Google knows what I'm reading, and Facebook knows what I like, I'm less likely to get ads that are bothersome. 

That's a better experience for me and I'm sure it's a better experience for you. I'm bothered less by things that aren't of interest to me because my browsing and shopping history and ads are more targeted and helpful. People are finding me based on my interests and location and that means I'm more likely to actually need their services.

Think about those things when you're looking at branching out your creative marketing. Think about how your target audience can have a better experience online becuase of your marketing efforts and you will find that your creative business will be better off.

Successful Art Marketing Requires Some Sacrifices

How do you define success?

Success by yourdoku - CC

Here's how I define it:

You are successful when you are able to take full control of your life instead of waiting for unseen circumstances to bring success to you.

Marketing yourself as an artist or photographer is about letting go of the notions that luck will bring you money and fame and that you can take charge of your own financial destiny.

Ensure that specific success points will happen in your business because of your actions, your decisions, and your personal abilities.

You have the power to decide TODAY that you will make things happen. You're not going to wait for something to happen someday. You're going to take control of your life and your business now!

Success will come to you when you take full control.

There are sacrifices along the way.

That's just part of making your dreams come true.

You'll sacrifice some of the time you would otherwise be creating your art. Or making photographs.

This time will be spent on marketing your work and selling prints or services.

Of course, it should also be noted, you'll spend more time doing administrative duties tied to your business like accounting, ordering supplies, fulfilling orders, etc.

But those are the marks of success!

It's about choices.

Know what you really want to do.

But make no mistake, you won't be able to spend all of your time creating art. People have to be able to find it. You have to be able to sell it. You have to put time into marketing.

If you really want something you can achieve it. But you have to make sacrifices along the way.


7 Articles and 3 Videos on Social Media to Get You Through Your Weekend

    I'm considering doing a weekly link roundup of digital marketing and social media articles, videos, and other interesting tidbits found around the web. Here's my first shot at it. I'll work on different formatting along the way. I'd love to hear some feedback.

Do you find these helpful?

5 Ways Social Media Will Change The Way You Work in 2013 - Forbes - Ryan Holmes is CEO of HootSuite, a social media management system with 5 million users. In the nine short years since Mark Zuckerberg launched, social media has evolved from dorm ro...


How Non-Profits Relied on Social Media in 2012 [INFOGRAPHIC] - Fundraising for non-profits is no easy task. No matter how noble the cause, getting folks to part with their hard-earned cash presents a tricky challenge. But, more than ever, non-profits are relyi...


How to manage and curate social media for live events - Posted 12 December 2012 12:52pm by Tamara Littleton with 0 comments Today, live events and social media go hand in hand. Get your social media management right and you can enhance the live event ex...


How to Use Google Analytics to Improve Your Social Media Marketing - Have you ever wanted to know which of your links are driving more traffic? Seeing referral traffic from Facebook is great, but which wall post drove the traffic? Do visitors who come from Twitter t...


So You Think You Can Do Social Media Marketing? - Everyone can create a business Facebook page.  My friend admitted that her 19 year old neighbor created one for her father’s small business. "It was for free," she said, "about a year ago." Soon af...


If Facebook & Co Made Everyone Honest Christmas Cards - With there being only thirteen days (and counting) until Christmas, the holiday is in full swing as people buy gifts, arrange to see loved ones and send out Christmas cards, lots of Christmas cards...


Six simple social media tips to get you noticed - Posted 12 December 2012 10:25am by Matt Owen with 0 comments There are loads of ways to stand out on social media platforms, but frankly nothing beats due diligence and knowing what the hell you’re...







Are You Using Tags, Labels, and Categories to Organize Your Website?

Everyone has a digital camera. Even people who don't consider themselves "photographers".

My mother has one. My father has a nice DSLR (although in his youth he did fancy himself a photographer) he uses it primarily to take pictures of his grandkids.

If you chose photography as a vocation you likely have your digital photos organized through a program like Adobe Lightroom or Apple Aperture.

If you aren't a "photographer" you may try to utilize iPhoto or maybe Adobe Elements in an effort to keep them orderly. If, however, you fall into the vast majority of people you simply dump them all into a folder on your desktop.

Photographers the world over are shaking their heads in disbelief. They simply cannot fathom that most people just have thousands, or even tens of thousands, of digital photographs sitting in a folder on their desktop. Professional photographers are typically much more organized when it comes to this stuff. They have to be.

I'm cringing as I think about it.

Imagine this very common scenario: You're looking for a picture you took a few months ago of your significant other while you were in Vegas. You took several dozen, or even hundreds, of photos while you were in Vegas. And your common practice of just dumping your photos into that photo folder on your desktop seemed like a good idea at the time.

The images were saved. Good. Done. But now that you're looking for them you have to open the folder, wait for your OS to render all of the image thumbnails for your perusal, and then you start scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling, looking for one image labeled "DSC0235.jpg" even though you don't actually know that's the name of the image you're looking for.

What you are looking for are context clues that help you pinpoint the general time.

Aha. After 20 minutes you've found some images of your trip to Vegas. Now you start looking closer at the thumbnails, even opening up images (one at a time) for closer inspection, as you hunt for this one elusive photo.

This process has taken you way too long. And it only get's longer as more photos are added to that folder. You're frustrated.

You have to get organized if you want to actually want to find things.

You can use a photo organizing software like Lightroom or Aperture to label your photographs as you upload them.

So instead of dumping your photos into a folder you label them as you upload them. The photo in question could have, and probably should have, been labeled as such; Vegas, Nevada, (insert significant other's name), the casino's name or attraction, fun times, gambling,..etc.

Now the next time you look for an image on your computer you can start with keywords.

This isn't a post about which image editing or management software you should be using for your photography.

Life's More Fun When You're Organized by ifindkarma: CC

This is an example, one that you're probably familiar with, about how the web works.

We write blog posts. We upload photos to social networking sites like Flickr and Facebook. We have little points of data that we are using to market our businesses online and we do so with limited time.

But what most successful online marketers don't do is simply dump them online.

They label them. They tag them. They index, sort, and use keywords for everything that goes online when it relates to their inbound marketing.

While tags and categories may have fallen by the wayside from a purely SEO perspective they are still very handy from a user perspective. It's how people find things on your website when they are looking for more information related to a post they just came across.

If your post is about your latest gallery showing and a gallerist or museum curator has stumbled upon that post will they be able to easily find other gallery related posts on your blog? They may want to quickly find what other galleries you've worked with. They'll want to do this easily. Tags and categories can help them do this.

If you're a wedding photographer and you just did a blog post about your latest wedding shoot at the Magnolia Ballroom in Houston, TX did you tag it that way. So that a bride who is considering hiring you knows that you've shot there on several occasions and can easily find more examples of your work at that specific venue. She's much more likely to hire a wedding photographer who knows her venue well.

People who are browsing the Internet are often times finding things serendipitously. One search leads to reminder about one thing that leads to another search that leads to a link that leads to a related link that informs them of more information or guidance in whatever it is they are hunting for.

Help them. Guide them. Organize your blog so that people can find other posts that are related to the article they just found. Use tags. Use categories. Show them how to know you better and you'll be closer to building a relationship with that reader.

Help them find things on your website. Make sure your website is organized with people in mind.



Launching the Social Media Success for Photographers Web Course

Over the weekend I launched the Social Media Success for Photographers web course after months of working on it and I'm very happy with the results. I'm already getting good feedback from some of the students and expect it to be very successful in the long run.