Building a Magnetic Social Media Presence with Seth Godin

Building a Magnetic Social Media Presence for Photographers: A Seth Godin-Inspired Approach

Go. Make something happen.

That’s the essence of what Seth Godin might say to photographers looking to build a social media presence. It’s not about the filters or the hashtags; it’s about making a ruckus, a generous ruckus that changes someone’s day, maybe even their life.

In a world where everyone has a camera in their pocket, the photographer’s eye is the scarce resource. You don’t need more likes or followers; you need more moments where your audience pauses, smiles, and thinks, “I see what you did there.”

This blog is your lens. We’re not focusing on the technicalities of aperture or exposure. We’re zooming in on connection, on the generous act of solving problems through your art, your perspective, your story. Because in the end, marketing—especially for photographers—isn’t about selling a picture. It’s about sharing a vision, your unique vision, and creating a tribe that can’t wait to see your world through your eyes.

So, let’s begin. Let’s explore how to turn your social media feed into a gallery that doesn’t just display photographs but starts conversations, builds relationships, and, yes, even leads to sales. But most importantly, let’s make art that matters, but you will need a social media presence.

Building a Magnetic Social Media Presence for Photographers: A Seth Godin-Inspired Approach

“People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.” – Seth Godin

Photography is about capturing moments, but social media success for photographers is about capturing hearts. It’s about understanding that behind every like, comment, and share is a person seeking to feel something, to belong, to experience a slice of the world through your lens.

To build a social media presence that resonates, start by seeing your audience not as metrics, but as individuals with dreams, fears, and a craving for beauty in their daily scroll. Ask yourself, what do they seek? Inspiration? Escape? A digital nod to their own creativity?

Here’s how you can connect:

  • Listen: Engage with your followers. Read their comments. Understand their desires.
  • Solve: Be the solution. Whether it’s teaching them about composition or simply providing a daily dose of visual serenity, be the answer to their unspoken wishes.
  • Delight: Surprise them. Post that unexpected angle or a behind-the-scenes story that pulls back the curtain on your artistry.

Your social media presence is your ongoing exhibition, and your audience are the patrons. Treat them with respect, cater to their interests, and they will return, bringing others. To truly build a social media presence that captivates and engages, photographers must first understand who they’re speaking to. This isn’t about demographics and statistics; it’s about psychographics and empathy. It’s about knowing the person on the other side of the screen as if they were sitting across from you, sharing a coffee.

Here are actionable steps to gain a deeper understanding of your audience:

  • Conduct Surveys and Polls: Use your social media platforms to ask direct questions. What do they love about photography? What challenges do they face in appreciating or creating art? Use polls for quick feedback and surveys for more in-depth understanding.
  • Analyze Engagement: Look at which posts garner the most interaction. What patterns do you see? Are there certain themes or styles that resonate more with your audience? This data is a goldmine for understanding what clicks with your followers.
  • Create Personas: Based on the information you gather, create audience personas. Give them names, backstories, and photography preferences. When you post, speak to these personas. Make your content feel personal, as if tailored for them.
  • Engage in Conversations: Don’t just post and ghost. Stay and engage. Reply to comments, visit your followers’ profiles, comment on their posts, and start real conversations. This shows you care and helps you understand their perspective.
  • Monitor Trends: Keep an eye on photography and social media trends. What are people talking about? What’s the new ‘it’ platform or feature? By staying current, you can better understand the evolving interests of your audience.
  • Offer Value: Whether it’s a tutorial, a behind-the-scenes look, or a story about your latest shoot, always aim to offer something valuable. When your audience knows that you’re not just there to showcase, but to provide value, they’ll open up more, offering insights into their needs and wants.

By taking these steps, you’ll move beyond vague notions of ‘audience’ and start to see the individuals who make up your social media community. And when you understand your audience at this level, every post you make has the potential to deepen that connection, turning casual followers into loyal fans.

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek, often echoed by Seth Godin

Trust is the currency, and value is the product. As a photographer, your ‘why’ is your vision, your unique perspective on the world that no one else can replicate. It’s what makes your work not just seen, but felt.

Here’s how to infuse value and trust into your social media presence:

  • Show Your Process: People love to see how the magic happens. Share your journey of capturing a shot, the decisions you make, the obstacles you overcome. It humanizes your brand and builds trust.
  • Be Consistent: Whether it’s your editing style, the themes of your photos, or the time you post, consistency helps build a recognizable brand. When people know what to expect, they trust you to deliver.
  • Tell Stories: Every photo has a story, and sharing it can create a deeper connection with your audience. It’s not just about the image; it’s about the moment, the emotion, the narrative behind it.
  • Engage Authentically: Respond to comments, ask questions, and participate in discussions. Authentic engagement shows you’re not just a brand; you’re a person behind the camera.
  • Provide Value Beyond the Visual: Offer tips, insights, and advice. Teach your audience something new about photography, and they’ll come to see you as an authority—a trusted source of knowledge.
  • Be Transparent: Share your successes and your failures. Transparency breeds trust, and trust breeds loyalty.

By focusing on these elements, you create a social media presence that’s not just about showcasing your work, but about building a community that values and trusts your vision. And when you have that, you have more than followers—you have advocates for your art.

“In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failing. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.” – Seth Godin

The concept of the Purple Cow is simple: be remarkable. For photographers, this means your social media presence should be as distinctive as your photography style. It’s about creating content so engaging that people can’t help but stop scrolling.

Here’s how to become the Purple Cow on social media:

  • Embrace Your Unique Style: What makes your photography unique? Is it your subject matter, your editing style, or the stories you tell? Lean into that. Your unique style is your Purple Cow.
  • Create Signature Series: Develop a series of photos that tell a story over time. This could be a thematic collection or a visual narrative that unfolds with each post.
  • Experiment with New Techniques: Try new photography techniques or post-processing styles and share your experiences. It shows you’re innovative and always evolving.
  • Collaborate with Others: Work with other creatives to blend your styles and reach new audiences. Collaboration can result in unexpected and remarkable content.
  • Engage with Trends Mindfully: While it’s important to be aware of trends, don’t follow them blindly. Put your own twist on them to stand out.
  • Use Hashtags Strategically: Hashtags can increase your visibility, but use them wisely. Create a branded hashtag for your work and use relevant ones that align with your Purple Cow identity.

By focusing on what makes you different and embracing it wholeheartedly, you’ll not only capture the attention of your audience but also their admiration and loyalty. Be the Purple Cow, and the world will notice.

Purple Cow, New Edition by Seth Godin

“The privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal, and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.” – Seth Godin

In the context of social media for photographers, permission marketing turns followers into friends and friends into patrons. It’s about building an audience that is genuinely interested in your work and giving them the respect they deserve by not spamming their feeds with content they didn’t sign up for.

Here’s how to apply permission marketing principles to your social media strategy:

  • Opt-In Culture: Encourage your audience to ‘opt-in’ to receive more from you. This could be through newsletter sign-ups, notifications, or exclusive content offers.
  • Segment Your Audience: Not all followers are the same. Segment your audience based on their interests and engagement levels. Tailor your communication to each segment.
  • Respect Privacy: Always respect the privacy of your audience. Use their data ethically and never share it without consent.
  • Provide Exclusive Content: Offer something special for those who opt-in. This could be early access to your work, behind-the-scenes content, or special editions of your photographs.
  • Ask for Feedback: Regularly ask your audience what they want to see more (or less) of. This not only shows that you value their opinion but also helps you tailor your content to their preferences.
  • Be Patient: Building a permission-based audience takes time. Don’t rush it. The loyalty and engagement you’ll receive from a permission-based audience are worth the wait.

By respecting your audience’s wishes and providing them with content they’ve chosen to receive, you create a more engaged and dedicated following. Permission marketing is about quality, not quantity, and it will set you apart in the crowded world of social media.

“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.” – Seth Godin

For photographers, social media isn’t just a platform; it’s a community waiting to be formed, a tribe waiting to be led. Your work is the idea that binds the tribe together, but it’s the sense of belonging that will make it thrive.

Here’s how to build your tribe on social media:

  • Define Your Tribe’s Identity: What does your tribe stand for? Is it about adventure, beauty, the rawness of nature, or the stories of the streets? Define it and embody it in every post.
  • Be the Leader: As the tribe leader, you set the tone. Be active, be present, and lead by example. Share your knowledge, your experiences, and your vision.
  • Foster Engagement: Create opportunities for your tribe to engage—not just with you, but with each other. Encourage discussions, challenges, and collaborations.
  • Celebrate Members: Shine a spotlight on members of your tribe. Feature their work, their stories, and their achievements. It’s not just about you; it’s about all of you, together.
  • Provide Exclusivity: Offer your tribe something they can’t get anywhere else. This could be access to exclusive content, meet-ups, or workshops.
  • Stay True to Your Values: Your tribe is built on shared values. Stay true to them, and your tribe will stay true to you.

Building a tribe is about more than just gathering followers; it’s about creating a movement around your photography. When you do that, you’re not just a photographer; you’re a leader, an influencer, and a changemaker.

“Content is king, but context is god.” – Gary Vaynerchuk, a sentiment that aligns with Seth Godin’s marketing ethos.

As a photographer in the social media landscape, your content’s format can be as impactful as the content itself. It’s not just about the images; it’s about how those images are presented and consumed.

Here’s how to leverage different formats to enhance your social media presence:

  • Stories and Reels: Use Instagram Stories and Reels to share quick, engaging glimpses into your photography world. These formats are perfect for behind-the-scenes content, quick tips, or showcasing your personality.
  • IGTV and YouTube: For more in-depth content, consider IGTV and YouTube. Share tutorials, photo critiques, or longer narratives that delve into your creative process.
  • Live Sessions: Go live on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitch to connect in real-time. Host Q&A sessions, live photoshoots, or editing walkthroughs.
  • Carousels: Instagram carousels allow you to share multiple images or videos in a single post. Use this to tell a story, show different angles of a shot, or before-and-after sequences.
  • Interactive Posts: Utilize polls, quizzes, and interactive stickers on Instagram and Facebook to engage your audience and encourage them to participate in your content.
  • High-Quality Blog Posts: While not a social media format per se, a well-crafted blog post can drive traffic to your social media profiles. Share your expertise and link back to your social media for more visual content.

By diversifying your content formats, you cater to different audience preferences and increase your chances of engagement. Remember, the medium is part of the message, and choosing the right one can make all the difference.

“You have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself.” – Seth Godin

The rhythm of your posts can be as captivating as the content itself. Consistency in social media is about creating a beat that your audience can dance to. It’s about setting expectations and then delivering on them, time and time again.

Here’s how to master the art of consistency and scheduling:

  • Develop a Content Calendar: Plan your posts in advance. A content calendar helps you organize your themes, post types, and posting frequency.
  • Automate Scheduling: Use tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Later to schedule your posts. This ensures your content goes live even when you’re out capturing the next great shot.
  • Be Timely: Align your posts with events, holidays, or trends relevant to your audience. Timeliness shows you’re in tune with the world your audience inhabits.
  • Frequency Matters: Determine the right frequency for your posts. Too much and you’ll overwhelm your audience; too little and you’ll fade into obscurity.
  • Quality Over Quantity: Never sacrifice quality for the sake of consistency. Your audience follows you for your unique vision, not just a filled-up feed.
  • Adapt and Evolve: Monitor the performance of your posts and be willing to adjust your strategy. What works today might not work tomorrow.

Consistency isn’t just about showing up; it’s about showing up with purpose, with art that speaks and stories that resonate. It’s about building a presence that becomes a part of your audience’s daily life, one post at a time.

“Art is what we call… the thing an artist does. It’s not the medium or the oil or the price or whether it hangs on a wall or you eat it. What matters, what makes it art, is that the person who made it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and made something worth making. Something risky. Something human.” – Seth Godin

As we wrap up building a social media presence for photographers, let’s remember that it’s not just about numbers or algorithms. It’s about connection. It’s about the art of engaging with humans on the other side of the screen and providing them with something worth their time and attention.

Here are the final thoughts to take away:

  • Be Human: Show your audience the person behind the camera. Your struggles, your triumphs, and your journey are what make your art relatable.
  • Be Generous: Share your knowledge, your insights, and your art generously. The more you give, the more you connect.
  • Be Brave: Take risks with your content. Try new things. Not everything will work, but the things that do will define you.
  • Be You: In the end, the most powerful tool you have is your authenticity. Don’t be afraid to let it shine through every post, every image, and every interaction.

Build Your Social Media Presence

In the quest for visibility in the saturated world of social media, it’s not just about being better; it’s about being different. It’s about finding a platform where your voice isn’t just another echo in the void, but a distinct tone that resonates through the noise. This is the promise of Hyprr—a decentralized platform that’s not just changing the game; it’s creating a whole new playing field.

Hyprr is the uncharted territory where early adopters aren’t just users, but trailblazers with new opportunities to make money in a new way.

My goal with Hyprr Academy is to not just show the ‘how-tos’ but the ‘why-tos’, guiding you through the nuances of a platform that gives you a new chance on gaining visibility and monetizing your art in a new way. Let’s build not just a presence, but a home for our art. Let’s not just grow; let’s evolve. Because in the end, the future of social media isn’t about adapting to change; it’s about leading it.

Visit Hyprr Academy.

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