Years ago there was a man who came to a new land in search of a better life. He had a dream of a home, land, and a family. But when he arrived the money he had worked for his entire life was only enough to either build a home or purchase land. In his haste he rented a small plot of land, and built his home. The dream was happening, he was on his way to the life he wanted. A few years later the landowner sold the land. The new owner wanted to build his house on the same spot so the man was forced to move.
For many people Instagram is am amazing platform. You can share your photos and get them seen by people all over the world. You can follow the lives of celebrities and friends alike, or at least the lives that people want you to see.
For many photographers, they built a decent following, gained clients, and grew their business for free. But along came Facebook, the platform that many had moved from due to decreased interactions, the loss of free marketing, and paid ads. Instagram slowly became more and more like Facebook, photos filtered by algorithms and many lost interaction and followers and saw their once mighty home withering.
Photographers who once relied on hashtags to be seen were at a loss, people took to the streets of their Facebook pages screaming "I have been Shadow banned." "I am no longer having the likes, and reach that I used to." So what is to come? How are we to survive? How will we stand out within this market place of others who copy, undercut, steal, and "thrive."
The fact that all of these companies have started charging is not bad. When used properly this can be good and beneficial for your business.
We as photographers are actually in a better place than we have ever been. We have the ability to stand out if we work hard. Everyone has a camera in their pocket, but not everyone knows how to use it well.
The story that I started with was to illustrate a point. When one buys a house, they also purchase the land that is underneath it. No one in their right mind would build a house on rented land. So, why would you build your business on a rented marketplace? By rented marketplace I mean, Instagram, Facebook, or any other social platform where you do not control how your brand is sent out.
So, what is your marketplace? Where do you own? Your website, your domain. The WWW. that IS you. Key's to this are
- Your Blog (probably your biggest market place)
- Your specific landing pages
One of the biggest factors in SEO is consistent relevant content. So rather than putting all your fish in one net like Instagram or Facebook. Build off of what you have, then utilize the social channels as best as your marketing plan allows.
By building on the land that you own, you will be setting a strong foundation for the future. All the other platforms can fail, they can stop being free. But your content will not fade.