Imagine you’re invited to a party and you want to make a good impression on the guests. For starters, you probably want to dress well; your appearance is the first thing people will notice. After that, your social skills are a critical factor in how you well you connect with the people you meet. So what would happen then, if you were to walk into a party, well-dressed and all, go up to a group of people, and immediately start talking about yourself?
“Hey, my name is Kevin. So let’s talk about me for a little bit. I was born in California, I love chocolate milk…”
*party guests give each other a perplexed look*
Being self-absorbed is not attractive.
So what does all of this have to do with you and your photography? If social media is the big party, and your portfolio (whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, you name it) is how you dress, then the way you interact with others online represents your social skills. We all know to show our best work, but the part most people miss is the whole connecting with others piece. Here’s the secret to making great connections with others: focus on being interested, not interesting.
"Become genuinely interested in people." - Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends & Influence People)
So what does this look like on social media? Follow people whose work you admire. Be generous with your likes. Leave comments asking questions or telling them what you admire about their work. Get to know people, you never know what you’ll learn. It’s called social media for a reason!
The result of all this? When people see you’re genuinely interested in them, sometimes they’ll become curious enough to check out your work and see what you’re all about. That’s when your work will (hopefully) speak for itself.
It took me a while to figure this out. When I first got started with photography, I was eager to show off my art. I put in a tremendous amount of work to make sure people could see what I was creating. But I was spending little time interacting with others, even though there were so many artists who inspired me and influenced my work. Once I started putting in the effort to connect with others, I noticed that same energy coming back to me.
- Be social and show interest in others: leave likes and comments of encouragement (but remember to be genuine; no need for flattery, there’s enough of that thanks to spam bots on Instagram)
- Have a solid portfolio that others can view when they check out your work (more on this in future posts)
I’d love to know how you guys are currently utilizing social media. What are your main platforms? How is your engagement? Leave a comment and let me know!
Like this post?
Subscribe and make sure you get the latest posts I publish.