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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 27 Jan 2017 (Friday) 22:19
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Facebook-free business?

 
daystar
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Jan 27, 2017 22:19 |  #1

I've recently created an LLC for my photography business. Everyone is advising me to create a facebook page for it. But I have a strong loathing for Facebook. Borderline hatred. I have personal facebook page for the sole purpose of taking advantage of one particular photography group. And I'm probably going to end that anyway as it's not as valuable as I had hoped it would be. I do nothing else with the account and it's on strict lock-down mode.

But as I said, "everyone" says I "need" a page for my business. What I'd like to know is, do you think it is possible to have a successful business without Facebook? Is it really such an absolute necessity?

I know the advantages. I know why it can really help and propel a business. But in my little world, I'd like to think there are other ways to skin that cat. Thoughts?


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memoriesoftomorrow
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Jan 27, 2017 23:27 |  #2

What genre?


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Dan ­ Marchant
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Jan 27, 2017 23:41 |  #3

daystar wrote in post #18257389 (external link)
I know the advantages. I know why it can really help and propel a business. But in my little world, I'd like to think there are other ways to skin that cat. Thoughts?

Can a plumber run their business using only monkey wrenches because they really hate spanners? Sure they can. It may be less efficient but it can be done.

How important it is depends on the type of clients/business you have. If it is mainly corporate then FB isn't all that important. If it is social photography (weddings, portraits, graduation etc) then FB is one of the best methods of promoting your business and getting new clients.

Ultimately it is just a tool which can be used to your advantage. Can you explain what it is about it that you don't like?


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daystar
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Jan 28, 2017 07:19 |  #4

I do portrait photography. And I understand how well that marrys with a social platform like facebook.

I have a long list of why I don't like facebook from it being a total time-sucker to disagreeing with the policies and mentality of it's founder.

I understand we live in a very digital and instant society now but businesses have been highly successful waaaaay before facebook. Yes, it might take different effort and different strategies but can it really not still be done now?


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PhotosGuy
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Jan 28, 2017 07:58 |  #5

I've seen one photographer who does weddings, portraits, & graduation who doesn't have FB but instead posts images in a blog. I don't know if one is more effective than the other.


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Jan 28, 2017 08:08 |  #6

I'm not in the photography business, but am a business owner.
If word-of-mouth and personal referrals are the mainstay of your business, FB probably won't add much.
If you are trying to generate business from new avenues, or further geographical reach, then FB can be quite helpful.
I do know of a couple of photographers that have expanded clientele across Canada from their FB presence.
You may not like it, but it can be helpful. It doesn't mean you have to be tethered to it like an umbilicus.
It really is amazing the reach it can get.


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Wilt
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Jan 28, 2017 08:24 |  #7

daystar wrote in post #18257577 (external link)
I understand we live in a very digital and instant society now but businesses have been highly successful waaaaay before facebook. Yes, it might take different effort and different strategies but can it really not still be done now?

I hate Facebook equivalent to your loathing, especially as to its time-waster characteristic when folks go overboard with their faces glued to it to follow all their friends and relatives...get a life and live it and interact in face-to-face interaction with folks, don't merely read about others in the disconnection of the web! A couple of months ago, I took my wife out to dinner on her birthday, and we were seated next to a table of six Millenials, 3 guys and 3 gals...ALL had their noses stuck in their smartphones thumbing messages or paging thru the web and SAID NOTHING TO ONE ANOTHER, even after their food arrived and they had to put down the phones to pick up forks! It seems that it took over an hour before anyone at that table SPOKE to someone else at the table. Is this what web 'social' networks is breeding, disconnection in the guise of 'being connected'?!

OTOH, one has to recognize its value for business promotion today, particularly in view of the fact that so many do glue themselves to it, plus the fact that many of our PAST means of communications have dried up and blown away forever as connection sources to others...

  • few folks have landlines, and therefore no ads in Yellow Pages phone books, to look at categorized information in selecting businesses to patronize
  • few folks read newspapers, and therefore no ads daily and Sundays to look look for nearby businesses, in selecting businesses to patronize
  • more and more people live extremely long distances from where they work, so are less 'connected' to businesses near their homes and more connected to business hear their place of work, and select professionals who are more easily accessible during the day to them


...so alternative means of connecting to others to promote business are needed. Perhaps Facebook is one of the necessary evils in today's society.

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Scott ­ Spellman
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Jan 28, 2017 12:20 |  #8

The business of photography is like car racing to me. It is a basic skill that most people know a little about, but only a very small group get paid to do it for a living. Being successful in business means wining several races with the right skills, equipment, and teamwork.

Facebook is the largest free connector of your customers in the world. In my experience, FB advertising is the most effective and targeted advertising tool available. Racing without Facebook is trying to win the race on 3 tires.

-Scott




  
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kjonnnn
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Jan 28, 2017 12:33 |  #9

That doggone television. Its such an idiot box. It does nothing but wastes people's time. I want nothing to do with it. It and that stupid telephone. It does nothing but help people spread gossip. People would rather talk face to face.

lol

Facebook is just a tool. Its what you make it. Free exposure to possibly millions of people.

Its your choice. Dont use it. But I assume youre only going after a much older demo.




  
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Jan 28, 2017 12:41 as a reply to  @ Scott Spellman's post |  #10

daystar wrote in post #18257389 (external link)
...I have a strong loathing for Facebook. Borderline hatred...

What I'd like to know is, do you think it is possible to have a successful business without Facebook? Is it really such an absolute necessity? ... But in my little world, I'd like to think there are other ways to skin that cat. Thoughts?

If you think about Facebook as another advertising tool rather than a soul-eating waste of time then you'll win in the long run. Personally I hate FB for many reasons but I can't deny its ability to help me connect quickly with a network of people I could only have dreamed about prior to social media.

Remember the days of Yellow Pages advertising and newspaper advertising just to allow people to find you? That was a one way conversation, you talking to your prospective clients. FB allows you to have faster, direct conversations with your customers and prospects. If the BS that comes along with FB isn't to your liking you simply ignore it. Kind of how you are able to ignore that threads that don't matter to you here in this forum.

I've had success in turning prospects into paying clients because of FB. I have also had great success in acquiring props and models through contacts on FB. But I think of it more as a business tool more than a social tool and to me, that's the deal breaker.

DrMitch wrote in post #18257603 (external link)
...If word-of-mouth and personal referrals are the mainstay of your business, FB probably won't add much...

Facebook is the largest free connector of your customers in the world. In my experience, FB advertising is the most effective and targeted advertising tool available.

This seems like a contradiction since FB is nothing but word-of-mouth. As stated above, I have turned prospects into customers because someone recommended me to a friend, that recommendation popped up in my feed and I was able to connect directly with that other person. That's amazing in my eyes.


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Jan 28, 2017 12:45 |  #11

kjonnnn wrote in post #18257848 (external link)
...But I assume youre only going after a much older demo.

Hmm, how much older?

kjonnnn makes a valid point here. All the people I know in my age group (50-60) are all using social media to some extent. That's something to keep in mind.


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daystar
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Jan 28, 2017 13:54 |  #12

kjonnnn wrote in post #18257848 (external link)
That doggone television. Its such an idiot box. It does nothing but wastes people's time. I want nothing to do with it. It and that stupid telephone. It does nothing but help people spread gossip. People would rather talk face to face.

lol

LOL I actually completely agree about the television. And you have a very valid point about the telephone too.  :p

Thank you all for your insights about facebook. I get what you're saying about it being a business tool (not just a "soul-eating waste of time" as -Duck- stated). As a tool, it is whatever you want it to be. But my objections to it go deeper than time-wasting.

Thank you all again for responding. I'm going to look into some alternative strategies for marketing, especially since I'm only going to be concentrating in my local area right now. I'm not quite ready to go global. :-P


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Jan 28, 2017 14:54 |  #13

When you are in business even as a sole trader you don't have to do everything yourself. If you really don't want to have to deal with FB then don't, find someone else that can do it for you. Have you a spouse or family member who wouldn't mind helping out? You could even go as far as paying someone to do it for you. I'm sure there must be some business opportunities in the Social Media management for small businesses field.

Alan


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DesolateMirror
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Jan 28, 2017 22:46 |  #14

You could always hire a social media manager.




  
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Jan 29, 2017 11:18 |  #15

BigAl007 wrote in post #18257964 (external link)
When you are in business even as a sole trader you don't have to do everything yourself. If you really don't want to have to deal with FB then don't, find someone else that can do it for you. Have you a spouse or family member who wouldn't mind helping out? You could even go as far as paying someone to do it for you. I'm sure there must be some business opportunities in the Social Media management for small businesses field.

Alan

Reminded me of something I experienced a few months ago...

I got a call last Fall from a hair and make up artist from a very rural out-of-town location, asking if I'd consider renting my studio for a workshop she was conducting. The studio wasn't booked so I agreed. When I asked how many people would be attending she said: 50-60. I thought wow...that's a lot of people! Looking a bit further into her background it seemed that she was on a 20 city tour focused on teaching a particular hairstyle. Cost to attend was $200. If you do the math, it's incredible imo. :eek:

Before she arrived I did a little more research. Turns out she has 800,000 FB likes, 600,000 Instagram followers (not a typo) and I don't recall Pinterest or Twitter details. It all of a sudden started to make sense to me as to how she could fill 1,000 seats at $200 a pop to watch and learn how to comb and pin hair over the course of 4 hours. After her event I asked her a little about her social media presence. She said she couldn't do this without all of the social media connections that led to a fanbase as well as some corporate sponsorship, and that she had very little interest in the whole process, but that her husband was very interested and primarily responsible for developing and growing her 'brand'.


My answer for most photography questions: "it depends...'

  
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