Human beings love looking at pictures.
No matter what business you are in or budget you have, photography must be part of your content mix if you want to be successful. Everything from blog posts, to webinars, email newsletters and podcasts all need an image to represent them online as they are shared from network to network and friend to friend.
That is why yesterday at NMX in Las Vegas I gave the presentation How to Add Photography Into Your Marketing Mix.
We had a similar conversation at an earlier event and this time they asked me to share some how to advice as well.
Teaching content marketing AND photography in forty five minutes is not easy, but I believe I pulled it off.
Not being able to do a hands on photography lesson makes it hard, but here is the advice I gave everyone to get started.
- Shoot Like a Kid If you've ever given a child a camera, they instantly start taking pictures. They don't worry about what they are shooting or if it is going to be good or not. When they get stuck is when they ask how to do something. Photography is fun and since we don't have to worry about film costs anymore, you have an unlimited amount of space to make mistakes. Don't be afraid to make them.
- Learn Your Gear People go out and buy cameras and then never read the manuals or learn what all the buttons and options do. If you want to improve your photography, you have to fully understand the gear you are using.
- Develop a Workflow As photography becomes a more important part of your creation process, you must develop a workflow that works for you. It will constantly evolve but you'll eventually figure out what works for you. This is what mine currently looks like for mobile or with a traditional camera.
- Shoot More As I've said before, the only way you get better at anything is by doing it more. I try to take at least one photo a day and even if I don't have a camera in my hand, I'm shooting them in my mind. The more comfortable you are with your camera and the more your mind learns to look for moments to capture and share, the easier it becomes.
- Observe Others Looking at what other people take photos of is a great way to learn. You shouldn't copy them, but being influenced by them is a great thing. I look at other people's photos every day and just seeing the angle they choose or the lighting they went with makes me a better photographer.
- Shoot What You Love The easiest thing in the world to take a photo of is something you love. Looking around your business, I guarantee there are things you can take pictures of. Just because it is day-to-day to you, doesn't mean it is to the rest of the world.
- Be You Never try to be someone or something you are not. If you are a small business, wear that like a badge of honor. Have a quirky office environment, share it. Anyone can hide behind words, but no one is invisible in photos so don't try to be something that you are not. Remember who you are and be you!
With social photography now the norm and here to stay, no business can ignore photography.
I firmly believe that every piece of content you ever create must have an image to go along with it. If you want to argue this point you can, but know that you would be wrong. :)