Photographers are often confused to be good at taking pictures of anything. At least people who know nothing of cameras. Others might be convinced the only reason photographers have good pictures is because of their nice cameras. They might say something like, “if I had that nice of a camera, I would be getting nice images too”. The truth is, photography is not simply raw talent. Often times the only way to get good is to take pictures; lot’s of pictures. It took me a while to realize that is was okay to take fifty photos and only keep one of them. The more pictures you take, the better you get at framing and knowing how to react to a “picture perfect” moment when it arrives.

But, once you get good at photography, what is next? Do you try to sell your images? Do you start your own business? These were the questions I faced until recently. I actually started taking pictures a few years back with my iPod touch. The photo quality was pretty bad, bucamera-918565_1920t a friend recommended getting an Instagram and posting on it, so I did. I realized I really enjoyed taking pictures of nature. I had just moved onto a farm with my family when I started, so there was a lot of nature to take pictures of. As I started to get better, I decided I needed to get into the world of DSLR cameras (the one’s with interchangeable lenses). I bought one and started to learn all of the basics of cameras. After about a year of this, I gathered a collection of photos I liked and started to post them on Instagram. I got a lot of likes. The only problem is, only so many people see them I needed a way to get into more people’s feed.

Section 5 of Chapter 11 of Digital Marketing Essentials talks about Instagram and how user engagement works. After observing other people on Instagram, I started to realize when people posted an artistic photo of a person, they got a lot of likes.  I was always intimidated with candid portraiture photography. I was too afraid of getting people to pose and then have the possibility of none of the photos turning out. But, I decided to face my fears and jump in. Naturally, I started with my siblings. Turns out I actually enjoy it, and it also turns out it is great for advertising. Here’s why.img_8794

When you start a photography page on social media such as Facebook and Instagram, it can be hard to get followers. Especially if you like nature photography, not everyone is into that. One really helpful strategy is to start to get people into your photos and then tag them. More likely than not, people on social media appreciate a photo of themselves if it looks professional and attractive. Knowing this, if you take a great photo of someone and tag them, they are likely to share it, or use it as a profile pic, etc. This is a really easy way to get others to see your page. Even if you have to do free photo sessions to start out, you can build a solid following of people who like your work. Pretty soon your message box will be full of people wanting to have portraits done. This happened to me. Check out my page here.

Once your page starts to grow through tagging other people, you can start to slide in your favorite nature photos. Nature fans, having already establish a relationship with you, will be more likely to interact with the post and share it. It is as simple as that. Like taking nature photos? Take pictures of people.

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If you are a nature photographer, you should take pictures of people.

Need Followers? Make Crappy Videos.

Local artists and musicians typically are looking for a following. Whether it is a local community who appreciates their work, or an online groups who share content, artists just need people in order to make them well-known. Even just a small group of enthusiastic individuals can spread content to a vast array of others.

Today, videos make up the majority of online content. People just enjoy watching videos as a source of entertainment. Mobil devices make watching videos virtually anywhere accessible. With faster internet becoming available to the average citizen, most people have access to streaming hours of content at their discretion. With so many people watching videos, individuals who are hungry for attention jump into the online world to make their mark. There are a lot of individuals hungry for attention.

With videos holding the attention of so many, businesses have joined in on the fun. After all, video platforms such as YouTube are free to post on, providing a great opportunity for cheap advertising. Of course, businesses typically have more money to invest in high quality video production, and therefore create material which is hard to compete with for a small business or an average person. Quality, however, is not always what people are looking for. Therefor larger businesses have to be aware of what customers are looking for. The American Marketing Association has a great article on where the world of video marketing is heading towards. In Chapter 1 of Digital Marketing Essentials: A Comprehensive Digital Marketing Textbook, media was one of the main website types which used content such as videos to generate traffic for a business.

What if you are an artist or a small business looking to gain followers through video, and cannot compete with the high quality? You may just have an advantage.

My brother is a young aspiring Electronic Dance Music (EDM) artist, looking to become recognized for his music. The ultimate goal is to make money doing what he loves, which is a shared goal by many passionate artists. He has a part-time job, so he does not necessarily  need to make money for living expenses right now. However, if he wants to advance in his career he needs recognition. Creating vibrant beats and posting them on sites such as SoundCloud can help (you can check out his page here if you are curious), and is what a lot of local artists use to be discovered. Just to have somthing to aspire towards, he set a goal for himself to get at least 5,000 followers on his Facebook page. Rather than just rely on music sites to attain this goal, he set his mind to tap into the world of video. He decided to use his music abilities to create a spoof of a hit song called “Middle” by DJ SNAKE after seeing other EDM artists make spoofs of other songs. He posted the video to his Facebook Page and used $8 to boost the post to get it started, targeting a younger audience. One week later his video had 2.5 Million views. He gained 10,000 followers on his page, doubling his goal.

His video was nothing special, and was shot on a cheap point-and-shoot camera. Even though it was not particularly professional, people related to it, because a lot of popular humor floating around on the internet is shot on mobile phones. Now, cameras on phones have become exceptional over the past few years, but people still do not know how to use them well.

Here is my point: you don’t have to have a video done professionally to attract attention to it. You could be innovative and create interesting content people haven’t seen before, or you could take a concept that is already popular and run with it. Most people can tell the difference between a video done professionally, and one produced at home. Regardless of this fact, many people actually do not mind, and even prefer content made in an unprofessional fashion. If you are looking to gain followers, start by looking at the market of what is working. Explore current viral videos. Use these videos as a starting point of creating content.

My brother put a lot of time making his spoof video creative with his gifts. If you are looking to a mark with a video you should too. Just don’t get discouraged because you can’t make a video with professional quality. The market isn’t expecting you too, and you shouldn’t either.