I’ve been writing a lot lately about how creative entrepreneurs like you can use the online world to your advantage (and the pitfalls you want to avoid). Hopefully by now you are representing your brand on social networks and engaging in virtual conversations. Your goal is top of mind awareness when someone is looking for a photography expert.
When you post a blog or share content, you are providing a glimpse into your inner workings and belief system. But has anything you’ve posted ever gone viral? There is a reason why some posts get thousands of reads and “Likes” while other musings barely get a few glances. It all boils down to strategy.
Let me explain.
Social networks are great tools for testing if what we think, say, and believe has an impact. The more we touch on what matters to our readers, the more ‘clout’ we achieve. Controversy works well for this because it engages readers by polarizing them around a subject. We want our readers to be for or against what we say—the lukewarm middle makes for little interaction.
That’s why I encourage you to take a hard look at what you have been posting and then ask yourself a question: are you wasting your time on mindless posting? It is easy to do, especially if you (like me) suffer from the helicopter brain of someone who is doing (or trying to do) too much. With a helicopter brain, something is always going on in our heads and we can spit out a range of opinions at any time, often without really thinking them through.
Stop doing that.
Below are a few ideas that can get you more reader interaction. And once you’re in Phase Four, your tribe will do some of the work for you. Most importantly, it’s crucial to decide what your brand is and what it stands for. Your brand determines the message that you want to convey. Surprise, surprise—not everything that goes through our heads is good for our businesses. I often use a 24-hour rule. It goes: write it, say it, rip it, then wait 24 hours before posting it. This is especially important when I write about a controversial topic or am about to throw a deliberate virtual temper tantrum.
Now, you’re probably wondering, “What is a virtual temper tantrum and why would anyone want to throw one?”
Simply because it’s good for business. Have you heard the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity?
While I was growing PhotoBizCoach.com, I regularly posted very passionate articles about how the creative industry and portrait business were dead. Those hot button topics usually coincided with the launch of an online course or a webinar of some sort. It’s not hard to figure out why. The controversial posts got me a lot of attention, good and bad, and that is what I wanted. Massive interaction gets you noticed.
It’s not enough to have someone “Like” you or agree with what you’ve said. You want to push readers hard enough so they feel compelled to engage. You can do that by drilling into a subject matter deeply and viciously.
Be forewarned—throwing a virtual temper tantrum requires you to have very thick skin. People will dislike you, question you, even call you names and label you a loser. (Just look at some of the public anonymous comments that are hiding behind usernames like PrettyFace123 or LoneWolf45.) You can’t retaliate with the same behaviors no matter how much you’d love to.
Whatever you post, be deliberate and be aware of the consequences. Good and bad. And let me know how it goes.
What’s a topic you could throw a virtual temper tantrum about?