How to Go from No-name to Brand-name
Why was this college drop out asked to speak to the USC School of Business Alumni? World renowned photographer shares 5 ways to create worldwide exposure through social media by Scott Robert Lim, Photog. Cr., AOPA, 2009 Kodak Award Winner
I had the honor of sharing a bit of my social media success story for the USC Marshall School of Business at their Alumni Career Day. Although I am a college drop out and didn’t even attend USC, I did feel I had an important message to share. I am one of those rare individuals who have used social media to help create a dream job for myself- I tremendously enjoy my career of traveling anywhere I want in the world, teaching my passion for photography and mentoring professional photographers from around the world.
As I prepared for the event, I came up with five ways to leverage social media as an entrepreneur and artist and how it can create worldwide exposure. This post explains how social media can open new doors of opportunity when we create a strong and unique voice.
The goal of social media is to increase exposure. Just because we sign up for social media accounts like; Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Word Press, YouTube, etc. and make a few random posts, we will NOT automatically transform into a social media superstar. They are merely tools that require much thought and work- it is an extension of you, your opinions and who you want to be and associate with. The stronger the voice we project the more exposure we will gain. Here are five ways to develop your social media voice.
1. Extend the conversation with those you want to network with using social media.
Obviously the more we network, the more social media can work for us. It does not work conversely. As we begin our career, we naturally can not readily attract people with our world class reputation if we don’t have one! The way to grow your network is to MEET MORE PEOPLE. Get involved with healthy communities and as you meet people, suggest hooking up on Facebook, Linkedin, etc. This will extend your conversation outside of the physical event or meeting and you can further get to know each other with no obligation to either party. The more we get out and meet others, the larger our network becomes. Use social media like an extended business card with more reach and power.
2. Provide world class value and expect to reap worldwide exposure.
Our exposure is relative to the amount of value we add to the marketplace. The more value we can add, the more exposure we can expect. It is very important to grow in our respective fields, to pursue excellence, to innovate, to help others. And as we grow and develop, our exposure and influence will also expand. There are no shortcuts or magic formulas, work hard and see your influence spread as we grow and become leaders in our industry.
3. Be multi-dimensional. Paint a broader picture of who you are, what you do, and where you are going. Consider it a privilege that someone wants to get to know you. I use social media, like my blog and Facebook to paint a well rounded picture of myself from shooting a wedding in Paris to putting up Christmas lights with my kids. Use social media to extend the range and scope of your resume. Social media gives us a chance to show the world our journey to greatness, our aspirations, goals we accomplished, trials we are enduring or overcoming. Live an interesting life, travel, share unique and personal experiences and others will be attracted to your compelling lifestyle.
4. Make people think! Stand on your soapbox and shout. Social media is like giving yourself a platform, a stage to show the world what you can do and how you can add value to the marketplace:
A. Have a passionate opinion– it is important to have a sincere idea about something. Don’t be afraid to be controversial as long as you have placed thought into your opinion. Suggest ideas that are not popular but valid.
B. Use social media as a testing ground– gather opinions, gauge reaction to new products or services. Throw out new ideas, new art projects. Be an innovator, a leader in the industry.
We should use social media much like hosting a radio talk show– “have a take and don’t suck!” This will help create followers that are addicts to your view point, art and services. Make your audience buy into YOU and your unique opinions!
5. Social media is a tool that requires hard work and is fueled with; frequency, value and entertainment. Just because you have a Twitter, WordPress and Facebook account doesn’t make you an automatic social media superstar. We must be dedicated and passionate about regularly adding value, content and opinions into the social stream of life. We must contribute on a regular basis if we are going to find followers that will be loyal to our brand, cause, service or whatever we want to promote and get people to pay attention to.
Social media is a powerful branding tool but it is only as powerful as the content we put into it. In order to reap the world wide exposure and branding social media can offer us, we must have a passionate voice and offer world class value and a positive experience for the world to enjoy and find benefit from.