Social media can be a powerful medium for us photographers to share our images with the world. As creative types it is in our very essence to want to share our finest masterpiece with the world - and what better way to do that than the instant reaction and feedback of social media. To me there is very little point to art if no one ever sees it. We want to inspire and move others as well as gain affirmation and encouragement that our endeavours are not wasted time. Social media has the power to bring all of this in a way never before seen by the photographic/art community. In short, social media can be a positive tool and is a necessary one in today's world.
There is another medium however which I believe has equal, if not more importance for a modern photographer. The good old fashioned website. Yes, I know they aren't as appealing in this era of immediate feedback and instant gratification, but in my experience a good, regularly maintained website brings more opportunities than social media and even gives more people access to my images... people who actually WANT to see them. People who potentially have money to spend on them. Obviously there are photographers on Instagram who utilise that medium very successfully, but for the rest of us common folk who aren't flown around the world by tourism organisations I believe a great website is so important.
A couple of years ago I really started putting time and focus into my Foto Merchant powered website. Sales were slow back then and my Google ranking wasn't great but I just had a feeling that I was getting nowhere with social media and time spent on my website would hopefully be a good investment.
Before long, my Google rankings shot through the roof. I would love to tell you some secret website formula that made this possible but to be honest I have no idea! All I know is that the improved rankings coincided with my updating and tweaking my website on a nearly daily basis.
Today I am fortunate enough to be one of the rare few to make a living from landscape photography and nearly all my big sales/leads come from my website. Social media is more just a bit of fun for my photography now and a lot of the pressure I used to feel to gain more followers/likes to build my photography base has disappeared. Every day I spend time adding photos, removing photos, tweaking, creating blog posts and just making my website a better user experience. Sure there's not the instant feedback of social media, but something even better is the notification on my phone that I've just made a sale!
For more information on my awesome website partners Foto Merchant, check out www.fotomerchant.com and if you have any website related questions don't hesitate to ask!