Amuse Me

Social Media Addiction: Are You at Risk?

“We’re just doing a few lines of Twitter!”

This totally cracked me up — but it is also a good reminder that sometimes, you need to turn it all off and take a break. As much as I love social media, the times I’ve chosen to be offline this year have been a good thing! At the end its addiction, its just healthier than drugs or alcohol, if you are addicted to alcohol, you should read what alcohol does to your body, because many people don’t understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will, learn more on Drug addiction and substance abuse is becoming a big problem in the states, if you are addicted or know someone who needs help, please visit this article about pompano rehab center. I know people who have been alcoholics and after reading this article, they stop drinking. Most people prefer going to The Recovery Village, it´s where everybody goes to get rid of their addiction and come out a brand new person so they can start of a new life. When someone suffers from drug addiction the best way to help them is to take them to a rehab center, learn more about rehab programs on discoverynj.

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Social Media

The Flaw in the Social Media Consultant Concept…

Back in 2006, when I was in the process of selling the hosting business, I talked with a friend about working with her as a consultant. I knew what I wanted to do – I wanted to help people get their brands online and generate buzz from the community. I didn’t realize though that this was an emerging trend at the time of Social Media Consultants – I just thought it was a cool idea. I didn’t do it at the time because all of the sudden I was going through all the challenges of setting up a wedding photography business – and getting a workflow really flowing is hard, no matter how prepared you think you are.

To be honest, I still think it is a cool idea when you dig down to the core concept behind it. The problem is that there are so many people out there that will tell you that you can hire them as a Social Media Consultant … so they can tell you to start a blog, get on Twitter, and place some ads on Facebook.

That isn’t what Social Media is about. Well not the bulk of it. And they are turning it into a trendy buzz word. The flaw is in so much bad advice out there, be touted by people that don’t know much.

Social media is about getting people to talk about you. It is no different then marketing before the latest buzz term came along. You have a product, and you want people to know about it. You then find any avenue possible — and preferably narrow your target down to the best possible paths to follow — and start to get the word out. Same package, new label.

The key? You have to engage with the community.

And in this day and age, where transparency is becoming more and more important, it should be *you* doing the engaging if you’re a small business. It isn’t something you can really hire someone else to do for you – your tweets should come from you. Especially in the case of creatives. We’re marketing the experience of working with US. It is a very specific experience. It is what makes you unique, and it is what sells you.

There are fabulous Social Media Consultants out there, and they can definitely help you hone what you’re doing so it is excellent. But before you hire them, maybe just try going out there and being nice? Building relationships? Making friends? I love the internet because I can become friends with someone in London and someone just a mile down the road. It flattens everything – take advantage of that! Genuinely connect with people – you’ll be amazed at what happens!

Then if you need help building a campaign, go for it! Use these 10 tips for evaluating a social media expert as a good place to start to make sure you’re getting the right one! (I really love this article because it is so true!)

Getting Down to Business

The All New BigPinkCookie!

BigPinkCookie Business Card - BackToday is the day I put it all out there. The big plan. What I’m willing & available to do for you. Are you ready for it? (I am! I’m super excited!!!)

I’ve been blogging now since 2000. You have seen me talk about a lot of different things. And as you saw me post last week, I’ve been having a big debate about where this blog should go. I would say that it has been an internal debate, but to be honest I called in the experts on this one – from asking you to weigh in here, over on Twitter, to emailing Sean Low and calling Regina Holder, Dane Sanders and Anne-Marie the Soap Queen.

I thought I needed advice, but in the process of talking about it I knew exactly what I needed to do. It was solidified when Anne-Marie said it before I even finished my sentence. Dane & Sean both weighed in that it was time to put my experience to good use and to share it with the world. Regina let me talk through it all like she is so great at doing.

It is time to put some geek spice back into the A dash of flavor and a lot of love. It is time to share what I know, from writing to helping you build a better blog.

I’ll still be writing on my wedding photography blog, and I’ll still be posting over at PhotoLoveCat and WhollyMatrimony!. But this site is officially changing … well, back to what it used to be. A hodge-podge of things, but mostly my thoughts on many different business related topics – especially where business and the internet collide. (Personal things might pop up from time to time, but those are still far more likely to appear on my Twitter account then they are here.)

I devour all I can all the time about marketing, branding, seo consulting company, blogging tips, and the whole online experience. Things we all need to make our creative businesses grow. Tips & tricks for small business owners. I am constantly answering questions on how to be a better blogger, how to improve your traffic, how to make potential clients take that next step to hiring you. I also often help people install and configure WordPress, set up themes, optimize their blog — and I’m ready to offer my help to a broader audience. (Pricelists coming soon, but for now I’m happy to provide you with a custom quote if you need anything.)

I am so excited about sharing all of this with you – again! I’m not sure what happened, and why I stopped. I do know a lot of it coincided with selling the blog hosting company and launching my photography business, but my love of the topic themselves never ended. I am officially getting my geek on again. My focus will definitely be photographers (because it is what I know), but what I have to share will apply to all different types of creative people, in the wedding industry and beyond.

That is the back of my new business cards for over there – what do you think? (I adore it, but I think that looking at a cookie for hours on end while designing makes me hungry!)

If there is one thing I’ve learned in the past year, it is to never set a limit to your dreams, because you will be amazed at where they can take you!

I have to say, it feels pretty good to be home. I’ve come full circle, and I couldn’t be happier.


Embracing Change in a Fast Moving World…

Things happen at an amazingly fast pace these days. Something happens, someone makes a video, sticks it up on YouTube, before you know it a meme has been born, and it is remembered for a long time afterwards.

(If you don’t care about all this business stuff – watch the video. It is pretty awesome.)

As photographers, we’re putting photos out there in a digital form. Our clients then take the photos and use them, maybe in ways we didn’t intend originally. What should you do? Should you embrace it? Enable it? Or be angry?

How you choose to react can impact how people feel about your brand for the long run. More & more people think that if they have the files, it is ok to upload them all to Facebook, Flickr, or wherever else. Sharing them with their friends. From their perspective, they’ve done nothing wrong. Even though your license may not authorize them to post them online at all.

I plan to provide all of my 2009 clients with a web-ready DVD, along with instructions that those images can be posted anywhere and everywhere. I *want* them to post them all over the place. I use the Mogrify2 Plugin for Lightroom and put my logo on every file on the DVD. Whenever someone sees the images, they can easily look me up and hire me for their own great photos. My clients love the idea, and I love that I’m giving them a way to spread the love.

I’ve been thinking about all of this for a few weeks now. Peter Shankman, the man behind Help A Reporter Out – aka HARO, came to Houston recently to talk at an ISES meeting about things like Twitter, Facebook, and your business. You know I couldn’t pass that opportunity up!

At the end of his presentation, he closed by showing us the following video. First he told us the backstory. Basically, there was a mime. Everyone hates mimes, probably even more than clowns. So the mime came up with a routine to this song, Torn, by Natalie Imbruglia. Originally, when “the Man” got word that he was doing this performance to a song, they were not happy. Copyright issues, performing to a song without the proper license (you know, sort of like when people put your digital files on Facebook even though the license doesn’t cover that), and cease & desist letters were going to go out. But then the artist’s manager found out about it. It was already a hit on the internet. They stopped and realized that they could take the other route. They could tap into the buzz already generated, and use it to turn it into something so much more.

(I’m such a dork. I get goosebumps every time I watch this video!)

What are you embracing as technology moves at such a breakneck speed? What are you doing to make sure your clients have the best experience possible while working with you, and that makes them want to shout from the rooftops about your work?

(Posted over on PhotoLoveCat too, but I wanted to share it here as well!)