Is Google+ a Minus?
Hence forth known as G+, the social sharing service from Google has a slick interface and beautiful photo presentations that attract many a photographer but is it helpful to someone in selling his or hers photos? While it is picking up steam everyday it is also fair to say that G+ has for the most part been occupied by photographers and early adopter nerds. Google has in the past made attempts at social sites that all failed so there is a certain amount of uncertainty with G+. If it does not meet Google’s expectations will it be killed leaving users in the dark? For right now it appears that they are “all in” and making every effort to attract a broader user group. Even at that, the question is how will it help you sell a photo? Maybe it won’t.
Not too long ago when the digital photo market exploded and everyone and their brother set out to become a “pro” photographer, the really clever and experienced photographers turned away from selling prints to selling their knowledge to those who want to sell their pictures. They became instructors teaching at workshops, festivals, conventions, and tours. If you are going down that road G+ is your very best friend. Circles, communities, and hash tags all allow the wise user to organize and attract the vast database of photographers who are using the service. The great presentations will allow you to show your work in the best possible light. Years ago when I wanted to take my first workshop I searched for a long time and one of the top considerations I had was the images the instructor presented. If the instructor has a crappy low resolution website to display their work it was a certain turn off and I was unlikely to pursue their services further. G+ allows an instructor to reach out to potential customers in an elegant and interactive way.
If you are trying to sell photos, G+ is not going to be your best friend. Neither is any other social service either. Yeah I know there are plenty of stories from people about how Twitter or Facebook has revived their business. I tend not to believe most of that, reality is if you get off your ass and do some hard work your business will improve regardless of the medium you are using. When I was much younger I took a fair amount of training in relationship selling. At the time I thought it was kind of stupid (it did not have a lot to do with my job at the time) but as I get older I am glad that I remember much of it and saved all my seminar materials over the years. To sell photos you need to make relationships with clients, you need to service those clients, and you need to do it better than the competition. Social sharing really doesn’t lend it’s self to that, now does it? Please don’t confuse that with the internet. The internet and all things digital has revolutionized all business and that is an entirely different thing than Twitter, Facebook, or G+ as a whole.
But still, if you are a photographer of any kind you need to be on G+, you need to be on it more than any other service in my opinion. Not to sell but to learn, explore, discover, and network, and that is where Google shines. There is a whole world of photography related communities, places to stay in touch with people you meet on the trail, places to solve problems, read about other’s experiences and critique photographs. I am going to say that the vast majority of photographers don’t have a formal education in the subject so you can think of G+ as the world’s largest classroom. It is all out there just floating around, all you have to do is reach out and take it.
Thanks for reading everyone. Happy Trails, you can check me out at G+ here.