Back in 2010, I quit my full time job and started my photography business from scratch. I had been part-time for a few years prior, but nothing serious. All my prior photography shoots had come from word of mouth. Now I was in a new city, with no real friends and no network. How was I ever going to get clients?
I started researching and following a few photographers I found online. One specifically was using social media and had vastly grown her business, so I decided that it could not hurt for me to try.
In 2010, I started a blog and a Facebook page (Instagram would not get big for a few years). I was never one to study first then launch, and certainly did not do that this time either. After a year, I discovered that I was getting clients because people were finding my blog posts. Posts about shoots that I had created and I was also creating behind the scenes videos. Still to this day, people find my blog posts first before anything else.
Fast forward a few years, I really started to see the value in social media, especially after Instagram started taking off. LinkedIn surged just a few years ago and I likewise started posting on LI on a regular basis.
Now let’s talk networking on social media…
Since 2010, I have consistently created content on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube and my blog. Initially it was ALL on my blog, Facebook, Youtube, then Instagram emered and LinkedIn pivoted as did I. The effort I put out on a consistent basis showed me just how powerful a tool social media can be. I have connected not only with other photographers, but with so many people across the US in a wide array of industries.
But the REAL question is… Did people find me and hire me? The answer is YES!
Do I have to be on every platform?
The answer is NO.
I tell my clients that they should be on the platform that the majority of the people that want to connect with are on. Right now, if you are looking for a job, then the right platform is dependent on what industry you are in.
For the purpose of this article, I am going to look at the best practices for job seekers.
➡️ First and foremost, LinkedIn is a business platform and you should definitely have a good profile page. The most important part is to post on LI at least 2-3 times per week. This helps you been seen in the feed on a regular basis. Remember… out of sight is out of mind!
Instagram is more for creative industries, athletics, education, food, and yes even non-profits.
Clubhouse has just kicked off and is an amazing way to get used to asking questions and sharing your story and experience. This platform is audio-only.
👉🏻 Are you on Clubhouse? Connect with me there >>SANDY ON CLUBHOUSE<<
Now let’s focus on how to actually network on social media:
- On LinkedIn, focus first on connecting with people in your industry, then focus on people in your job type or relevant jobs to yours. Then look for people in your industry or job department that are just above your position.
- Spend 30 min a day, choosing 5-10 people (different each day) and comment on a post they have written. Look to say more than “thank you for posting”. Asking a question can really help the person see you in the crowd and hopefully respond to continue the conversation.
- Choose 1-3 people per week to reach out to privately and connect.
- Pick at least one (1) LinkedIn group to be active in – active meaning you are commenting and asking questions on a consistent weekly basis. Schedule your time like a weekly meeting.
- On Instagram, create a professional account meaning that your bio, content and images are of a professional nature. Think of your account as “me, inc.” This takes a bit more energy in that you will attract spam accounts in the beginning, but do NOT make your account private as that limits >> who can find you and who will see you <<. It is like a hiring manager driving down a street with tons of job seekers, but everyone has their doors closed and lights off. It is hard for people to see your value, let alone find you when you are hidden.
- Facebook is the least productive platform in my opinion, there are people who have great success when using their personal account or a business page (yes a job seeker can have a “business” page, but that takes a lot of extra work and a lot of patience.
In the end, the amount of success you get out of anything is relevant to the effort and consistency that you put into it. The longer you wait to start, then the longer it will take for success. I started with a belief that it had to get better. We never see the success until we are looking back with 20/20 vision.
Are you struggling with mindset? I have the perfect resource for you! My Mindset Shift Workbook is just the thing you need to help focus your thoughts on your success and not on your perceived negative self-talk! Download it >>HERE<< and start a more positive self-narrative today!