What do you think of personality tests? I am a fan of those and I’ve done quite a few of them for fun. If you like them too and you’re a creative, then you’ll love this fun and simple test Adobe has just released. Through a series of slightly abstract questions, you’ll get to reveal what kind of a creative you are. Ready?
I’m a full-time photographer, I take photos for a living. It’s my main source of income. Its how I pay the rent, keep the lights on and put food on the table. The problem when you work for money, specifically when you get paid for your photography, is that you are no longer in full control.
We all have our “dark secrets” and do things that we would never admit to our clients or fellow photographers. And Instagram account Industry Confessionals brings them all out in the open. It’s a selection of anonymous confessions and secrets from the photography industry, and it will make you laugh, cringe, but sometimes also relate.
(And then Missy got all serious, referred to herself in 3rd person, and wrote the following…)
When my children were little they would collect things in their pockets. They were little pack racks; the kid version of hoarders. Anything that caught their eye would go into their pocket for safe keeping: a colorful leaf; a Skittle, a Happy Meal toy. And, like most moms, I would have to carefully search their pockets before putting their dirty clothes into the wash.
But, now and then, I would miss something, like the time I missed the rock.
Yes, my son had found a rock at the park and it called to him: “PICK ME UP AND PUT ME IN YOUR POCKET SO I CAN WREAK HAVOC ON YOUR MOM’S WASHING MACHINE.”
And wreak havoc, it did. It wasn’t a big rock, probably the size of a bottle cap, but it banged around in the washing machine until I stopped the cycle and fished it out. The washing machine was fine, of course; the rock wasn’t big enough to do any real damage other than making noise. When I complained about it later to the DH, he laughed and said, “Just be glad he didn’t decide to bring home more than one.”
Let me ask you a simple question: Does your investment in social media generate business income?
For most of the creative professionals I ask, the answer is either: “No, not really” or “I don’t know.”
The more I invest in social media, the more I get the feeling that this social media thing is just one big giant fraud – an elaborate ruse designed to do nothing more than monopolize time and energy chasing after likes and followers.
If you listen to the social media gurus, they’ll tell you straight up – your business MUST be on social media. You MUST engage your followers – the more active you are, the more likes and followers you can acquire…ergo the bigger audience you have the more crap you can sell them.
It gets even worse (as if investing your time isn’t already enough, they want your money too) – they’ll also tell you that you need a hook. You have to offer free products, discounts, contests, pay for ads – anything to drive interest and get more likes and secure more followers.
Who exactly benefits from all of this? The social networks sure do. The social media gurus do to.
But what about your business? How much are those thousands of likes and legions of followers really worth to your business in real world $$$?
Because here’s the thing – I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that the return on investment for social media is ridiculously small – or in other words, social media is probably not worth the time and effort you put into it.
In my recent article “Who’s Killing the Photography Industry?”, I made the argument that photographers who choose not to charge licensing fees for the commercial use of their work are destroying the viability of photography as a sustainable career.
In the discussion that followed, I was very surprised that many readers viewed licensing as some sort of cash grab at best, with many voicing the sentiment that licensing is a relic that is no longer relevant to the reality of today’s creative industry.
I couldn’t disagree more – so in this article, I am going to expand a little on the value of licensing, and on a wider scale, look at who’s killing freelance as a viable career in the creative industry.