Why you shouldn’t brag on Social Media
This will no doubt ruffle some feathers but there is a real danger when it comes to bragging about how successful we are on social media. I get it, I really do… you take a few bookings in one week, maybe even a day or so and you instantly want to continue that feel good vive by sharing it on Social Media and getting lots of likes from people. It’s such a dangerous thing though, and for so many reasons. You have to really ask yourself why are you doing it, and this comes down to not just bookings but your entire social media strategy.
“Social media dictates so much of our lives”
Social Media dictates so much of our lives now, especially as a creative business, we all have our online persona and want to portray a positive image to potential clients, one of success, after all why would a couple book a photographer who isn’t doing very well, I mean if they are struggling then what’s wrong with them, are they actually really bad at their job, maybe we should book someone else come to think of it?
However whilst we might be bragging about our success to attract couples in some ways it could be perceived that we are saying to other photographers ‘hey I’m so much more successful than you!’, even if it’s not meant that way. At the end of the day that is kind of what Social Media has always been about though right? Even back when Friends Reunited was a big deal (if you’re old enough to remember that), you would look at it and feel a little happiness when you saw the popular kid at school had fallen on hard times, or how the hot girl who knocked you back wasn’t quite so hot anymore. Then along came Facebook and it was exactly the same but on steroids, now you got a personal insight in to people’s failings, or successes, which in turn made everyone start to create a slightly false version of themselves so they could compete with their more successful former school mates.
“there are a dozen photographers looking at your timeline feeling like crap”
I find that when it comes to the photography community you can 100% guarantee that every time you post ‘Whoop just took 800 bookings this morning’ there are a dozen photographers looking at your timeline feeling like crap because they haven’t taken a booking in weeks, are maybe struggling to pay the bills, or are just having major self doubt about themselves and their ability to succeed as a business person (or all of those things). Now you probably aren’t intending it to be that way, however the truth is I see this happen a lot and sometimes it’s from people I know aren’t even busy, they may have taken 3 bookings that week but I know for a fact they’ve only take 3 the previous few months… so why boast on Social Media about it? Of course it’s to make yourself appear successful, but a by-product of that is possibly making the person you were a week previous feel awful about themselves and their business. It’s Social Media almost forcing us to create a skewed reality of our lives, so that we appear successful, but what really is ‘success’ and why do we really care what people think so much?
“we all know Social Media is a dangerous place”
I guess what I am saying is that whilst we all know Social Media is a dangerous place we still at times fall in to its trap, it’s great to celebrate our achievements, to grow our businesses and feel good about it, but let’s get real here. If you took the average photographer’s social media presence and only looked at it at face value then an outsider would believe we all drive seriously expensive cars, live in amazing houses, jet off around the world constantly for work and pleasure, and take 1000 bookings a year. It’s not even close to the truth! I myself have experienced the highs and lows of being a photographer and a small business owner, I have had patches where bookings dry up despite being one of the hardest working people you could ever meet, then when things got back on track I really had to resist the urge to go on Social Media and say ‘wow how awesome is my business’, because yes maybe right then it was, but I’d had a tough few months prior to that, and who knows what’s around the corner? Also to me ‘success’ isn’t about likes on Facebook, it’s about happiness in the real world, family, love, a career I wouldn’t change for the world and spending time with those I care about.
“Real success isn’t about appearing to be a success in our carefully curated Social Media worlds”
Real success isn’t about appearing to be a success in our carefully curated Social Media worlds, it’s about loving your job, working with amazing people and receiving the best feedback possible on how you not only captured their wedding beautifully but also actually enhanced their day by being there with them. That’s the way I judge my success as a photographer, that and the ability to put food on the table for my family, not if I get 20 likes on Facebook and inadvertently make the same number of photographers feel bad about themselves.
Maybe the title of this article is a bit misleading, you should brag on Social Media if you want to, but brag about the real success stories in your life, don’t pretend to be something you are not as believe it or not it really can cause harm to people who are struggling and don’t know the full story. I’ll finish with one image I am happy to brag about, this is Leon, my amazing, funny, cool little man… no matter what happens in my life I will always be proud to brag about just how awesome this little guy is <3