By Ashley Manley on | No Comments
We are living through a pandemic. Just writing those words makes my body rigid with anxiety and my heart heavy with emotions. A few weeks ago I was on top of the world because I had a booked up my Spring calendar. And then overnight, it was empty. “Cancelled until further notice.” That’s what every email said.
My heart was broken for the world, for my kids, and selfishly for my business. Now what? I kept asking myself over and over and over. Every press conference on the news, text from a friend, announcement from the city…
These are difficult and uncharted times. Nobody knows how to do this perfectly. If you are a photographer and felt an overnight blow to your business from the phrase “social distancing”, now more than ever the internet is your friend in reaching your clients and maybe even generating income (like that eWorkshop you’ve always toyed with creating!)
If you are struggling with balancing your social media game through all of the changes to the world (and your own home routine!) I’ve put together some tips to help you manage your social media presence and navigate these difficult times with some grace, creativity, and authenticity.
Nobody on planet earth has ever lived through a pandemic before. Nobody!
It’s absurd to think anyone knows exactly how to navigate this time, even you. For a lot of us, our knee jerk reaction in times of crisis is to act like we have it all together and ‘fake it til we make it’, but the truth is, for many of us right now, we just don’t know what to do.
Tell your followers on social media how you are feeling. What has you feeling nervous? Unsure? Or maybe you are enjoying extra time at home without the busy to-do list, tell them that, too.
Your supporters are on your page because they like your photos, but they also like YOU and care about what you are doing and how you are doing it. If ever there was a time to be an authentic human, it’s now.
You know that style of photography that you’ve always wanted to try but never had the time? Or were you worried about messing up. Now is your time to explore it and share it! Clients and friends want to see your creative process sometimes, even if it is messy and imperfect.
Whatever it is, try it. And share it. Sure, it might look a little “off” brand from your usual work, but if you put your words with it and tell the story of how the image was created, you are your brand, so there’s really no deviating from that :)
For years it’s been drilled into our social medial hustling minds to post regularly and post often. Stay visible! Stay consistent! Stay engaged! Even just typing that I feel exhausted! If through this whole process you feel like you need to take a step away…DO IT!
I’m giving you the unnecessary permission not to post. Not to keep up. Not to stay consistent and visible.
It’s ok just to exist and survive this time silently in the background. It’s also ok to put your camera on a shelf and say “see ya on the other side!”
If you feel like you need a break, tell your followers in a post (“Hey guys- Iove y’all and photography but right now I need to focus on my sanity and keeping my family happy and healthy. Things will be a little more quiet than usual on my page but know I’m here, surviving behind the scenes just like you. Can’t wait to be back to normal soon!”)
They will understand!
Regardless of how you decide to work through these uncertain and unexpected times with your social media presence, know that you are doing good enough.
As long as you are authentic (to your followers AND yourself) those clients that love you so much will be waiting for you when it’s all over!
Have a wonderful day and be encouraged!
Do you have any questions or comments about how to manage your social media presence during this health pandemic? Just leave us a comment below - we would love to hear from you! And PLEASE SHARE this post using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!
Ashley is a midwest photographer that spends her days chasing light and little ones with her camera in hand. You can see collections of her work on her website or on her instagram.