The number one reason you should pay attention to Google+ is simply this: Google+ is the platform that all of the Google products are being integrated into, including the search engine. Google Search currently equates to over 67% of ALL Internet search online…in the entire world. Number wise, this means that of the 2.4 billion active internet users in 2012 (SOURCE), 67% of all Internet search online went straight through www.google.com. (SOURCE)
In June of 2011, Google+ launched into the web as an invitation-only “field test.” I was sent my invitation in July and soon was heavily involved. From ‘hangouts’ and photowalks, to ‘live web shows’, interviews and articles, Google+ has been the cliff I jumped off of and learned to soar. Here is my story and why you should consider getting onboard the second largest social network on the internet. (SOURCE).
When I started out on Google+, I quickly found other photographers to follow. I wanted my stream (which is what the ‘news feed’ is called at Google+) to be beautiful and inspirational. I started posting my photographs and soon, I had built up a following.
Results: How G+ Helped Me as a Photographer
Photographers started sharing my name and telling people to follow me. I became involved in one of the early live broadcast webshows (Life Through The Lens). I have led photowalks in Tucson and joined ones in Phoenix. I was even able to join one of the World Wide Photowalks that Scott Kelby endorses with many photographers, including the now Google+ Photo Community Manager, Brian Matiash. A year ago in May, I was asked to join opening and closing ceremonies for Google+ Photographers’ Conference with Scott Kelby and Trey Ratcliff. Not too long ago, I was even put on their Suggested User’s List and now, I have over 1.1 million followers.
I can honestly say that because of Google+, I gained the courage to get into my first gallery this year. I am working on my first coffee table book. I have met so many incredibly talented people who I can now call close friends. The inspiration there has pushed me into two of my biggest projects, my landscape-learning project and my 365 self-portrait project.
Reasons to Consider It For Your Photography Business
SEARCH: The biggest reason to use Google+ is that it is fully-integrated with ALL THINGS GOOGLE, including and most importantly, the search engine. What this means to an individual is that your search results will become more personalized which means you get the information you need in the first few pages. If you are signed into Google’s services, then those results can come to you as recommendations from the people you have circled and interact with at Google+. What this means to a business, is that you can now be recommended by users’ friends. This is your basic word-of-mouth marketing using Google’s search engine.
CONTROL: The good news for both individuals and businesses, is that you can control your privacy settings very easily. If you want a post to be public, simply click that option. The public posts are indexed by the search engine. If you need something to stay private, for instance, if you are offering a special for previous clients, then simply click the circle you have put those clients in (and not the public or extended circles button) when you post your message and check the box that says “also send email to ‘circle name.’” This ensures that your message will be received by those clients. The key here is to remember that unless you are offering something very important, do not click that “send email” button. No one likes spam and on Google+, the spam controls include blocking and muting. Your message will never get to its intended audience if you are considered a spammer.
NETWORKING: Network with Others in the Field. Let’s not forget Google+ Hangouts. The hangout is a free video-conferencing tool for up to 10 people at a time. It is a powerful tool that can be utilized as a coffee shop in your own living room to a teaching room to even a live, broadcast webshow. The possibilities are endless.
From interaction with people you might never get a chance to otherwise, i.e., Scott Kelby, Trey Radcliff, Jay and Varina Patel, Vic Gundotra, Colby Brown, Catherine Hall, Ryan Brenizer, and so many more, to social hangouts (both over the web and through photowalks), to networking with some of the most talented people, Google+ has been a boon to photographers. It may not be the best way to sell your prints, as photographers rarely buy other photographers’ work, but getting your name more visible now can mean the difference in sales long term.
Here are a few tips to get you started on the platform:
- Complete your profile. Go through and put information in. This is the first place other people look at. Showcase yourself!
- Pick a photo theme and jump right in! This will help you get started in the community. The curators of the themes try to comment and engage everyone. Several showcase photos to their large audience.
- Try out a photowalk – lead one or just join one in your area. This is a great way to network and make new friends. Plus – it gets you out of your comfort zone and trying something new. This will help your photography creativity.
- The biggest piece of advice – YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN. If you start interacting and putting some time into Google+ (or any other social network for that matter), you will get back interaction and increase your exposure.
And while you are at Google+ be sure to look up Jodi (MCP) and me. Also, send me a message and let me know you found me here. I know I will be very interested in seeing what you do with your Google+ adventure.
Tamara Pruessner is a nature photographer in Marana, Arizona who specializes in storm, landscape and macro photography. She started out on a manual Minolta film camera 13 years ago, while learning how to develop film. Eventually, she wants to chase storms throughout the Midwest. You can find her photography at her website or on Facebook. Previous Post: What You Need to Know About Photoshop Elements 12 Upgrade
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