Category Archives: Small Business

Twitter vs. Facebook or Twitter and Facebook | Fired Up for SummitUp 2010

Fired Up for SummitUp 2010 | davidebowman.

I’m registered to attend the SummitUp event in Dayton, next Tuesday. Quite a line-up of interesting speakers. Lots of marketing and PR-types from throughout Ohio will be attending. So what does it have to do with photography ? Well, if you’re a photographer who has any desire to make a name for yourself and sell your work and services, SummitUp could very well be a treasure trove of pertinent information, as well as contacts, on the realities of marketing and branding for the independent professional in the 21st century. Three words: social media marketing.

But do all the available channels – Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, WordPress, Blogger, etc., etc. – fall conveniently under this catch-all description ? It will be interesting to listen to what the industry experts have to say on what works best when it comes to producing measurable results (actual sales $$$) versus pulling all of us backwards to those painfully insecure days of adolescent popularity contests.

I’m cool with Twitter, okay with LinkedIn but I definitely have a “love/hate/but more toward hate” relationship with Facebook. There’s something inherent to the basic platform and origins of Facebook that is well . . . let’s just say high school. What I do love about Facebook, however, has been the results obtained through the use of their ad program.

I’m a photographer. I’m an observer, not only of what is often overlooked but also patterns and behaviors, in all aspects of life. And the patterns of online behavior observed on these various social media channels is fascinating.

Photography is my profession; my business. I look for results (actual sales $$$). Commercial assignments, portrait sessions, fine art print sales, photography workshops and image licensing. Sure, I have an ego and there are times that I slip too far into the touchy/feely – the nebulous elixir of the artsy-fartsy emphasis on collaboration and everyone feeling good about themselves. That’s nice for social get-togethers at the local gallery, but then the cold, hard reality of cash flow comes calling, again and again.

Which gets back to why I prefer Twitter and why recently I’ve made some changes to my approach toward marketing my work and services via social media marketing. In short, I’m much more comfortable at driving content initially through my Twitter account – where’s there’s more of a clear boundary between what’s business and what’s personal – and THEN flow it to my Facebook business page. Previously I had made the common mistake of welcoming all sorts of “friend requests” on a Facebook personal account and then pumping-out photography business content at an entry point platform that was initially designed more on social acceptance and popularity.

Granted Facebook has been quick to make changes and adapt, moving away from group pages and more toward what I see as business-friendly “fan” pages.

Mashable recently posted a very good op-ed that begins to define the primary difference between Facebook and Twitter, which reinforces the lesson I’ve learned regarding both networking platforms. I’m looking forward to seeing how this will be discussed at SummitUp 2010 next week.

Photography and social media marketing – both a constant learning process. All in all, a good thing.

Head Shot Portraits for Twitter and Business Blogs

Professionally taken portrait head shot photographs can go a long way in projecting an entrepreneur’s personality, particularly when used as profile images on Twitter and business blog pages. I provide this service here in my home studio. The following image is from a recent session with Sara who was looking for head shot images to use with her Twitter page for her business.

One of the reasons I like doing these photography sessions here at my home location is the opportunity to use an ample amount of daylight coming through my southward facing windows. I show how this works in the Photographic Moment video tutorial that was shot this past January. It’s worth the extra effort and time it takes for me to move furniture to the side and set-up my lights and backdrops. I’ll be setting-up this arrangement again this Friday for another high school senior portrait session.

The following image was taken using just natural window light –

Capturing the Feel of a Place

One of the advantages of working with a foundation in fine art nature photography, and subsequently transitioning into architectural and interior imaging services, is the ability to pick-up on the small details of a location, whether it be a home or bed and breakfast inn. Also, awareness of the subtle effects of natural light upon those details. Together the “feel,” or spirit, of the place shines through in each photograph.

Below is a quick snapshot of the cover and interior spread of the most recent issue of Housetrends Magazine. This is from a home and garden that I had the pleasure of photographing for Housetrends, located in New Carlisle, Ohio.

And here are some of my favorite images from an assignment shoot I did this past February, for The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills, Ohio:

Smart Move – MacTown coming to The Greene

MacTown » Blog Archive » MacTown coming to The Greene.

This is one the smartest retail expansions I’ve seen from a local business in Dayton in quite a long time. I admit I’m a Mac-user and a Mac-nut (MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, iPhone, numerous iPods, Apple TV, AirPort Extreme and Express, etc., etc.) and I’ve always thought The Greene to be an ideal location for an Apple Retailer. Over the years I’ve had great experiences with the owner of MacTown – Jason Lewantowicz – and his staff of helpful experts.

They go out of their way to make everyone feel welcome. What I mean by that is that you won’t find compu-geeks who’ll talk down to potential customers who may not be quite as up to speed on systems and software as they are, thus actually turning people away more confused and frustrated than before. It blows me away how many local businesses still employ geeks who do this on regular basis. The staff at MacTown are always friendly and helpful to everyone, from those just starting out to those who have been using Macs for a long time.

They are also one of the more marketing-savvy businesses amongst local retailers in the Dayton area, organizing and presenting networking and software education programs that build and reinforce customer loyalty.

Last spring I upgraded my old Mac Pro for one of the new ones and the staff at MacTown were incredibly helpful in working a great deal on a trade-up and doing a great job in seamlessly transferring all of my hard drive content, including all of my programs. If you are in the market for a Mac (and if you’re a photographer I would HIGHLY suggest the Apple products), go see Jason at MacTown. You will be happy you did.