Over the last few years, something has become quite apparent: photographers are becoming reliant on social media. Some have achieved great success across the various social media platforms, but would they or you make it if social media as we know it suddenly ceased to exist?
Business Has Changed
There was a time not too long ago when business owners relied much more on the value of actual relationships and when hard work, often years of it, determined one’s level of achievement for the most part. Today, that simply isn’t the case. The idea of of shaking hands and putting a pen to paper to seal a deal feels like a thing of the past. Heck, even for myself, someone who is more against social media than for it, the last several years have been full of business deals with clients thousands of miles away with whom I've never had the opportunity to meet in person.
For some, the ultimate goal is to become "Insta-famous." I mean, it worked to elevate names like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, didn’t it? There are photographers who have launched their careers with social media and who have reached a level of success few will ever accomplish with very little effort at all. I can’t exactly hate on their success, but I certainly question its longevity and the impact it will have on society in the future.
Would Your Business Model Collapse if Social Media Vanished?
Let’s just take a moment to imagine that the year is 2025 and laws have been passed strictly dictating how platforms like Facebook and Instagram are used. Social media becomes mainly a political advertising platform and a news media outlet, and people lose interest in using it the way we’re all familiar with today. Images that were once seen by tens of thousands of users are now being filtered out of user’s feeds due to one policy violation or another. Doesn’t sound too far fetched, right?
Something to consider is the possibility of this current state of reliance on social media running its course and fading away. Would that be such a bad thing, or have you built your business on a model that is reliant on social media? Are you developing skills that you will be able to apply if the way we’re currently utilizing social media changes? Share your thoughts about the future of social media and its impact on photography in the comments below.