It’s hard to believe how long it’s been since I did my last blog post. I’ve been learning about running a personalized service business in the usual way: trial and error. For some reason, even though I knew starting a business would be difficult, I created my own fantasy that it would be different for me than that of other entrepreneurs. A bit naive, I know, but I believed it none the less.
As I began working with clients helping them organize and control their print and digital photos, as well as scan old photo collections, I took comfort in the fact that I was helping them preserve and enjoy their photos in better ways. But, and there’s always a but, when I didn’t have clients and free time was like all day, reality would hit that I had to face the music and get the things done I had been procrastinating on. Can anyone relate? Ugh! Reality. I hate it sometimes. Being a grownup some days is hard enough, but being a solo entrepreneur can be downright painful, especially when one procrastinates or just can’t find enough hours in the day.
I, like everyone, am better at some things than others. When we’re doing what we enjoy, there is a comfort and confidence in our abilities. However, as I sit here trying to figure out how to get the social media part of the business back on track, I have to admit that I’m clueless. A lot of people I know love all this social media stuff. I just find it overwhelming. It’s always changing which makes it difficult to keep up with. And there you have it. The title and catalyst for this post.
I’ve done all the research, listened to experts and to peers as to which platforms are the best, how often to post, what to post, how to connect with clients and potential clients, etc. After attending webinars, reading articles and investigating options I’d be all excited and motivated. “I can do this,” I’d say. “It will be fun.” Then I’d get started and quickly discover that it’s not fun…yet.
I’m sure you’re wondering how photo collections really relate to my obvious ineptness with social media. Well, I got to thinking about potential clients’ concerns and anxieties about dealing with their photo collections. Some common excuses are: I don’t have enough time; it’s too overwhelming; I don’t know how to get started; I’m not good at starting projects; I’m not good at finishing projects so I dread starting another one; I don’t have the money; I don’t care because I’m leaving the mess for my kids to deal with; too many photos in albums; too much work. There’s more, but you get the idea. Then it hit me that I was making many of the same excuses about my social media phobia. (Yup, I’m pretty sure it’s a phobia the way I find myself running from it every chance I get.) And Bam! I’m in the shoes of every person today that deals with an out-of-control photo collection.
Part of my job is making potential clients feel secure and confident that they CAN get their photos under control and keep them that way. And that scanning old photos to prevent loss or further damage is non-negotiable for preserving them for future generations. But I understand it’s so hard to get started. Just like I’m struggling with social media for my business. Mistakes might be made. It might take longer than expected to figure out a system that works. Life might get in the way and bring things to a halt half finished. Starting up again requires getting re-motivated. And it was hard enough the first time!!
Concerning our photos, we’ve made things harder on ourselves by creating our own photo-hungry monster by taking pictures of everything. We have an out-of-control monster-sized photo collection. In this digital age our monster is getting fed numerous times a day. No wonder it’s so huge. A staggering number of photos are uploaded to the internet every second. Internet Live Stats.com, at the time of this writing, recorded 724 Instagram photos uploaded in one second (1.5 million in 25 minutes). That’s an insane figure. Imagine adding in Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and all the others! The problem with taking all these photos is that we’re doing very little with them. Take, share, forget. They pile up on cameras, phones, computers, SD cards and tablets. As digital technology changes how we take and manage photos, we struggle to keep up with it. This makes us feel overwhelmed and anxious.
For me, social media is similar. It’s always changing. It’s hard to keep up with the demands of managing posts and how they can reach my target audience. For example, I can create a lot of posts, just like a person can take a lot of photos. I can share my posts, albeit with more effort, the same as a person can share photos via the same platform. But what value is there in each post if I’m posting five or more times a day, as recommended? How much value can I really give to those seeking help with their photos if a post is limited to 20 words or less, as recommended? Can a person really do something with everything that’s shared? I know I couldn’t. Likewise, how much value is there in every photo that’s shared? How many photos on social media can a person look at and keep up with every day?
Social media is like a photo collection: always changing and often overwhelming. It’s hard to get a handle on it. My pain and experiences in trying to manage my business-related social media has led me to a greater understanding of the pain every person is dealing with regarding their photos. Just as I’ll figure out how to better share valuable information with photo lovers like yourself through social media—with less effort and frustration—you can and will be able to face your monster with courage and get and keep it under control with the right information, systems and help.
Stick with me. I’ll walk with you through your photo-related struggles the best I can. It might take a little time for me to get ramped up though. But, hey, you won’t be bombarded with too much information! As I learn better how to share with you the information and help you need, you’ll be learning how to better control, and ideally, more thoroughly enjoy the photos from your past, present and future!
Please follow me on Facebook and let me know what your photo-related challenges are and what kind of information and help you need and would be interested in.
If you need help getting your photo collections scanned (in the greater Kansas City area), I hope you’ll consider me when you’re ready to get started. Preserving your family photos is worth the time, effort and cost. It’s something you’ll never regret.