Monetizing a Like on Facebook is more important to a freelance photographer trying to make a living than how many likes you can get.
We need to understand a Like on Facebook is someone walking by a newsstand and noticing a headline. Someone may even pick up that publication and glance through it for a moment, but unless they purchase the magazine, the photographer will not benefit.
You need to know what this acronym stands for as a business person. ROI is short for Return On Investment.
You will be able to recover all your costs and build in a profit if you understand ROI.
As you can see, Story and ROI apply to a profitable business, but likes will not alone make you money.
Lately, more of my friends are facing layoffs from working on staff as photographers, writers, and designers. While we can point to many reasons these organizations have a downside, I think it is wise for those losing their jobs to evaluate if the work they performed impacted ROI.
It is tough to connect communications to an ROI, but shouldn’t we as creatives are concerned if, after all, we have done on a story that the company is still losing money? Shouldn’t we be more concerned that no one is buying the content we are producing?
Who’s the Audience?
I believe many communications experts are more interested in if their colleagues like their work than if the client and their audience like them.
I think we need to be very aware of what the audience wants to consume and, at the same time, be forward-thinking about things we think they need to know about. Have we put too much emphasis on what we think is important over what they feel is essential?
Are you producing work for industry awards or the customer?
Now, this may seem highly narcissistic and counter to all my comments above, but we also need to spend time producing work from our hearts. So find something you are passionate about, take your time, and do your best to tell the story.
Show the world what you can do when you have no restrictions. You will need to fund this yourself; by doing so, you will finally have something to show people about what is possible. You will show people your style and abilities.
Once you have done this personal project, analyze it to see how this approach can be an excellent ROI for an audience and client. I think it is easier to figure out the audience first and then find a client that is interested in that audience that could use your approach.
When picking your project, be sure and think through the hypotheticals. If I produced what I think might work, then who is the audience that would WANT this, and what client can USE this to justify their ROI?
Liked or Loved?
When people buy what you produce, you are LIKED and LOVED.