Most of the posts here so far have been done as articles, in other words one sided lectures as opposed to discussions. I’d like this to be more of an open ended discussion, please share your experiences and ideas for making social networking work.
There are many social networking options for us these days. Myspace, facebook, linkedin, twitter and several that I’m sure I don’t know about are out there. Keeping up with your friends on facebook takes time, if you’ve got a lot of friends, it takes a lot of time. Put that on top of traditional marketing outlets like postcards, calls, and emails, not to mention portfolio development and you’ve got the makings of a full time job. If your business is big enough you could hire someone to keep up with all of this stuff, but most of us are either are not that big, or can’t let go of the marketing well enough to delegate.
With that said, is social networking worth it? Is so, which outlet. From my point of view, it hasn’t directly brought me any work. Remember, I’m pretty exclusively commercial, not weddings or senior portraits. I will say that it’s been great for keeping up on industry news and bouncing ideas off of colleagues. I use linkedin for business oriented networking (my profile here.) and facebook for personal stuff (I really don’t need my clients to see that picture of me from 1990 in high top sneakers, shorts and wrap around shades.) I messed around with twitter for awhile but I really don’t have anything to say at this point that I can distill down to 140 characters, and I can’t stand myspace.
Please use the comments to share your experiences, tips on finding work and what you think social networking does best.