The most important commodity right now has shifted from information to attention. We now live in an attention economy. Building an audience is the most valuable item right now. With more content creators than ever, people are fighting for your attention. Being a photographer, you're fighting for people's attention.
With so much competing for attention, it's the scarcest commodity. Attention behaves differently than any other commodity, there is a hard limit per capita. Still don't understand? Consider your own attention, it's focused on these words right now. Attention is a zero-sum game, when one person gets attention, someone else does not.
As a photographer and creator, the best way to snag your slice of the attention is to have not just strong work, but strong context. Either reveal a part of yourself to bond yourself to your audience, or share a moment from the shoot that reveals even more. To keep and grow your audience in this new attention economy, creators will need to work on storytelling, weaving interesting details to captivating photos.
Create Engaging Content. Hook people with amazing experiences and stories. As photographers, we are constantly creating content, find ways to share your experiences behind the photos and you'll find yourself growing your audience.
In 2011, I was unemployed due to the real estate market crashing with a brand new MBA, I didn't know what I was going to do, no one was hiring and my resume was short on experience. I did have my camera and an idea. I wanted to take portraits of people in my city in a way that unified and highlighted each person.
So I created This is Memphis, a stripped down raw photo of each person, over the course of 3 weeks I shot 134 unique portraits of people in Memphis, scheduled 100% via word of mouth and social media. The project created a buzz about my work and I was able to get a job because of it, and I met so many people that did amazing things, it opened a lot of opportunities for me.
I got to meet amazing individuals, people that were active and involved in my community. Like Kerry Crawford who used to run the I Love Memphis blog.
Josh Horton of Creative Works came out to support a fellow creative, now he runs an entire conference to push creatives to do better work.
I got to photograph the amazing Grace Askew, years before she was on The Voice.
Memphis Mayor AC Wharton even came by for a few minutes to join the project.
Create Content. Share Experiences. Capture Attention. Grow your brand.
While everyone's fighting for more attention, focus your efforts on creating engaging content. Be true to your brand and your voice, and you'll notice positive growth. Find ways to connect with your audience and you'll have their attention.
Like this post? Then you might be interested in my post about Evergreen Content.