why you should take more selfies (as a marketing tool)

i used to take a lot of selfies. selfies are actually how i got into photography, though back then they were called self portraits. i actually thought i lost all these old photos back when ol Big Sally kicked the bucket (my hard drive died), but my mother just so happen to have a back up of all my old photography (gotta love her organizational skills). so thankfully, i have all these embarrassing old photos of myself as a keepsake and to share with you, my friend, with humiliating humbleness.

somewhere along the line though, i stopped taking self portraits. i think it was likely when i had enough clients keeping me busy that i just didn't have the time to take them, or was focusing my creative energy elsewhere.. and then fast forward a few years and smart phones come out. and then suddenly everybody is taking self portraits, though by this time they had taken on a new name: selfies. a clever and forgiving little name used as a free pass to fish for compliments... did i say that aloud?

don't get me wrong, i was just as bad as the next twenty something girl with my selfies for a long time, especially when instagram came out and they were so helpful for attracting new followers. but then once again, somewhere around the time i got married and had a kid, i quit taking them for the most part. but for different reasons this time - too busy, or not feeling particularly attractive, or maybe too humble - either way, i feel almost silly doing them now. so my instagram feed generally adorns an array of tiny beauties found in my daily life, my vitamix lattes or one of my many indoor houseplants. but here's the thing: i've recently learned that selfies could actually be a benefit to me and my business.

i've been reading this great book called show your work by austin kleon, and it's all about why sharing your work (and yourself) is so beneficial to growing your following and getting discovered. humans are curious creatures, and we love to see behind the scenes. and then a couple days ago i read this article via pinterest (forget where/which) and it claimed that the number one way to attract more followers on instagram was to post more selfies.

i got to thinking about what i've been reading in austin's book, and i think the reason why selfies work great as a marketing tool for artists, is because people will always be more interested in you (the voice, the creative mind behind the work) if they know what you look like. it gives your soul a body! they can relate to you and can imagine themselves talking to you, interacting with you. this is especially helpful when getting to know your clients before meeting them in person. this is a way to introduce yourself to all the new people that happen to swing by your blog for a read, or flip through your instagram profile for a creep.

but beware, there is such a thing as too many selfies. if your instagram page is nothing but selfies, you could be setting the wrong first impression and sending the wrong message to newcomers. you probably don't want these people thinking you're super self involved or come off as vain. i want my readers to enjoy meeting me, i want them to feel as though it was a pleasure seeing my face on their instagram feeds, and this would usually mean now and again, not everyday. just enough that they feel like they're getting to know me every time i come around.

so i could start posting more selfies, or at least try. its hard enough sometimes to remember to post an instagram photo as it is, so we'll see how this goes. hah! can you tell i'm oozing with excitement! #comfortzonebreach 
ready or not, here they come!
... tomorrow


- ash

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