This is the 29th Fast Food Friday feature and just about everything on the menu has been about components for a stronger business. There are so many things you can fine-tune to establish a more powerful brand and create a better business model.
However, today's "blue plate special" is a little different cuisine than what we usually offer. Indirectly it's about better utilizing your time, but directly it's about staying out of time-wasting discussions that drain your creativity and take you away from your core goal - building your business.
The idea was influenced by a series of stupid, inflammatory comments on a Facebook Forum where I'm an administrator. Dozens of artists got into a series of senseless battles accomplishing nothing. Then, as I was scrolling through the SCU archives, I found a rant from four years ago on a similar topic. Like any good diner from my days living in New Jersey, I brought back a favorite, but with some new ingredients.
Next week we officially hit the fourth quarter and if you're going to capitalize on seasonality, you can't be wasting your time-fighting battles and dealing with trolls.
It's Time to Stop the Madness!
Time is your most valuable commodity, so let's stop wasting it on things that don't matter! Let's start with the way, so many of you get involved in battles on Facebook:
Read the complete thread before you comment. By the time there are 20-30 comments, more than likely whatever you're going to add has already been said. So, why bother?
Don't respond to the most recent comment, but to the request from the person who did the original post. Somebody says something that's less than politically correct, and all hell breaks loose as one blowhard after another decides to show he/she can enter the battle of wits to see whose sarcasm can take the trophy...the truth is, most of you are terrible at this game anyway. In the end, you just make a fool of yourself.
"There are no erasers on the Internet!"
"Act as if your grandmother's watching!" It's from my buddy Levi Sim, and I've used the quote at least a dozen times over the last few years. You don't need to shred people when you don't like an image. You also don't need to sugar coat your criticism, just be honest, but do it under the umbrella of being helpful.
Get a thicker skin! The problems on Facebook go both ways. A few of you love to play the bully and crush people because they're just not as smart as you. On the other side of the coin, some of you get offended over somebody's "tone" when they've told you your image is bad. Seriously, everyone knows when they post an image whether it's a "wow" print or simply sucks! Let's get a thicker skin and accept that nobody matters except your clients.
"Beauty is in the eyes of the checkbook holder."
Learn to communicate! The hardest vehicle for communicating is the printed word. It shows no emotion. You can't hear the inflection in anybody's voice. It's just what you wrote, and a lot of you are not very good writers - you don't express yourself the same way you would if you were face to face with somebody. You write what you feel, and what's in your heart never makes it to the printed words.
Stop reporting posts just because the topic offended you. Not everybody likes the same things you do. It's important to report posts that truly are offensive, and they range from the porn mongers to sunglasses ads. However, there's nothing worse for an administrator than one of you deciding a comment about a bride's ugly dress was off topic, and you choose to defend her "say yes to the dress" choice. It doesn't mean the thread wasn't appropriate.
Don't believe everything you read! Just because it's on the Internet doesn't mean it's true. Yet, every day somebody posts something that sets off hundreds of photographers. I'm not talking about the challenges we all deal with in hearing things from Washington, but about changes in technology, rumors about new and old products, information about our favorite photographers and educators, just to name a few. Check the sources before you react.
"The problem with quotes on the Internet is that no one can confirm their authenticity!"
Social media has given us a platform for communication and education our parents never had, but it's only as good as we make it. Don't waste your time and everybody else's fighting battles over moot points...or as Joey from Friends once said, "Moo Points." (Is there nothing that can't be found on YouTube?)
Wishing everybody a terrific Friday and a great weekend!
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Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.