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How to be a Star

by David Baxter | August 27, 2010

In my last article I talked about the differences between Social Media and Traditional Media and the importance of choosing the way you communicate through these channels. I’m going to continue in that vain with an example of how it’s done, or in this case, "how to be a star".

Just over three years ago Jasmine Star dropped out of Law School to become a Wedding Photographer. Although a keen photographer, she had no real professional experience, but had just been married herself and loved the idea of working on the other side of her wedding photographer’s lens.

Jasmine set up business and created a website (www.jasmine-star.com) and blog (www.jasminestarblog.com). She didn’t really know what to blog about, so she started out by writing about her thoughts and ideas, likes and dislikes, regardless of whether they related photography or not, and had no hesitation in writing about her weaker points. She also posted pictures from recent wedding photo shoots and wrote about the experience and the people involved. Jasmine also set up a Facebook page and Twitter account and posted to them both often with similar content to her blogs, just being herself.

It wasn’t long before her blogs became popular, with many returning regularly to read about Jasmine’s latest musings and to look at her photos. Many thought of her as a friend, because they already knew so much about her as a person, not just a photographer, which gave her work a valuable context.

Jasmine never advertised her photography business. Like many new businesses she started out getting work through her personal network and word of mouth. As her popularity as a wedding photographer continued to grow Jasmine could see how important  the time she spent with social media was and kept at it with the same approach that she had done originally, just being herself.

In just three years Jasmine Star has become one of the most sought after wedding photographers in the world. Jasmine’s Facebook page has over 12,000 fans, her Twitter account has over 14,000 followers and there are many thousands that visit and revisit her blog every day. Her success as a wedding photographer isn’t just for her photography, although she is undoubtedly talented, a big part of her success is that people just want to meet her because they feel like they know her and like her. Jasmine is happy to acknowledge that social media has played a huge part in her success and that she wouldn’t be where she is today without it.

In business communication we are often very stiff and contrived, careful about what we say to fit with ‘The Brand’. The lesson we can learn from Jasmine Star’s success is that people are tired of being starved of emotion and personality and want to be able to connect. That connection is all the more powerful when we step outside of the conventional comfort zones of communication and start to show a glimmer of personality and acknowledge our weaknesses, with a little humor thrown in for good measure. In the new economy, if you want to know how to be a star, maybe it’s time to rethink your brand, or at least start to have fun with it.

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