Learn to love LinkedIn with Nicki Cameron from The Art of Dog Photography

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Of all the platforms, LinkedIn is the least popular for pet businesses but Nicki Cameron has embraced it with gusto.

In just over 18 months, she’s styled herself as the dog lady of LinkedIn and it’s bringing in leads and inquiries for her photography business.

Nicki also did a 31 day ‘Brighten up your January’ challenge, lighting up LinkedIn AND all the other social platforms.

And it helped take her email list from zero to over 300 subscribers in a MONTH.

In this chat, Nicki shares how she learned to love LinkedIn plus loads of other fab tips on how to get eyes on your work with breathtaking photography.

Listen in by tapping the player link below or read the key points covered as a blog.

Hi Nicki! Tell us about you and your business.

In 2020, shortly after lockdowns began, I felt the pull to do something new. 

I’d been a dog walker for about 20 years but enjoyed photography on the side and had spent all day every day with dogs for two decades! 

I knew them inside and out and decided to join my two passions and start a business as a dog photographer.

So I spent time planning for my new business and building a website and kept walking dogs to earn money and took to social media to launch my business and find clients.

How did you become a photographer?

Over the years, I’d taken many courses and became very comfortable behind a camera. 

While I don’t particularly enjoy the technical side, I love positioning the dogs and manipulating light to get the best photo.

When I started, I was primarily doing private commissions. I then decided to break out into different markets like wall art and company branding.

Tell us about how you got started on LinkedIn

I actually started out on Instagram because the focus was on photos. Since it’s shifted to a more video-focused platform I wanted to find something new.

I wasn’t thrilled about using Facebook, but I needed to find one platform to really make my mark.

At first, I thought LinkedIn was boring and too corporate but it’s full of normal people who chat about business and personal things and DOGS!

With branding and wall art, it’s a natural place for me to find customers. And people love seeing dogs on their feed on a platform where they typically wouldn’t!

How do you find clients on LinkedIn?

First and foremost, I talk about all things dog all the time.

Whether it’s a personal or business post, I consistently share information and ideas across a wide range of dog subjects.

Business posts allow people to get to know what I do day-to-day. Personal posts let them get to know me as a person.

From there, we may chat in the comments or connect. Then they usually send me a private message which turns into a scheduled Zoom consultation.

If the potential client is a business, I will look through their websites and social media and figure out where we can incorporate dog shots to enhance their content and get more engagement.

Because everyone loves dogs!

Do companies outside of the pet world want pictures of dogs?

Absolutely! There’s no doubt that dogs have a way of connecting people. We’re drawn to them, get happier when we see them and get to know the people who keep them.

Having ‘office dogs’ is much more common than a decade ago. Things have definitely changed, and with the right management in place, it can be a morale boost for employees.

As it has grown in popularity, so has the search for jobs allowing pets. Recruiters are even starting to add it to their job searches!

Offices will often hire me to provide stock photos for their office as a new way to brighten up the workplace.

Tell us about your recent social media challenge

During January 2023, I did the “Brighten Up Your January” challenge. The goal was to get people to post pictures of their dogs every day that month!

The purpose of the challenge was to grow my email list… and I was starting from zero! I wanted an avenue for delivering content quickly and efficiently directly to my audience.

For the challenge, I sent out an email every morning during January with a prompt for that day’s social media post. The themes would vary to keep it exciting and became a fun way to grow my platform.

It was a lot of hard work and I was on social media all day, but I got to know loads of people and dogs more in-depth than I typically would. 

My goal was to grow my email list to 100 subscribers, but I reached nearly 300 by the end of the challenge!

What kind of audience did it build and how did that impact your business?

People from all over the world joined in! The challenge wasn’t platform specific, so people could post wherever they felt most comfortable.

I made new connections and increased my following on multiple platforms. It had the largest impact on my LinkedIn presence!

We had people from all walks of life, careers, and ages. Anyone who had a dog could and did join us. I was blown away by the response and truly enjoyed seeing dogs all over my feed!

It’s led to eBook sales and inquiries because of the visibility boost.

Do you have advice for someone wanting to do a similar challenge?

Don’t shy away from doing it! It’s an easy way to engage your audience.

Choose something that piques people’s interest and keep it simple. 

Don’t pressure people to join – it feels salesy and takes away all the fun!

What do you have coming up?

I’ve launched my first eBook. It has loads of simple tips for dog photography, including lighting, background composition, and dogs who don’t sit still.

I have also started offering one to one and group walks in my area to work on photography skills. It’s a great networking opportunity and gives me a chance to get out in my community!

Do you have any tips for being successful on LinkedIn?

At first, it was really hard and I never knew what to post. Over time I’ve gotten more confident and have learned some great tricks!

First, talk in your own voice, and be sure to add personal bits among all the business talk. People want to get to know you, the person behind the business.

Along with that, don’t be too salesy! 

If you aren’t sure what to post, keep a mental log of conversations you have or ideas that randomly pop into your head and talk about those things.

It’s impossible to always be giving value. Mix a little bit of personality, a little bit of business, and a whole lot of chatting!

Nicki is part of my Pets Get Visible membership and you can find out more about that here: https://publicityforpetbusinesses.mykajabi.com/pets-get-visible

She also is listed on my pet business directory at www.thepawpost.co.uk

Links mentioned in this episode:

Art of Dog Website: https://theartofdog.co.uk/

Connect on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickicameron/

Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_artofdog_photography/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/www.theartofdog.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArtofDogPhoto

Listen to the inteview with Alex McCann from Altrincham HQ which was mentioned in this episode: https://rachelspencer.co.uk/personality-into-marketing-alex-mccann/

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