One Year Later…
My goal for 2014 has been to make the Senior Style Guide forum be the new place to hangout. There are over 900 members presently in the forum. And that is a lot of people shooting senior photography who can learn from one another’s successes and failures. This month marks the one year anniversary of the forum and my initial goal was to keep the conversation going and the learning opportunities abundant. So in 2014, we need to get this party started NOW!
So with that said aloud, I sat down with some fabulous people to discuss how we could make it better in the coming year.
Rewards and Education
These were the top contenders on the list. And let’s be honest who doesn’t like to be rewarded with free stuff? So we created a forum reform focus group and set out to think of new things and ways to improve upon the existing system. Because it is a great idea, but how can WE make it convenient for you to access our community? To benefit from the current knowledge that is in there? And most importantly how can WE reward the people who are active in the forum being the biggest helpers and cheerleaders for everyone else? This is only the tip of the iceberg of things we are working on to make this the place to interact for you and your fellow photographer friends!
So let’s tackle the easy stuff first
Ease of use
We are Tapatalk compatible. If you are not familiar with Tapatalk, it is an app you can download to easily access forums. The app is free and available at the app store. Download it and search for Senior Style Guide. This will allow you to follow your favorite threads and respond to new threads with ease from all of your mobile devices. I know I use at night to see what is happening in the forum when I am winding down for the evening. Super easy to use! Of course you always have the option to access the forum from your desktop computer as well!
We will still offer our forum classes. They have been very popular and many people have benefitted from the knowledge the instructors have presented. This month will be a class on SEO by Feuza Reis. Her 4 week bootcamp will take the mystery out of being found by search engines and get your business on track this year by entering in the correct keywords and tags for your business on your blog and website! To sign up for any of our classes simply click the banner or eshop to enroll!
Additionally, we are going to have challenge threads in the education section of the forum. This is currently free and open to everyone. Join in and learn something new along the way. Our first challenge thread will begin this Thursday. Join in on the fun!
In October of 2013, we started doing group Skype sessions. These have been so fun and no matter what the topic we walk away with new information. There have been a few OMG moments on these calls! These will be led once a month by a different photographer and to be eligible to participate you will need to have 150 posts in the forum. The group Skype calls are limited to the FIRST 8 people who sign up. We will keep a back up list in case someone cannot attend.
We are going to offer free downloads of sponsored products in the middle of each month as available! These will only be available for the month specified so jump on them quick! February will be the Modern Radiance Graduation Announcement set from Oh Snap Boutique! These 5×7 cards are perfect for your 2014 graduates and you will get 4 different cards in the download this month! To be eligible you must have 50 posts in the forum.
At the end of the month we will be giving away a ringlight from Melanie Anderson of Anderson Education! She is also including 2 bonus videos-and one is The Art Of Extreme Seniors!
Here are a few details about the prize for February:
Anderson Education RingLight 18″ Diameter Constant RingLight 5400K Temperature
2 Videos one on the art of extreme seniors and the other to include how their studio utilizes RingLights for Commercial Headshots, Beauty and Bridal Images, as well as utilizing (3) Lights for Extreme Sports Portraits!
The light + the video retails on Amazon for $249. To be eligible to enter this giveaway, you will need 100 posts in the forum!
There will also be a group buy for a limited 3 day window for all SSG fans! The group buy will be February 4,5 and 6th. Do not let this deal pass you up!
After you reach 200 forum posts, you will be eligible for affiliate status. You will be given a link and a banner. The link will be unique to you. When friends sign up for the forum via your link (that is important-they have to use your link for you to get the reward!), you will get a percentage of their forum membership. Percentages are based on the number of forum posts you have and full details will be emailed to you once you qualify for the program!
Post counts…what is that?
While we all love rewards, we want to also promote the forum as the place to learn and grow from one another. If everyone was eligible for the rewards, there could be a tendency to just log in when it is download time That doesn’t really benefit your business in the long term as you are not continuing to grow. A forum is only as good as the people who post in it. This is why we are striving to make it a wonderful place that is full of value and information for all! So, after much discussion we came up with a doable system for forum posts. And by posts, we mean Relevant, more than just a thank you or following as a response to a thread! I have circled where you can find your post count in the image below!
50 forum posts-Middle of the month free downloads as available. (Please note: to remain eligible for this status you must maintain at least 25 new posts each month).
100 forum posts-Eligibility to win the end of the month prize in the forum. (Please note: to remain eligible for this status you must maintain at least 25 new posts each month).
150 forum posts-You will be eligible to sign up for the monthly group skype with a guest photographer. This is first come, first served and only open to 8 people a month. We will resume these in March. (Please note: to remain eligible for this status you must maintain at least 25 new posts each month).
200 forum posts-Affiliate status. You will be given a special link that is unique to you to share with friends. As they sign up for the forum you will get a percentage of their membership fee. Percentages are based on forum participation. Those who qualify will be given full details when there link is emailed to them.
*Please note that if you go 60 days or more without posting in the forum, your post counter will automatically be reset to zero.
How Can YOU help?
Log into the forum, offer advice, start a thread. Jump in and see what you can learn. You will be surprised by just how much you have to offer and how much you will learn in the process, just by helping others. Senior Style Guide is a community built on the idea that everyone has a voice, and everyone has something to say, learn or teach. We build each other up and lend a hand. There are no bullies allowed in there! And know that each and every one of you are valued members of SSG.
Currently there is a wealth of information in the forum. All of the information in the threads allows for the potential to make the forum be an amazing resource, but you have to utilize it! Sometimes just discussing what has worked or not worked for you generates a new idea you can implement!
There are no excuses 🙂
I often hear from photographers, ”I don’t feel like I have anything to offer”. You do! Trust me. I do not care how long you have been in business, I want to hear from you.
To access the forum click HERE and if you have any difficulty accessing the forum feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I truly hope that I will see you in the forum!