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Getting Social with Photos

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The last couple of months have been busy, leaving me little time to write a post for one of my favorite blogs. I don’t have time to do one now, but I put my phone on silent and am ignoring my email.Sometime in April I wrote a post on Agent Genius about social networking with photos, and about how Flickr is one of the greatest social networking tools ever created. Much has happened since I wrote that post. I have been on a couple of photo walks with people who live in my area, and made some new friends. I am discovering that it isn’t just photographs that start conversations, cameras do too. On the first photo walk I attended I watched as a diverse group of people stood in a circle, introduced themselves, and then introduced their camera’s.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a new lens for mine. There is a learning curve for any lens and this one is a wide angle that I need for interior property shots of my listings. I brought the camera and new lens downtown with me, met with a client, showed him some lofts, and then headed back to my car for the camera, and some target practice. I wandered around shooting pictures here and there, so I could try the lens. I went out into a street and started using one of my favorite building for target practice, the horn honking did not get my attention. It wasn’t until I heard someone calling my name that I decided to get out of the street.

A young man standing on the curb said, “you just have to be Teresa Boardman”. He has a point, I really do have to be Teresa Boardman, no choice on that one. He told me that my camera gave me away, and that he doesn’t see many people standing in the street, on a busy street, taking pictures.

He identified himself as the person from the local convention bureau who has been sending me email. He found my photos on Flickr and contacted me. We now have an agreement in which I supply photos for the visit Saint Paul web site, and for some printed materials designed to promote St. Paul. One of my photos was selected for an “explore Minnesota” flyer.

An exciting opportunity for me. There are photos of St. Paul on flickr that are better than mine. I believe that mine were selected partly because they are easy to find, and because I am easy to find, and contact. I use Flickr as a tool for my business. Photos are labeled, tagged and put into sets. I network with other Flickr users and leave comments on their photos. I participate in contests and must belong to 20 groups. It all takes time but I love doing it and it has been good for my business.

Now they call me “the photographer”, it has a nice ring to it, and I guess it is true. I could never explain how it all happened but I like it. It doesn’t involve any extra work, with my web sites and blog I have endless uses for photos.

None of the pictures I took that day, as I dodged traffic turned out. I learned some important truths about wide angle lenses, the camera needs to be kept level, and if the lens is put on it’s widest setting, the pictures are kind of weird. I managed to shoot one where it looks like all of the buildings on St. Peter street are leaning, into each other.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Paula Henry

    May 28, 2008 at 9:25 am

    T – I do admire your work with the camera. I know we don’t see all the ones you didn’t post, but – WOW, the pictures you do post are amazing. I think the reason is, the passion you possess about St. Paul is evident in every picture you post and every post you write. KUDOS!

  2. Chris Shouse

    May 28, 2008 at 9:37 am

    I love your photos and I think you are brilliant. I have just started my flickr account and am really enjoying it. I have made some great friends in my area already and plan to expand on it. You have just reinforced that I am headed in the right direction. Thank you.

  3. Teresa Boardman

    May 28, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Thanks Paula, I do love taking pictures of the ordinary. 🙂

    Chris – do it, and stick with it. it is more fun than work and the more photos you take the more of them google will find and the better you will get at taking them. you will meet people, mostly people you will like. Ger involved, join a group, create a group, and just have fun.

  4. Jay Thompson

    May 28, 2008 at 10:28 am

    The pic I would really like to see would be of T standing in the street, blocking traffic, oblivious to everything but what’s in her viewfinder. THAT would be a great shot! 🙂

    Flickr is amazing. I just recently started posting listing photos to it, and incorporating “Flickr streams” into single-property blog sites. Thanks to Teresa’s tip to put the URL of the site into the Flickr labels (or whatever term they use, I’m still a Flickr noob), people actually FIND the photos and the single property sites. It’s very cool.

    I’m not a very good photographer yet, but I have learned a couple of things — if you take a bazillion photos, sooner or later you’ll get lucky and one will turn out great. And cropping pics can turn something marginal into something that’s actually pretty decent.

  5. Ines

    May 28, 2008 at 10:33 am

    I’m with Jay – would love to take some pics of T in action! Why didn’t that guy have a camera?

  6. Andy Kaufman

    May 28, 2008 at 11:29 am

    I’m glad that I wasn’t the only one hoping we’d get a shot of T in the middle of traffic. 🙂

    I also wanted to commend our own @tboard for recommending . I’ve found myself immersed in it a few times in the past few days.

  7. Andy Kaufman

    May 28, 2008 at 11:29 am

    FAIL

  8. Andy Kaufman

    May 28, 2008 at 11:32 am

  9. Teresa Boardman

    May 28, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    LOL – me wandering around with a camera is not a pretty sight. I get into trouble, I have no idea what is going on around me. I get lost too, and lose track of the time and come home late.

    Jay – Flickr is a great way to promote listings. 🙂 nice to hear it is working. As for your idea about taking shots until you get a good one, that really does work . . if you have enough time to look at them all. 🙂

  10. Bill Lublin

    May 28, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    A young man standing on the curb said, “you just have to be Teresa Boardman”. He has a point, I really do have to be Teresa Boardman, no choice on that one.

    Man, Talk about a picture painted with words – This is the portrait I have of you in my mind!

  11. Tyler, The Wealth Creation Guy

    May 28, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Teresa,

    I’ve always admired the photos you’ve had on your website. I loved it when you had photos of flowers and you said ‘What does this have to do with real estate?…Everything’. Cracked me up.. showed your personality (just like your photos do) and give people an opportunity to come up with 1,000 words to describe it.

    AG has always been great of including photos in posts so it’s not just a bunch of text. I enjoy it. It’s even better when you know it’s someone’s original photos. It keeps me coming back to your site for more. Keep up the great work!

  12. Teresa Boardman

    May 29, 2008 at 7:11 am

    Bill – your comment actually made me laugh out loud and I am still smiling. I really do have to be Teresa Boardman and it isn’t an easy job. 🙂

  13. Eric Blackwell

    June 1, 2008 at 7:32 am

    @Teresa- Your photos are a BIG piece of your site. I enjoy your writing style as it is one of the most authentic and warm in the real estate blog world, but I really enjoy the photos from around your area. Putting proper photos is something that I desire to learn from you just like I am learning from Russell Shaw the fine art of photoshopping great graphics that make a point..

    Summertime in St Paul is awesome subject matter as well!

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Business Marketing

10 must-listen-to podcasts for business owners

(MARKETING) If you’re a business owner and want to learn something…anything…give one (or all) these podcasts a listen.

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headphones listen podcasts

As podcasts grow more and more popular, it has become increasingly difficult to sort through the sea of excellent options out there.

From interviews with business leaders to industry-specific advice from experts, podcasts are an incredible free and convenient way to get a small dose of inspiration and knowledge.

This short list offers just a taste of the myriad of business podcasts available. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking for some tips on breaking into a new industry or a seasoned vet hoping to get some new inspiration, we hope you’ll find something here worth listening to.

How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz.

Podcast fans will recognize Guy Raz’s name (and voice) from TED Radio Hour. While that show can be a great source of inspiration for businesses, one of the most consistently inspiring shows is his new project that shares stories and insight from some of the biggest business leaders in the world. In just four months, Guy has talked to everyone from Richard Branson and Mark Cuban to L.A. Reid and Suroosh Alvi. While there are plenty of excellent interview-driven shows with entrepreneurs, if you want to hear about the world’s best known companies, this is your best bet.

The Art of Charm, hosted by Jordan and AJ Harbinger.

The Art of Charm is a business podcast by definition, but the advice it provides will definitely help you in other parts of your day-to-day life as well. With over three million listens a month, the incredibly popular show provides advice, strategies and insight into how to network effectively and advance your career and personal life.

StartUp, hosted by Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow.

If you’re an entrepreneur, there is no excuse not to be listening to StartUp, the award-winning business podcast from Gimlet Media. The show’s talented hosts come from incredible radio shows like Planet Money and This American Life and bring a top-notch level of storytelling to the show, which provides behind the scenes looks at what it is actually like to start a company. Now on the fourth season, StartUp is one of those business podcasts that even people not interested in business will get a kick out of.

The Whole Whale Podcast, hosted by George Weiner.

One of the best things about podcasts is the wide variety of niche shows available that go in-depth into fascinating topics. One of those shows is the Whole Whale Podcast, which shares stories about data and technology in the non-profit sector. You’ll get detailed analysis, expert knowledge and can hear from a long list of social impact leaders from Greenpeace, Change.org, Kiva, Teach For America, and more.

Social Pros Podcast, hosted by Jay Baer and Adam Brown.

Navigating the surplus of social media guides online can be a nightmare, so look no further than Social Pros. Recent episodes talk about reaching college students on social media, the rise of messaging apps, and making better video content for Facebook. Plus, there are great case-studies with companies doing social right, like Kellogg’s, Coca Cola and Lenscrafters.

Entrepreneur on Fire, hosted by John Lee Dumas.

One of the original entrepreneurship shows, Entrepreneur on Fire has logged over 1,500 episodes with successful business leaders sharing tips, lessons and advice learned from their worst entrepreneurial moments. Sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, always inspiring, this show is sure to have at least one interview with someone you can learn from.

The $100 MBA, hosted by Omar Zenhom.

Think of The $100 MBA as a full-fledged business program in snack-sized portions. The daily ten minute business lessons are based on real-world applications and cover everything from marketing to technology and more. Cue this show up on your commute to or from work and watch your knowledge grow.

This Week in Startups, hosted by Jason Calacanis.

This is your audio version of TechCrunch, Gizmodo, or dare we say The American Genius. Each week, a guest entrepreneur joins the show to talk about what is happening in tech right now. You’ll get news about companies with buzz, updates on big tech news and even some insider gossip.

The Side Hustle Show, hosted by Nick Loper.

This is the show if you want answers for the big question so many entrepreneurs face. How do I turn my part-time hustle into a real job? Featuring topics such as passive income ideas, niche sites, and self-publishing, host Nick Loper is upfront and honest about the tough world of side hustles. The show features actionable tips and an engaging energy, and may just be that final push you need to grow your gig.

Back To Work, hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin.
Focused on the basics that you don’t think about, Back To Work looks deep into our working lives by analyzing things like workflow, email habits and personal motivation. Somewhere between self-help, and business advice, Back To Work takes on a new topic relating to productivity each week.

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Business Marketing

Why your coworkers are not your ‘family’ [unpopular opinion]

(MARKETING) “I just want you to think of us as family,” they say. If this were true, I could fire my uncle for always bringing up “that” topic on Thanksgiving…

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family coworkers

The well-known season 10 opener of “Undercover Boss” featured Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar. Brandon Landry, owner, went to the Lafayette location where he worked undercover with Jessica Comeaux, an assistant manager. Comeaux came across as a dedicated employee of the company, and she was given a well-deserved reward for her work. But I rolled my eyes as the show described the team as a “family.” I take offense at combining business and family, unless you’re really family. Why shouldn’t this work dynamic be used?

Employers don’t have loyalty to employees.

One of the biggest reasons work isn’t family is that loyalty doesn’t go both ways. Employers who act as though employees are family wouldn’t hesitate to fire someone if it came down to it. In most families, you support each other during tough times, but that wouldn’t be the case in a business. If you’ve ever thought that you can’t ask for a raise or vacation, you’ve probably bought into the theory that “work is a family.” No, work is a contract.

Would the roles be okay if the genders were reversed?

At Walks-Ons, Comeaux is referred to as “Mama Jess,” by “some of the girls.” I have to wonder how that would come across if Comeaux were a man being called “Daddy Jess” by younger team members? See any problem with that? What happens when the boss is a 30-year-old and the employee is senior? Using family terminology to describe work relationships is just wrong.

Families’ roles are complex.

You’ll spend over 2,000 hours with your co-workers every year. It’s human nature to want to belong. But when you think of your job like a family, you may bring dysfunction into the workplace.

What if you never had a mom, or if your dad was abusive? Professional relationships don’t need the added complexity of “family” norms. Seeing your boss as “mom” or “dad” completely skews the roles of boss/employee. When your mom asks you to do more, it’s hard to say no. If your “work mom or dad” wants you to stay late, it’s going to be hard to set boundaries when you buy into the bogus theory that work is family. Stop thinking of work this way.

Check your business culture to make sure that your team has healthy boundaries and teamwork. Having a great work culture doesn’t have to mean you think of your team as family. It means that you appreciate your team, let them have good work-life balance and understand professionalism.

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Business Marketing

Market your side hustle with these 6 tips

(BUSINESS MARKETING) It can be hard to stand out from the crowd when you’re starting a new side hustle. Here are some easy ways to make your marketing efforts more effective.

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side hustle paperwork and technology

Side hustles have become the name of the game, and especially during these turbulent times, we have to get extra creative when it comes to making money. With so many of us making moves and so much noise, it can be hard to get the word out and stand out when sharing your side hustle.

Reuben Jackson of Big Think shared five ways that you can market your side hustle (we added a sixth tip for good measure), and comment with your thoughts and ideas on the subject:

  1. Referrals: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask!
    If you’re going to make a splash, you have to be willing to ask for favors. Reach out to your network and ask them to help spread the word on your new venture. This can be as simple as asking your friends to share a Facebook post with information that refers them to your page or website. Word of mouth is still important and incredibly effective.
  2. Start Where You Are
    Immediately running an expensive ad right out of the gate may not be the most effective use of your (likely) limited funds. Use the resources you do have to your advantage – especially if you’re just testing things out to see how the side hustle goes in the real world. You can do this by creating a simple, informational landing page for a small fee. Or, if you’re not looking to put any money into it right away, create an enticing email signature that explains what you do in a concise and eye-catching way. Check out these tools to create a kickin’ email signature.
  3. Gather Positive Reviews
    If you’ve performed a service or sold a product, ask your customers to write a review on the experience. Never underestimate how many potential customers read reviews before choosing where to spend their money, so this is an incredibly important asset. Once a service is completed or a product is sold, send a thank you note to your customer and kindly ask them to write a review. Be sure to provide them with links to easily drop a line on Yelp or your company’s Facebook page.
  4. Be Strategic With Social
    It’s common to think that you have to have a presence on all channels right away. Start smaller. Think about your demographic and do some research on which platforms reach that demographic most effectively. From there, put your time and energy into building a presence on one or two channels. Post consistently and engage with followers. After you’ve developed a solid following, you can then expand to other platforms.
  5. Give Paid Marketing A Shot
    Once you’ve made a dollar or two, try experimenting with some Facebook or Twitter ads. They’re relatively cheap to run and can attract people you may not have otherwise had a chance to reach out to. Again, the key is to start small and don’t get discouraged if these don’t have people knocking your door down; it may take trial and error to create the perfect ad for your hustle.
  6. Go Local
    Local newspapers and magazines are always looking for news on what local residents are doing. Send an email to your town/city’s journal or local Patch affiliate. Let them know what you’re up to, offer yourself for an interview, and give enticing information. The key is doing this in a way that your hustle is seen as beneficial to the public, and is not just an ad.

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