“If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?” is the question Brandon Stanton has been asking New Yorkers over the last four years.
His popular “Humans of New York” portrait campaign on Facebook and Instagram has over 4 million followers and his book, by the same name, is about to become the best selling photography book of all time..
A guest speaker at the South by South West Interactive conference in Austin, Stanton aims, with each interview, to learn something about a person’s life that is uniquely there’s. In this short video with Cat Matson, Suzi Dafnis, recaps some of the highlights of Stanton’s standing-room-only presentation.
So, how has Brandon Stanton amassed 4 million followers (growing at 30k a day) in four years, with no prior photography experience?
“If you have a good idea and a fanatical commitment to that idea you an achieve really great things really quickly,” he explains.
Good ideas, alone, are not enough, according to Stanton.
“Everyone is trying to come up with a great idea. Ideas in themselves matter but you can’t be compensated just for having a good idea – there is a cacophony of people trying to get ideas out there. Because ideas are cheap the only way to stand out is to work harder than everyone else. I had published 2,000 portraits before I got my first bit of press.”
“Take a good idea and use the tools you have access to to make it successful. I could not have done this ten years ago, before Facebook.”
Stanton’s keys to building his community:
- Publish content daily
- Go for organic audience growth
- Give people something they expect (be consistent)
“Focus on the work instead of the promotion. Find someone who really likes your work and there will be many others like them.”
“Find out what your doing that’s different than what others are doing and move all your chips into that direction.”
“Your idea needs to be easily communicated if it’s going to spread.”
Overnight success didn’t happen for him. Nor, does he believe it will come to most of us. “Give yourself time to get good.” he suggests.
And “don’t wait for perfect”.
Learn more at: http://www.humansofnewyork.com