Caved to TikTok

Over the last few months taking the Social Media Certificate course at Algonquin College I have been challenged to use many new platforms. Some I was familiar with and enhanced my knowledge and others that got me out of my comfort zone. One in particular has me intrigued because there seems to be no rhyme or reason for influencers ‘blowing up’.

Photo by cottonbro on

TikTok has been a fascinating challenge for me. Over the last few weeks, I have been experimenting with different post and how they get notices. In order to give people advice on different platforms and how to use them, I figured I better start making some post.

My first post was a transformation challenge called ‘I’m so pretty and he like that’. It took me about 1.5 hrs to film and post with music. At the time I had 8 followers and received 1800 views. I then tried a puppy post, food post, BTS, kid post, and two other challenges. Each post I used the trending music and added some text to the post along with hashtags. Most post didn’t receive very much traction or comments except one. For some reason the last challenge took off and to date has over 17.3k views. I wish I could tell you the reason or why this happened but I truly can’t. However, in the realm of very new and evolving field for me, TikTok has so many advantages for marketing and expanding your reach on social media.

If all else fails with your TikTok adventures, you will enjoy the break from your hustle with a good laugh.

Photo by nappy on


In February, for Black History Month, I attended an event on Micro-aggressions (no link unfortunately as it was a closed event in the workplace). I choose to attend this event because I organized it but also because I understand the importance of education and networking with people that can make changes in the workplace. My goal was to shed light on micro-aggressions and help people challenge their own unknown biases by networking and making connections.

Photo by Keira Burton on

During the MS Teams online event, I was not sure of all the attendees roll within the organization but knew there would be various levels of management in attendance. My goal was to interact with anyone who was open to dialogue and in a position of influence, director or managers to be particular.

 I learned that people want to   different topics about black issues, but they are very hesitant to speak up out of fear of offending or by saying the wrong thing. I was enriched with the understanding that my ability to share a truthful story, in a calm open setting, people were more inclined to approach me to enlighten themselves on sensitive topics.

I am walking away with the understanding that there are people that want to do better and change but they are looking for a connection that will provide them with space to learn.

Photo by fauxels on

I walked away with the empowerment to step out of my comfort zone and proposed revers mentoring to the Diversity Champion for senior management. When the proposal was sent the Champion asked me to be her mentor on the spot. As we continue our mentorship relationship the goal is to then branch off and invite other senior managers to take part.

During the event this quote was shared with us.

“One’s reputation, false or true,

can’t be hammered, hammered,

hammered into one’s head without

doing something to one’s character”(Gordon W. Allport).

It’s so important to look at things form anthers point of view.

In order to undusted the need and allow myself to network with like minded people, I look forward to the next event where I can do this.

Lip Service

You can be an introvert or an extrovert, networking skills will in a small business will be a necessity to master. Currently, I have had to learn where people are heading in my industry and venture into areas I would never have thought of. Clubhouse is a new social app that hit the streets April 2020. Clubhouse allows you to network with people all over the world and share and learn on a variety of topics. As a photographer, learning form leading professorial in real time has caused me to make changes in my business that I would have not done. I have also been able to be part of small business conversation and hear how other creatives are launching products and getting recognised by clients.

Photo by Gelatin on

In person, well, like most of us, this has been a challenge for the last year. As a professional photographer one of my favorite places to network is when I am shooting a wedding. As stressful as this can be for a professional photographer, meeting new people when they are happy and having a good time is a great way to make new contacts. I have to keep in mind that I could be in a room with 50-400 people that will all notice me during the day and could potentially refer me to new clients. Most non-wedding photographer photographers cringe at the thought of meeting people during a wedding because of the stress you can be under. However, finding the right time to visit each table and take photos and make small talk has proven to bring me great success. I look forward to getting back out there and networking one day.

Photo by Orione Conceiu00e7u00e3o on

In the next 6-12 months I intend to continue to be part take part in houseclube conversations as well as to communicate with the community of followers I have now. I have developed a rapour with many of them over the year and our interactions flow now with ease and laughter.

Let’s all hope that after covide we can all find deeper mean in networking!

Does Size Matter

With social media, size definitely matters. More space in cyber space, equal$ more money in the bank. Weight Watchers (WW) has not only taken up large spaces on social media and found their target market. WW has built a community of like-minded people that support and encourage each other either in person or on several platforms they have. WW has utilized almost every platform you can think of.  You can find them on your common locations like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and their website. They didn’t stop there; they have a trending hashtag on TikTok and SnapChat. They are not leaving one stone unturned to create their community and solidify themselves in the $72 billion a year industry.

Photo by Pixabay on

Big Man Complex

In the industry of health care, Popeye’s Supplements is in the business of providing you with the tools to take up more physical space. However, in the cyber world they have fallen behind a tad. Popeye’s has an ‘okay’ website and are on Facebook and Instagram and that’s where they stop. The pre-workout market is sitting at $12.58 billion (USD) a year in 2020 and a forecasted revenue of $23.77 billion (USD) by 2027.  With the projected figures growing year over year, Popeye’s will benefit greatly by implementing a strategic social media strategy. The physical fitness industry are a group of people that are dedicated to reaching goals and when they do, like most of us, enjoy the recognition for this. Popeye’s has a community of loyal customers they can connect with and increase their size on social media. In addition to recognizing the market they already have, they could immediately open social media channels on YouTube, TikTok and Pinterest. With the implementation of these channels, they then can come up with a campaign to gain social awareness.

When you overlook the power of cyber politics you can be shrinking without knowing it.

Do you think Popeye’s can become a top competitor with a few tweaks? What advice would you give them?

My Social Media Chronicle

My field of interest is in photography and all though everyone with a smart phone can call themselves a photographer, when paying clients exchange their hard earn money for my services, I had better deliver more skill then pushing a button on my phone. The only way I can do this is by spending time listening and finding the latest trends and what my competition is doing.

I Got My Eye On You

I’m a true believer that there is enough success for everyone, and I never allow envy to creep in as to why I watch the brilliant people in my industry. I use Google Alerts to assist me with trending new gear. Google Alerts allows me to see what’s happening without having to crawl the web myself. Over the last six months, Google Alerts has provided me with a lot of content and most of it was relevant however, at times it would provide me with content that had no relevance except that my search words were in the text.

Brand24 has become another favorite tool of mine to keep an eye on the photography industry. I like that Brand24 allows me to customize my search request and compile it all in one dashboard for me separated by search category I present. Brand24 allows you to test run their product for free before purchasing the tool and I think it’s worth the investment. I tested out a few searches to see how well it would pull information, so I ran a search on Zara, Mr. Koa and Chr8ive (my company). All companies were at different levels of popularity and as expected Zara pulled the most searches and provided enormous amounts of information. When I review the search for Chr8ive, I noticed that one feature on Brand24 shared that I had a negative review. I immediately found out that it was because someone tagged my brand in their post with curse words in the test. I was surprised that Brand24 considered it negative when in our social clement the ‘F’ bomb isn’t seen the same way it was 15-20 years ago.

North, East, West and South

Photo by Griffin Wooldridge on

Keeping up with trends in the photography business can be lots of fun. People are so creative and like internet tools, photography is moving just as fast. There is always new tech for editing or client booking tool or photo printing technique and so on.

My favorite tool to use is Pinterest! Pinterest allows me to quickly and easily keep up with photo trends. As a bonus, because Pinterest is popular, most of my clients share their boards with me for photo ideas and or I send clients brainstorming boards on what to wear to a family shoot or maternity shoot ideas to get them going. They say a picture says 1000 words and when a client can’t convey their desire to me, Pinterest assist our communication and as a result, a satisfied customer. Not only does Pinterest allow me to facilitate communication but provide me with what direction people are heading in for trends. You can see if people are pinning photos of jeans and white t-shirts at the beach and have an idea that this year’s trend will head in this direction.

Photo by Brett Jordan on

I started to use Slashdot to listen to what’s happening with technology. Slashdot provides me with insight on items I would never think to investigate. For instance, I can read a poll on what messaging app people are using and familiarize myself with it, so in the chance that a client would rather use Signal for example, I am ahead of the game. It also allows me to understand the apps capabilities for communication. Will this app allow me to send photos, how long can I keep clint text or who will ‘own’ photos if one is sent via this app. The insight Slashdot provides me may seem a little unorthodox to keep up to date with news and trends for a photographer but any little thing to keep me focused on providing the best customer service is worth thinking outside the box for.

Are you a Pinterest fan? Do you use this tool for your business?

Last Thoughts

STOP!!! OVER HERE!!! ME ME ME!!! All the ideas behind every single post on every platform. Everyone is screaming for your attention. You only get one chance to make a good impression in person and that the same online. When someone takes the time to read your ‘stuff’ it is our responsibility to ensure our content is ‘read-worthy’!!! As such, we need to hook our audience with a great story. When we think about our audience we need to think about the end in mind and work backwards. We need to think cleverly to get our readers to the end of our post and get them to come back. This is where the relationship building starts.

Photo by Linda Eller-Shein on

4 Tips to Plan Your Content

Writing is a skill and most people after high school dram class have been taught to write for the professional world. Allowing our creative mind to take over and write a captivating story takes consistent practice. Here are a few things to ask yourself when planning your story:

a) Learning – ‘what can my reader learn from reading this’?

b) Inspiration – How will this inspire my audience to take action?

c) Passionate – Am I expression my passion and will my audience feel this?

d) Match – Does my story match my brand goal?

Photo by Lum3n on

What Legends Are Made Of

My goal for my stories is to ensure I am providing enough depth so my audience can get ‘involved’ and want to repeat my story.  It’s not easy to find the balance between sharing enough and sharing to much. However, this is where practice comes in. When I, or anyone, thinks about the virtual legacy they will leave behind no one wants to think that their time investing in creating process will be tossed to the virtual gutter. When you balance the harmonization of story telling this is where legends are made. Keep writing and never give up!

Photo by Breakingpic on

My Secret Wish

Against all odds I have overcome some extremely challenging hurdles. My biggest hurdle was the battle against cancer and being freed from an abusive relationship. In the midst of all the challenges, I have been blessed with six healthy children. People often ask me how I do it? How I still walk around with a smile on my face. How I manage to see good in people still?  I tell them, I want to be the best example of perseverance to my children. I can’t do that by always looking back at the pain, it only leads you into emotional circles. I want my children to see that no matter what happens in this life you can always rise! One way I choose to rise is to think about my photography dreams.

Photo by Brett Sayles on

Mentors Advice

One of my secret wishes is about a $10,000 wedding gig. I think about clients seeing my work and loving what I offer and are willing to pay me the big bucks. A mentor once told me that people will pay your fees when they see the value in what you provide. This goal is not just about the money but what my personality brings to the table for my clients.

Photo by Anna Shvets on

Say What???

My “who do I think I is” wishes is to have Vogue chase me down to be one of their primary photographers. It’s one thing to apply for a job and get it but a huge achievement would be for a big label company to come and swoop me off my feet.

Photo by Waldir u00c9vora on

Keep It Royal

I have never and will never aspire to be in the category of a paparazzi photographer and if I do, please come and kick me, gently! However, I would love to travel the world taking pictures of Royalty. Being able to be divers enough in my craft that I could take on a high stress job working for Royalty. Imagine working for King Mswati, Mohammed VI or Princes Diana when she was alive!

My dream photography wishes may just be that, a dream, but the one wish I know I’m demonstrating is to never give up!  

Who is Chrystal Bureau?

In the world of photography, where males temporarily dominate the field, I am but a spark amongst millions of talented, brilliant, creative artiste. Have you ever looked up at a night sky and seen that one star that seems to sparkle with that extra little twinkle? Almost to wink at you to make you smile? What sets me apart is that little ‘je ne sais quoi’ that comes with me. As a girl I love May Angelous poem, Phenomenal Woman and I would read it often. As I grew into the lady I am now I have strived to be as genuinely confident, gentile and elegant as this depiction of the women in the pome was but with my quirky style.

What Have You Done for Me Lately?

The truth is I have not done very much recently physically on social media for my audience! That doesn’t sound like the wises thing to do when I’m tangoing with a vicious competitive industry, right!? There is a saying, ‘Grind while they sleep. Learn while they party. Live like they dream’!  I have taken a thoughtful step back to learn more about social media at this time in order to grow intellectually and creatively. As a single mother of six children, a full-time job and a side hustle the only time I can learn is when my eye balling competitors are sleeping!  

Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About!

One of the things I often hear other professionals say about me is that I am determined, strong and passionate about anything I set my mind to do. I have been the most proud of myself hearing what people say when they refer me to a friend or family member. Hearing statements like ‘you’ll have a fun time on your shoot’ or ‘ I just love her energy’ or ‘she went above and beyond’ has allowed me to be confident that I am authentically becoming a phenomenal woman!  

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on

Assignment #1, Blog #4: B2C Case Study

Social media has become an insightful platform for businesses to interact with their customers or audience with. A photographer, Mr. Koa AKA Ryan, I started following some time ago has caught my eye with how he goes about building his bran and engaging with his audience. Ryan is always posting on Instagram, Facebook or twitter about different topics that leads to comments. Ryan is not  shy to speak out about ‘hot’ topics and at times have deep conversation with his audience.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Social media has become an insightful platform for businesses to interact with their customers or audience with. A photographer, Mr. Koa AKA Ryan, I started following some time ago has caught my eye with how he goes about building his bran and engaging with his audience. Ryan is always posting on Instagram, Facebook or twitter about different topics that leads to comments. Ryan is not  shy to speak out about ‘hot’ topics and at times have deep conversation with his audience.

Mr. Koa has found a way to provide solutions for other artist in his field by creating an exclusive club of photographers that will be trained by him and expand his brand. He launched this initiative by first asking for applications that required them to sign up via email to receive the application information. In addition to applications, this strategy provided him with a new list of people he can email for exclusive marketing in the future.

Photo by Kaique Rocha on

There is truly a lot to be said about Mr. Koa’s social media marketing strategies from using emotional driven photography, speaking up about ‘hot’ topic, branding consistency across all platforms, collaborations with other artist, sharing his story, to inspiring other artist.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

In my opinion, Mr. Koa approach to utilizing social media is quite a success. Over the last year his followers have increased, likes and comments on post have increased and his clientele does not stop at people in his physical location but all over the world. Mr. Koa’s client list is proof that using social media with a strategic plan does pay off. He has set the bar for the rest of ‘us’ to attain to.

Photo by Aman Jakhar on

COM0014 ASS 1, BLOG 3

Target Audiences

Are you a people watcher, I am a notorious people watcher and I am a very observant listener but people watching on the internet really takes a skill. To a fault I watch how people walk. I’ve been fascinated with the toe-bounc walker, I just don’t get how their heal never hits the ground.

I have been focused on building my social median audience over the last few years with just posting photos from my latest shoots.  Without knowing it, I had a wealth of data to pull from on my own social media platforms for my photography business, Chr8ive Inc to discover my audience.  

The age of my audience fell around 20-30’ish age group. My audience was made up of mostly black, women, single and low to mid income. The next group consisted of 30-40’ish agers, black, women, engaged or married, mid to high income.

How Can I Talk to You

Most people in their 20’s or 30’s are avid social media users. I jokingly wonder if they know how to have a conversation on the phone, but the reality is that most people resort to text communication, including me.  With the majority of my audience being beautiful women embracing themselves or launching a new business, my focus is on displaying that I can capture their vision through my social media post has to be communicated clearly. My communication tool is photos!  They say a photo speaks 1000 words, right? For the past little bit, my goal has shifted to creating a deeper sense of emotion as a photographer. When the budding entrepreneur is inspired by a photo, they start to see how they can be portrayed in the same light and then move to make an appointment. Instagram has been the most successful platform to engage my audience to take action. At the end of the day, what matters most to your audience is that you take amazing pictures and how much will it cost them.


The notion that we are to relay a story using social medial platforms understanding that our audience does not want to be bombarded with a lengthy read, wants to enjoy something with a bit of wit, have thought provoking ideas and providing some value, form me,  was a challenge. I started reading the book Building a Story Band by Donald Miller, provided me with an outline to write a story designed for social media. I’ve discovered this will require practice and many revisions but understanding the power it will have on my audience will be worth every late night tear and bottle of wine, I mean glass.

What are ways you are building your story telling voice?