I love this. Thank you, Ian. I think your experience echoes just about all of ours. I have a feeling I'm only about 5 minutes ahead on this one too - I am pretty sure just about every photographer who ISN'T trying to land influencer gigs is going to be spending far less time on social in the near future. To your question - I think there's a snowball effect in photography. One job leads to more jobs. Or, maybe more accurately, five jobs leads to ten jobs. One job, in and of itself, is a bit hit or miss. But once you've got a bit of a roll going within a category, it's the people you meet on set (or wherever you're shooting) who will likely hire, or recommend you, next. This is why having a current website handy is so important. I think you put yourself in front of people who can hire you, then you're 100% ready when they ask to see your stuff. This is the best you can hope for. Then the rest is getting out there and meeting people. Meet the right people, too - not people who compete with you (other photographers), but people who could hire or recommend you. Another just quick tip... once you get your site all set up (and I do recommend Squarespace), look into a digital business card. A printed card can get stuffed away somewhere and never seen. A digital business card can offer a lot of interesting ways to follow up and stay close-at-hand to people. Compared to more substantial lead management tools, it's a super low-cost way to turn meet-ups into jobs. I'm using Blinq, if it helps. I only do the free version at the moment.
I'm going to think about some other good tools like this for us, too. It's important that photographers have control over their destinies. The more we share, the better for all of us.