Most people day dream on breaking into the hunting industry and making hunting their job. It is a lottery dream, and only a lucky few who have the drive and determination to “make it” ever make it. They get discouraged and they give up. I never have been much of a quitter. I am definitely a dreamer. Always have been and will be. In order for dreams to come true you cannot be a quitter. If one door closes, look for another. Successful people don’t quit and turn bad experiences better.
I have been a wildlife photographer for over 20 years. Every year I take a trip to Colorado to photograph monster mule deer on their winter range. Big mule deer have always been my favorite subject and November’s deer rut is always a welcome break from working in the office. While I was relaxing on my uncle Brent’s couch, my wife called and asked me what kind of bucks I was seeing. I had heard about a new website called Facebook and decided to look into to it.I “Googled” it, signed up for an account and bounced around the website. After much trial and error, I was able to create a fan page, called it the Big Buck Club and upload a few images. I immediately called my wife and told her to go check out the new images. She responded by “Becoming a Fan” (now the equivalent of “Liking” the page). Her friends saw that she was a Fan and some of them became Fans and started to follow my adventures with a camera. It wasn’t long before I had 500 Fans. I was amazed that these people were interested in what I was doing. Still not realizing what was about to happen.
Over time I continued to grow-sometimes spending 4 hours a day on Facebook, creating new images, and asking my fans questions. I quickly learned interactive posts were one of the keys to making my posts and pics go “viral”. Fans starting coming to the Big Buck Club and the page started to explode organically.
One of the keys to building a fan page on Facebook is to always ask a question rather than make a comment. Questions evoke responses. Responses create more interactions and lead to their friends seeing their comments. People are curious and want to click and see what their friend is talking about so they visit the page. If they Like it, they join the club and continue getting club updates and pics.
I remember one day my wife walked into my office and asked me what I was doing. I told her I was “working” on Facebook. She said, “Do I have anything to worry about?…you are spending a lot of time on Facebook”. I said, “No”. I went on to tell her-stealing the line from Kevin Costner’s movie Field of Dreams-that if I build it they will come.
That has always been my goal with the Big Buck Club. I am not a movie star or own a large corporation able to pay Facebook $1,000′s of each month to advertise and build fan page following. I knew If I was able to build a huge fan base that doors would begin to open and opportunities would present themselves. After a lot of hard work, determination and perseverance, 3 years later we have grown to over 586,000 fans/hunters. I simply learned how Facebook virility works, have thousands of big buck pictures to post and I understand hunters like to look at. Trophy pictures are what they want.
The Big Buck Club is literally jammed packed with thousands of hunting photos from hunters from North America. The fan has grown into one of the largest hunting pages on Facebook. Go check it out at www.facebook.com/thebigbuckclub. You can also checkout our latest project called the BOOK-the Official Hunting Yearbook at www.BradGarfield.com The BOOK is the first State by State Hunting Yearbook and is a photo essay with captions of trophies taken in each State and Province.https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/big-game-club/id489249288?ls=1&mt=8