Getting the word out about your new photography business can feel like a giant hurdle. There are so many places to share online: Facebook Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook Stories, Facebook groups, Instagram stories, Instagram reels, IG TV, Snapchat, TicTock, Twitter, LinkedIn, the list goes on. Then add in adds on Facebook Instagram and Pinterest and it can get expensive fast. This list is enough to make anyone’s head spin! Today we are breaking this down, taking away the fear, and arming you with an action plan you can use week after week to show up on social media, to serve your audience, and cultivate the like know trust factor of your brand!
Trying to everything and everywhere is not going to work. Think about it in the sun for a second. If on the hottest day of the year you take a magnifying glass and hold it over a bunch of dry leaves and move it around a lot not much will happen. But if you hold the magnifying glass still in one spot on one leaf it doesn’t take too long for the leaf to erupt into flame and soon after the enter pile of leaves are on fire. This is the power of focus. Bouncing around to platform after platform from one week to another is diluting your power, your momentum. The first thing to do is pick one social media platform and master it. Once you have things rocking and rolling there you can start to expand your reach to other platforms.
When it comes to what platform to show up on, its time to go back to your ideal client. Where are they hanging out? Where are they getting their information? For a detailed breakdown on clarifying your ideal client head back to episode 31! But once you have decided where your ideal client is spending time online its time to buckle down and focus on consistently showing up there. For photographers, Instagram or Facebook tends to be the best platform. Pintrest while it does focus on visuals, I like to think of Pinterest more as a search engine instead of a social media platform.
All of the social media platforms run on an algorithm. The algorithm gets a bad wrap. As marketers, it can frustrate the heck out of us, but in all reality, it can totally help you. Algorithms for each platform work differently but there are a few rules that do hold true. Consistency is key. While the frequency of posts and quality have some weight in the game showing up is half the battle. Take some time to commit to showing up on your chosen platform at least 1 time a day 5 days a week. This sounds like a lot but when you take into count that on average less than 10% of your followers will even see your post on Facebook. On Instagram, the average is just 6% of followers seeing your posts. So posting 5 days a week certainly isn’t too much.
So we have chosen a platform based on where our ideal client is spending time. We have committed to posting 1 time a day 5 days a week, now it comes down to what do I post? As photographers, we have deep reserves of photos to share, but photos alone aren’t really the key. We all know the saying a photo is worth a thousand words, while this may be true, a photo paired with a strategic caption is worth marketing gold. If you’re like me the blinking cursor can sometimes feel like this nagging reminder that I don’t know what to share.
That’s where having a strategy that you can duplicate over and over, comes in handy. So what does a social media strategy for photographers look like? If we are trying to build our like know trust factor, all leading to booking clients what do we post? Here is what has worked for me. I rotate through 5 themes. These themes are based on the captions, not the photos. Here are the themes Introducing yourself, behind the scenes, past client testimonials, benefits, and promoting open spots. Let’s walk through what each of these themes means in detail.
Let’s start by introducing yourself. There are a lot of photographers out there in the marketplace. In today’s world, people want to feel connected to those they choose to follow on social media. You can build this connection by letting them know there is a real person behind the camera, with real struggles and flaws (just like them)! It’s totally possible to build your brand and dedicated tribe by being yourself– that’s why they are following you! This can look like an official “hey I’d like to take a second to say hi and introduce myself to all my recent new followers…” or it could simply be sharing something going on in your life outside of your photography business. You could share things you are interested in like gardening, or maybe a home project you are working on. You can also share things you are struggling with that your ideal client might relate to. Whatever you share the goal is to let your audience get to know you, the real person behind the camera.
Let’s move on to behind the scenes. Take your followers behind the scene show them what you are working on! This is a great opportunity to teach them something. It doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel or be crazy complex, it just needs to add value to their lives. What is something your audience cares about something you could teach or share that might help them today? Remember it doesn’t have to be directly tied to your product (sessions) but it does need to add value to your ideal clients-– this helps validate for them why they follow you! Maybe it’s your self-care routine, you could teach them how to make the body scrub you, love. If your tuning into this podcast here, you could take a screenshot, and share how you are learning to improve your business and ask your followers what podcasts they like to learn from. You want to see what you are doing in your day-to-day, and see how you can share that with your audience and maybe teach them something along the way.
As humans we like to be part of a group, we want to fit in. When other people who we like, or are like us share how much fun they had working with you, it provides social proof that you are awesome. Moving others to want to book you as well. Try sharing a photo from a past session, along with how thrilled your client was with your photos. Maybe they ordered a beautiful wedding album you could share a photo of the album and talk about how the bride brought it up to the nursing home to show her grandma right away. Don’t be afraid to ask your clients for testimonials. You could even put together a survey that is emailed automatically 30 days after their shoot that asks them what the best part of working with you was. Save all your client testimonials and praises in one spot so you can draw on them when it’s time to post.
Now on to benefits. This is where you get to talk about what you truly selling your ideal client. People don’t buy things just for the heck of it, they are buying solutions. Now this can feel tricky as a photographer I get it the obvious answer would be they are buying photos, but why are they wanting to capture THIS moment? Is it because this day marks the beginning of something important? Are they wanting a stress free wedding day and you make that happen by making them feel relaxed and confident in front of the camera? Maybe you are a family photographer, and you are tasked with documenting just how much a family grows and changes over the years- those cute toddler cheeks are soon replaced with gap-toothed smiles.
We have served up 4 awesome posts that are cultivating that like know trust factor, now its time to promote your open spots. Have any open spots left this month for sessions? Let your clients and potential clients know! Opening up mini sessions soon let your clients know where they can go to get on the waitlist. Maybe you’re all booked up for the year, send potential clients to an email sign up form so they can be notified when you open your next spots.
I’ve got a bonus category for you now, and that is answering frequently asked questions. Use a weekly post to answer questions you get from clients or address reservations someone might have before deciding to hire you. This post helps ease clients’ minds before purchasing. It also shows potential clients that you are listening to your customers and you have the answers they are looking for.
You now have a plan on what to post so how do you actually make this happen? You all know how I love batch working. For a breakdown of how I do batch work head back to episode 19. Batching your social media means sitting down once a week and writing out your captions, choosing your images, and scheduling your posts. If you are choosing to post on Facebook you can schedule those right on your Facebook page inside publishing tools. If you choosing Instagram to show up on there are some great scheduling tools my two favorites are Plannoly, and Plann (with two n’s) both of these allow you to schedule posts on your computer which is much easier then typing out long captions on your phone. They also allow you to see a view of your Instagram grid. Seeing a view of your grid can help you to choose cohesive photos that showcase your photography. Plann is offering listeners of the podcast a $10 discount on any paid plan. Plans start at just $9 dollars a month, but they also have a free plan that includes 30 posts a month. To grab your discount head to the show notes below.
There you have it guys you now have a tried and true strategy for social media as a photographer. You now know what platform to focus on, committed to consistent posting, (1Xday/ 5daysXweek) You have 5 categories plus one bonus category to rotate through that is not just what photos but what to actually talk about to cultivate the like know trust factor, and you know how and when to actually ask for the sale, all while delivering amazing value to your ideal clients. As a special gift, I’ve created a social media cheat sheet just for you that walks you through each of the categories. You can head to the show notes to download your copy of the Social Media Cheatsheet for Photographers.