The number one question I get from other photographers would be about social media tips. It is a question I love to answer because I love anything relating to marketing. In this post, I am going to give a couple of social media tips that I have used over the years to increase engagement and gain more potential clients as followers.
1. First of all, one thing you should be aware of is that more followers does not always mean more clients and increased revenue. I will break it down for you. If you play the follow/unfollow game or buy followers you are not going to be gaining potential clients as followers. Instead, you are more likely going to have only spam/fake accounts following you. Having those types of accounts follow you does not get you more clients.
What does it get you? In this case, the one thing that increased “followers” will get you is more credibility with your current followers. Sadly, our society associates that little number at the top of your Instagram page with your worth as a photographer. Most of the time regular people do not check your followers to see if they are real so they will assume you are an amazing photographer and book with you. This is the only benefit you get from going this route. Though to be honest, I think people are catching on fast to people who buy followers, use robots and so on. If your true followers catch on to what you are doing you might actually lose a lot of credibility by doing this. The other downside of going down this route is that you are not gaining true potential clients and Instagram can shut down your account if you are caught buying followers or playing the follow/unfollow game.
Moral of the story is you need to put in the hard work yourself. Trust me it will pay off but it might take months to years to see a ton of growth. However, if you do the hard work and gain true loyal followers then you have the potential to really expand your clientele. If you are also gaining more followers that are potential ideal clients than you are setting yourself up for a great year!
So as you can see more followers does not always mean more clients, but increasing the number of ideal clients following you would increase your chances of gaining more clients and revenue.
2. How do I get ideal clients to follow me? First of all, be their ideal photographer. This sounds like a stupid answer to a question but I challenge you to think about it a little more. If my ideal bride is a boho adventures bride then I better be shooting in nature, traveling a lot and shooting styled boho bridal shoots to show my potential brides my brand. If you are not getting enough ideal clients then do creative shoots with ideal couples you find on Instagram and plan out the location of the shoot and their outfits for them so that you can have full control over the look you are going for. This not only allows you to try new poses at a new location but gives you more content to put on Instagram to attract more of your ideal clients.
Secondly, go out and find your ideal clients. You cannot always expect them to find you since there are a ton of Instagram posts that are bidding for their attention each day. I go on Instagram each day and spend about an hour or two liking posts, commenting and engaging with potential ideal clients. How do I find them you ask? Well, I literally have a list of where my ideal clients travel, shop, eat at and what they like to do. I then use that list to search those items on hashtags and places on Instagram. Once I do the search I scroll through to find potential ideal clients and then immediately start engaging with them.
How many posts should you like/comment on a day? I usually like 150 to 200 pictures a day and comment about 15 times. Just make sure not to go over 300 likes per hour as Instagram will mark you as spam and put a hold on your account for a couple of days or even a whole week. I know this from experience since years ago this happened to me. Take it from me it was a scary experience.
3. Make it easier for your ideal clients to find you! This means using geotags for your locations and using hashtags on your Instagram posts and stories. Yes, hashtags are still relevant despite Instagram’s new Algorithm.
Instagram has also recently changed things up as they usually do each year. Instagram recently made it so that you can now follow hashtags which means it’s more relevant than ever for you to use them since even more people will see them now. You can also now use the hashtag in your stories! One thing to be careful of though is copying your hashtags and pasting it in your comment or post. Instagram is now marking those as spam so make sure to switch up your hashtags.
Use relevant hashtags that your ideal client would be looking at. For example, I use a mix of where they eat at, shop at and what their interests are combined with ones relevant to the wedding industry.
#bohobride #californiaweddingphotographer #bayareaweddingphotographer #joshuatreenationalpark #nationalpark #adventure #solfood #REI #optoutside #freepeople #urbanoutfitters #madewell
4. Post a lot of content and be strategic about it. Do not just post to post. Plan out your posts a month in advance and make sure it is consistent with your editing style and what ideal clients & locations you want to attract. Post pretty pictures. People want to see professional photographers posting their best work, so make sure each post you choose to put out there is one you would want your potential ideal clients seeing. Once you know what you want to post plan out the days you will post it and look at your business insights to see what day and time is best to post based on your statistics. For me, the best time to post is Wednesday at 9 am or 8 pm.
5. You are your brand so post about yourself! I have heard this so many times and heck I even studied it in school, but it did not make sense for me until about a year ago when I started to post pictures of myself. After posting one picture of myself, people starting engaging with my posts more, direct messaging me more and following me. I then realized that I am my brand. People want to see who you are as a person so that they can trust you to capture pictures for them. They want to see the highlights of your life but what I have learned recently is that they also want to see the raw posts that make you a real human to them as well. So share what you love to eat, places you love to go, what you love to wear, what you are passionate about in life and even share your flaws (we all have them so let others be able to relate with you on your flaws).
After I started to share pictures of myself I then started to do Instagram stories about my life, then blog posts about my travels and then live videos about myself. The more you let your followers see who you are the more they have an opportunity to get to know you and like you even before they hire you. That is the beauty of social media. So put yourself out there and have fun with it!