Two major parts of being a professional photographer are reputation and portfolio. Is there a way to grow your reputation and show off your portfolio? Look no further than Social Media.
Are you a wedding photographer? a portrait photographer? an event photographer? Maybe you’re a nature photographer or a close-up photographer.
From cover shoots to newborn photography, using social media can help you get your images out there and noticed.
Let’s look at some of the tools you can use to promote your services.
The Best Platform
Out of all the different platforms for social, Instagram lends itself very well to the photography businesses. It has something to do with visual receptors and the bulk of content on Instagram being visual that makes users more attentive.
Research by the Forrester group showed that visits to Instagram average 192 seconds which is 20-40% longer than any other social channel, including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
With close to 500 million active users monthly, Instagram has a vast audience, and it’s clear that accounts with the strongest, most creative images have the most success. If you want to get your message out there in a way that will resonate with your audience, you need to create content that stands out.
Build a captivating, professional photography portfolio that draws your audience in and evokes feelings that will give them a connection to your brand, vision, and style.
It is also important to have a portfolio because when people see your work on Instagram and want to hire you, they will often want to see your professional portfolio, so you need something impressive to show them.
Use your Social Media pages to collect email sign-ups. Create a form on the bio link or individual posts for followers to sign up to newsletters. Then you can build an email database and send regular email marketing campaigns.
You’ll want to make sure the email is as well-designed as your website, and that you send high-quality images and videos.
Look at some of the mailer software that can help you create and automate an email campaign.
The emails you send them are a great opportunity to show off your portfolio of work, as readers will be able to receive full-sized images and carousels of your photos. Tell them what you specialise in and what backgrounds and shoots you are able to do.
Having a list of people will allow you to reach out to them. It is an efficient way to market to them and be able to provide them with reminders about your product.
Send them valuable articles that educate them on the importance of photography and why they should value your work as a pro so they remember your name when they need to book a photographer.
You may see social media accounts as closed groups of friends or fans. But a very useful part of social media is the way you can tag posts to be discovered by people interested in that keyword.
Using hashtags can pin your posts to current affairs that are trending.
The recent condo collapse in Miami was widely covered by mainstream news channels and social media, by tagging your posts with #miamicondo you could be discovered by millions of users interested in Miami because they live there or because they are worried about the safety standards of their own condominium.
Use trending topics that your work can relate to and by tagging your posts, you can feature them in the feeds of many new and potential customers for your business.
Remember to keep an eye on popular hashtags people use or even try doing a hashtag search for your particular niche. This will give you more high volume and relevant keywords to use.
Hashtags can also be used for campaigns. For example, if you like to mix your pics into a photo book and you’re looking to sell them, you can create a hashtag that helps people find your work. Then, you can search that same hashtag to capitalize on user-generated content.
An extension of this discovery model is to use influencers on the platform to introduce your company to its followers. For advice on how to use influencers see here.
Leverage the Networks of Your Followers
Let the community of followers get the word out there for you. Someone in their network will be getting married, having a christening or a corporate event that needs a photographer.
If they refer their friends to your services, it will carry a lot more weight than say an ad placement. People and especially customers want to support individual businesses and most will be happy to give you referrals, just ask for them on your social platforms.
You can incentivise that referral with a discount on their next order or something as simple but memorable as a print you deliver to them.
Social Media is a powerful marketing mechanism for photographers, with its ability to showcase images, create photo campaigns, and share in a personal way with an engaged audience.
Market yourself and your craft by showing it off on your social media posts and because it is social, don’t be afraid to ask friends or fans if they have referrals for you and ask them to help you build your brand.