Following on from a post a few weeks ago (this could almost be ‘Part Two’ really), I wanted to dig a little deeper into some photography marketing ideas for your business for those who don’t really know where to start.
Let’s start with everyone’s favourite pain point, social media. We love it and we hate it, it’s addictive and it drives us round the bend but truth be told it’s an essential part of your marketing these days.
I’m in no way a social media expert at all but as many of my clients now come from Instagram I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned to help you get started on Instagram:
- Stories get better engagement than posts generally speaking and I find that 7-10 slides works better than just one or two in a single day. So try saving your best images for the grid, even if you only post two or three times a week but every other day in stories, you’re likely to see your engagement go up.
- Include a mix of photography and personal slides/video in your stories. A couple about something you’re up to that day then some of your recent work, what you’re editing, new products or session planning all give your audience a sense of who you are.
- Pay attention to your Insights and work out when the best time to post is. Who are your clients and what does their day look like? Are they mums likely to be doing the school run at 8.30am and 3pm and not looking at their phones? When are your lovely potential clients likely to be taking a break and scrolling through Instagram?
- There is SO much advice out there to do with hashtags, some say only use a few, some say you’ve got 30, use them! If you like analytics you can experiment a little but my personal opinion is that using all 30 has no less impact than using 7. Don’t copy and paste the same hashtags to each post, really think about what is in the image, what does it say, think about the colours, the season, the subjects and use a mix of very popular hashtags as well as more local less used ones where you’re likely to stay at the top.
- Captions can feel impossible some days but if YOU can’t come up with something to say about your image, then it’s quite like no one else will be able to and you want your followers to engage as much as possible. Honestly, your followers aren’t necessarily that interested in your clients however beautiful the image is, they are interested in you, the processes you go through, your thoughts at the time you took the image and what it means to you.
I’m sure you have heard about the importance of email lists a million times and perhaps wondered how it will really benefit your marketing. The answer is, massively! How else can you let those who are interested in your work know if you are running mini sessions, a special promotion, launching a product or have written a new blog post? If you are just posting these things on social media they will only be reaching a fraction of your audience (we all know about those engagement rates and algorithms don’t we?).
If you don’t have a Mailchimp account or something similar, go set one up and start asking people to join your list. Following the GDPR regulations, you cannot just add people to your list willy nilly so here are some ideas for giving your followers some incentive to join:
- Email them individually and ask them if they’d like to join, providing a link to a sign up form
- Write a free guide to something you would like to share as a download so your followers get something in exchange for joining your list
- Run a competition to give away something which requires entrants to apply through your sign up form (they must be given the option to unsubscribe from your list at any time though)
How many times have you thought about doing this and then sat staring at a blank page/spreadsheet for an hour? It doesn’t need to be complicated. As family photographers our work can be seasonal especially if you only do outdoor family sessions so planning your promotions ahead is vital.
It used to be possible for your audience to see your marketing efforts only a couple of times before they made a decision to book, these days it needs to be so many more which for you means starting your promotions early. Think about the next season and maybe even the one after that, if you’ve been in your business for a few years you’ll know about the seasonal highs and lows and should be planning to work with them for your business. Your marketing will be affected by the seasons, school holidays, major events, public holidays, awareness days…they’re the same every year so identifying them and working out how you can use them in your business helps you start to form your marketing schedule.
Do you run mini sessions around Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Christmas? Plan to market them weeks or even months in advance to make sure they are fully booked.
All of these are just some of the things you can start doing right now and taking it step by step you will start to move forward with your business.
Next week in my Facebook group The Wild Light Collective, I am running my 5 Day Challenge which will help you get some great new content