Social media may seem like a daunting task of never ending posts, updates, Tweets and unnecessary sharing with virtual strangers, but like it or not, it is an essential part of promoting yourself and your brand. As a photographer, amateur or professional, we rely heavily on referrals and search engine visibility. Social media can help your photography business grow, I promise. And the more you do it, the faster you will see results.
Here are 5 ways social media can grow your photography business:
Social media is a fast way to let people hear and recognize your voice and your style as a photographer. You are establishing a brand and everything you post is further defining who you are. Use social media to define your specialty and to become a well-known, trusted expert in the field. Make sure your posts reflect your voice and your opinion. The more personal, honest, and non-cookie cutter your posts are (I suggest using “I” not “we” in posts), the more people will feel a connection and follow you.
Chances are, many of your clients and/or potential employers are on social media. Be sure to connect with them, allowing an open forum where they can interact directly with you and vice versa. It is a great way to keep your clients and potential employers up to date on your current work and projects. This is your chance to show off a bit. Keep them interested and recognizing you as a relevant photographer who continues to do great things.
Direct Sales Generation
Yes, we can both agree that the core reason we do social media is to build our brand, thus garnering sales (to make money!). But tread lightly on your sales tactics. Continually posting “Hire me!”, “Look at my website!” is not the best way to win over new clients. Your content needs to be engaging and tactful when promoting your services. Post photos from a recent shoot or maybe behind the scenes images, tagging your clients. A re-post is an excellent way to gain new followers and potential business. The digital referral system is a powerful one.
I’m sure you’ve heard this term before, but what does it mean? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. When you type in “best wedding photographer” into Google, ever wonder why some photographers end up at the top of the list and others you have to dig through numerous pages to find? This is SEO. You want your website to show up on page 1 of search engines. As we know, most people are in a hurry and don’t like sifting through 15 Google pages to find a photographer. Social media is a great way to increase your SEO. Many search engines will post relevant Twitter and Facebook posts or profiles now in their search results, and as long as you are posting current and relevant content, your chances of landing on the coveted page 1 Google search are increased.
Inspiration & Feedback
If nothing else, social media should be a fun and simple way to see what other photographers are doing and to gain inspiration from artists around the world. Once you gain a strong following, you will have the opportunity to inspire and be inspired by more content. You will also receive feedback (good and bad, I’m sure) from your followers that can provide insight into your brand and your work. You will be able to ask questions and directly engage with your favorite, established photographers.
Social media is a rich platform that can become as much or as little as you make it. To whatever extent you choose to use social media to grow your business, make sure your audience feels like they are engaging with you behind their computer screen. Make it personal, post about the things you love and the things you know, be honest, be positive and don’t give up! Building your social media network takes time (there are full-time jobs devoted to it!). But the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.