No matter the fear or anxiety you might feel toward social media, we live in a world now where we must use it. I’m here to break down my thought process on social media—how I use it to inspire others and create new opportunities.
Social media marketing is one of the major ways that photographers help customers find and book their services. Many kinds of businesses are realizing that social media moves mountains when it comes to gaining recognition. At this point, most of us know that it's necessary, but it isn't easy, and it certainly can't be done haphazardly if you truly want to be effective. You need the creativity to create a persona and brand that people will connect to. You need to create content that people actually find relatable, unique, and worth their time.
The standards for client communication are changing constantly; what might have been standard five years ago just isn’t anymore. In general, communication with clients is now about more texting/internet time and less in-person/phone time. You'll find that not knowing how to talk to your clients in the language and medium that they prefer will lose you potential business and cause you stress for no reason.
The way I see it is this: Connection is just another form of creativity. Connections are the lifeblood of my business model and will continue to drive my reach, my awareness, and my revenue. My willingness to connect has allowed me to have true freedom—freedom to help others, freedom to inspire others, freedom from the opinions of others.
The world of social media can be daunting. There are so many platforms to choose from and to post on, and different things seem to be working for different people. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out what to post, when to post it, where to post it, and what to do after you’ve posted it.
You read that title right. All other things equal, marketing is the reason I see most businesses fail. They ether don’t do it at all or, quite frankly, they suck at it. And no, running a Facebook Ad is not marketing. There are time-worn strategies that go into marketing. You don’t just do something and magic happens. You need a plan. You then must execute that plan. You then evaluate the results, make adjustments and re-execute your plan. Rinse and repeat.
As a wedding photographer, social media is one of the strongest marketing and branding tools at our disposal. It’s also the most time-consuming task, taking us away from our passion of running our own photography business. It’s the end of engagement season, so marketing is a top priority for wedding photography businesses. Social media is where most newly engaged couples hang out digitally these days, but that’s not the only way to get in front of them. How can you make sure you’re doing your best job at marketing when everything keeps changing?
It’s the slow season for many of you, so it’s a good time to build a stronger business and work hard to make 2019 your best year yet. Every year, business gets a little harder. It’s the natural progression of consumer trends, technology, marketing and business. While it’s getting tougher, there are also more tools to help you build your business and your brand.
Branding sucks. It’s annoying. It pigeonholes us. And if we don’t have a distinct brand, we may as well have started photographing yesterday. Or, more annoyingly, photographers who literally just started photographing yesterday can have better branding/presence/awareness than you, and you’ve been at this forever. Hopefully these tips will make the process a little less painful.
I hope you realize that your brand and the perception of your brand can directly influence how much money consumers are willing to spend with you. It’s amazing how many photographers and business owners in general don’t grasp this seemingly simple idea. No one cares how good of a photographer you are. Process that for a second. Let that settle in. It just doesn’t matter. Business is at the core of your success. Here are some things you can do now to get your house in order so that you and your brand are seen as trusted and valued.