Social media is very visual by nature, and is one of the best methods to gain attention as a new photographer. However, many still don’t understand how to use social media correctly and end up being unfocused with poor results. But with the right tools and techniques, any photographer should be able to increase their audience and client base through social media. Here are a few social media marketing tips to get you started.
Also, if you haven’t already, definitely give a listen to our podcast episode featuring Anthony Quintano, a professional photographer and social media expert, where we talk about how to get more exposure, monetizing your work, and whether Flickr is better than Instagram.
Create and Maintain a Great Portfolio
No matter what you do, it all starts with a great looking online portfolio. This is your window to the world and what will ultimately sell your pictures and services.
But before you build your portfolio, you have to be sure about your identity as a photographer first. Identify your niche and target audience. Someone who does wedding photography cannot design their portfolio the same way as someone who does corporate photography, for instance. So, make sure that your identity shines through in your design and the type of pictures you pick.
Also make sure that you either work with someone who knows how to create a beautiful website or use tools that will allow you to create a great online photo portfolio on your own. This is often the best option if you’re just getting started and are strapped for cash.
The best tools will allow you to look through a wide variety of templates and pick one that works for you and your industry. Try to go for a platform that has tons of special features and templates especially for photographers. This will not only make your site more attractive and professional, but will also facilitate cooperation and workflow when dealing with clients later on.
Concentrate Your Efforts on a Few Platforms First
Don’t take a shotgun approach and try to target all social media platforms at once in the beginning. Also, instead of going for the usual, try to find which platforms work the best for you and concentrate all of your efforts there first before you move on.
For instance, corporate photographers might have more success on a site like LinkedIn than wedding photographers for instance, while wedding photographers might do better on a site like Pinterest. Social media marketing is not a one-size-fits-all thing, and you have to be able to understand your target audience and where they can be found.
Learn How to Use Instagram
Photography is Instagram’s thing, and it’s only natural that you as a photographer should spend a lot of time advertising your work through the platform. You can use your Facebook page to send traffic to your Instagram photos and vice versa. Instagram is a great place to advertise some of your professional work, but you can also include videos of photo shoots to show your potential clients how you work. This is especially beneficial if you’re working on fashion photography. Models want to know what your shoots are like and how professional you are.
You could also consider approaching people with relatively big followings who don’t seem to have professional photos yet. You could offer them a free shoot in return for a shout. These people often have other friends in the industry and their posts will get you noticed with the right people. And the quality of your pictures should be able to speak for itself once people get to your page and portfolio and check out your work.
Work on Your Writing
Complement your pictures with words or a backstory if you want to get more traction on social media. The right caption could turn your images into stories, which will pique the interest of your followers. So, make sure that you always add a few words whenever you post pictures on Instagram or Facebook.
Blogging about photography is another way to use your writing to gain attention for your work. Speak on your particular field of expertise. Or speak about a recent event you shot for. Tutorials are also a great way to showcase your talents while providing helpful tips. And don’t forget to add some of your pictures in your posts and link them to your Instagram and/or Facebook.
Get Active on YouTube
If you’re going to be giving tutorials, it’s only right that you get a YouTube account and start posting. Tutorials work very well on YouTube, especially those about photography, and you’ll get many more viewers than if you just posted random vlogs for instance. Hyper or time-lapse videos are also very big and will get you tons of attention when done right.
Make Sure Your Content is Discoverable
Make sure that your content is discoverable by linking your social media accounts and website together. Making sure that they’re all interlinked will allow your visitors to find your content across platforms. Your website should be linked to your YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook accounts as well as your blog if it is hosted on a separate platform.
Use content from one platform on other platforms and make sure you add links as well. Post your blog posts on Facebook. And also make it easy for your viewers to like and share your work and posts. Add sharing buttons on your website and blog to make sure you make it as easy as possible for your visitors.
Now that you have all of your ducks in a row, you have to make sure that you stay active across all platforms. This can be a challenge, especially if you’re doing this alone and have no help. One of the ways you can deal with this is through automation. There are tons of tools out there that will allow you to schedule and automate your posts and organize your social media interactions. This will save you a lot of time and money and will allow you to maintain and manage your social media pages with little effort.
Staying active and engaging with your audience is essential if you want to grow your brand. Your followers will eventually want to learn more about you, ask for advice, or interact for a wide variety of reasons. You have to show that you’re actually there for them and accessible. This will go a long way when comes the time for them to choose a photographer. This could also be a great opportunity to connect with other professionals who may be related with your industry. You’d be surprised at how many business relationships started in a comments section these days.
You should also have a clear plan and roadmap with the content you post as well. First, you have to figure exactly which platforms are the most important to you and have a clear posting schedule roadmap. Do you intend to publish posts on a weekly basis or post pictures and posts every day? Do you have a specific theme for each picture or post? However, you have to make sure that your plan is not too overwhelming and that it maintains manageable.
Social media marketing is one of the most powerful marketing methods any photographer can use. Make sure that you do it right and do your homework so you can make the highest impact possible.