How to Start A Photography Business Like A Pro, From Day One: Part 3
If you have been following this series from the first part and doing all that was outlined in the previous posts, your photography business must be well underway by now. But if not, you should go through those write-ups and start implementing them. Remember, reading without any action or implementation will do nothing for your dream of becoming a professional photographer and will not put any money in your wallet. But action and determination or commitment will go a long way.
The third, as well as the last part of this series, will walk you through how to become a social knockout businessperson in photography. It is assumed that your photography website or blog is live with most of your content attracting a few targeted visitors. This part of the series is so important that an entire post is dedicated to it, therefore, take and implement all the nuggets you will find here with all seriousness and vigor.
Why Is Social Media Important for Photographers?
Social media is a marketing channel that is vital for any photographer that wants a breakthrough in every sense of the world. Social media platforms provide the right avenue for sharing updates, contents as well as for getting new and paying clients. You can also use social media to research new business opportunities or even to network with other professional photographers both within and outside your locality.
Social media is also the place where you can develop alliances with other veritable artists which will help to revitalize your work. It is also the place where you can educate new and existing clients about how your work as well as how you can be of help to them.
Choosing Social Media Channels for Photographers
Have you set up your social media channels for business and personal use? If not, it is time you do. When you make use of channels that you know already, you will be at ease when it comes to posting content as well as engaging with prospective clients on them.
If you are starting out with creating social media channels, one of the first things you should do is to take a look at your existing clients as well as your prospective clients to determine or find out which social media channels they are using. Then, once you locate where they congregate, go there right away. Do not make the mistake of believing or thinking your clients will come to you, for a significant majority will not while some may not even know your photography business exists.
Most professional photographers, however, have no choice than to stick to the most significant social media platforms that are always trending: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You should, nonetheless, start with one social media channel and build a base from there. Going all out for the three giant social media platforms will burn you out and end up frustrating you. Pay attention to a single social media channel where a majority of your existing and potential clients exist or participate in and put in your best at building your base.
Should You Separate Your Personal Social Media Accounts from The Ones for Your Photography Business?
The answer to the question above is a resounding “yes, you should.” Separating your business social media accounts from your personal ones will make it easier for new and existing clients to stay in touch with the information they need per time. Separating your business posts from your personal ones will not allow your clients to see every single thing you post on social media.
If you opt for using Facebook, then it is even more important for you to create separate accounts. On this social media behemoth, a personal page requires you to enable following for prospective customers or to “friend” someone so that such people will be notified of your updates anytime you make them. A separate business page, however, allows users to schedule posts beforehand while enabling them to keep track of the topics the fans are engaging with per time. You can also run targeted ads only on a business page.
What Should You Share on Social Media as A Business Photographer?
You can only be limited by your imagination as regards what you share on social media. Whether you are heading out to the hills or mountains with your gear or taking a hike into the jungle, you can share live updates with your fans or followers. This will also give you the opportunity to share tips and tricks on how to capture particular angles or images that are engaging or entertaining.
Lots of topnotch photographers are making use of this aspect of photography as journals to record their day-to-day movements as well as share updates with followers on larger projects. This helps to build and foster personal relationships with followers, and this, in turn, supports the business aspect of photography.
If, for instance, you have been scheduled to meet a family and take their portrait, you can share your favorite tips or tricks that help to loosen up your clients and capture those lovely family memories.
When and How Often Should You Share Stuff with Your Followers on Social Media?
Starting slowly when you set out on social media is good advice. You should not be pressured into thinking that you must post something worthwhile every two hours on Twitter or six times daily on Facebook. You should find your pace and be comfortable with the flow of each social media channel. But you should bear in mind that consistency is very crucial. You need to be reliable and show up on a consistent basis every week as this will fasten the growth of your reach.
Several online tools abound which can help you to grow your online bases such as Buffer, Hootsuite or CoSchedule. You can make use of any of these tools to automate your posts and to manage the entire process of sending out relevant posts consistently. This means that you will not be obligated to always be on social media 24/7 so that you can have time for your offline activities. These tools also supply analytics that will come in handy whenever you make up your mind to hit your targeted followers on social media.
How Can I Build A Following on Social Media as A Photographer?
It is not as difficult as it sounds when it comes to building a following on social media as a photographer. One thing you should do is to be as social as possible. Always create time out of your busy daily schedules to log into your social media channels and engage with every person that has dropped a comment or two on your posts. Do not leave this step for the automation tools for they can only do so much. By going further and checking out the profiles of new and existing clients who have commented on your posts, you will be better informed about their interests. This will enable you to provide the needed encouragement for their personal growth in whatever endeavor they are into.
Following up on the comments posted by your followers is another way of reaching out to them. If you observe that there is an interesting conversation that is ongoing and sparked by your posts, then jump right in and engage with your followers. This will help you build long-term relationships which could end up turning into referrals or clients.
You should do your best to reach out to other photographers who are also making use of social media to grow their businesses. Building a reliable network is vital in this business, and social media provides the right and best platform for this venture. You may end up catching a project or client from another photographer who may be too busy with other projects, and that is more money and prestige for you.
What You Should Not Do
This happens across all genres of online business; you may discover that your growth on social media is slow and may quickly become frustrated at this. It could make you desperate to grow your online followers or reach. But no matter what, you should never make the career-ending mistake of buying fake followers from anywhere.
Do not be taken in by offers from freelance platforms like Fiverr or others to help you grow your online followers. You should focus on increasing your followers naturally and organically as they can do more to build your photography business than getting a large number of followers who will pointedly ignore your posts. From time to time, Facebook (for instance) weeds out bot and spam accounts, and if you have purchased followers from anywhere, the numbers will plummet, and your business page may even be affected negatively.
What Does Success Look Like for A Business Photographer?
Success on social media is not a process that you can just set up and forget. It does not work that way. You need to sit down at the end of the month or the start of a new one to review what is working and what you can improve on.
If you have a social media plan in place – which is very important – then the following essential components will help you determine whether or not it is working:
- Increased Engagement – Do you notice an increase in conversations and comments on your posts? Then that implies that your posts should be focused on fostering more engagement among your followers.
- Increased Followers – Who are your followers? Are they fellow photographers or prospective or existing customers? That means they love what you share and are willing to be notified any time you post updates on your business page.
- Increased Traffic to Your Website – Check the analytics of your website or blog to find out if you are getting more visits from your social media channels. If not, you can run targeted ads to help you increase your daily or monthly visits.
- After a while, you will pick up or develop a sense of what your audience likes to see on social media. This will help you adjust your schedule and posts in such a way that you can market your photography business efficiently.