All budding and determined photographers have much in common, and one thing that binds us all is our shortage of time. We have all been guilty of hovering over social media – it’s a honey pot of distraction, and we can so easily label our presence on social media as work when too often if we are really honest, we are simply being nosey, or just watching what our competitors are up to. Marketing your business is essential; it is the lifeline to your growth and has the power to transform your business. We have to be sensitive to what we do, and more importantly how we divide our time. Give time this month to contemplate what marketing you’re implementing and the actual impact it is having on your photography business. Is it effective enough for all you want to achieve? It is vital to consider the stuff that makes a difference to the business, generates client growth and is actively building your very loved business.
Google activity has been on the mind of all of those who have websites and active blogs, and many of us watched with interest as search engine changes unfolded. But why does it matter? We are in business to make a genuine living, succeed and reach fulfillment. From studying all of the recent activity online I felt inspired to share my must do’s on social media along with perhaps what not to do online when in business.
What social media practice should your photography business implement?
- Be nice
Your business needs your voice. Your business tone and the usage of positive language is essential to the impression you give those you serve. Think like Jane Austen; a timeless writer, she crafted every word and each word she wrote made an impact and had feeling. Like photographers, Jane Austen was all about the emotion. You don’t have to own her skills but you can perhaps implement her disciplines; write with a purpose. We are in an industry where nostalgia has a currency. Emotions trigger bookings so use this currency to develop your business offering.
- Inspire with your photography
This may seem obvious but your mission is to attract those like-minded clients; the clients who are inspired by your photographic ability and style. Your business will have a gallery of images, are you using your images enough within the business? Using many social platforms will be an influencing factor on the growth of your business. Your motive is to magnatise clients into the business. Your target clients will all be loyal to a variety of platforms; because of this don’t be too tempted to hover too greatly on one platform over the others. Divide your attention across a variety of platforms from Instagram, Twitter, Google+ through to Facebook and many more. Select a few that work for you and your tribe; aim for no less than two but no more than five as you will simply run out of time.
- Be the brand
Your brand needs to leap from your social platforms. People need to know who you are, and most importantly what you do. Be consistent across all platforms to make it easy for your consumer - they need to be able to spot your business fast and quickly as your tribe scroll at speed. The consumer is very spontaneous, and you only have a few seconds to capture their attention. Make sure that your tribe and raving fans can instantly spot your business.
- Don’t be controversial
If it looks like content may be controversial to somebody, chances are it is so don’t be tempted to get involved. Step away from anything that could have a negative impact on your brand message. If you wouldn’t place it on the home page of your website don’t place it on the front page of your social platforms; leave the ranting for others.
- Your tribe
Understand your tribe and create a beautiful location for your clients. Inspire, inform and engage them. You will build relationships with your clients, as you share and utilise platforms as your opportunity to educate and inspire. Knowing your tribe will help you gain a real understanding of what they are interested in, and what may inspire them. It’s all about the client, it’s all about the business and naturally, it should be all about protecting the brand too. Your platforms will attract clients; make sure they attract the clients you seek.
- Plan your social activity
Plan all activity and define your plan. What do you want each post to achieve? My guidelines are to inform; what is happening within the business, what might interest the tribe? And to inspire; make it your mission to share stunning images and stories. Inspiration has to be a big motive to all in creative industries. Finally you need to educate; what messages are important to your business; from what you retail to how you retail. It’s important to plan, as time will disappear when online. Plan the week, plot the posts, select the best possible images for each and every post and be concise. Alongside your planned posts, shower a few random ones too, as this will look more spontaneous and keep your creative spirit alive throughout the posts you share.
- Evaluate and measure
Measure and monitor all that you do. Which images gain the most likes? What style of post gains the most shares and engagement? What is your tribe inspired by and what generates the most interest? Review your data and insights; they are designed to guide and support you, as we are all online to be most effective within our businesses. Screen grab posts that worked well and place them within a folder to refer back to and reinvent. Our consumers love the word “love”, the colour “blue”, pets, babies and stories of inspiration. Discover what matters to your customers.
Be social. Connect and build relationships with your consumer, suppliers and tribe. Like posts, comment and wish those that are connected to your business a happy birthday; it costs nothing to be nice. Be nice, friendly and make the day of all those you reconnected to and they will do the same for you too.
Support those that support your business. Review who you like, follow and support, don’t be tempted to be too passive. Never fall into the trap of believing you have done enough or that your job online is done; it’s a moving target that you have to visit daily. Your community only knows you’re there if you’re present. Business is built from relationships, build relationships from all that you do.
- Learn from what you witness
Education is a core value within Aspire Photography Training and feeling the sense of education everyday matters to me. I love that fact that social media brings me fodder that stitches my mind and inspires my soul. I know more because of social media, I read more because of social media and I witness the globe because of social media. Get involved and soak up all that is available to you and your business.
Image by: Jenny Heyworth Photography