Being good enough simply isn’t good enough anymore. As many photographers will tell you, you need an even combination of photography skills and marketing prowess to get your name out there in our modern age. Luckily, we have the power of social media on our side and, when used effectively, it can quickly establish your name in the industry and get you clients. But using social media is a constant effort and one you’ll want to continue to develop. However, there are some powerful tips to get you started in the right direction. Here are 7 social media tips that will help you grow organically!
Focus on Audience Engagement
Social media is so powerful precisely because it taps into an almost limitless audience. However, getting those followers is not the only struggle—you need to keep them. As you grow your social media presence, you need to ensure you’re constantly engaging with it. Your social media accounts should focus on making one thing a priority—audience engagement. The more you interact with your followers, the more you’ll get your name out there. Every single interaction should be meaningful to you, no matter how small.
Soon enough, you may come to realize that your following has slowly grown into something substantial. And, if you’ve interacted with your demographic properly, you may even find yourself as an authority in the community. There’s no more effective marketing than being a respected voice in your industry. And once you have that clout, you’ll have a long list of clients that want your expertise.
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Find Your Voice
Notoriety can be a great thing for the right person. Many artists gained their immense following precisely because of their difficult personalities. But for most of us, it’s a lot easier to adopt an affable personality in the industry. For most photographers, you want to be an approachable figure that people are unafraid to reach out to. After all, you’re banking on getting clients through your use of social media.
It’s best to adopt the “knowledgeable but humble” persona on social media. That tells your audience that you know a lot, but you’re easy to work with and stress-free. For many, the thought of a photography shoot can be daunting as-is. Your social media interactions should clearly demonstrate that you know a lot about photography but you’re down-to-earth and generous with your expertise.
Find Your Audience
Finding your audience goes hand-in-hand with finding your voice. You’ll often times want to do both simultaneously after some thoughtful considering as to what exactly you’re trying to target. Of course, your ultimate goal is to find followers, gain an audience, get your name out there, and build a steady stream of work as the fruit of your efforts.
But make sure you build a blueprint for what that looks like, so you’re not wasting time targeting the wrong demographic.
Ask yourself if you’re looking for a wide appeal or if you’re more interested in a more distinct (niche) market. If you’re looking for mass appeal, then broaden your voice so that it’s amiable to as wide a group as possible. And if your goal is to be a popular outlier in the industry, then focus on what makes you unique and go full force in that direction. If you stay the course, then your content will tell that narrative and your target audience will find you naturally.
Pull Back the Curtain
You don’t want to curate your brand on social media so much that it comes off as completely unreliable. Social media, at its core, is a place to relax our public presence a little bit. Don’t be afraid to “pull back the curtain” and give your followers a peek behind the scenes. People love to see your personal process and the best way to show that is by showing them how all of your projects come together—bumps, bruises, and all.
Relaxing your brand is the most effective way of achieving that “knowledgeable but humble” persona that is so well-liked in the industry. A clever mixture of this in conjunction with beautiful photos from the results of your shoots work well together to paint you as an authority that’s unafraid to be transparent—this builds trust and credibility.
Use Plenty of Hashtags
Hashtags may seem ubiquitous these days, so much so that we forget to properly use them. But social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook rely a lot on them to filter your content into manageable categories. More than ever, communities are created around hashtags, which are followed by people with similar interests. Effective use of hashtags will insert your content into those groups, thereby targeting that demographic. And if you’re posting stuff that you know those communities will enjoy, then you’re more than likely going to grab some followers from that audience.
Similarly, geotagging your location is an important tool, similar to hashtags, in that it puts your content into a category that can be followed by like-minded folks. And when you view other people that have geotagged that location, you can see the kinds of photos they’re taking and the hashtags they’re using—it’s a great way to gauge a location and create a blueprint strategy for when you share your own content.
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Find What’s Trending
Every social media platform has an easy to find “trending” section, usually in the form of a list of hashtags. You’ve already taken the time to realize the power of the hashtag, so make sure you’re not just wallowing in the obscure, less fruitful tags out there.
Instead, constantly check on what’s trending at the moment. And if the topic can fit within your particular brand, then hop onto it. Many of us get our news from the trending lists on our favorite social platforms, so having your name in that list as well as some compelling and relevant content will get you more followers. And who knows—your post may even go viral, getting you thousands of interactions on a single post.
Tell a Story
Your brand isn’t just the public-facing side of you meant to sell your services. Instead, it should tell a cohesive story that interests people, thereby building an audience. All of the rest falls into place naturally. Your social media presence is no different—it’s probably the biggest public component of your brand image.
So, ensure you’re telling a story and that it’s compelling and even inspiring. Everything you post, every interaction you have, should make sure it’s a building block to something larger. Think of your brand as a puzzle, and every post is a piece to that puzzle. It should all fit together in the end. Even if it’s not obvious, your audience will feel the effects of well-thought-out content.
Know What Works & Be Consistent
These tips will get you started with getting your name out into the industry. But if you didn’t notice, there’s no easy, surefire way of gaining recognition. You’ll need to work hard and plug away while ensuring you’re telling a consistent and relatable story that people will want to follow.
While you cultivate your social media personality, you’ll start to see what works and what doesn’t. It’s important to be mindful of these patterns so you can gain momentum rather than slow down with missteps. If you’re thoughtful about your use of social media, then you’ll see that what you gain from it is exponential—there is virtually no limit to your audience when it comes to social platforms.