Wooing a total stranger to want a lifelong committed relationship with us is the goal of many photography businesses. We want them to love us so that we can be a part of their lives — from the initial meeting, to the weddings to the babies, bar mitzvahs and family get togethers — we want to be there for it all. When a client becomes a fan and starts raving to all her friends about how wonderful we are, we know that we have it made.
Since everyone and their dogs has Facebook these days, it only makes sense for photographers to utilize this resource to get their name out there and garner more business. And like online dating, you have an almost unlimited sea of potential people that like you and want to get to know you better.
To romance your potential client, we can look at the rituals of online dating to see how we can connect, charm and cultivate a potential admirer into a committed lover (of your brand).
1. A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words
Whether you are online dating or looking at a Facebook business page, one of the first things people see is the profile picture, so make sure it represents you and the message you want to spread. Users look through photos hoping to find something (or someone) they like, then choose a product (or person) to get to know better.
Many companies use their logos as their profile pictures which is a great idea because immediately, people start associating the name of your business with your brand. Another great option is a professional headshot that conveys a little bit of your personality.This isn’t the place to post a picture of your spring break photo from Cabo or you in last year’s Halloween costume.
The same goes for your cover photo. Choose a photo that represents your company, whether it is a lovely sunset shot from a wedding or a smiling, giggly baby, everything you put on your Facebook business page is an extension of your brand. Just like I don’t want to show up on a date only to find that the young, athletic man I spoke to online is actually fat, balding and old, your profile and cover photos should reflect the style and feel of your photography they should expect.
2. Give Them the Basic Info
In an online dating profile, you don’t want to give away too much personal information right away, but enough for them to be able to get a hold of you if they are interested.
Make sure your business page has all the standard information such as website, email, phone number, address (if you have a store front). Something that is often forgotten for a business page, if your business is not “First Name Last Name Photography,” is including your first name somewhere in the about section. For one reason or another, there have been times that I needed to get a hold of a business owner and walked away frustrated because nowhere on their page or website does it even mention a contact name or email.
Don’t play hard to get, or you might lose a potential client.
3. Connect and Engage
Once your potential client has decided to “Like” you, now it’s time for a little flirting. Like a first date, you want to connect and be engaging. Find ways to post content that people connect with, not just your amazing photography skills. Of course, you should be posting many examples of your beautiful work, but also don’t be afraid to post some personal stories or share tidbits about your life.
Also, you should start conversations and engage your fans. Ask questions or create polls or contests, find ways to get people talking and involved. And join in on the conversation. Don’t just post and run. One sided conversations are boring. Stay and get to know each other better. Make it a rule to reply to EVERY comment, even if it’s just a “thank you.”
4. Be Consistent, Interesting, and Honest
Just like you don’t want to freak out a potential soulmate by chasing them too hard, don’t overdo it by posting too much or posting content that is irrelevant or boring. Strive to find the balance between consistency and letting the crickets move in. Posting during a few strategic times throughout the day will help keep you in the forefront of people’s minds, but not cluttering up their news feeds.
Keep your posts interesting. Post diverse content – statuses, photos, videos, polls, contests, and whatever else you can think of. A sense of humor is always appreciated. Try not to post too many photos of what you’re eating though. Most people don’t care about what you had for breakfast unless it was a magical pancake consumed on the shores of Tahiti while watching dolphins swim.
Don’t forget that honesty is the best policy. People appreciate candor. Honesty builds trust and trust builds relationships.
5. Don’t Talk Too Much and Use Proper Grammar
Keep your posts short and sweet. Everyone is busy, so in addition to keeping them interesting, engaging, and honest, you want to keep your posts specific and to the point. If you dominate a conversation, no one will want to talk to you. And don’t overpromote. Promoting your statuses and even ads are a great way to target the right people, but make sure that you are analyzing each effort and it’s effectiveness.
Also, make sure you spell check and proofread everything. Using proper grammar and punctuation, shows that you are not only literate, but also makes your posts easier for your audience to read and engage in.
Managing a Facebook business page can be tricky but the most important thing to remember is to BE YOURSELF. Have fun, smile and put your best foot forward… both on your Facebook profile page and in the online dating world :)
For more tips on getting the most our of your Facebook business page, check out this article: Grow Your Business – 12 Tips for Facebook and More