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Facebook started as a simple way to connect college students and, over a decade, rose to reshape online interaction. Facebook connects family members and old friends and gives people with similar interests a place to interact and share ideas. And, most relevant to your business, Facebook connects brands to fans. In the following section, we’ll be discussing how to use the variety of tools that Facebook provides to build your brand and connect with your current and potential clients.

Facebook Profiles

The individual Facebook profile is the original, main feature of Facebook. As a photographer, you have a decision to make: should you create a separate business page for your studio or simply use your individual profile as your way to connect and interact as your business?

We highly suggest that you create a separate business page for these reasons:

  1. Privacy – Separating your online personal life from your online business activity will allow you more privacy and create a better work-life balance. Having clients and business contacts posting on your personal wall or messaging you directly certainly isn’t ideal.
  2. Google Indexing – Your business page is indexed by Google, meaning it will show up in search engines. In contrast, you most likely want to prevent your personal profile from showing up for privacy reasons. We’ll discuss this further in the Facebook Business Page section.
  3. Local Search – In the last section of this book, we cover “Local Search.” As you’ll learn, your Facebook business listing helps you rank in local search results. We’ll dive into this later.

Facebook Personal Profile To-Dos:

Before we dive into creating the business profile, there are a few action steps for our personal profiles.

  1. Clean Up Your Personal Profile! – Even though it’s a personal profile, inevitably some of your clients will stumble upon it, whether you add them as a friend or a privacy feature is inadvertently turned off. Removing images and posts that have the slightest possibility of not presenting you or your business in a good light should be removed. A good rule of thumb is to assume that your clients can see everything!
  2. Remove Average to Below Average Images – Even though this is your personal profile, you’re still a professional photographer. Your images are going to be held at a higher standard than the rest of the Facebook world. So every image on there should be something that you can stand behind. Your profile pictures and your cover photo are great opportunities to show off your work, so make use of those. Remember to assume that everyone can see everything!
  3. Connect with People – Adding a client or business contact as a personal friend can deepen the relationship. Add those you trust and know (or would like to get to know better). Like their posts, invite them to events, and develop genuine relationships.

Facebook Business Pages

Using Facebook Business Pages is critical for all photographers. Here are a few reasons why:

Discoverable via Google – Facebook business pages are indexed by Google and other search engines, so they are discoverable via search results. If you’re at this point in the book, a light bulb should be going off in your head. Yep, it all comes back to keywords. You have the opportunity to use keywords in your business page name, description and even in the individual posts to potentially show up for specific search results. Even more importantly, these business pages are critical for ranking in Local Search results, which we’ll cover later.

Discoverable within Facebook – Moreover, your Facebook Pages are discoverable organically within Facebook. Your fans might share your posts or your business might come up in Facebook search results. Or Facebook might recommend your page as a “similar page” when a user likes a page with similar in content.

Way to Provide More Info – Business pages give you the opportunity to include hours of operation, a description, customer reviews, and more useful information for your clients. Having a publically accessible page is similar to having a Google Maps listing, a Yelp Listing, a Wedding Wire Account, or any other business listing. It’s another place to display your work and be discovered. It’s not uncommon for a photographer’s Facebook page to get more visits than their actual blog or website.

Way to Gain Insights – In addition, business pages help you understand your clients and fans. Use the Facebook Insights feature of your business page to get valuable info of the gender ratio, age groups, physical locations and other useful information about your fans. You can then modify your content, as well as the timing of your content, to cater to these groups.

For example, if you know that most of your reach is in a certain country, region or city, then you know that you should be crafting content specifically for that area and posing at peak times for that area as well. If your audience is primarily female or male, consider tweaking your message to appeal to one or the other. If you discover that photos of one type of subject do better than others, then maybe you find more of those images from your portfolio to post.

Way to gain Feedback – Your business page will be a way to get feedback from your fans. If you’re making a major business decision, you might consider simply asking for thoughts on your business page. If you’re deciding between logos, why not have the community weigh in? Are you getting the same questions over and over on your business page? Maybe it’s time to clarify that FAQ on your main page.

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Facebook Business Page To Dos:

  1. Create Your Business Page – Visit facebook.com/business to get started.
  2. Complete the Profile – In this step remember to utilize your keywords. Also remember to upload amazing, portfolio-worthy images as your cover photo and profile photos.
  3. Invite Your Current Contacts – The best place to start is always your immediate network. They will get the momentum rolling and serve as your foundation.
  4. Connect with Industry Contacts – Spend some time interacting as your page with industry contacts. This includes liking, commenting and sharing their content as your page.
  5. Post Your Best Image from Each Shoot – As you take amazing pictures, post the best picture from each shoot on your Facebook Page. Refer back to our content guides for social media. Great content will be shared organically and your numbers will naturally increase.
  6. Connect Your Clients to the Page – As we previously mentioned, when you blog your latest set of images, reach out to notify your clients via email. In that email, include a link to the blog entry as well as a link to the Facebook post of their image. This encourages them to “like” your page and also gives them an easy way to share the shoot. While some will share and others will not, having this system in place allows you to grow your fans with minimal additional effort.
  7. Schedule Posts for Your Portfolio – You should not restrict your Facebook posts to only recent shoots. The majority of your Facebook audience has not yet seen all of your amazing body of work over the years. Schedule posts for your best portfolio images for once or twice a week.

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Facebook Groups

Facebook has hundreds of photography groups. These are great places to network, get inspiration, and share work. If you consistently post amazing photos in a few groups, you have a chance to gain some new fans and friends.

Maybe those new fans will link to your site, maybe they’ll refer business to you if they are already booked, and maybe they’ll be a future roommate for a photography convention. The potential benefits go well beyond web marketing. A few key points to remember:

  1. Do not spread yourself too thin – Becoming a regular voice in a couple of groups is better than being a forgettable, once-in-a-while player in many groups.
  2. Do not over post – You never want to be a self-promoter, so be sure to follow the guidelines of the group and limit yourself to 1 post a day at the very most.
  3. Choose your groups carefully – Find groups with high participation and interaction. Otherwise, your efforts might be wasted; and you might be speaking to an empty auditorium.
  4. Limitations of Groups – You can only post to groups as your personal profile. You can NOT post to a group as a business page. For example, I can’t post to groups as our Lin and Jirsa Photography Business Page (http://www.facebook. com/linandjirsa). However, you CAN share a post from your business page in a group using your personal profile. That might sound confusing, so let’s review the steps.
  • Create the post on your business page (acting as your business).
  • Switch to “Post as [YOUR PROFILE NAME],” as you see below. With this step, you are now acting as your personal profile and not your business.

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  • On your Facebook business page, find the image you would like to post to the group and click “Share.” Then select “Share in a group,” as you see below. Select your group of choice and customize your message.

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  • When you hit “post” you will share the post from your page in the group.

The main advantage of sharing something from your page in a group, rather than just simply posting in the group, is that you are connecting the group with your fan page. This increases the visibility of your page and hopefully gets you more fans.

Be sure to remain tactful and follow the rules of the group. If you come off too commercial or self-promotional, you might get kicked out from the group!

Facebook Ads

Facebook ads give you the ability to target your advertisement based on age range, location, gender, relationship status, and more. With so many advanced ways to target your ads, this is one of the most effective forms of paid advertising. This is beyond the scope of this book, but we do recommend Facebook advertising as the first form of paid advertising that photographers try.

CHAPTER 1.01 – INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 2: 1.02 – SEO BASICS & KEYWORD STRATEGY

CHAPTER 3 1.03 – CREATING CONTENT

CHAPTER 4: 1.04 – SITE STRUCTURE

Chapter 5: 1.05 – ACCESSIBILITY, SPEED, AND DUPLICATE CONTENT

Chapter 6: 2.01 – LINK BASICS

Chapter 7: 2.02 – LINK VALUE FACTORS

Chapter 8: 2.03 – NOFOLLOW, RELATED LINKS, & ANCHOR TEXT

Chapter 9: 2.04 – LINK BUILDING STRATEGIES

Chapter 10: 3.01 – THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Chapter 11: 3.02 – MAXIMIZING SPECIFIC SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS

Chapter 12: 3.03 – MASTER LOCAL SEARCH

Chapter 13: 4.01 – Initial Decisions

Chapter 14: 4.02 – WORDPRESS AND SQUARESPACE

Chapter 15: 4.03 – GOOGLE ANALYTICS

Chapter 16: PAID DIRECTORIES

ACCESS TO INDUSTRY-LEADING EDUCATION

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