Question: if you were given a free billboard to market your business, would you simply post a single image on it and be done? Not likely.
Then why are most photographers treating IG like that billboard?
I see it every day… sneak peek after sneak peek and nothing else. Friends, this is not a purposeful marketing plan and it doesn’t give your audience anything else to compare to against your competition. It doesn’t update your audience on your brand, doesn’t keep them engaged, and doesn’t motivate them to book with you.
Here’s 5 things photographers should post on IG every single month (and it’s not what you think):
1. Testimonials: one of the highest levels of marketing you can do is to share user generated content (aka testimonials). Get reviews from your clients & share them regularly to build credibility & trust in your brand. Want to know how to display them for the most effectiveness?
- Video Testimonials: if you can get your clients to send you a video review, this is GOLD, friends! Quick tip – tell them to talk to the camera like they’re talking to their best friend about their session experience!
- Screenshots of 1:1 Communications: capture your DMs, PMs, e-mails, and texts of your clients singing your praises! Seeing their words in a screenshot is an instant way to build trust & credibility between you and your potential client.
- Graphics Showcasing Testimonial Copy: while this is the least effective way to display a review, it’s still holds weight. If a screenshot of your testimonial doesn’t really blend with your website brand, then it’s absolutely ok to display your clients’ review in your brand font written out.
2. Updated Availability: you should be posting your available sessions or the month that you’re booking every single month. You don’t have to dedicate a graphic or single post to your availability, but you do need to be updating your audience about it throughout your captions and in your stories.
The best way to showcase your available sessions is to use the 80/20 rule. Showcase that at the very least, 80% of the dates are UNAVAILABLE while only 20% are OPEN TO BOOK. This creates an incredible sense of URGENCY which motivates people to book with you sooner than later. When you post tons of open dates, it gives the impression that you’re not popular and people aren’t booking you. This can actually create doubt in someone who was considering hiring you. YIKES… that’s the opposite effect you want. Stick to the 80/20 rule.
3. Tagged Client Spotlights: one of the smartest things you can do, when featuring a client on IG, is to share that post to your IG story and then TAG THAT CLIENT in the post and in your story! Why? Because when you tag a client, they not only get immediately notified that you’ve featured them, but it gives them the option to share your post to their story too. When they do this, you’re able to reach their audience with your content and allow for more followers through that client. To take it a step further, tag not only your client – but their parent(s), your makeup and hair stylist, etc. The more tags, the better your reach when they share to their stories!
4. Branded Content: a great way to set yourself apart from your local competition is to have a recognizable brand and household name in your target market. How do you achieve this? By having a cohesive look on all your brand online platforms. Go check out your IG profile page and answer this question: “Can I see my brand colors, elements, and typography throughout my IG posts?” If the answer is no (likely because you’ve only featured images) then you may have a little bit of work to do.
Let me introduce you to something I like to call “liquid branding elements.” These are elements from your brand that you can use across several different platforms to bolster that brand recognizability. Start creating graphics with your colors, fonts, and other elements that will help set you apart. You want someone to be able to view a graphic while scrolling their feed and instantly know it’s your brand.
5. Cross Promoted Content: have you ever felt that when you write a blog post or send out a newsletter, that your content is just being sent off to die within 24 hours? If you don’t have a strategy to continuously breathe life back into old content over and over again, it’s time to sit down and create a blue print for cross promoting that old content. The goal here is to expand your reach and leverage each platform’s audience to gain more followers and more eyes on your images and content.
Here’s three quick ways to cross promote content:
- Share like topic blog posts: when discussing a certain topic on IG (like session fashion, session prep, etc), showcase the blog posts you’ve written in the past to expand on that topic. Link your posts in your stories to help your audience fall down the rabbit hole into your content.
- Promote new mailing campaigns for new sign-ups: when you’re about to send out a newsletter to your audience, post about what your audience can expect from it on IG. Use your IG audience to leverage excitement about the upcoming newsletter and push for more sign ups.
- Weekly Recaps: we all know the IG algorithm is dismal at best, so why not refresh your audience on what you posted, published, announced, and launched throughout the previous week? It will allow audience members who may have missed earlier content to see it this time and allow them to consume that content and fall down the rabbit holes you’ve set up for them!
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