Photographers: Setup Social Media for Digital SuccessNov 02, 2022
Social media marketing is an afterthought for many small businesses, like photographers, artists, and other solopreneurs. And when you’re busy with clients, who has time to run marketing campaigns anyway? After all, you’re busy enough doing what you do; let’s face it, marketing isn’t always at the top of the list.
It probably won’t hit you until you see the white space on your schedule, where you want to see paying appointments but don’t. Then suddenly, you realize you need more customers. Yikes, that sounds like marketing.
Keeping the bookings pipeline filled is more crucial than you thought. If the blank white space is scaring you straight, maybe it’s time to think about Social Media Marketing to create a bridge to your business.
Meet People Where They Are
Maybe you haven’t thought about it this way, but those devices attached to everyone’s hand, sitting beside, in front, or hanging in their pocket, are a direct line to the digital space. A space where it’s good to meet people. Because people are doing a whole lot of interacting via digital channels and platforms they like.
People hang out in the digital space to find news, be entertained, meet with interest groups and friends, research, find people and businesses, learn things, ask questions, interact with family or for business, share, and create.
Social media channels invite users to connect, share, communicate, and inspire each other 24/7. They all have good points and bad. But the most important thing social channels and platforms have in common is they each have an audience—users who visit, sometimes daily, and spend their time in that particular space.
Why not meet people where they are and where they expect to find products and services and buy?
One note of caution. Think about your ideal client before selecting what social platforms fit your type of business, industry, or genre. Hint: It may surprise you that you are a better fit for reaching your target audience on a channel other than the one you assume.
Tip: Look at each platform’s demographics but also consider user intent. Ask yourself things like why people are on this platform, how often they visit, and how long they spend on an average visit.
A word of wisdom. Mastering a single social channel is better than floundering about social haphazardly and every which where. Instead of just being on social media, consider learning social media channel by channel to reach better results. Take the extra time, as noted above, to research your fit.
Clarify Your Business Focus to Improve Social Media Results
I know you know this, but go ahead and double-check.
Do you have a clear and consistent way to communicate your core business message?
A concise statement or business tagline works for this step in the simplest form. A Company Mission Statement reflecting a business’s core mission, vision, and values as a guiding document makes a perfect framework for figuring this piece out or drafting a less complex Statement of Purpose also does the trick.
This repeatable core messaging is a key to increasing how people perceive and recognize your brand. Seeing this consistently in your social messaging helps people remember who you are and what you do. Use this across channels and platforms.
Remember, this core message is about letting people understand who you are, what you do, who you do it for, and why you’re an awesome choice for them.
Here’s a super simplified formula to get you started:
I do ______what_____________ for ______who___________ so they can ______benefit________ .
Plus: a bonus for why you, above any others -uvp*- and/or what pain
you solve or happy result-state you provide.
* unique value proposition
So something like this works:
I do ___________________ for _________________ so they can ______________ .
X/Y/Z Photography photographs graduates to capture their unique character, personality, and essence so you know you’ll feel that special moment’s memorable impact to keep for all time.
Not your typical grad picture, we discover what’s uniquely YOU!
I clipped this example of a statement from a photographer’s Pinterest bio. I think it’s pretty succinct yet powerfully stated:
Market research helps you understand consumer behaviors, analyze competitors, and determine how to position yourself to differentiate or set yourself apart from your competitors. In the above example, this destination wedding photographer highlights her unique value proposition identifying her style for “bold imagery” and she further filters wedding couples, identifying her ideal client with a distinctive call to “modern romantics.”
Your customers are a wonderful source of information to let you know exactly how you are different or better than others they’ve worked with before. They tell you what they like or don’t, which is a great way to get insights into what your outstanding features are in the eyes of customers. Going to the source and talking to the people you serve allows you to understand what they really want or think and not what you think those things are.
It’s easy as a business owner to get wrapped up in our own heads and thinking and forget to step into the shoes of our customers. Talking to them helps you remember what your clients really want. To help visitors get to know you, a good reminder is to answer questions people ask about your business/products/services, paving the way for them to want to do business with you.
Using social media to create the stepping stones for the process of working with you, for example, makes it less stressful to contact you. Making people comfortable with you before they ever interact is one of the biggest jobs for social.
Social media gives you an opportunity to show people around a little bit. Letting people get more familiar with you helps increase trust and eliminates friction.
Maybe you’re noticing a theme in this opening discussion of social media marketing for photographers. If you’re thinking conversation, you’re on top of things. Social does entail a bit of being social and that means talking to people.
People are customers. People are collaborators, suppliers, family, friends, and colleagues. Social connections are also people and having conversations is the secret sauce that takes “doing” social into “engaging” on social.
Engaging with people on social platforms is one of the most powerful outcomes of social media marketing and the exact thing that leads to customers and sales. Connections lead to conversations that lead to relationships that lead to new business.
In the digital marketing space, conversations are a two-way marketing street, and customers expect easy access to their favorite businesses. Social media is a go-to, always available, direct connect for customers and potential customers to reach out.
Customer care and social listening have become points of differentiation for some major companies in major markets. They have a finger on the heartbeat of their customers via social media and are quick to respond, adding to their success.
And remember, social feeds are public (especially for marketing purposes) and positive interactions, reactions, and incidents of customer care and service provide visible social proof. I love when social feeds gather and SHOW testimonials for you!
I think I’m polite on social media. But I remember someone saying (besides the reality, once on social, it’s out there possibly forever and ever) when I first started playing on the web, don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face. Basically, think before you ink. That’s all I’m mentioning as a reminder.
Social Media for Marketing
Remember, everything you do in business is marketing. What you say and do and post on social media is a reflection of your business and brand. Think about that to rev up, reinvigorate, reimagine, or roll out a social media marketing strategy for a digital marketing avenue to create new business.
Organic social media marketing (my specialty) lets you authentically deliver with originality and creativity what you’re about. As a business, a brand, a style, a creative—you decide how to use and evolve with the way you handle social interactions, channel decisions, and management.
Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. Let’s start with a blank slate.
Don’t sweat rumors, algorithms, or social discourse, but rather, concentrate on getting results that drive business for you.
Creation, curation, and conversation are the three pillars of your social media marketing framework with the ultimate goal of serving your community. If you work from these three areas alone, you are off to a meaningful start.
Add meaning by aligning goals and objectives for business with your audience's needs along with the best platform to connect with the right audience first.
Then hone in to clearly focus on both your audience and business needs to find the sweet spot for devising strategic plans to improve social media results. The channel you select doesn’t matter as much as the strategy you put in place.
Learn more about Social Media Marketing for Photographers in this Free WEBINAR, hosted by Lee Love. CLICK & GET ACCESS NOW!!