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The Comprehensive Social Media Guide for Professional Photographers

Social media is an excellent tool for professional photographers to expand and grow their businesses. Not only can you promote brand recognition and boost your online presence, but you can actually generate leads and increase your client base. It is a thriving industry that is certainly not going away any time soon, so if you’re not already on these social networks don’t worry – we’ve got a guide to each different social medium to help you get started.

Facebook logoFacebook

With over a billion monthly active users, Facebook is undeniably one of the most important and most frequented social network in the world. Facebook is a great tool for photographers to connect with their existing customers and reach out to potential new ones. You can upload photos, share status updates, inform your followers about promotions and travel plans and engage with users from all over the world. Its user-friendly platform and massive user base allows photographers and studios of all sizes to take advantage of the outreach and advertising opportunities easily and cheaply. Learn more about The Dos and Don’ts on Facebook as a Photographer.

 

Twitter logoTwitter

Twitter has nearly a quarter of a billion monthly active users sending 500 million Tweets per day. Clearly, this idea-sharing network has an amazing amount of potential reach worldwide. Each Tweet is concise and to the point due to the fact that you are limited to 140 characters per Tweet. Twitter also implements the use of hashtags to broaden reach and promote social discussion about relevant trends. It’s a great way to engage with consumers via active discussion and dialogue. There’s no doubt that Twitter is a valuable online marketing resource, and you can read more about How to Get Your Photography Business Noticed on Twitter.

 

LinkedIn logoLinkedIn

Similar to Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is the social network for professionals, reaching 250 million members in over 200 countries globally. While Facebook and Twitter are valuable resources, they are a more casual and informal method of reaching your customers. LinkedIn is a great place to really develop your professional online presence by connecting with other likeminded professionals on a global scale. You can join groups to share interesting and relevant content, start discussions and learn about your fellow professional photographers. Read more about  How LinkedIn Can Grow Your Photography Business.

 

Pinterest logoPinterest

Pinterest is a slightly different form of social media in that it is a visual tool for collecting and organizing photos of things that you like. For a professional photographer, it’s a fantastic way to post your work and generate interest in your photographs, style and composition. Pinterest is commonly used for wedding planning, so if you’re a wedding photographer this is the perfect place for you to get your work in front of a huge audience of potential clients. See more about Pinterest Marketing: What’s In It For Professional Photographers.

 

Instagram logoInstagram

Instagram is a photo-sharing tool that has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. With 200 million monthly active users sharing 60 million photos per day and the recent Facebook acquisition for $1 Billion, there is no question that Instagram is an important place to have an active presence. Instagram also uses hashtags, meaning your photos can potentially reach significantly more people than your follower count may indicate. We understand that as a professional photographer you may have your reservations about utilizing an app that allows for filters and essentially lowers the amount of skill needed to create an image with beautiful colors, and we cover the pros and cons in our post Is Instagram Bad For Photography?.

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How Can Linkedin Grow Your Photography Business

At last count, LinkedIn had over 225 million users in 200 countries. That’s an amazing potential client base to tap into. As an owner of a photography business, you would be extremely happy to capture even a fraction of those users. To accomplish that goal, you need to treat LinkedIn like your other marketing strategies. In other words, you have to work at maintaining a strong presence. You can’t just put up a profile and wait for the clientele to come your way. You should be devoting at least an hour every day to searching across LinkedIn, building out your profile and participating in forums. This is how you’ll get the word out about your business. Here are some helpful insider tips for how you can power up LinkedIn to grow your photography business.

Put Your Previous Customers To “Work”

By now you’ve probably accumulated a decent amount of satisfied customers from your photography business. Those same happy customers have no doubt already recommended you to their friends. Why not extend those recommendations across the LinkedIn forums? Ask your customers for a written testimonial that can be published on your profile and then shared with all your connections. If those customers are LinkedIn users, they could also share on their networks as well. Incidentally, those same testimonials can be put to good use on your business website.

Reach Out to Other Business Professionals

How many wedding planners are on Linkedin? How many caterers? What about DJs, florists and dress makers? The short answer is “a lot!” These are all the folks who do business with couples about to get married. These would be the same couples who need a photographer. That is just one example of how you can reach out to other business professional across LinkedIn to spread the good word about your business. Even if you aren’t in the wedding business you’re sure to find plenty of support businesses you can tap into.

Expand Your Networks Online and Offline

As you reach out to other business professionals, you might uncover opportunities to expand your reach beyond LinkedIn but through LinkedIn. As you search through the LinkedIn Groups directory you could stumble about business expos that you could benefit from attending. Beyond the typical associations that would directly be related to your photography business, you might also look for various hobby groups like car collectors, Civil War reenactors and pet lovers. All of those folks would benefit from having a solid photographer snapping pictures for them. Show at one of their “real world” events with your camera and watch what happens.

Share Your Expertise

As you enter into the world of LinkedIn forums you have the opportunity to make new contacts and share your expertise. By answering questions about what you know best, you’ll have a chance to win over new customers and not just those who asked the question in the first place. Those same answers you provide will be available to anyone making a search utilizing LinkedIn’s Advance Answers Search.
You should defiantly consider starting up your own blog where you can share some of your latest work and offer your own photography tips. Keep that blog current and engaging and you’ll start to build up traffic.

Those same forums can help you stay on the cutting edge of technology in your own industry. Here is where you can get the latest news on equipment updates and pick up terrific technique tips. It’s all part of the big exchange of ideas that is at the heart of LinkedIn’s community of users.

Check Out the Competition

You won’t be the only photographer on LinkedIn. This means you can check out the competition to see how they are attracting new customers. Unless you’re doing all of your business remotely, those other photographers won’t feel threaten by you dropping in and asking questions. Who knows, you might even become inspired to tackle a new kind of subject in your own business.

Get Answers To Your Business Questions

Just as you’ll be sharing what you know about photography, there will be other professionals sharing what they know. This includes areas like taxes, commercial leases and accounting. Once you’ve established your network and social contacts there is no reason why you can’t reach out and ask these other professionals all your questions. When you can improve the “business” aspect of your business then it stands to reason you’ll be free to expand and find new customers.

Share Your Referrals

As a photographer you will have worked with plenty of other professionals from wardrobe stylists to make-up artists to hair stylists. You’ll be able to offer referrals to someone looking for those types of businesses. In return, you could have the referral coming back in your direction. Bottom line: Put LinkedIn to work for your photography business starting now!

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Which Social Media Platform is Best For Your Photography Business?

If you run a photography business, you have probably become aware of the fact that social media is one of the best ways to market. But, what you might not know is which social media outlet is right for you. Below is an explanation of five social media outlets that are excellent options, the pros and cons of each as it pertains to a photography business, and a conclusion on which to weed out and which to use consistently.

facebook-for-photographers

Facebook is growing every day, and has blossomed from a place to share photos and updates to a marketing giant. However, paying for ads is not the only thing you can do on Facebook to help grow your business.

Instead of paying for ads, use Facebook itself to your advantage. Facebook has this great feature called “Pages”, and you can update your page and your personal Facebook from the same dashboard, just by toggling the account in the Settings menu. Aside from efficiency, pages are a great way to personalize your business and draw people in. However, keeping social media outlets in mind from a photography perspective is important, so here are the pros and cons of using Facebook for a photography business.

Pros: Facebook is extremely photo-oriented, even now, and even via pages, so having a Facebook page for your photography business is a great idea. Not only that, but you’re drawing in a group of followers who will be able to keep up with updates and discuss your photography, share it with friends, and help you gain more followers. Also, facebook has the largest community in the social media world, which can bring greater results for your photography business.

Cons: Pages are a little difficult to get going in terms of followers, and until you get to a certain number of followers your page will be considered “community supported” and won’t show you the analytics associated with it. However, if you already have clients, or you have a lot of Facebook friends, just invite them all to like your page and this issue is quickly resolved. People love pretty pictures.

twitter-social-media-for-photographers

Twitter is a great social media outlet for quick updates, like where you’ll be shooting next, or where your next art show is. However, it’s quite limiting in its scope. For instance, you can’t really add pictures that are easily accessible. You can only type 140 characters at a time. So, it depends entirely on your business and how you want to market. #photographylife

Pros: Allows you to update quickly on your location and disperse short pieces of information, and it’s relatively simple and easy to manage. Twitter also has a large user base, which inturn enables you to find customers and fellow photographers.
Cons: It’s very limiting in its scope and doesn’t provide you a whole lot of options as far as imagery goes.

google-plus-for-photographers

Google Plus is something that many people have yet to fully grasp as a social media outlet, which makes it perfect for those starting out. Google+ is not so much a social media site as it is a social media layer that goes across everything you do on the internet, particularly if you use Chrome as your browser, and makes just about everything share-able. Since it’s just starting to boom, it’s a great time to get on the band wagon and start building your following, and since you can share photos much like you can on Facebook, it’s a good option for photographers.

Pros: The timing is right, it’s great for photo sharing, it makes almost every online activity a share-able event, and is great for having a cohesive social media presence online. Google+ also has some search benefits because its tied into the google search engine, which means any content (blogs or photos) that is posted from your site is indexed to google extremely fast after posted. Lastly, Google+ has a large and interactive photographer community; which makes it perfect for getting feedback and networking with other pro photographers.
Cons: It’s a little tricky to understand at first, and it hasn’t quite boomed in the way that Facebook has (people aren’t saying “Google+ me!” yet), but it’s still a good option.

Pinterest and photography just go hand in hand. They’re like a lock and key, a tree and a bird, and just about any other harmonious analogy you can come up with. Pinterest is essentially a share-able collage. “I’m so pinning this!” can be heard across the web, and pins can also be shared on Facebook and a number of other sites. Make beautiful, themed boards – or collections – of your photography and watch people pin away. People can pin your photos as part of their collections, too, which then get pinned by others and…well, you get the idea. Pinterest is beautiful and every photographer should be on the site promoting their work. However, be sure you promote other people’s items, too, so you don’t look like an obnoxious self-promoter. If you have a picture of the woods, combine it with woodland chic clothing items you like and make a collage. People will share you because you shared them, and so on.

Pros: Just about everything is geared towards photography on Pinterest.
Cons: Photographers may get many shares and likes on their photos through pinterest, which is great for branding, but getting in front of the right people and converting these users into customers can be a very difficult task.

linkedin-logo-for-photographers

 

LinkedIn is essentially an online resume. It’s good to have, because professionals and clients can find you, and it’s easy to maintain, but it’s not necessarily the most creative social media outlet in the world, either.

Pros: It’s a good corporate addition to your social media marketing efforts and networking with other pros and potential event and venue vendors.
Cons: It can be a little too “corporate” at times for engaging your artistic fan base.

The Best Option

For photographers, these social media outlets can be ranked from “most appealing and effective” to “least appealing and effective” as followed:

  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

The only reason LinkedIn is above Twitter is because having a corporate base is important for gaining clients and networking with other professionals, but to start gaining a photography-loving, artistic fan base that’s more likely to purchase your work, Facebook and Pinterest are where it’s at. If you are seeking to be hired as a freelancer by corporations, then LinkedIn moves up the list. In essence, it depends on your business, but by organizing your social media marketing efforts from most visual to least visual, you can get a great head start and get people talking about you.

Regardless of the ranking of these social media platforms, they all are extremely valuable tools to help promote your business and reach new clientele and help build relationships with other photographers.

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