Photography Tips

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Social Media for Your Photography Business

January 21, 2022

Anyone else guilty of spending waaaay too much time scrolling through Instagram some days? Please say I’m not alone. As much as we all love to spend time on social media, it can feel like a real struggle to master it when it comes to sharing our own work and boosting our businesses, right? If […]

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Anyone else guilty of spending waaaay too much time scrolling through Instagram some days? Please say I’m not alone. As much as we all love to spend time on social media, it can feel like a real struggle to master it when it comes to sharing our own work and boosting our businesses, right? If you aren’t sure how to show up on social media these days, or if you don’t know how to make your efforts actually amount to higher engagement (and higher engagement = more clients!), I’ve got you covered. These 5 tips will take the guesswork out of social media, so that you can get back to booking the work you love. 

  1. You don’t have to post every day.

That’s right, I’m coming in hot with the tip that will make most of us jump for joy! See, when it comes to social media that actually brings in clients, it’s all about quality, not quantity. I would much rather see photographers posting three galleries they’re proud of each week than daily posts that don’t do much for you. 

However often you choose to post, remember that all of your social media posts should do one of these things: showcase your best work, share a behind-the-scenes story, or introduce a piece of you to your social media audience. This whole social media thing is social, remember?! So make sure you’re not just posting beautiful photos—although you absolutely should do that, too. Share something about the photo shoot or about yourself in your captions! It’ll keep people coming back to get to know you, not just your work, and relatability will take you far when it comes to socials. 

  1. Hashtags are still important. 

I’ve seen so many people totally stop using hashtags lately, and I’m like, “whaaaat are you doing?” Hashtags are definitely still a fantastic way to get your beautiful photos in front of your audience! They help the algorithm categorize content and show it to the right people. So, for example, if you’re using the hashtag #texasweddingphotographer, your gallery is much more likely to show up for clients in Texas who are looking to book a wedding photographer! It’s essentially free marketing, so don’t forget to use it. 

A few quick hashtag tips: use as many as you’d like (up to 30!), but get as specific as you can. Hashtags like #photographer are used so much, it’s hard to stand out—plus, that’s a really vague description. Try to use words that will really define your niche and resonate with your audience, and you might be surprised how many dream clients find their way to you. 

  1. Consistency is key. 

I know you’re still breathing a sigh of relief from learning that you don’t have to post every day—but that doesn’t mean you can throw your social media plans out the window! Posting daily isn’t important, but posting consistently definitely is. Maybe you plan to post three galleries each week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Perfect! (If you have a business or creator account on Instagram, check those insights to see what time your followers are most likely to engage.) Or maybe you plan to post one gallery, one inspirational or educational graphic, and one reel. Honestly, pick formats and frequencies that work for you, and then just stick with it. That’s the secret sauce

  1. Community engagement really matters. 

Social media scheduling software is magical, I’ll be the first to admit. But be careful! When you automate your content, don’t fall into the “set it and forget it” trap. Why? Because all posting and no commenting means the algorithm is going to slide your gorgeous images right to the bottom of your followers’ feeds. 

Social media is an amazing way to get a portfolio of sorts into the world! But at the heart, social media platforms are trying to drive conversations and engagement. In a perfect world, that means setting aside a little bit of time each day to interact with stories, reels, and posts—and it definitely means taking the time to respond to all of the comments and compliments on your own posts. The more you engage, the higher you’ll climb in the feeds of those you’re interacting with, so go ahead, be friendly! We’re all on our phones anyway—might as well make that time work for your biz, right?!

  1. Market to your audience, not your peers. 

As you’re choosing hashtags, posting galleries, and making friends in the comment sections, remember this: your ideal audience is not other photographers. Social media is an awesome place to find and build community in the industry, and you should definitely take advantage of that! But remember: the people you interact with most often are the people seeing your posts most often, too. So go ahead and interact with those dream clients, mama! 

This is actually a great time to put hashtags to work for you. Search through some hashtags to find the ones your ideal clients are using, and then scroll through those, commenting on photos and reels when you see something you like! Not only will a kind comment get you on their radar, but you’ll start showing up in their feeds, too. 

Do you feel better already?! I sure hope so. Social media doesn’t have to drain your energy or waste your time. It can still be a really helpful tool for your business, and you don’t have to spend all of your time posting daily and figuring out reels to find success. Just post consistently, share your heart, and engage with others. You’ll be on your social media “A game” before you know it!

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I’m Jillian Goulding, a photographer and educator raising babies and building my life in Sacramento, CA.

Over the years, I’ve transformed my side hustle into a thriving photography business that has taken me and my camera to the beaches of San Francisco Bay, the pages of People Magazine, and the screens of Extra TV.

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