Commercial photography is a lucrative but highly competitive niche. And attracting customers plays an important role in it. There are paid and free ways to promote. Today we will talk about the latter, since free promotion is a suitable option for a novice specialist.
If you are a young and hungry photographer, start promoting yourself on Instagram. In today’s article, you will learn how to find your first customers or increase the number of orders without spending a penny on promotion.
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Read also: How to set up ads on Instagram via Facebook
Prepare for promotion
Before you start promoting yourself as a specialist, it is important to decide on a few points.
Genre – it can be a portrait, LoveStory, Fashion, reportage, family and children, wedding, etc. Choose one, maximum two genres to influence the audience in a targeted manner. A narrow specialization will help you become a real pro and stand out from other specialists.
Style – create a visual community of your works in terms of plot and color, which will be noticeable to an outside viewer.
Niche Is the same as genre + positioning. Indicates who you work for: commercial organizations, couples, only girls, etc.
CA – make up a portrait of your potential client (gender, age, social status, interests, problems). This way you will be able to form a clear commercial proposal targeted at a specific group of people. This means that the effectiveness of the promotion will be maximum.
Choose a strategy
Choose the most suitable promotion option:
- promotion of services;
- promotion of a personal brand and through it the sale of services;
- promoting a personal brand for selling other products (training, getting a job in a well-known magazine).
Think about your Instagram profile concept
Separate work from personal – your profile should become your calling card. Be sure to write in the header that you are a photographer and take orders. Indicate the city and genres in which you are shooting, add contacts and links to the site, other social networks.
Add your logo, portrait, or a photo you’ve created to your avatar.
Make convenient navigation from Relevant Stories. Usually these are sections “About me”, “Locations”, “Backstage”, “Price”, “Before and after”, “FAQ”, “Promotions”, “Reviews”.
Go to your business account immediately. This will give you link buttons, new advertising opportunities, and access to post and audience statistics.
Make the page public because action restrictions can alienate potential customers.
Make an attractive design
It is best to post photos in a single color scheme, matching shades or with the same accent color. You can use a common background or add frames to images.
Pay attention to the placement style. Structure the tape in a column, checkerboard, horizontally and diagonally. You can alternate photos not only with different moods and colors, but also with different plans, genres (large and distant portraits, individual photo sessions and LoveStory).
Filling and maintaining
Possible topics for posts:
“Types of services”… Tell us in detail about each service: for whom it is intended, what it is, what is included in the price. This can be information about the genres of shooting, processing, additional preparation services (rental of dresses, make-up, hair).
“How to prepare for a photo shoot” – show concern for your clients, tell us what is important to consider when preparing for a photoset (clothes, hairstyle, makeup, posing, mood).
“Successful Poses”… Users often subscribe to accounts with useful information, even if they are not ready to order a photo session right now.
Personal posts… Tell the target audience about yourself, your path to photography, education, views on creativity. Do not forget to post personal photos at least occasionally (for example, a selfie next to a model at a photo shoot or a photo at a chosen location) – people should know you by sight.
Storytelling… Tell your subscribers stories related to your services. They can be motivating, funny, or sad – experiment with your presentation and track audience reactions.
Ideas for stories
Backstage… Mini-reports from past photo sessions will warm up the interest of the audience, highlight your professionalism in working with the model. This can be a small video with beautiful music, a photo in the process of shooting, screenshots and a video with frame selection.
Before and after… Demonstrate the quality of your processing / retouching.
Customer Reviews… They will increase the confidence of potential customers.
Styles of photo sessions, choice of props for a photoset, location.
Games, tests and polls… Interactive posts are a trend on Instagram that allows you to increase user engagement. Surveys like “Which photo is better?”, “Which processing is more interesting: in cold or warm colors?” As for games, you can publish an “Emoji Rebus” with the encrypted name of your future photo project. Or “Guess from the picture” – take an unusual photo and invite subscribers to guess the location or the depicted object.
For effective promotion on Instagram, it is worth publishing posts every day, or at least at least three times a week. Do not forget about the quality of the content.
Topic article: Game ideas for Instagram followers
Ways to promote a photographer on Instagram
Consider free ways to promote a photographer’s Instagram account.
Always add hashtags to the photos you take. These are the keywords that are needed to indicate the topic of the post and attract subscribers. It is by tags that your content will be found in the search by the target audience. This will increase the reach of your publication and attract the attention of potential customers.
How to find hashtags? Enter keywords related to your topic with the # symbol in the Instagram search box. Write down all the hashtags in the table, dividing them into three columns: low-frequency (up to a hundred publications), medium-frequency (up to a thousand), and high-frequency – a thousand or more. Work through 100-200 tags.
Add geotags in a separate column that will help you attract customers from a specific city. These can be tags #weddingfotomoskva, # lovestory_Krasnodar… To find suitable options, we recommend adding geolocation to the hashtags found in the previous step.
The next column is for viral hashtags. These are popular tags that are used by a large number of users. For example, #beautiful and #beauty.
Divide all of the listed hashtags into groups according to the following formula: 7 low-frequency, 10 medium-frequency, 5 high-frequency, 4 viral and 4 geotags.
For easy navigation, divide posts into categories using hashtags, for example: #report_your_nik, # portrait_your_nik, # retouch_your_nik.
More details: How to use Instagram hashtags to promote
Contests and promotions
To increase activity, we recommend periodically holding contests and sweepstakes.
Choose winners in creative assignments (“Original photo caption”, “Best New Year’s photo”). Also, hold sweepstakes with simple conditions: repost, leave a comment, subscribe, mark two friends. A photo session, photo retouching, a discount on a service, a photo book can be a gift.
The essence of such a promotion is mutual PR of each other for a mutual increase in subscribers and sales. The main thing is to find an account with a similar target audience and the same number of subscribers. For example, if you have 15 thousand subscribers, you can agree to collaborate with a makeup artist who has 16 thousand. Let him do makeup for a photo shoot for free or for paying for consumables, and you will create high-quality pictures for his portfolio for this. Next, each of you will publish photos on Instagram and tell from each other by noting in the post.
In addition to makeup artists, a commercial photographer can collaborate with florists, stylists, hairdressers, clothing stores and photo studios.
Use the Instagram business card to exchange contacts. This is a QR code analogue that allows potential customers to find and follow your Instagram account.
Your best bet is to add your Instagram business card to your regular business card or flyer.
Read also: 10 best services for mass following on Instagram
Constantly analyze the results of your actions, as well as the audience’s reaction to various publications, by studying the statistics of your Instagram account. Change your content plan and make adjustments as needed.