How to Use Social Media to gain Clients with your Photography Business

Don’t bother with paper ads, or brochures in doctors offices, the best way to gain clients for your photography business is utilizing social media.

Expand your photography business

Assuming that you’ve set up your photography business, decided What to Charge your future clients, and have taught yourself to Say NO to Auto and now take beautiful pictures, you are ready for the clients to start banging down your door, right?

When I started my blog, it was for the sole purpose of sharing sneak peeks to my clients of their session. I’d put 5-7 images up in a blog post, email the clients, then encourage them to email the link out to their friends and family to share. I never really knew how many people shared them, but I’d get occasional comments from grandparents or friends saying how much they enjoyed the images.

Sometimes, at the end of that post, I’d mention a discount just for those friends, that the clients would mention in the email to their friends. Have them say something like:

Kristen said she’d give 50% off of your photo session if you book in the next week saying you are our friends!

I’d even offer clients incentives for each friend that signed up for a session. Something like:

If you have 5 friends sign up, you’ll get a free 16×20 of your choice. 2 friends=1 8×10. This was an incentive to get them excited to spread the word to their friends, and send the link of the sneak peek to more people.

The downside to that is that it is limited by the number of people the client feels like including in their email. Hopefully more because of the incentive, but what would reach even more is what’s next.

Facebook.

This was a game changer. I still needed my website as my “home base” but social media is where it’s at to spread the good word of mouth.

I’d guess that 95% of the people I know are on Facebook:  My grandparents, parents, siblings, almost my kids, my friends from church, school, high school, college, neighborhood, old neighborhood, dance class, soccer, etc.

You can give images to your client and ask them if they share online to please link back to your site or Facbook page, but people often are forgetfull, or maybe even lazy and they will just plop up an image you took for all to see, without your ame on it.

Here are two ways to promote your work on Facebook.

If you want to drive traffic to your website:

{Photographers will do this if they want to get potential future clients to their site to learn more about them,  more info is on your site, it’s YOURS and not Facebook’s. Do this as a sneak peek for your clients, too, before they see any images}

  1.  Post one single image from your clients session your Facebook business page.
  2. Link back to your site post for their friends to see more images (they just saw that ONE).
  3. TAG the client (get permission first) so that way, ALL of their friends and family wlll see this one image, a link to your site, and it is posted from your business facebook page (which may possibly gain you more followers). You must first be facebook “friends” with them before you can TAG them.
  4. Ask an engaging question for your readers and the clients friends to answer. The more comments and “likes” on a post, the more that post will be seen by more people, and not get lost in the news feed.
  5. Encourage your clients/family to click SHARE so even more people will see your name and image.

This is an example of two senior girls pictures where I tagged them on my facebook page. I put my home page instead of the direct link because I figured people would click right away (and I didn’t blog as much back then). Now, I’d put the direct link.

facebook

If you just want to spread the word on facebook and don’t care about traffic to your site:

{You may have pricing info on your Facebook page or just want friends to see more of your other work there. Sometimes people don’t want to “click over” to a new link to see more, so this is a good option}

  1. Post 7-10 pictures in a gallery on Facebook
  2. TAG your client (If it’s a senior, tag them and the parent). You have to first be facebook “friends” with them before.
  3. In the post on facebook, ask friends and family to “LIKE” their top 3 images
  4. Make it a contest of sorts and say you will gift the client an 8×10 of the image with the most LIKES
  5. This encourages engagement, with likely more people commenting as well
  6. If someone comments on an image, make sure you comment back so they see you being involved

Both are great tactics. Play with each and see which one your prefer. Make sure you have a direct link to your site at the top of your facebook page to make it EASY for future clients to get ahold of you and see your style.

Engagement and interaction on Facebook is very important because it means MORE people will see the content you share. For example, I have about 25,000 facebook followers, but on any given day, I can see that generally only 5,000 people will see what I post. With engagement (likes, comments, shares), those numbers who see that particular post, go up.

Contests and Promotions:

Do random contests or giveaways to help your facebook LIKES go up.  You can offer a free session or half off a session. It can be something as silly “The first person who guesses my favorite candy bar gets half off their session fee” or an end of year contest where you post a favorite image from each client session that year, and open it to voting. The winner gets a free session the next time. That way, all of your clients from that year, will rally their friends to vote for them, and at the same time see your “year in review” images. Here is a contest I did in January 2012 for all of my 2011 clients, it was a BUSY year with 70 sessions! Click on that link to see all 70, and to see who won!

Best Images Photography Contest

Look around to see what other photographers outside of your area are doing for contests and engagement.

Cross Promote:

Team up with a local business and cross promote.  Maybe you are a newborn photographer and you love the style of a Family photographer, you can help each other out with a similar cross promotion on social media. You can share their stuff, and they can share yours.

I used to do this so much more trying to drum up clients a few years ago (back when I was really wanting more clients, now I’m scaling back!) and found it really beneficial. We all know how important “word of mouth” can be, and when we leave it up to just come up in conversation, it just doesn’t happen. Utilizing social media is such a great way to spread the good word about your business.

You can do the same thing with twitter and instagram, but Facebook is the most commonly used social media outlet.

 

Kristen Duke

Kristen Duke

Thank you for stopping by my little spot on the web! If you enjoyed this post, you can subscribe to my future posts via RSS, Facebook, and if you are looking to improve your photography, see my beginner books HERE.
Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
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Comments

  1. Wow– 70 sessions in one year…. for a busy mom of 4 and that being just a part time job. That is so many sessions! :-)

  2. You are amazing! Good post and good stuff! ;)
    Meg @Big Red Clifford recently posted..one thing i want for my birthday? to go to BlogHer14!My Profile

  3. Thanks for the awesome tips :) :) I’m still working on opening an Etsy shop but I do have a community page for my photography :) :) :) I’m still trying to figure out what to charge for prints…what’s reasonable and fair and also taking into consideration that I”m sorta new at this :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)
    Heather :) :) :) recently posted..HAPPY SON-DAYMy Profile

  4. I’m a young photographer, looking to start a business. In the past I have only done sessions with friends and family and have had many people in my community looking to have me do sessions with them as well. I’m currently researching as much as I can before fulling starting a business. My main question for you is what website builder you use? I am really interested in going the website way with my business.

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