Moving your business can seem like a daunting task and sometimes it is hard to determine where best to invest your time and energy in a new market. Today, we are sharing how a fellow military spouse and photographer Tia LaRue has started to break into her new market in Seattle using Instagram as the main catalyst for her business.
I know, that as business owners, we tend to wear all the hats and do all the things. It is sometimes hard to know which platform to put effort into. How we can market ourselves in the most genuine way. How and why? I want to give you some of my tips that have worked when it comes to Instagram and why I think it is a valuefor you and your business as a creative working weddings. So here are my top three things you need to be doing on Instagram to be noticed.
Social media can become this winding rabbit hole. When you are physically writing your posts on a daily schedule it can feel draining. Like too much work with little return, but Instagram is a great way for organic leads. Not only is it a way to really interact with your dream client, it is a way to show your work. You can also market to your ideal bride with your captions. When you have time to think of what to say, instead of haphazardly trying to just get a post out there, you get to show the reason behind the business which is you. Two great schedulers to look at is planoly and tailwind. Tailwind is a scheduler for both Instagram AND pinterest.
Also, you show consistency and commitment. When clients see that you are putting your best and newest work up they get excited! Even if it technically isn’t your newest work you are still showing what you can do. This builds trust with brides that can scroll through your instagram. When you have a consistent grid they know you will provide consistent work.
I know that Instagram feels like blowing a dandelion and seeing how many seed….thingy….wispies (you get the picture) you can catch. While you caught five it seems like everyone around you caught thousands. It can feel like it’s not worth the effort. What I have held firm to is lifting others up is ALWAYS a great business strategy. I know that feeling when your the first kid in school who has NO idea what’s going on. In the wedding industry you can end up feeling like it’s your first day all over again. As if your the odd one out but your not. Building vendor relationships are good for referrals but even better to have as allies. Find venues that you want to do weddings at and then follow them. I personally want to follow and interact with those who are a small business. The ones who will follow you back, comment and encourage are the type of vendors I want to send and receive referrals from.
I usually go back through with an app, like followers, to see who is following me back or who unfollowed me. If a vendor isn’t going to follow me then I unfollow them. As childish as that sounds it’s for two reasons. One, I don’t want to put my time and energy into trying to interact with vendors that don’t want to interact. Since this is a marketing and networking plan, I don’t want to waste hours on Instagram if you are not returning the favor. Two, your ratios of followers vs following does matter. If you have 300 followers and your following 900 then it doesn’t look like your in demand. Perception on those platforms really is the only reality a bride sees. So that’s why it’s good to post everyday to show demand. When products or services are in high demand they are worth more. That’s why it makes sense for you to have more followers than what you are following.
Now, I have to admit I felt sort of silly doing this when it was suggested to me but HOT DANG IT WORKS! I am about to be moving 2,300 miles across the country and have been putting a lot of effort into Instagram to drive traffic to my profile. The move has not taken place and I’ve already had two inquiries from potential brides and here’s how. I found venues that I would want to shoot at in my pricing and looked at their followers to see potential brides. Then I would follow them and comment on their posts or like posts. Even if I don’t book that particular bride, the fact that I’m taking time to comment on their stuff won’t go unnoticed. They may have a cousin who is about to get engaged and they tell her about me.a
The big key to following those you want to work with or your ideal client is ENGAGEMENT. If you follow anyone and don’t like posts, or comment they most likely have no incentive to follow you back. If you are taking the time to invest in them you have a better shot. Followers are not the end all be all but you have to think of it as brand awareness. You want as many people as possible to see your work so they can see if they want to hire you.
I know you want to get your brand out there. Your personality is what makes your business unique so use it! For me, I know that many photographers can have the same equipment I have. They could even edit the way I do, but there is only oneme. The only way for potential brides to know that is if I intentionally put myself out there consistently. Social media marketing is a tortoise and the hare race. Slow and steady. Show up, be genuine and intentional with your time.
Tia is a wedding and portrait photographer in the process of relocating from the east coast to the beautiful Seattle market. In her free time you can find her enjoying the outdoors and getting as much sushi as possible. You can find her on Instagram at @tialaruephoto
I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help?
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