///Story by Hope Taylor\\\
This post is something that I have been wanting to blog about for a long time, and I am so excited to share some tips + tricks with my fellow photographers! I am very passionate about Instagram and it’s potential to grow a business (weird thing to be passionate about, I know) but I believe that there is ENDLESS potential in this platform, and it can work WONDERS for your business in so many ways! While some photographers have grown their business using their blog, their Facebook page or even paid advertisements…I have grown my business almost solely through Instagram. I can honestly say that, if I didn’t have my Instagram account, my business would probably be failing! With almost 9000 followers, this social media platform is where almost ALL of my clients come from! They find me through hashtag searches, their friends, giveaways, model calls or just through searching around…but it is AMAZING how many people can find you there! With Facebook slowly but surely dying out, Twitter being almost useless for business and Google + hasn’t quite exploded yet…Instagram is your BEST bet for marketing + reaching the most people that you possibly can! AND, not only will you reach MORE people, but you can reach your IDEAL CLIENTS simply by following a few easy tips:
1. Only have ONE account (combine business + personal posts):
This is the MOST important tip of all, which is why I am listing it first! If you have two separate Instagram accounts (one personal and one business) then I believe that you are doing yourself a HUGE disservice when it comes to finding clients that you want. If you clients are only following your business account, they aren’t viewing you as a person, they are just viewing you as a business owner. This causes your followers to never get to know the REAL you. So, if they know nothing about you when they book you, how are they supposed to know whether or not you two are a good fit? From the very beginning of my business, I made the decision to never separate my accounts. I WANTED to share all of my favorite things, adventures with my friends, my good times AND my bad times, the things that I love AND the things that I don’t. This way, the people that view my Instagram account automatically know whether or not they like me as a person, and that is SO important! Then, because of this, all of my clients are immediately more comfortable around me at their sessions, because they feel like we’re already close friends simply from following my Instagram account!
2. MAKE people have an opinion of you:
Some people probably just read that title and cringed. You’re probably thinking “you WANT people not to like you?” and the answer to that question is YES. A million times yes. I want people to view my Instagram page, roll their eyes, laugh at me, and then NOT follow me. I want to turn away those people, because I would never want to WORK with those people. If someone is going to automatically dislike me, simply from looking at my Instagram account, that is a GOOD thing! It means that you are sifting through the people that LOVE you, and the people that don’t. But I promise you, there are at least ten people that love you for every ONE that doesn’t, so don’t be scared to do this!! It’s much better for them to unfollow you on Instagram, than to book you for their wedding and be miserable the entire day! For example, I constantly post about the foods that I’m eating + the Kate Spade items that I’m using to decorate my new home office, because these are things that I LOVE. So, if someone who is a health-fanatic and hates Kate Spade views my Instagram…they won’t follow me. And that’s EXACTLY what I want!
3. Share the good AND the bad…CONNECT with people:
There is only one downside to Instagram (and any social media account, really) and that is that WE are in control of what we share. If we ONLY share all of the wonderful, happy and stress-free moments in our life…our followers are going to be intimidated. No one’s life is THAT perfect, so I try to NEVER make it appear that way. I KNOW that my life isn’t perfect, and I want my followers to know that, too! So, when my house got broken into after Christmas, I shared that on Instagram. When I am having rough days where I just can’t seem to tackle the never-ending to-do lists…I share that! I share my faith, and I share about how it helps me conquer these hard days. Because of this, people can CONNECT and RELATE to me, and then I don’t just look like a business owner…I look like a real person. And I want my clients to view me as a person first, business owner later.
I hope these tips are useful to some of my photog friends!! If you don’t follow me on Instagram, head over to @hopetaylorphotography and follow me to see how I use these tips + to follow my adventures!