How to use Instagram to grow your client base
Hey hey! It’s #TravelTuesday and, here on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider, that means I’m back again! I’m Dave Williams, a travel photographer, and educator from London, UK, and this week I’m going to share what I’ve learned about using the power of Instagram to build your photography client base.
We know that Instagram is jam-packed with images and videos, and we know that the new algorithm is geared toward paid promotion. We also know that Instagram Stories are a key part of getting yourself seen. But, knowing that, it’s still a big platform for building clients and is a powerful marketing tool in itself, even a money spinner all on its own.
So, there are some guidelines that we should follow to help maximise our reach. Big corporations are paying people as full-time social media managers, and it’s these corporations who we need to have on board and who we want to notice us. We want our Instagram accounts to attract new customers, connect with other professionals, and to expose ourselves to the world!
We all love a list, and here’s my list of top tips for working Instagram the right way: –
1. Hashtag Your Posts
On all social media now, Facebook included, hashtags are a search term. There are hashtags out there which relate to places, to products, to moods, to companies—literally everything. When we post to Instagram, we can include up to 30 hashtags each time, either in the post itself or in the comments. Tagging your posts with relevant hashtags is a great way to get noticed by having them searched effectively. Bear in mind that there are hashtags which are just totally overused, so while it can be good to use these popular hashtags, they are actually very competitive, and you’ll quickly get lost in the feed. So, to combat that you should also use non-generic tags.
If you want people to interact with you, it should go without saying that you need to interact with them too, right? So, if you post using a hashtag, you should search that hashtag for yourself and see who else is using it, what they’re doing with it, and reach out and connect with them. Pay a compliment—it may come back to you! Whoever your target audience is should also be part of your connection plan. Follow and interact with the accounts that fit your target audience—you’ll find that this is a great way to build connections.
3. Be Professional and Courteous
This kind of relates to connecting. If somebody leaves a comment on your post, leave a reply. They’ve taken the time out of their day to pay you a compliment, so take the time out of yours to be thankful.
4. Have a “Look”
It’s, hopefully, obvious that if you want to be searchable on Instagram your account needs to be public, and when people find you it’s important that you stand out from the crowd and that you have a brand or a look that makes them want to connect with you. Write a simple, effective bio that tells people exactly who you are, what’s going on here, and why they should hit Follow. Then, taking a look downward, your feed should be considered a kind of portfolio. That’s your showcase. Your highlight reel. That’s what you’re giving the world if they follow you, and it’s also what a marketing exec who finds you can see and base their decisions on! Make sure you are showing off what you can do and demonstrate your photographic skills here.
If you take a good look around, you’ll notice that a lot of the big name accounts in each industry all communicate with each other. In the photographer’s genre, they can quite often be seen mingling in each other’s stories. There’s a reason for this, and it’s the power and value it offers your business from recommendations and, of course, from recognition. Instagram is a part of social media. It’s this word—social—which is the big clue here! Instagram is a fantastic way to build relationships. Harness that!
Most of all, enjoy the experience! Your photography business can be built on Instagram, or it can be built with Instagram. In either case, use these tips to build relationships and to build opportunities! You can start by connecting with me and if there’s anything I can do to help, just reach out!