The Photo Opp Podcast – Episode 2: No-Cost Instagram Marketing Strategies for Wedding Photographers
Today’s episode of the Photo Opp Podcast is all about how to market your wedding photography business on Instagram – for free. We’re skipping FB/IG ads and going straight to the no-cost strategies for wedding photographers to market their brands on Instagram. In this episode, we’re discussing:
• Instagram Stories
• Instagram Live
• Engaging with potential clients
• Leveraging community to gain clients
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Megan Breukelman: [00:00:13] Welcome back to the Photo Opp Podcast! Today, I’m going to be talking through something a lot of photographers spend way too much time on Instagram. We all know the photographers especially can benefit from Instagram marketing, but it’s been such a shape-shifting game over the last few months and even years for business owners. And we don’t even know where to start. Social media marketing is evolving more and more into a pay-to-play situation. So where does that leave small, medium business owners like wedding photographers? Let’s be honest. Instagram marketing can be time-consuming and can be a less than rewarding effort for many wedding photographers. Put simply, many don’t have the time to implement a lot of Instagram marketing strategies for wedding photographers. These free Instagram marketing ideas, however, don’t cost a thing and don’t take very long to implement. Don’t pour your money into Instagram and Facebook ads just yet. Let’s take a step back and look at some of the free ways that wedding photographers can market themselves on Instagram. Here are some ways that you as a wedding photographer can use these actionable Instagram marketing tips to grow your wedding business. Tip them or one use story highlights as portfolio previews using your Instagram story. Highlights can be hugely beneficial to your photography business. They’re the first thing that people see when they land on your Instagram profile. Your great is important and it’s great to spend a lot of time on that. But the thing that gets the prime real estate stories these days, so many people are turning these stories over posts in the feed. They’re easy to swipe through and they’re right there at the top of your feed. The first thing you look at when you log in now, more than ever, your business needs to be using Instagram stories and its strategy.
Megan Breukelman: [00:01:53] Think about when you land on someone’s Instagram profile. You’ve got story highlights sitting right there above their carefully curated grid feed post that yes, there have been hours spent working through the perfect grid, but it doesn’t even matter anymore. Using story highlights is a perfect opportunity to share portfolio previews, reviews from couples and more insight as to who you are as a wedding photographer. This Instagram marketing strategy is often overlooked as photographers can find themselves way more focused on the grid.
Megan Breukelman: [00:02:23] Try and keep at least a story a day up on your feed and show people that you’re busy, you’re active and you’re you. Stories are great space to show off the face behind the brand.
Megan Breukelman: [00:02:33] Which leads me to number two, hopping on Instagram Live to connect with couples. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it’s daunting. But hopping on Instagram Live to connect with couples can give them a sense of who you are as a person beyond your static brand. More and more people are investing in brands that they care about and people that they care about. Instagram Live is a great way to get your audience to care about you. Show a little more grit and behind the scenes about your business and brand. Instagram Live is a great way to show your audience a little more grit and behind the scenes, behind your business and brand. Take them along with you before you go into a wedding shoot or talk to people when you’re preparing your gear the night before a big day. And even if Instagram live makes you a little nervous, an alternative to this is creating videos where you’re showing your face and you’re talking to the camera. Talk to your audience directly and let them know what you’re all about.
Megan Breukelman: [00:03:29] People love connecting personally with a brand. So get them invested in you as an artist and as a person. Share details about your life and your business. Answer frequently asked questions and give people a real sense of who you are as an entire brand.
Megan Breukelman: [00:03:45] You can use stories and other features and tons of other fun ways that leads right into number three, which is trying out Instagram story polls. What does your Instagram audience even look like? Is it primarily brides or grooms? Are you connected with mainly vendors? Use Instagram story polls to get deeper insights into who is interacting with your content.
Megan Breukelman: [00:04:06] This is a totally free way to get data on your audience and you can tailor your content more towards who you want to market to. So you’r
e talking your audience, but maybe that’s not many people right now. How do you find an audience on Instagram? I’m not just talking about random followers. I’m talking about an audience that converts. Let’s start with sure-fire places that your potential clients are spending their time following other vendors.
Megan Breukelman: [00:04:30] The next one on the list is interacting with those people who are following wedding vendors. Many of those people who are recently following wedding vendors like planners and venues are people who’ve become recently engaged. Take some time out of your day to interact with accounts who are recently following wedding vendors, watch their stories, comment on their photos, follow them and take a peek for their classic engagement gram. Leave them a little comment congratulating them on their engagement.
Megan Breukelman: [00:04:56] If they’ve got a shot showing off their beautiful ring or proposal moment, wedding photographers on Instagram should be seeking out their ideal clients over seeking out a follower account to start with vendors that align with your brand. Check recent followers of venues you love or you want to shoot at. Those ideal clients are following and interacting with those venues. But where else are these future dream brides and grooms hanging out? They’re looking at vendors through hashtags. I’m not just talking about #weddingphotographer, #planner. I’m talking about specific hashtags, which leads us right into our next point.
Megan Breukelman: [00:05:31] Use localized hashtags on Instagram. Try out localized hashtags on Instagram for better results and more local leads. Instead of tagging your post #weddingphotography, give hashtag New York wedding photographer a shot.
Megan Breukelman: [00:05:45] Local spots that you’re taking the images like #ProspectPark #ParkSlope over #NYC. You’d be surprised at how many people are lurking those localized hashtags. Instagram is a great way for brides and grooms to scout local vendors that they really want to work with, make their life easier by using localized hashtags. Yes, these hashtags and bigger cities can get absolutely saturated, but it’s so much easier to find posts and stories tagged. #Brooklynweddingphotographer over #weddingphotographer for couples who are scouting their area. You can make their planning process so much simpler and lead them directly to you. That leads me to another really great way to connect with local brides and grooms.
Megan Breukelman: [00:06:29] Tag your wedding vendors and your locations and your posts. Always, always, always. Tag the wedding vendors involved in your posts. People who may have signed on with certain venues are officiants or planners will be scouting. They’re tagged photos and see what they’re posting. If you tag the vendors you work with. It’s more than likely you’ll be re posted or put into their Instagram story. Plus your post will end up in their tagged photos space, which is basically another feed for your work to sneak its way into. Getting new eyes through a fellow vendors audience is a great way to ensure that you are connecting with people who are looking to book. Plus, if you’re working with a vendor that you like, it’s more than likely that their clients are the same type of brides and grooms that you want to book yourself.
Megan Breukelman: [00:07:11] These are some of the easiest ways to market your wedding photography business on Instagram for free. Keeping active on Instagram is a super important space for wedding photographers. That being said, it’s important to remember two things. One, Instagram is not the only space for wedding photographers. And to Instagram is not a numbers game. I’ve had leads come from a wedding photography account with 400 followers at the time, and I’ve had leads come from an account with eighteen thousand followers. It’s about how you use the tools that you have at your disposal. Again, Instagram is just one tool for your photography business. There are plenty of other spaces for wedding photographers to organically market themselves. And I can’t wait to cover even more of this with you. Have you had lead-off Instagram before? I would love to know. Shoot me a DM @meganbreukelman on Instagram and don’t worry, I’m going to link to it in the show notes because my name is a riddle to many people.
Megan Breukelman: Thanks so much for tuning into the Photo Opp Podcast. If you liked this episode, I’d love for you to leave a review and let me know what you liked and what you want to hear more of. Also, head on over to the Facebook community and participate in some conversation with fellow photographers. If you want to reach me directly, feel free to DM me @meganbreukelman, which is linked in the show notes as well. Thanks again for listening, and I’ll see you in a flash.