WHY is social media marketing SO hard for photographers?
Knowing what to post, when to post, how to post. How to connect authentically with Gen Z audiences. Knowing how often to post, how to make reels that are engaging, how to reach out to teens without seeming creepy. 🤷🏻 Figuring out a multitude of apps for editing and constantly feeling like your content just isn't as good as other photographers.
WHY does it have to be so hard???
You don't have to spend all your time stressing about it, creating content, and figuring out how to use multiple platforms.
But you DO have to market. Clients do not just show up automatically. Yes, a good word of mouth client base is worth its weight in gold, but that will not get you a steady stream of clients - especially Gen Z clients.
These clients are savvy. They need a lot more than one or two people recommending you. They need to see themselves in your work. And they are VERY picky.
Their parents let them choose the senior photographer - and most often, they are driving the sales as well. I've been researching Gen Z and talking about them and what makes them different for years now; I was BEGGING you guys to get on TikTok back in 2019 and most photographers could not even fathom being on another platform, especially one that was so new and so very intimidating.
And now, TikTok is THE place to be. It's so revolutionary that Instagram is changing the way they want us to use their platform - announcing recently that they will be prioritizing reels (aka short-form video just like TikTok made famous).
For me, TikTok and Instagram are interwoven and have been for at least a year now. I have repurposed my content across these two platforms for a seamless and less stressful content creation process. I don't prioritize going "viral"; my goal is to create engaging content that keeps the attention of my target client base so I can get more leads and thus, actual paying clients - consistently.
Yeah, yeah .... we hear this all the time. The reason we hear it is because it's true. Your Gen Z audience has a 7-second attention span so unless they are engaging with your content consistently, you won't be top of mind. Now, consistency doesn't mean every day; it can mean once a week - the key is that your audience comes to expect what YOU deliver and when.
The reason trends are so effective in marketing is because your audience has a built-in subconscious programming from seeing the trend over and over again (on TikTok and Reels) so when YOU use it, it's familiar - so they watch. Your job is to make this engaging and different enough to keep their attention.
Trends are great for what I mentioned above, but your core content matters MOST. What are you known for? What are your company values? How do you communicate that in your branding? Making content like this is what speaks directly to your target audience so they can see themselves in your brand. Say it over and over again in various ways.
Instagram has given us lots of free tools to use and they want us to use them ALL. The algorithm prioritizes content from users who do this so yes, IGTV matters. Guides matter. Reels might be the flavor of the month but if you aren't using all the other flavors, your content won't be pushed out. Another reason to use what they give us is to give your clients tons of content to consume when they hit your profile. You want them to stay on your profile as long as possible.
Talk to your target clients (this means you must know who that is - so if you haven't done that work yet, make sure you dive into it asap). Speak to them on their posts - comment, like, engage with their story content. When you comment, keep it short but authentic; funny is even better. This is important because when you engage with their content, they will start seeing more of YOUR content if they're following you; if they aren't following you yet, this will get their attention and prompt them to hit that follow button. Spend some time doing this, then create content that you know is solving a problem for your target audience. Then keep doing it.
And at the base of it all, a strong mindset is key. YOU have to believe in what you're doing if you want your audience to believe it as well. Otherwise, you'll find yourself spinning, overthinking, and trying to copy other photographers. None of those things are productive OR effective.
I'm hosting a live zoom call on September 28th at 3pm PST focused specifically on how to market effectively to Gen Z using social media - without creating more work for yourself.
If you've been on the struggle bus, you need to hop in this class.
See you in class!
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