Social Media for photographers: A Blog Series
When the kick-butt fem-preneur Erin Blackwell asks you to be part of a blog series called Social Media for Photographers, you have to put your cape on and say “I accept this mission.” I am so honored and thrilled to be part of a special blog series happening this week where each of us will be blogging a topic related to social media. You can check all the details here on Erin’s blog post. My topic is: Are you making these 3 blogging mistakes for your photo business? And without further ado, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of what I’ve been seeing way too much of lately.
The first mistake is ignoring your audience. This is probably the most important tip on any list I could write, and it’s especially relevant now because I’m seeing over 70% of photographers not caring about their audience when they blog. Wait now, Fuse… What do you mean? We blog our photo shoots all the time. Is that not caring for our audience? Well, saying to your audience “here are some photos” is really not. Yes, that particular client will love that post, and you should blog your photo sessions, but when you blog a session, please offer a thoughtful tip. Be a resource for the future clients who will be booking you, too. Why not interview your client and ask them to provide tips and feedback for the future client wanting that same service? Maybe it’s where to shop or which vendors they’ve used or maybe it is asking your client what was their favorite part of the photo shoot?
Some of you are just using your blog as an online journal, and there’s a time and a place for that, for sure. But if we’re speaking about getting found for your blog and using it as a marketing tool, you need to be a resource for your audience. Some of you are blogging for other photographers who are, most likely, not your paying customers. So, have you defined who your clients are, and do you genuinely think about them when you sit down to blog? Let’s have a chat about the action steps needed to do an overhaul on your upcoming blogging calendar so you can get found online and book more clients for your photo business.
- Define your ideal customer and answer the following, just for starters:
- Then, really press in for more ideas on that last column.
- Make a separate list of the top 5 questions you get in regards to your photo shoots. Do you get questions you get about booking you, or about the type of photography you offer? If not, then survey your clients
- Start a library of ideas for blog posts somewhere, like in Google Docs, and also check out my blogging workflow on this post here.
You are not alone. I had to step back and figure out who my audience was, too, and I also see there are still improvements possible in this area on my own blog. So join me, and let’s get better at this blogging thing.
Since I am mostly a wedding photographer, my audience members are brides planning their weddings in the Myrtle Beach/Horry County area. And what do these brides care about? They care about wedding venues, outdoor wedding ceremonies, plantation weddings, booking other vendors, wedding day timelines, wedding shows in the area, engagement photo ideas, location ideas for their shoot, what to wear for their engagement photos…and the list goes on. If you’re a portrait photographer and your audience consists of moms, then what age group of moms? Are you photographing their kids—for example, baby photographer or senior portraits? Are they “expecting” moms who want maternity portraits? College student moms? Who are they and what do they care about? Your blog should have the 80/20 rule, which means you blog 80% of your posts toward your audience (including personal posts) and you blog 20% of the time on sales and marketing topics, which would mean studio news, new products, behind-the-scenes of your job, and any photo events you have coming up. So create a blog with a high value to your ideal audience. If attracting followers and the ideal future clients isn’t enough reason to focus on your audience, remember that your competition is likely already doing it.
Most photographers are not the best writers for sure but there are tools for that and practice does make you a better blogger. Get in the habit of writing and writing for your audience.
**Some Writing Tools: Kris with a K Writing, A Course about Copy, Weave Writer
This mistake is about how you’re not boosting your blog posts for search and for Pinterest. One thing you can do, if you have not done so already, is install the Yoast SEO plugin and learn how to use the plugin properly. It will help you get found by the keywords you want for your blog posts.
Another thing you must absolutely do is rename your images with keywords and update the Alt Text and Description fields when uploading your photo to the media library for your blog. Pinterest will pull the text from your Alt Text field, so make sure your blog post’s featured image has the text you’ll want shown on Pinterest. If you need help with ideas for renaming your images, you can download my Image Rename Cheat Sheet here.
Just think about types of weddings, styles of shoots, keywords related to the type of photography you do, and the topic of your blog post. Is the post about pricing? Then that keyword should be in one of your posted images. If the post is about a Ritz Carlton wedding, then Ritz Carlton Wedding photos should be in the Alt Text section of a photo or two.
All of the Alt Text and Description fields should be unique from one another on that blog post. Don’t be overly repetitive. Therefore, it makes sense that if you’re blogging way too many images, it will be difficult to optimize them. What you do in this case is blog fewer images by using a collage. (Just don’t make the mistake of using only one main collage because you will only get one little spot to optimize your text.) Does that make sense? That’s how you achieve balance with the number of actual items in the blog and still optimize each one in a manageable way. If you have not downloaded my Image Rename Cheat Sheet already, you can click on image below for sign up link. I give you guys ideas how to be renaming your images for blogging and check out my other resource as well from videos to other blog posts I have shared on this topic.
Check at bottom of post for some videos I have shares for photography businesses!
Yes, there’s more. And this time, it’s ignoring social sharing and social proofing. When I attended Creative Live as a student in Lewis Howes’ class, we learned that our blogging time should be split to 20% blogging and 80% promotion. This is getting to be more and more viable as social proof and social sharing have become strong factors in Google ranking. So if you feel worn out after just writing and completing a blog post, you are going to need some tricks up your sleeve because the job has only just begun.
You’ve created a great blog post with your audience in mind, and now it’s time to take it to the next step and share that post. But, I don’t mean go post it to your Facebook fan page and say “check out my latest blog post.” Nope. Wrong.
Let’s back up and look at why. Have you already taken the time to define which social media platforms work best for you? I shared a scope and a blog post on how to make social media work for you here. The key is in not using all platforms that the web has to offer, but to use the platforms where your audience actually hangs out on and that you enjoy. Of those, spend your time on the social media platforms that can generate traffic back to your blog. If you’ve been blogging for a while, you should have identified which those are.
Sidenote: I honestly feel that photographers should spend more time learning Instagram and Pinterest rather than Facebook. We all have seen what the Facebook Business reach has accomplished, and guess what? They just did another new update that limits our reach via our business pages even further. I think that’s enough said.
Back to the fun stuff. Create unique graphics and even unique text when sharing that post. Plan it out ahead of time so it’s more authentic and more eye catching when you share. People are responding to fun and pretty things. We are in the social era of people who need to watch videos of kittens playing and babies’ funny expressions (or people falling down stairs…whatever it may be) just to get through the day, so think about how you’re going to grab someone’s attention away from furry baby animals! It’s really that serious.
I’ve given you a lot within these three key areas, so I’m going to rev up and condense down this last part of social sharing for easy ingestion.
Pinning: Remember to pin on Pinterest at a later time and add text to your pin. Pinterest prefers natural text and NOT hashtags. After a month or 2, Repin that pin to a second board on your profile.
Tweeting: If you use Twitter, tweet that blog post a month or two later to get it back in people’s view.
SEO tip: You can use the social tab within Yoast to make unique content text for FB and Twitter sharing.
Graphics: Canva is a fun way to make unique graphics. I’ve also discovered Buffer.com/Pablo, which is great for making graphics fast and easy via the Google Chrome extension. Watch Afton’s scope to learn more about that.
Multi-tasking: You can schedule out your posts on different social platforms! Some use CoSchedule, while others love Buffer, and you can also try If This Then That. And of course there is Hootsuite too!
Some videos to further help you blog better and get found online for your photo biz.
How to find new keywords for your photo business?
Where to use keywords:
Blog post ideas for photographers: For Halloween
SEO for portrait Photographers- Holiday Keywords and Season
Blogging tip for Photographers- How to Blog faster
Pinterest SEO for Photographers:
Wow! Those 3 things felt like a lot, so let’s recap. Blog for your audience, optimize your posts for search & Pinterest, and share on the correct social media platforms. Have you noticed any other mistakes you feel photographers are making when they blog? Don’t forget to check out the next up on the Blogging series tomorrow, it will be the lovely Erin Rachel from the Sixth Bloom who will share Pinterest Tips for photographers: