I used to never receive bookings, or even inquiries for that matter, from Instagram. But now I regularly receive inquiries & bookings. And all the inquiries I’m receiving are from ideal clients who want to adventure, hike, & go explore the mountains. Instagram is a powerful tool for paid and organic marketing, you just have to know how to use it.
Posting Good Photos, Optimizing Your Profile, & Using Proper Hashtags
This is pretty much the standard way of using Instagram. Posting good photos & have a captivating bio & a cohesive feed is important. And all of these things are also necessary for the other methods to work. In your bio, make sure you give some insight about you or about how you work. Also be sure to use the business profile so you can add contact buttons. Put your location on there too, you don’t have to add your address, but at least put your city & state. Use the name part of your profile to add something descriptive to make you more likely to show up in searches. Use the story highlights to add things about you, or highlights of your photography.
One of the most effective ways of using Instagram is by using location based hashtags. You don’t really want to use generic hashtags like #photographer or #beautiful, use location specific hashtags such as #tellurideelopementphotographer and #coloradoweddingphotographer. And while it is fun to get featured on certain accounts, those accounts usually aren’t where potential clients find you. So limit your feature hashtags & use more location specific hashtags. To get your posts seen by more people, you need engagement on your posts, especially comments. To encourage more comments, don’t always use quotes that have little to do with the photo. Write something fun about the session or wedding, talk about yourself, ask questions, or give insight into how you work with clients. This will help get you more engagement, which will then help your posts be seen by more people.
Finding Brides & Grooms to Be on Instagram
Did you know that you can find future brides and grooms on Instagram? There are a couple different methods that you can use to find them. You can search for hashtags like #isaidyes or #engaged. You can also search for romantic location hashtags & geotags. Search Google for places like ‘best places to propose in Denver’ or ‘most romantic places in Telluride’. This can give you some locations to search on Instagram where couples might get engaged. You’re especially going to want to check out these locations on days like Valentine’s Day and around the holidays when a lot of people tend to get engaged.
Targeting Couples Using Engagement Ads
You can target engaged people on Instagram using ads. When creating ads for Instagram, you’re going to want to do it from within Facebook Ads Manager, NOT the Instagram app. First you’ll go into Ads Manager and choose ‘engagement’ as your objective. Then create your ad, your goal is to create an ad with a great photo so people don’t recognize that it is an ad at first and like it. If you need more help with creating ads & targeting just people who are engaged, you definitely need to check out Samatha Grant’s group. There is SO MUCH helpful information in that group, & she has some great, very affordable resources as well that will help you a lot. Using this method, you can target only engaged people & only people who have interests similar to your brand. After they like your post, you are going to want to go & interact with them at some point after. Like some photos, follow them, etc. Every once in a while I’ll also message them on Instagram, dropping a link to a helpful blog post.
Growing Your Instagram & Finding Clients Through Using a Social Media Company
Some may frown on using social media companies to grow your accounts. But I have found it to be very effective, not only in growing my following but also in booking clients. I use Jungle Social to grow my Instagram. They are great at growing my following of people other than photographers, which is great, because it seems that I can get photographers to follow me easily, but gaining followers from non-photographers seems to be more difficult. They’re able to target people who may be interested in my brand & people who live in Colorado. No bought followers, just real people! Many of whom have hired me. Instagram can be very effective in marketing, but it can be even more effective if you use it proactively. For more tips, check out Bree & Stephen’s group on Facebook. They are experts at getting Instagram to work for you, & they have so many great tips & methods you need to check out!