Does your mind go blank when you try to schedule your social media content? Well, this is for you. I'm going to tell you what to post to social media as a photographer in 2023!
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As a photographer looking to connect with lots of ideal clients on social media - what sort of posts should you be creating?
Let's dive into the four types of posts you should be using to create the perfect presence on any social platform.
True success on social media comes from your audience feeling:
a) a connection to you as a person
b) engaged with your content because it's relatable and interesting to them
c) trust in you as an authority in your field
d) compelled to buy from you
That's the four types of posts you need regardless of which social media platform is your favourite:
1. Connection Posts
2. Engagement Posts
3. Authority Posts
4. Promotion Posts
Think of these four types of posts as the CEAP rule because following it will help you to KEEP and grow your audience!
I'm going to need some examples to bring the CEAP rule to life.
A photographer who mixes up her social media with the PERFECT mix of connection, engagement, authority and promotion posts is the amazing Joelle Elizabeth - a boudoir photographer and mentor in Chigaco.
I'm going to show you examples from Jo's Instagram feed because that's clearly where she's chosen to go 'all in'.
However, the CEAP rule applies to any social media platform - including LinkedIn.
Yes, of course each platform has its own nuances, but connecting with your audience, engaging your audience, being seen as an authority and promoting your business are vital on them all.
And, before I start, lots of posts don't fall neatly into one category of connection, engagement, authority or promotion. Many straddle two or even three.
Let's start with your Connection posts!
When there are LOTS of amazing photographers available to hire, nothing matters more than how connected a potential client feels towards you.
Don't underestimate the power of that person realising that you share the same ridiculous sense of humour or passionate values.
This is the kind of thing that makes someone save up to work with you and no one else. They want to hang out with you as well as get their photographs taken by you!
Let's look at couple of Joelle's connection posts:
This one on people-pleasing is sooooo good. It's something that her ideal clients will relate to strongly. She's sharing her own experience of people-pleasing and really showing some vulnerability. It's teamed with a carousel of fabulous images featuring HER!
Joelle's showing up in her feed in the way that she wants her ideal clients to.
And here's another connection post where she shares everything she was grateful for in October.
Not only does it tell her audience that she's a positive person who counts her blessings, it also gives her the opportunity to share some things she loves that her ideal client might relate to.
Again, she's paired the copy with images of herself from throughout the month.
Are you showing up in your own social media?
Are you sharing who you are and allowing your perfect client to feel a strong connection towards you and everything you stand for?
Try to share a connection post once a week.
What about engagement posts?
These posts can be directly linked to your photography or not. You can use them to gather valuable information or you can use them simply to get some comments going under your posts and boost the algorithm in your favour.
I do both!
It can be as simple as asking your audience if they prefer the black and white or colour version of a photograph or it can be a shout-out for Netflix crime thriller recommendations!
Let's look at a couple of Joelle's engagement posts...
This one featuring a Moira snippet from Schitt's Creek is so great for a boudoir photographer.
Not only does this engage fellow Schitt's Creek fans who will likely have lots of other things in common with Jo, it also helps with connection and promotion because Joelle uses this post to let her followers know that she's booking up.
Check, check and check!
Then there's this one where she's asking what would be in your time capsule from 2007. It gives Joelle an opportunity to share a piece of her past history whilst also allowing her audience to divulge theirs.
I love this reel here where she gives three quick rules for her boudoir clients.
I'd say this is equally a connection and an engagement post.
Now on to Authority posts!
It should show the world that you're a pro and help your potential ideal client gain more and more trust and confidence that you're the only one they should even be thinking of hiring.
Let's look at some of Joelle's authority posts:
There's this one where she recommends five accessories to bring to your boudoir session.
This is great for those clients who're sitting in the wings considering a shoot.
Remember, some clients wait a long time before getting in touch. Posts like these tip them closer and closer to the edge.
I love that the last tip is a puppy! It allows us to get a glimpse into Joelle's sense of humour and personality.
Whether she's trying to connect, engage, educate or promote - she's allowing her audience to see her face, hear her voice and get to know her.
They feel like they know her before they even meet her. Those who don't feel an affinity won't book and, those who do, will.
That's great! You want your shoots to be fun so putting off the wrong people who wouldn't want to hang out with you is a huge win!
When you show your photography - you're establishing yourself as an expert.
However, there are lots of photographers only showing their work. Yes, it's an important part of your social media, but are you serving yourself and your business and your ideal client well enough by only doing this?
Onto promotion posts...
Of course you need to sell on social media!
If you're only connecting, engaging and educating but never telling people how they can work with you, you're doing everyone an injustice - not just yourself.
Businesses who do nothing but shout about their services and products don't get very far. But businesses who know how to take care of their audience with a variety of content tend to have a much better response to their promotional posts.
Your ideal client doesn't mind being sold to when you're constantly turning up in their life to connect, engage and educate.
In fact, they NEED the promotion posts to fire them into action!
Let's look at some of Joelle's promotion posts:
Here's one where she takes her audience through the entire process of what it's like to be her boudoir client. So important for those who want to do it but have some concerns. They need reassurance and confidence about how it will go and whether it'll be right for them.
Leads are everything - do you have a way of generating leads that you can nurture?
And, of course, she shares testimonials from her delighted boudoir clients along with a storytelling caption and a fabulous image from their shoot.
Here's another one - this time selling her beautiful albums with descriptive copy and a killer product image.
Yes, you're a photographer, but the best clients don't buy your photographs.
They buy YOU.
They buy the journey and the story.
Are you giving them that?
Likes are almost meaningless. In fact, often the posts I get most comments or saves on - get the least likes.
Don't get caught up in vanity metrics. Serve the right person with your post and forget about how many people are liking it.
If one person sees it and it urges them to get in touch then that's far more powerful than 200 likes on a photo by other photographers who're never going to spend money with you.
And if you want to delve deeper into this you must check out my membership, The Photographer's Voice.
We have monthly social media template drops. Fill-in-the-blank captions created specifically for photographers along with all the other training inside there.
But if you're not quite ready to join us, I have an incredibly helpful free guide for you - How to Write the Ultimate Photography Business Plan which also includes a handy template!