As the administrator of the SeniorInspire Instagram page, I get to see hundred’s of photographer’s Instagram pages. Tons of them are great – some even take my breath away! But on far too many, I see the same types of mistakes made over and over. Here are five common mistakes I see photographers making all the time…
You value your privacy over your business
Instagram is a lot of fun! We can all agree on that. But as the owner of a photography business, you’re not there to have fun. Your primary goal with any social media platform is to attract new clients!
With that in mind, why would you set your Instagram account to private? I’m amazed at how many photographers do this. It’d be like owning a retail studio and hanging a black curtain over your display window.
If you set your account to private, people who don’t follow you can’t see your page! No duh, right?
But did you know if you’re set to private your posts will never appear in Instagram hashtag searches? In other words, tagging a photo #FloridaSeniorPhographer or #ClassOf2016 is worthless to you. If Susie Senior is searching for either off those, your photo will NOT show up. Too bad, so sad!!
If you’re concerned about people seeing personal photos, the solution is simple. Don’t post things you don’t want people you don’t know to see. Or, even better, create a separate Instagram account for your personal photos.
You use something besides your logo as your profile picture
Your Instagram profile picture, like your logo, is your brand! The best profile picture you can use is your logo on a solid, one color background. And once you set that up, do not change it!!
When you post an image, you want people to immediately associate that image with your studio. That comes from branding! If you’re always changing your profile pic, your brand will never sink in.
To get your brand into people’s heads you have to be consistent in putting your logo in front of them!
If you select a different senior to feature as your profile pic every week, you lose consistency. People whipping through their feed, will not realize it’s your post they’re passing by!
To prove my point, think of any big brand out there and go look at their Instagram page. McDonalds, Nike, Victoria’s Secret, The Gap, etc. These companies spend million on market research! And every single one of them uses their logo or name on a solid, one color background as their profile pic.
Game. Set. Match.
You post more than one photo at a time
Lots of people want to know how often they should be posting. Great question, but here’s a secret. No one knows!
Ask a room full of experts and some will say don’t post too much and some will say don’t post too little. Got that? Ugh.
But here’s something even more important you need to know! DO NOT post images back to back to back!!! It’s annoying and nothing will get you unfollowed quicker. You never want to clog up someone’s feed with bunches of your images.
The key is to come up with a consistent posting plan and spread your posts over prime posting hours.
People only see what’s in their feeds when they’re logged in. So, spreading your posts throughout the day will get you in front of more eyeballs.
If you still like the idea of creating all your posts at once, use a scheduler like Hootsuite or Schedugram. These apps will allow you to schedule your posts to appear throughout the day.[spacer height=”10px”]
Hootsuite is free and lets you schedule multiple posts. The downside is it can’t actually make the post for you. So when the scheduled time comes, Hootsuite sends you a message and opens the post for you in Instagram. From there, it takes two seconds to post allowing you to quickly get back to business.
Schedugram is another option, but it’s not free. It costs $20 a month, but they post on your behalf so you can truly schedule it and forget it. And if you think $20 a month is too much for a service like that, consider what you’d have to pay a teenager to do it for you.
You waste the one link you’re allowed on Instagram
The number one Instagram question I get is, how do I add a link to my photos?
The answer is simple. You can’t!! As far as links go, Instagram is stingier than Scrooge!
The only link they allow is the one at the top of the page in your profile. That’s it!
Keep your fingers crossed this gets changed one day. But for now, give a lot of thought to that one link.
In my opinion, you almost always want to use that link to send your followers to a form. You want to get their contact info!
DO NOT send them to your Facebook page, or even your website’s home page. They’ve looked at all the most recent samples of your work on Instagram and now they’re hot for info. They don’t need to see more of your work.
And be sure to reference that link in your posts. Comments like, click the link in our profile, will point them to exactly where they need to go.
You post too many personal pictures
I always hear seminar photographers say you want to mix in lots of personal photos as well as your client work. This shows your personality, they say, and then point to all the follower they have.
Here’s the thing though. They have lots of followers because they’re seminar photographers… not because they’re posting a picture of their lunch.
Think about it.
Say you’re a fan of architecture and you follow a prominent architect. You’re not in the market for an architect right now, but you admire his work and hope to commission him.
He posts fantastic images of the homes he’s designed and you eat it up. You’d pay a ransom to live in any one of them. Then one day he posts a picture of the taco he had for lunch. The next day he’s giving his kid a bath. And finally, his Aunt Phyllis in in your feed gnawing on a large turkey let at some medieval fare.
Are you thinking about how awesome it is to learn more about this architect? Or are you making a beeline to the unfollow button?
The majority of what you post should pertain to your business. That is why people follow you!
To keep it interesting mix in some behind the scenes photos. Or product photos, or calls to action! Uplifting quotes or seasonal greetings are great too.
Don’t get me wrong. An occasional personal pic is fine here and there. And some of your fines might even like it.
But it’s a fine line. Don’t cross it!!
Totally agree with all 5 points!
Agreed, agreed, agreed!
What great info! I have dabbled in Instagram (which is probably worse than not being there at all!) and have been confused about how to use this amazing too. Thank you for the great advice!
Thanks for the tips! I have 3 things I need to fix right away.
Such great points! I need to make a couple changes that I’m going to do right now! Thanks for the tips!
Good points thanks