The Ethical and Free Method to Gaining Photography Clients
You’re wondering how to build a solid photography business but don’t have the budget for ads. Screw paid ads, you don’t need them! There’s another way to win ethically and longterm by doing the right thing and I am going to show you how.
Whether you’re a videographer, makeup artist or photographer this is going to be very helpful for you. The biggest advocate, the author of that whole idea is Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income and Ask Pat. If you are into podcasts, he’s a BIG DEAL. Pat pushes SERVE FIRST more than anyone I know and I stand by it. Offer value for people and they will care about you. They’ll care more about you than any other method, like paid ads. Serving isn't about a BIG ordeal, it’s just simply offering value where you can in any dosage.
NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR INSTAGRAM POST (OR MINE)
If you’re not booking, starting helping and offering value. If you’re booking, keep helping and offering value. Here’s an example of serving first. Imagine being a wedding photographer and posting a stunning images of a couple kissing in an old room with natural light for days. Lets have honesty hour while reading this blog post please. How many people do you think really care about that beautiful photograph?
Really…do you? I don’t. I see pretty photographs all day. Why would I be attached to your beautiful photograph? Sounds rude, but I said we’re having honesty hour.
I’m currently figuring out this months bills, delivering to clients on time, figuring out the next set of clients, I am thinking of my aging parents, that I don’t see my friends enough, that I should really go use that bootcamp membership, and stop eating so much carbs. Now imagine me seeing your photograph of a beautiful wedding, and expecting me care about the photograph for more than 1/2 of a second! But guess what? I got a secret to making them give a crap for many, many seconds… keep reading…
HOW CAN I MAKE PEOPLE CARE ABOUT MY INSTAGRAM POST?
Posting just a photo is neat…if you’re the bride or groom, or the subject it’s super cool. It’s also neat if you’re the family or close friends, and that’s about it. 99% of us aren’t that interested. Lets be honest folks! We don’t really, really care that much because in 1 second there will another fresh images to replace what we just saw. Actually less than one second later if you’re scrolling on IG. What can we do to make the viewer care about your instagram post then? Value. Value? Yes, offer them value!
Now imagine posting the same photograph and talking about how beautiful the light is around the 4PM hour of the day. Imagine talking about the different textures on the wall, all of which gives you beautiful portraits. Imagine talking about a cheat that you learned along the way, something to help other photographers. Imagine talking about the beautiful location, something to help the future brides looking for a venue. Imagine talking about how great the staff is, something that helps the venue book more.
Do you think all this value goes unnoticed? It does not.
ARE YOU POSTING SMART LIKE THIS FOR INSTAGRAM?
Give them a reason to care. Give them a reason to LIKE it or comment on your post. Give them a reason to bookmark it or DM it. Give them a reason to share it on their Stories or even follow you. Just give value on each post, something that makes their life easier or something that tells them who you are.
Make them stop and read a caption. Give them advice on where to go, what to eat, where to vacation, where to book for their wedding, what room to take a photo in, give them a reason to love your work. That’s value. No one cares about a valueless post. Tell a story, give value in that story. It’s a winning strategy across the board!
Below there are two photos from my personal instagram. One is a short caption (that I retyped to give this example) and the other is the real caption. Tell me which one you’d stop at longer and read?
One just gives the facts, no real value. One image tells you a story and the facts. It tells you about where I am as a photographer, what I struggle with and what changes I’m going to make. One keeps you on the post for 2 seconds and another keeps you on the post 10x longer (about 20 seconds). That’s a big deal!
WHY INSTAGRAM LOVES AND REWARDS VALUE CONTENT?
By providing value, you are giving people more reasons to stay on instagram and use the platform. So that’s another form of value you’re giving. You’re keeping people on the platform and Instagram will take notice of this. They’ll note that you a viewer stopped scrolling once they saw your post. They’ll notice that the viewer stayed on the post longer than the average post. They’ll notice any engagement like commenting, bookmarking, DMing, etc… all of that counts and it’s making IG look good. Because of that Instagram will now start showing your photographs to more people.
WHY EVERYONE LOVES VALUE DRIVEN CONTENT
The viewer is tired of fluff and fake-pretty. They want content that will motivate them, inspire them to do better, to relate to, to feel human again. Everything you post should have value, if it doesn’t….remix what you have and try again.
You don’t have to offer value for everyone, just one group of people. If you offer value to other photographers, you win. If you offer value to your clients, you win. If you offer value to future brides, you win. If you offer value to the venue, you win. Here’s how…
VALUE TO OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS: You’ll just help future photographers do better, you’ll be seen as a good person. They’ll probably say Thank you, and you’ll make a good contact. It’s good karma.
VALUE TO YOUR CLIENTS: If you offer value to your clients, they’re more likely to recommend you to others and rave about you! This gives you press, free press.
VALUE TO FUTURE BRIDES: If you offer value to the brides, there’s a chance they might actually look at your work and book you.
VALUE TO THE VENUE: If you offer value to the venue, they’ll probably contact you and say thank you. They’ll want to have you shoot at their place more and refer you.