Instagram should be a paradise for photographers. Images and videos are at the forefront, it's easy to use, you don't have to be a wordsmith, and there's the little benefit of 600 million monthly active users. All sounds good, right?
But there's just one little problem, the competition.
For photographers, it's fierce. Everyone is fighting to get likes, comments, and new followers. To help I've come up with 4 simple tips for your Instagram account.
1. clean up your bio
First impressions count, and the first place people look when they arrive at your Instagram account is your bio. You should include:
- a little personal/professional info (if an emoji feels right for your brand, use it!)
- an email address for potential clients
- your location
- URL of your website.
Top tip: write your bio in a separate Word doc or a note app that you can then copy and paste it onto your Instagram account. It will make it easier to visualise how it will look.
2. create a Look
Creating a look will help you attract an Instagram crowd to your profile. This is particularly relevant to photographers. When someone is looking at the thumbnails of your images, what do they see? What's the theme - is it consistent? Who are you targeting in these photos?
By keeping your images consistent in style, appearance, and flow you'll encourage people to “Follow” you. Because your look speaks to them.
Top tip: upload a week's worth of posts on apps such as Hootsuite, so it's easier to "see your look".
3. be specific with #hashtags
A hashtag is text following a # that is connected to a particular topic. Use hashtags with every picture you add on Instagram. (there's 30 max but go between 5-15).
Stay away from common words like #photographer, #family or #wedding. These are overused, which means that your pictures will be hidden under thousands of new posts.
Top tip: grab an old fashioned pen and paper, it's time to brainstorm. Have twenty or so hashtags that you want to feature in. These need to be popular (so you get the visibility) but relevant (so you get the right customers). Keep this list handy (I've got a post-it note on my computer) so you keep using the same hashtags and gain a following.
4. Be polite and engage in conversation
It's the most time-consuming piece, but you need to engage with your audience. When someone leaves a comment, it's only polite (and friendly) to answer. Talk to people online as you would in person.
Top tip: when you upload a photo, if there are others in the picture, tag them and start a conversation referencing them in your posts. (Of course, make sure you've got permission to upload content of them on your social media accounts!)
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