20 Instagram Accounts That Will Help You Build Your Own

Looking for a social site that can help you promote your photography? Maybe its Instagram.

Instagram has been rapidly growing over the past couple of years. And in a recent press release, their newly announced statistics are definitely something to make you sit up and take notice.

  • 90 million monthly active users
  • 40 million photos per day
  • 8500 likes per second
  • 1000 comments per second

That’s a lot of traction And if you’ve been using social in any way over the past year, you know that the potential lies in the action – and 90 million active users means there is a lot of action.

  • Facebook has 1 billion monthly active users
  • Twitter has 200 million monthly active users
  • LinkedIn has 160 million monthly active users
  • Google+ has 135 million monthly active users

When compared to other active social platforms, Instagram is definitely handling its own space very well.

While you may have opened an account and posted a few images, are you using Instagram in the right way? After looking through a wide variety of accounts, there are a few rules that will help you dominate the Instagram field.

Dig Deeper: Following Trends and Using Instagram

Rule #1 Post Interesting Images

That sound simple enough, but this is where so many people get it wrong. They take the “cheesy” and “smile at the camera” shots when they’re out and about. Or they put the focus entirely on their brand rather than showcasing their talents and what they can do. Instagram is simply another portfolio of who you are and what you can do. Yes, you could share some of your clients’ work. Yes, you could share interesting photos taken while you’re “in the field”. It is up to you, but the overall goal is to be interesting and get people to enjoy what you have to offer.

Rule #2 Post Like Clockwork

What makes social work? Consistency. If you post once in January, again in March, the following September, and maybe something in December, how many followers are going to follow you? Or maybe you haven’t posted in months, then share 25 images in 3 minutes? Unfollow. If your followers expect it, they accept it. And are far more interested in developing a relationship with you.

Rule #3 Post Often

Slightly different than rule #2, this rule makes sure you use Instagram in a way that gains attention. What would happen if you posted 1 image every day at 6am EST? While you may gain traction that way, you’re probably not gaining instant viewership – how many people around the world are looking at 6am EST? Consistency means posting 5 days of the week. Often means posting 10 times throughout each day. Together it means understanding your audience and giving them exactly what you promise them. Again and again.

Rule #4 Build Relationships

Like every other social site out there, it isn’t all about you. Yes, as a photographer you can post your images and move onto your other daily tasks. But if you want to create an active brand through Instagram, you have to engage your followers. Instagram uses hashtags as well – use them to connect with people and respond to their @replies. You can even create themed hashtags and have people submit things to match your ideas or contests. Instant engagement … and the more you do it, the bigger you’ll grow.

Rule #5 Create themes

Even though you post regularly, you can separate out your photographs into themes by using hashtags. And again, it doesn’t all have to be about your professional services. Yes, you can #babyportraits or something else related to your business. But what about #perfectsunrises if you are a morning person and spend 7 days of the week running as the sun rises? Or #Ilovebeaches if you travel a lot and always end up staking out your space on some of the best beaches in the world? Get creative. That’s what draws the attention to you.

I believe you can learn something from everyone. So if you want to make it big on Instagram, you shouldn’t just look at “professional photographers”. You should also look to some of the top accounts on Instagram and find things they are doing right. And when you do, use that to build up your own account. Take a look at these top 10.

 

Instagram For Photographers Victoria Secrets

 

1. Victorias Secret

 

Instagram For Photographers Starbucks

 

2.Starbucks

 

Instagram For Photographers E Online

 

3. E Online

 

Instagram For Photographers Nike

 

4. Nike

 

Instagram For Photographers Burberry

 

5. Burberry

 

 

Instagram For Photographers Redbull

 

 

6. Redbull

 

Instagram For Photographers H&M

 

7. H&M

Instagram For Photographers Adidas

8. Adidas

Instagram For Photographers Billboard

9. Billboard

Instagram For Photographers Celtics

10. Celtics

 

Next lets look at some photographers on Instagram. They may not have the numbers of Victoria’s Secret or Starbucks, but their images speak for them.

Instagram For Photographers Scott Rankin

1. Othellonine

Instagram For Photographers Adam Senatori

2. Adam Senatori

Instagram For Photographers 13th Witness

3. 13th Witness

Instagram For Photographers Hirozzzz

4. Hirozzzz

Instagram For Photographers Sam Horine

5. Sam Horine

Instagram For Photographers Mike Kus

6. Mike Kus

Instagram For Photographers Alice Gao

7. Alice Gao

Instagram For Photographers Jimmy Chin

8. Jimmy Chin

Instagram For Photographers Keith Ladzinski

9. Ladzinski

Instagram For Photographers Scott Rinckenberger

10. Scott Rinck

 

 

3 Keys To A Successful Marketing Plan That Targets Women

As a photographer, are you reaching out to women?

Depending on your niche, your primary target may be almost exclusively women. If you’ve been throwing your marketing dollars at a variety of things with none of them really sticking, it might not be the source … it may be the approach.

Throughout history, women have always had the upper hand in decision making when it comes to spending the family’s money. Yet in the online world, many brands have forgotten the female approach, and blast out content with little regard for who their ultimate target is. And why they are there.

With social media, women use it because of the connectivity and engagement. As they move throughout their busy days, social is an easy way to find out what they are missing with friends and family, whether they are in carpool line with the kids, or waiting for a meeting with their next client. Smart technology has given us one more way to multitask, and we can now learn all we can in the spare minutes we have.

A recent survey conducted by Women’s Marketing Inc and She Speaks published some interesting findings that can help you as you plan out your next marketing campaign.

A Woman’s First Source of Information Every Day is The Online World

 

Over 77 percent of women surveyed stated their first connection with the outside world is made through their smartphone or computer. They don’t flip on the television or turn to the daily newspaper – they check in with their newsfeeds bookmarked on their online devices.

If you want to be a “blip” on a woman’s radar, you have to be a source in their information. They don’t look for advertisements or rely on push advertising. Instead, they want to find out what is happening with the things they care about. They want reliable content that makes sense to them and who they are. Provide them with quality content in the resources they care about most, and you’ll connect. [Read more...]

How To Market Your Business After Facebook Goes Away

“I’m looking for ways to bring in more clients to my studio. I started my business at the beginning of 2012 and currently use my Facebook page for promotion. I have around 500 followers and post regularly. I try and get everyone over to my page when I’m out networking by using a business card to let them know how to find me on Facebook. I can’t afford a lot for marketing now so I’m looking for cheap ways of doing things. Any ideas?”

I get questions and comments like this all the time.

Because you are starting out on a shoestring budget, you head to the one place that seems the most user friendly. If you already have a Facebook profile and understand how to use it, why not set up a free page and use that too?

Makes sense. Facebook is visual. Its easy to share your photographs. And with access to hundreds of millions of people, it seems like a great place to be.

Until they start changing direction.

When Facebook went public, their entire business model changed. They no longer are working for Mark’s desires; they are working for shareholders desires. Shareholders want profits – noting else. They don’t care about one user’s happiness; they want a return on their investment.

Which means the new goal of every person working in the Facebook offices is now focused on bringing in as much money as possible.

Nothing wrong with that – that’s what businesses do.

But if you were relying on Facebook and Facebook alone to help build your business, you are most likely in for a bumpy ride. A VERY bumpy ride. And it’s already coming through.

I wrote about one of their newest features a while back:

Dig Deeper: Using Facebook Promoted Posts For Your Photography Business

And if you have been relying on a page in any way, you are probably feeling the pain. Your Facebook page is probably receiving less traffic than before, and those numbers are continuing to head down every day, even if you are increasing your likes in the process. This has coincided with the release of the “promoted posts”, and while Facebook insists it isn’t artificially driving down traffic, hoping you’ll pay more for promoted posts, it is difficult not to put the two together.

No matter if it’s a coincidence or not, if you have a page, you’re not getting the same  traffic you did a few months or even a few weeks ago.

So now its time for a lot of questions on both sides of the court.

Can Facebook strike a balance between keeping users happy with their newsfeeds, helping brands reach out to potential customers in an affordable way, all while making the profits they need to keep their shareholders happy? Only time will tell.

But one thing should be apparent to you:

If you are relying on Facebook as your sole marketing tool, its time to make a change.

Facebook may be here tomorrow … or not.

Facebook may offer brands easy ways to connect with potential buyers … or not.

Facebook may offer affordable ways to reach out to clients … or not.

Facebook may have tools to help you market your business … or not.

But one thing is for sure. Facebook won’t work the way it has in the past.

However you have been using it, however you have been relying on it, that’s changing. The only question now is are you willing to change now and see what’s really happening? Will you do something to make your marketing tools more permanent, more reliable for you? Or will you be a holdout waiting to see where this all ends?

5 Ways Yelp Could Help You Build A Better Photography Studio

When everyone talks about a certain social media site – Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter – it’s easy to forget some of the other sites that may impact your business.

What about Yelp?

Launched back in 2004, Yelp is the cornerstone of building a successful online presence. Millions of visitors use this go-to resource to learn how others are talking about local businesses.

And since chances are you are trying to grow your local business, are you doing all you can with your Yelp account?

With over 60 million registered users and over 20 million review on the site, Yelp isn’t “yesterday’s news”. While many think of Yelp as a restaurant’s best friend – and they’re right – over 75 percent of the listings are not restaurant related. Which means while people may be heading to Yelp to find a new place for dinner on Friday night, they are sticking around to find everything local in their lives.

To get started on Yelp, search for your business name. Once you find it, click the link that says “Work here? Unlock this Business Page.” If you have any questions along the way, be sure to check in with Yelp’s support center.

Then take your Yelp presence to the next level. [Read more...]

What’s The Best Way To Promote Your Photography Business – With A Pinterest or Facebook Contest?

The only way to succeed with social media is to have a following. And the more time you spend building your following, the more results you will see.

And people love free stuff. They are completely attracted to coupons, deals of the day, and anything “fun” that will allow them to get a hold of a great product at a great price. Which is why many smart businesses have turned to social media contests.

Dig Deeper: How To Start Up A Pinterest Contest

Dig Deeper: The Guide To Growing Your Facebook Page With A Contest

However, the social media platforms and the rules to follow are always changing. What worked a few short months ago may be “illegal” by today’s terms. If a contest is in your future, it’s important to evaluate your options regularly and choose the right platform to grow – the right platform to attract quality prospects to your studio. [Read more...]

How Many Photos Is Too Many To Post

You just finished a great portrait and are excited to share your images with the world.

You created around 100 images during the portrait session. When you look through and edit them all, you have around 25 that are extraordinary – they really are your best work to date.

Two days after the portrait, you place 25 images on Facebook to showcase your newest work. Your client is super excited – she LOVES them. She starts tagging them, sharing them and talking about them with all of her friends.

Then comes ordering day – the day she is supposed to come in to order her prints. She calls in the night before and cancels – something has come up.

You finally get her on the phone three weeks later and set up a new date. That too comes and goes with no client orders.

And so on. And so on.

What happened?

They were your best work yet? You really thought this client would be different and want the images you created. They were your best work to date. And you’ve booked several other new clients just by showing off these images. They were great! So why no orders?

Let’s step back and analyze the situation.

When is a client most excited for their images?

At the time you take the images.

She’s worked hard to get the portrait sitting on the books. She’s shopped for the perfect clothes. She’s motivated her family (if it’s a family portrait) to be looking and feeling great. Everyone is at the top of his or her game that day.

If they walk away from the sitting without seeing their images, life settles in. Things happen and they move onto new thoughts and ideas. The water heater breaks. The car needs new tires. Registration opens up for the kids for school – books and uniforms and signups for sports. The money flows to different areas.

And when they log onto Facebook two days later and see 25 of the best images. Wow! They get to see the best of the best … for free! What could be better than that? And what they really wanted was wallpaper for their computer, a few images for their iPhone and iPad, and a way to blast the latest portrait around to family members around the world. You accomplished that for them – they simply shoot a message to their family and friends to check out Facebook.

Now you’ve eliminated the two things that motivated them to buy – excitement for seeing the images, and timing to spend their allotted budget on images.

How do you get around this? Put the two motivation items back into your selling routine.

First, learn to sell ten minutes after you shoot. If you’re out on location, sell through your laptop in a coffee shop or back at the clients home. If you’re in your studio, have them wait in your sales room while you do a quick edit and put a presentation together. Either way, this is when they are most excited about their images. This is when they will buy the most. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

Second, never, never put images on Facebook before the order takes place. Use Facebook to entice them to buy – never to release the excitement ahead of time. If you really want to entice them, one image with a “wait till you see the rest…” is more than enough. Make your Facebook (or blog, or SmugMug, or whatever you use) a part of your package – you get the online images after your order has been placed. To do it before hand is sales-suicide.

Social media hasn’t killed the photographer; not knowing how to sell has killed today’s photographer.

Take back the way you sell and you’ll quickly find your business thriving.

Photographers – 8 Ways To Find Out What Other People Are Saying About You

Okay, its time for a test. You have to answer one simple question.

What is being said about you in the online world?

Don’t know?

Now is the time to find out.

Instead of ignoring it and just doing business the way you’ve always done it, finding out what your reputation is like online can actually help you grow your business. It takes only a few bad comments, posts or blogs to ruin a reputation you’ve spent years growing.

Fortunately there are easy ways to go about this that won’t take all of your time … or your money. They aren’t tools you’ll find readily available or talked about. And there are many “copycat” companies that attempt to bring you in and scam you for both money and information. But when you find a reliable tool, its wise to keep it in your bookmarked area and refer to them again and again. Schedule using them to ensure you always know what’s happening around you.

1. Whos Talkin

Whos Talkin is a simple search tool that lets you know what social sites are saying about your name or brand. Simply type in your name or brand and it quickly begins to pull results. It doesn’t help you manage the results, but it will give you a quick look at what is being said about your key word anywhere on the web. This is good to use in addition to Google as it pulls only social results, so your results won’t be buried inside a lot of other results.

[Read more...]

5 Pinboards Every Portrait Photographer Should Have On Pinterest

If you have a Pinterest account, chances are you’ve created a lot of boards for your photography. Babies, kids, families, engagement, weddings. The more active you are on Pinterest, the more boards you probably have.

Yet showcasing your images is only half of what makes Pinterest such a great place for photographers. The other half is about inspiring your prospects and clients to want to come to you for a session, and what to expect when they get there.

Using a Pinboard, you can convey any message you desire. A handful of pinboards isn’t enough. The more the better. And with more you can teach your clients along the way.

If you only have a handful of pinboards, take a look at these 5 ideas to get you going on creating some truly inspirational pinboards.

Inspiration

If you could do any photo shoot in the world, what would it be? What gives you inspiration? What do you wish you could get your clients to do? If you can find an example out there, use it to showcase what your ideas are. Your clients will never have a solid idea when they come into your studio – unless they see it first. Clients always come in with pictures ripped out of magazines or printed from a website, requesting they “look like this”. Create your own inspiration board and direct them in the direction you’ve always wanted to go.

[Read more...]

How You Can Grow Your Pinterest Following By Writing

Pinterest – isn’t that all about images? How can you grow it with writing?

In every presence you have online, its always about the copy. Words play an integral part of how well you do within the site, how much traction you gain through your followers, and how well you rank in the search engines.

With Pinterest, its easy to forget that. After all, you probably spend the majority of your time looking at photographs. Copy – really? There’s copy there?

Yes. Each board has its own name and description. And by using descriptive works from your industry for both the names and descriptions, it will help people find you when they perform searches both on Pinterest and on Google. And because both Twitter and Facebook have a built-in share feature, your keywords matter in those sites as well.

Keywords on Pinterest

Keywords are extremely important when building up your Pinterest profile. You can use words to categorize your boards and to create your posts.

When a viewer heads to Pinterest and decides to look for something, they use the search function in a similar manner to search engines.

When they receive their results, Pinterest pulls based on keywords and relevancy. It pays to know what your prospects are thinking and what to post to make sure they find it.

Test Your Stuff

While building your boards, nothing says you can only post an item once. If you have multiple photographs on your blog showcasing a recent boudoir shoot for a bride to be, use several of the images – and change up the boards and the keywords you use to describe them.

Just like with every other marketing tool and campaign you’ve created, things change. What works today may not work tomorrow. Headlines may attract attention written in certain ways, while other copy may have zero impact. Remember, Pinterest is one big test market. Find what works and try it again.

Work Your Comments

Comments are almost as important as pin descriptions.

Even if you don’t repin and add your own content, adding descriptive words in the comment sections can bring in traffic, increase followers and add more likes and shares to your count. In the social world, interaction is everything.

The Length Of The Post

With Pinterest, its easy to add a word or two and send it on its way. Yet if you take the time to write up a long and meaningful post, it can get noticed. The eye instantly moves to something that stands out from the ordinary. We have to read it.

And when you read it, you’re more than likely to pass it along.

5 Ways To Tell If Twitter Is Working For Your Photography Business

Social media sites come and go. And if you are like most photographers, you probably have your social favorites. Do you favor YouTube or Facebook? Pinterest or Twitter?

While Twitter is now one of the “old timers”, it can still be an effective tool to get the word out about your business. Here is how you can tell.

Crowdbooster

Crowdbooster is a social media analytics tool that offers suggestions and resources to help you improve your online presence. It provides you with a plan of action to show you how you can reach out to the influencers in your sphere, create content that resonates with your audience, and when to send content to be most effective. It can help you track long term engagement and how best to interact with your audience. And if you have multiple accounts, that’s okay. Crowdbooster can bring all of your Twitter accounts together with your Facebook Pages accounts, and give you one stop views of how your marketing is working.

TweetCharts

TweetCharts allow you to generate a customized report for anything you can search for on Twitter. Use words, phrases, usernames, URLs, or hashtags to check out everything related to your niche. This is a great tool to use as you are tracking your campaigns and marketing programs. Track to see how many times your Tweet is mentioned, or how many times it was retweeted. You can also track if your followers and retweeters are more male or more female – perfect for understanding who your audience is and who you should be promoting your business too.

[Read more...]