3 Tips to Marketing Your Photography Brand on Instagram

3 Tips to Marketing Your Photography Brand on Instagram
In just a few short years, Instagram has become the number one social media marketing tool for photographers. Whilst the platform is well established, content is king. We sat down with Instagram marketing expert and CEO of Socially Rich, Ramon Berrios, to get the lowdown on how to establish your photography brand to monetize your impressions. 

 

Ramon grew up in Puerto Rico, and after dropping out of college committed his efforts to becoming his own boss through various entrepreneurships including a photography printed swim shorts brand. By being a small business owner, Ramon honed his craft of marketing via social media, and one platform stuck out instantly.

I've always been a huge fan of Instagram and I was one of the early users. I always knew the huge potential it had. Not only because it is much easier to find your target audience on Instagram than on Twitter or Facebook, but because Instagram is sexy. 
Whilst juggling a new photography brand with time spent shooting, editing, accounting, maintenance, and learning, it's difficult to decide where to focus your marketing efforts to get the biggest time to lead generation ratio. But for Ramon, there was only one answer.

I rapidly noticed that all of my audience was on Instagram. That’s when I decided to do all my marketing just through Instagram. Along this journey I was able to learn all of the strategies that could be implemented in order to gain targeted followers at the fastest rate possible. After years of learning all the methods, I chose which ones were the most efficient, and that’s when the idea for the platform of Socially Rich came along.

Socially Rich is a service that complements high quality content by targeting the followers of personally selected accounts and hashtags that make sense to your brand. This quickly creates a relevant and engaged audience for your brand which translates into more website clicks, and more leads. My filmmaking company Carousel Films has been using Socially Rich as a service for three months, during this time our following has grown tenfold and, most importantly, leads generated through an increased Instagram presence has outgrown all other social media as we can spend all of our time focusing on the content.

We created SociallyRich so people can focus on content. We did a case study in which we posted an Instagram story every hour for three days and our impressions doubled from 10,000 to 20,000 with just 15k followers.

Creating a consistent look and feel to your Instagram account is much like developing your style as a photographer regardless of your specialty. So having the beautiful content already is half the battle won. But as Ramon explains, the varied toolset of Instagram is one to be treated with attention, especially the use of Instagram stories.
Push variety of content. Use Instagram stories as a behind the scenes to show the personality of your business. I can't emphasize enough how you should be putting out at least four Instagram stories a day. I can guarantee that if you’re active daily within one week you will double the impressions on your website.
Whilst hashtags, location tagging, and mentions are important and valued tools, there really is no replacement for first class content. There are plenty of photographers on Instagram who are nailing this, such well established editorial names such as rvds, and mobile photography genius dannyzappa. We asked Ramon to pick his favourite.
"Clark Little is one that I admire because you can tell he’s not doing this for his Instagram account. You can tell that this is his lifestyle. His success is a result of finding the right platform at the right time."
Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter still have their virtues, but Instagram has always felt like a natural fit for photographers wanting to display their craft in the most beautiful and engaging way possible on social media. Staying active, using Instagram stories regularly, and concentrating on publishing really beautiful content are keys to unlocking it's potential to grow your business. These may sound like simple tips, but by pushing these three key points, your impressions and engaged audience should increase in no time at all.
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19 Comments

Geoffrey Badner's picture

Still waiting to hear how you turn clicks and likes into jobs and checks. You mentioned in the first para "We sat down with Instagram marketing expert and CEO of Socially Rich, Ramon Barrios, to get the lowdown on how to establish your photography brand to monetize your impressions.", but didn't read anything other than how to build a following and increase interaction. Show me the monetization!

Pedro Pulido's picture

totally agree with Geoffrey. It's all lovely in theory, but how about the practical side of it? what came up as a result of your changes on your instagram flow ?

Ramon Berrios's picture

Hi Geoffrey,
I completely understand what you mean. However, monetizing is a whole other topic. The idea is to first focus on growing the audience and then monetizing it. I actually have a webinar that explains in which ways you can monetize your account, your more than welcomed to join. https://sociallyrich.co/webclass

Gary Hook's picture

Yep, another content-free article. Unless you explain precisely _how_ you did it, there's no value here. And those example accounts? Sorry, no.

Lenzy Ruffin's picture

The last sentence in the first paragraph undermines an otherwise reasonable article. The tips for building a following are sound (although nothing new), but there is a lot of ground between web page clicks and monetization that isn't even lightly addressed in the article. In a community like this, lots of people know how to consistently create great images and their Instagram accounts reflect it. When you promise info on monetization, you have to understand that many on fstoppers are already doing the "create great content consistently" part. "Monetize" is a word you can't use casually because we already know that views and likes do not equal revenue. There's much more to generating revenue than getting people to like and click through to your website. You didn't address any of those things.

It was almost like this whole article was 'click bait'

Gustavo Ferlizi's picture

'almost'

Is the author just now discovering Instagram? This reads like it's 2012.

Jack Alexander's picture

Found the part about Instagram stories pretty interesting... may have to try and be more regular with mine

Colin Johnson's picture

This appears to be an advert for Socially Rich - yet another service that guarantees to increase your number of followers on Instagram :(

I've got a better recommendation - Cleaner for Instagram. This application allows you to find the worthless, bot-generated followers and remove them.

Ok..... so this is like.... an ADticle for 'Socially Rich'?

Truth is we all know how to gain followers etc etc on instagram. So many articles/info about it.
What people want to know is how to turn followers into paying customers.... well, you can't. You can't turn them into paying customers. It doesn't work that directly, mechanically and automatically. Plus people will only buy what they FEEL they want/need. It's a choice of theirs we can never influence. People rarely buy thoughtlessly.

I think it's important to understand that a follower isn't a potential customer. It shouldn't be seen that way - that a follower is a potential customer. A follower is first and foremost someone who simply appreciates what you post on instagram, and cares enough to click the follow button. A follower is also your friend, your relative, your parent, an associate, someone from across the globe etc etc. A followership is a fanbase. So the real question is, 'How do I grow/retain followers?", "How do I build my fanbase?" - we already know the answer.

The only way to monetise directly from IG is to sell prints. I've seen a couple of photographers who sell their photography as prints using a link in bio. Instagram is yet to have an organic click through button per post to take followers to the photographer's gallery to see/buy prints. Even better, an Instagram affiliated print gallery. This is probably the only way to entice followers to become paying customers.

Apart from that....... followers are not potential customers, they are just people who appreciate what you post and care to follow, as well as people who feel obliged to follow i.e. family/friends etc etc

Keep posting what YOUR followers & target audience want to see and what they like the most. Make a print page that is mobile friendly - meaning they can choose and pay for the prints on their mobiles, post the link in your bio. In the caption of each photo, tell your followers that they can buy the image as a print by clicking the link in your bio.

That's the only way to influence people's behavior, and entice them to giving you their money. Making things easy, making things available and visible. Most importantly, making things GOOD, no one is going to buy bad photography/content.

The people you want to do jobs for are likely people in your locality, city, country. Add a location to all your posts, use city, country and all other related hashtags. Some cities/countries have very precise hashtags e.g. "#bryonbayweddingphotographer". Your nearby audience is your primary target, before anyone else. Follow the companies, organisations etc that are in your country/city/locality - you would like to work with. Interact with them. Do the same on twitter.

Instagram is a visual entertainment platform. It's not a sales or customer conversion platform. People want to be visually entertained. The more you entertain 'with good content', the more awareness of your "brand" (God I hate that word).

On IG, look at fashion/style bloggers, attractive/sexy/attention seeking people, and anyone else who has a MASSIVE following, they all do one thing in common - they are VERY personal and open, they post/share a lot, they post visually appealing content. They post what their current and potential followers want to see. Yet they are not even photographers, or necessarily looking to monetise.

From what I've analysed of instagram. People commonly like and want to see:

1. How you live (i.e. lifestyle)
2. What you do (i.e. personally and work wise)
3. How you do it (i.e. method)
4. Your face (i.e. phone held selfies)
5. Your work (i.e. your creations)

That's all I can think of... ciaooooo!

Matt Burrows's picture

Definitely a bit of marketing for Socially Rich. I agree with that. However, I do think followers can be or are potential customers; though admittedly, I wouldn't know because I'm just starting out.

From what I've learned so far, instagram can be a powerful marketing tool or a resource for staring at drunk people for hours. Lots of duck lips and group shots of people holding out their beer bottles. More than likely, not anyones target audience.

I don't follow friends. I wouldn't have gone to their house in the 70's just to watch a slide show of their latest vacation and these days I don't have much interest in what they had for lunch, I follow community organizations, official accounts of cities in my state, other businesses, etc. I have less than 200 followers so far and I only have 8 photos posted. With those numbers I've actually scored one paying gig. I don't think that's too bad for an account that's only been up since November, 2016 and very, very little effort.

That said, instagram is never going to be a source to magically turn followers into paying clients. That's on you. I know this is one of the biggest and most annoying cliche's in business but it needs to be stated. You have to sell yourself (I'm SOOOO sorry for typing that but it's true.)

In my real life, I used to shoot low budget, local commercials for a TV station. I'm not a big fan of sales people but I have to admit, the General Sales Manager of the station always made sure clients understood that our job was to get people in the door, not to close the sale.

NOTE: I just re-read your final two paragraphs and realize now that I've repeated what you said. Sooo... consider this post a resounding endorsement of your marketing methods!

In the first few paragraphs I already mentioned that IG is not a customer conversion platform. So actually.... it seems you didn't read what I said at all.

Matt Caporale's picture

After reading this I signed up for the three day free trial and in that time not only did I gain over 400 followers but out of those new followers two went to my website and contacted me to shoot their weddings. So needless to say, not only was I impressed but I also subscribed for the month. Since I am a manager of retail store and shooting weddings on the side until I can make the switch to full time wedding photography, I found Socially Rich to be very valuable. Yes, most of us know what needs to be done to gain traction on IG but not all of us have the time. Socially Rich was able to get a large group of people that are my target audience to view my account, the rest was up to me.

Ramon Berrios's picture

Great to hear Matt!

David Lawrence's picture

This reminds me of an old Robin Williams gig. Nothing quite like messing up and having a whole row of people saying, yes you did!

Charles-Edouard Lugagne's picture

Well, I tried.
Got charged for a month of service before the end of my three days trial.
Complained about it, no sorry nothing. Almost feels that should apologise for complaining!
Amazed 👍

Ramon Berrios's picture

Hey Charles,
You had come quite rude asking to cancel your service. Calling our company polluting. We did cancel your service, the refund you wanted after we provided the service is what we couldnt provide. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to clarify! :)