There will always be paid advertisement, and you can explore that. Do not forget about the possibility of free advertisement from people in your lives. Your friends and family are there to help. Getting a recommendation from your close circle serves as a powerful tool for the new photographer.
I often thought people could help me, but they won't. What the heck!? Why are they not helping me grow my business? Was it not wanting to see me grow? Perhaps you will have a few of those rotten apples, but I want you to consider another idea: Most people want to help, they don't know how.
Most People Want to Help Me?
Sure they do! When you ask for help, people generally step up and want to help you. When you sit idle and expect them to help, it rarely comes. That should not be a surprise. Along with the video, here is a breakdown of how your friends and family can help you. It applies only if you ask them for support!
- Like me: On Instagram or Facebook, when a photograph gets a like, it lets the platform know there is something interesting. Get enough of those, and they’ll start showing the photograph to more eyes.
- Comment: Ideally, have them comment more than four words. Not only does it alert the social media platform of something interesting, but there is a higher chance friends of friends will see the post. That prompts more eyes on the post, more likes, and more comments. It’s a domino effect.
That means Instagram/Facebook sees all kinds of activities on that post, and they’ll start showing it to more followers. Because Instagram is kind and just want you to win? No. They want to win first (and second and third), but we can use that game to our benefit also.
When they see lots of activity they’ll show your post to more people because they see it as interesting and something that keeps people on the platform longer. Engagement to them means a longer stay and that means they can charge more for ads.
- Tag: Ask your friends for a tag on relevant posts. Know someone looking for a wedding photographer or food photographer? It’s easy for the mutual friend to tag them on your post. That does two big things. First, it says "I trust them to photograph your project" and the second part is: "You have a need. They have a service and I like you both".
- Reward the return customer: Lets be honest, it’s uncomfortable to announce to everyone: Hey no discounts, only full rates! That’s why I suggest rewarding the friends who understand the life of a freelancer. Give them a shoutout on your social media. Maybe something like:
“I had the chance to photograph this beautiful family portrait of my friend Sheila, and I’ve know her since school. Not only was her family beautiful, but she’s an amazing soul who understands the importance of supporting small businesses and insisting on paying the full rate.”
People are generally good. They want to see you succeed, and they want to help, but they do not understand how they can contribute. Maybe they are not our perfect customer, but they can point you in a direction. Maybe they cannot afford your service right now, but they know people who can. Ask and believe in your inner circle; they can do amazing things for you.