Photographers are making some terrible mistakes with their TikTok and Instagram Reels content.
Are You a Photographer or an Influencer Photographer?
This blog post and video are more for the photographer that wants to earn money from their business, accumulate traditional clients, and not rely on branded posts for their revenue. There are "influencer photographers," and for them, the likes and follows have value, but that's entirely a different model.
Photography TikTok Mistakes to Avoid
- Before/After Photos: A friend of mine said to me: "Walid, what is this trend with before and after photographs all over social media?" And when I asked why it bothered her, she said: "it makes me think they are going to post my before photos for everyone to see also." That's a valid concern.
- Quick Edit Videos: Many photographers on TikTok or Instagram Reels showcase the before and after photographs. They are great for engagement. Although, one should ask, "engagement from whom?" Not only might it be engagement from the wrong people; it could lead them to think that the edits are quick and require little effort, and that drops the value. Clients are generally not creative. They may not understand the amount of time it takes to post-process. They do understand phone apps that take a few seconds. What I would fear is that they assume your creative editing came from an app, the same app they could purchase and use. Do not destroy your rate this way.
Wrong Ideal Photography Client: I spoke about the ideal client in the previous example, but many of those likes and follows are from other photographers. Peer support is important, but you have to understand they are not your ideal clients, which means they will never purchase from you. They only wanted to learn your style and then use that in their own business to make money. All of those likes do not equate to revenue.
How to TikTok Correctly for Your Photography Business
I would much rather have a smaller audience who are actually potential clients. And here is what will push them over the edge to hire you and give you their hard-earned money.
Create videos that showcase how hard you work for each client. Are you a stickler for getting the perfect lens for that fashion shoot? Give us insight into that and talk about your process. Do you drive around aimlessly to find the perfect location for your next photoshoot? Take us on the trip; we would love to see how much time you spend on our photoshoots.
Take us behind the scenes what makes you unique and helps you stand out from the crowd. That is what makes you hirable and someone they are eager to work with, not chasing the latest trends on TikTok. Use the platform to help you grow your bank account, not your engagement.