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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 27 Jan 2017 (Friday) 22:19
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Facebook-free business?

 
-Duck-
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Feb 02, 2017 13:56 |  #31

I share studio space with two others. Cristian Rubén, a glamour/fashion photographer was showing me the power of instagram. He took a photo of a flat he had just painted black and posted it to his instagram feed with a bunch of hashtags. He said, "watch this." He then made me note the current number of followers on his account (4055). Within three hours he had over 5000 and the next day the count was over 8000.

So what, you say? It's nothing to click on the button that says FOLLOW. But remember this is network building. Each one of those people will see your posts come through their feed. You don't know who is watching.

The next day I started using Instagram a little more appropriately (with hashtags) and my followers went from 260 to over 1000 in a day. IN A DAY! *

Guess who will be posting to FB and Instagram on a regular basis now? ...

EDIT: *Sorry, this is an error as I was looking at a different account. However, I did see about a 5% increase in just one day. Thank you, Dan M, for pointing this error out.


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daystar
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Feb 02, 2017 14:12 |  #32

-Duck- wrote in post #18262760 (external link)
I share studio space with two others. Cristian Rubén, a glamour/fashion photographer was showing me the power of instagram. He took a photo of a flat he had just painted black and posted it to his instagram feed with a bunch of hashtags. He said, "watch this." He then made me note the current number of followers on his account (4055). Within three hours he had over 5000 and the next day the count was over 8000.

So what, you say? It's nothing to click on the button that says FOLLOW. But remember this is network building. Each one of those people will see your posts come through their feed. You don't know who is watching.

The next day I started using Instagram a little more appropriately (with hashtags) and my followers went from 260 to over 1000 in a day. IN A DAY!

Guess who will be posting to FB and Instagram on a regular basis now? ...

Another mystery for me....Instagram. I actually have an account but haven't done anything with it. Can you in a nutshell explain how the hashtag works and how do I know what hashtag to use with my posts? I see them on other photographer's accounts and it all looks like gibberish to me.

And thanks to all who have taken the time to contribute to this thread. I am not a highly social person so social media has never been a want or need for me. I literally need to learn how to use it. -?


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98kellrs
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Post edited over 2 years ago by 98kellrs. (2 edits in all)
     
Feb 02, 2017 16:14 |  #33

The best thing about Instagram and Facebook is you can link them, so you can publish a picture to one account, and it will automatically share to the other. With facebook you can also schedule posts, so if you have a slow hour on Sunday afternoon, you can upload a week's worth of posts (aim for a post every 2 days), and then schedule them to be automatically posted to your account. This takes a lot of the "stress" out of keeping regular content on your page.

Hashtags are just key words basically. So if you want to use them at their most basic level you would caption a photograph of a bikini model with #bikini #model #beach #swimwear etc and perhaps a combination of the two; #bikinimodel. This way anyone who searches for any of those key words, will see your picture (and any other with the same hashtags) in date order.

In its more complex form you can look for tending hashtags, these are hashtags that lots of people are currently searching for, one example of this would be #photooftheday which currently has over 400million searches. So you can see the power of adding relevant hashtags.


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daystar
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Feb 02, 2017 17:39 |  #34

Great explanation - thank you!!


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-Duck-
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Post edited over 2 years ago by -Duck-. (3 edits in all)
     
Feb 02, 2017 19:02 |  #35

Hashtags are a quick method of linking like images. Clicking on a #keyword brings me to a page filled with images containing that #keyword.

Along with #hastags #keywords #wordsofinterest, you can also link back to your main accounts with the @ symbol. For example, I would add the @unitasphotography so that anyone who comes across one of my images has a direct method of getting to my page. Both these methods work on Facebook and Instagram.


"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
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DrMitch
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Feb 02, 2017 19:35 |  #36

-Duck- wrote in post #18257852 (external link)
This seems like a contradiction since FB is nothing but word-of-mouth. As stated above, I have turned prospects into customers because someone recommended me to a friend, that recommendation popped up in my feed and I was able to connect directly with that other person. That's amazing in my eyes.

Re: my comment of only working by word of mouth...

Not entirely a contradiction, to elaborate, I know some people who do not advertise anywhere anymore, including FB, they have business cards and that's it. Sure, people on FB may ask "who has a great contractor, or great photographer" and they may get the contact that way - but they are not directly advertising on FB themselves. Which IMO is a big mistake. As it's been pointed out, it's free advertising, it is what you make of it and isn't a chore to maintain. :) You can reach a lot of people in a lot of different places and may generate business from sources you would have never thought possible!


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the ­ flying ­ moose
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Feb 02, 2017 22:03 |  #37

Does anyone experience the negatives?

So far I have heard of people poaching clients, fake profiles leaving negative feedback, and people having their photos stolen. Also, the added costs of having posts reach followers. I have friends with thousands of followers who make posts almost daily and very rarely do their posts show up in my feed.

I don't have Facebook either and most people in the area I talk to say it's more of a hassle than anything but if it will potentially help my business then I am willing to try.




  
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Dan ­ Marchant
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Feb 03, 2017 00:31 |  #38

-Duck- wrote in post #18262760 (external link)
The next day I started using Instagram a little more appropriately (with hashtags) and my followers went from 260 to over 1000 in a day. IN A DAY!

Guess who will be posting to FB and Instagram on a regular basis now? ...

Having had an account for a while and having used hashtags I am puzzled by this part of your post - in the main because you don't have anything like 1000 followers (unless you are talking about a second Instagram account and not your Unitas Photography one which actually has 268 followers).

Unless you are a huge celeb or the President of the USA or you are posting pictures of semi naked ladies you simply aren't going to get that level of organic growth in just one day (basically your first day) even if you are using hashtags... what you may get is a whole bunch of follow/unfollow bots hitting your account only to unfollow it a few days later.

I enjoy Instagram and I know it can be a useful tool but the fact is it suffers from the same problems as Facebook, namely over-saturation and bots.

1. Follow/unfollow - lots of people/companies use bots that will automatically like images based on hashtags or follow accounts that post using those hashtags. They assume that a % of the people they hit in this way will check out their profile and/or follow back. After a few days they will then automatically unfollow because they want their account to look popular by having a high number of followers but a lower Following number. This is probably what happened to your account given that you had 200 followers, got hit by 1000 and now only have 268.

2. Over-saturation - there may be 400 million searches done on the #photooftheday hashtag but, for exactly that reason, there are 400 million photos posted to it. So, unless someone is searching at the exact moment you post your image they probably wont see it because it will immediately be pushed down the list by the thousands of newer images that appear moments later.

3. Engagement - there is a wise saying in business "turnover is vanity, profit is sanity". In the social media age that becomes "Likes/follows are vanity, engagement is sanity". Unless your job is being an Instagram celeb then Followers and Likes are pretty worthless if those followers aren't engaging. Being followed by some kid in Berlin who likes heavy metal isn't going to be of much use to a wedding photographer in Utah (or pretty much any other sort of photographer who isn't in Berlin). That kid is never going to become a client. What you need is to identify potential clients and start following/engaging with them in the hope that they reciprocate and that grows into a working relationship. Simply using your business account to Follow someone is unlikely to be of much use. I get Followed by companies (whose accounts are just promotional images of their products) and to me that is just spam. You're just chucking mud against the wall and hoping some of it sticks.

So what is it good for (from a photography business point of view). It's a great portfolio for one. My main account (https://www.instagram.​com/dan_marchant/ (external link)) is not business but I have just started a Sport Photography one which is intended to be for business - https://www.instagram.​com/sporting852/ (external link). I spent months trying to find a decent portfolio app for my phone/tablet and couldn't. Turns out Instagram is that app. When I am at a game and meet someone (or anywhere else) I can just hand them my phone and they can see my feed. Obviously this requires that you curate your feed and only post portfolio worthy images - don't post photos of what you had for breakfast followed by a photo of the dump you did when breakfast came out the other end.


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-Duck-
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Feb 03, 2017 00:51 |  #39

We've all heard that gaining new business is a numbers game. Advertising is designed to increase exposure which increases the chance that someone who needs our service will take action to hire us. But what are the magic numbers we need to hit in order to be profitable? Unfortunately that is a complex problem and one that changes from person to person because everyone's needs are different, etc., etc., etc.

Here is an interesting video I came across a while back that has stayed with me regarding these numbers. They are governed by Zipf's Law and the Pareto Principle.



...and here's a short explanation of the Pareto Principal (aka 80/20 rule)



I found this interesting and puts things into a new perspective for me. Hope it does the same for you guys.


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-Duck-
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Feb 03, 2017 01:05 |  #40

Dan Marchant wrote in post #18263283 (external link)
Having had an account for a while and having used hashtags I am puzzled by this part of your post - in the main because you don't have anything like 1000 followers (unless you are talking about a second Instagram account and not your Unitas Photography one which actually has 268 followers).

You are right, and I should have come back to this and edited it. I actually looked at the wrong numbers and it wasn't until after I had posted that comment that I discovered my error. It was late, my brain was fuzzy...

Which makes me wonder whose number I saw that made me so ecstatic?

Aside from that, I am seeing a noticeable increase in the two or three days of active posting to Instagram. My friend's account is now up to 8.5k and he hasn't posted anything since last weekend. That one stupid image of the studio flat he painted has received over 600 likes. Go figure.

But as to your "turnover is vanity, profit is sanity" that lies pretty much in the Pareto Principle, or "the numbers game," if you really analyze it.


"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
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Dan ­ Marchant
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Feb 03, 2017 02:50 |  #41

-Duck- wrote in post #18263295 (external link)
Aside from that, I am seeing a noticeable increase in the two or three days of active posting to Instagram.

Yep activity is key. Posting regularly to Instagram works in the same way that posting regularly to a blog does. Firstly the system sees that you are active and adds extra weight to the value of your posts and also people see you posts more often and get to realise that there will generally be something new to look at on your account so they keep returning and become more likely to engage.


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Feb 03, 2017 06:47 as a reply to  @ the flying moose's post |  #42

I have had other photographers or people I have pissed off in my personal life leave bad reviews and comments on my page just because they are mad at me. I had to remove the rating and comment section from my page. that fixed the fake people from causing problems.


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Firebot
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Feb 16, 2017 14:38 |  #43

A quick little update to my earlier post a few weeks ago. My Valentine boudoir ad was a great success, but what is most interesting is the info I got from my clients.

I asked each client how they found me and why they decided to book a boudoir session. The resounding answer? They were not searching at all for boudoir or photography. They saw an ad pop up on their Facebook page through normal browsing, thought "hmm boudoir?" and booked it as a spontaneous gift idea for their partner on Valentine after viewing my photos.

Yes, through the power of marketing a product, I got clients who didn't even know they were looking for boudoir photography! This is how powerful a tool Facebook and advertising can be if used right.




  
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George ­ Zip
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Feb 19, 2017 02:17 |  #44

DrMitch wrote in post #18257603 (external link)
I'm not in the photography business, but am a business owner.
If word-of-mouth and personal referrals are the mainstay of your business, FB probably won't add much.
If you are trying to generate business from new avenues, or further geographical reach, then FB can be quite helpful.
I do know of a couple of photographers that have expanded clientele across Canada from their FB presence.
You may not like it, but it can be helpful. It doesn't mean you have to be tethered to it like an umbilicus.
It really is amazing the reach it can get.

I too am a business owner, here's my experience to date.

It's pretty useless, and the only reason I persevere with it is to to own page 1 of google when people search for what we do. We are pawnbrokers so what we do is pretty narrow.

I have actually turned off the ability for people to message us. Sound insane? Well I found that people would message, I would take the time to respond and never hear from them. Worse yet, keyboard warriors complaining about something I could resolve on the phone in 5 minutes.

The one upside was the local paper did an article on us based some shoplifting footage input on Facebook. Also we got the item back due to naming and shaming.




  
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Feb 22, 2017 09:27 |  #45

I think if you are doing portrait photography, a Facebook page is a good idea. You don't have to post all the time or spend a lot of time on it, but if you post your pictures and make it easy for your clients to tag and share your photos, it really helps with visibility of your photos. It's a tool to help with word of mouth. If you don't do a Facebook page, at the very least I would consider providing web sized watermarked images to your clients to encourage them to post on social media.

I am not a professional, but do portraits for friends and family. There have been multiple times I've posted images and have gotten other friends or friends of friends contacting me to ask if I do sessions. If I were ever to do a business, I would definitely do a Facebook page. I think it can be a lot of work to keep up with a social media presence, but it really helps. If it's in the budget, you can also consider hiring somebody to do the social media side of things.


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