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Creating an Instagram Strategy

Lesson 34 from: Becoming a Travel Photographer

Laura Grier

Creating an Instagram Strategy

Lesson 34 from: Becoming a Travel Photographer

Laura Grier

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Lesson Info

34. Creating an Instagram Strategy


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


How to Break Into Travel & Destination Wedding Photography


How Are You Perceived as a Photographer?


Brand Yourself Before Others Brand You


Activity: What Are Your Photography Goals?


Owning Your Own Style


Preparing for a Photoshoot


The Importance of Research


Lesson Info

Creating an Instagram Strategy

I only started putting energy into my instagram this year. I hired this girl to help me manage it, and she's brought it and just look at it. Today I'm not, like 12.1 or something. But she I think we talked about this before at Lord Travel was that maybe back in February, and she's organically grown it. And and once you get to 25,000 there's like another algorithm or something, an instagram, where they start like you get into another category where you're more searchable and from 25,000 it starts snowballing until, like, the bigger numbers. So it's about really putting energy into building yourself up to that 1st 25 K. And for me, what I didn't realize was that I used to just post I'd be like, That's cool, opposed to cool photo, whatever. I felt like it. There is no consistency to it. There was no curation to it. There was no strategy to it, and I wasn't interacting at all on like who has time to stock people on the Internet. But then I would like posted on just up and hope people were...

stalking me and it doesn't work that way. You have to. You have to be able to be active on it and believe it or not, like there's also a lot of and I don't condone all this. But there's a lot of audience Rohrer and different APS that you can pay a monthly service, and it's an algorithm that starts like getting more followers for you. It's not fake followers. They were like start liking a bunch of people in them, unlike it builds up your following, but they're real people in it. What it does is it surfs like active people on Instagram and likes their page, and then they usually like you or follow you back. So there are like a lot of algorithms like that. That's not what I've been doing, but I know if somebody wants it. But look, the numbers quickly. I know people that I've done that, so it depends on what you're following. You're wanting to have, like, what is your audience? So for me, the audience I want our travel brands and I want, you know, Conde Nast publications and people like that to be following me as well as avid follower of travelers And so I wanted. I didn't want to use an algorithm that's just sniffing random people. I wanted to be very specific about reaching travel related accounts and people. So what she did when I hired her the first thing she did. I'm going to give all the credit. Teoh Nastase, who's doing my account with Dame Traveler because like she knows exactly what she's doing. But she took my account and curated it and made it where you could really visualize it. And it looks beautiful on all. The colors look great together. So there's an app called Plan Nelly. I don't between the same It's p l A N O L Y. And it's a great app gives you exactly this grid and allows you to drag and drop your images in and actually see what they look like and what they'll look like on your instrument. Feed and plan out your posts ahead of time. It doesn't automatically post for you, but you pretty much do everything else, and then it gives you a send you a reminder to post and at a specific time, and then you're like, Oh, yeah, and then you can just post it. So it's a really cool app, and I know people that are using it, and it's really helped them, like curate the visual part like that curation of the visual platform. So the aesthetics of it is so interesting. I went. The first thing she did was she's like, You don't care if I go through your account and delete like a ton of stuff you posted and at first I was like, Oh, that pains me, you know? But, uh, honestly, having your instagram look beautiful on visual is way more important than having a bunch of pictures of you. You know, like at a party you're like with someone really cool, like a celebrity you just met or something like some people want to post those things. And then they are, you know, like it just doesn't go with the visual flow. I was at Beauty Day photo, and then it was really complicated because beauty with an eye on people like, How do you spell that? And I don't know, like they weren't finding it. So every time I have to explain my handle, it was like a whole story, like it's beautiful, but like minus the full, but not the why and like it was the whole thing. You need to have a gun, Instagramming. That's easy, and that is very clear. And get to the point. We talked about this yesterday, but I changed my know. Laura grew travel. Some people say Just start over and have a whole new account. I just wanted to keep the followers I had and build from there, which wasn't money. I just hadn't any time or effort into my instrument. It's about community. So instead of just, like, great, you're posting a bunch of awesome stuff. But then you're not liking and looking at other people's stuff there. You're not engaging with them and they're not gonna like you back or not gonna follow you back. It's all about engaging with other people, and that was the part that I really didn't get. And thank God s Oh, she's helping me. I know it's bad. I do engage like I'm not in line at Starbucks or something else girl through and like, like a bunch of stuff. But she is also my assistant is also helping me do that, and she's targeting. She's going into different travel brands and looking at their sight and liking their stuff and talking to people and liking their page and finding other people that are liking that page and then going to their page and liking their stuff like getting this whole kind of chain reaction of people that are attracted to this one travel page and then like finding you know, and finding them and liking them. And believe it or not, that's gonna be a great way to build your following. So that's what I talk about when when I say community, it is a community of people talking and you can't just post. You can't just, like, talk at people and not like interact with, Um while we're on the topic. I thought it might be nice to ask. So somebody was just asking How how often do you think would be great for for somebody just starting out? Maybe with Post. So for me and I, it's funny, even though I'm like just starting out, I consider myself just starting out only because I just started putting energy into it starting in February. I've been on in Spain for a while, but my social media girl told me to do three times a day. If you really want to build your community quickly, you need to post a lot. You need to post consistently. So she posed three times a day and then twice on Friday because she just says that Friday nights like a wasted post, like nobody really engages on Friday nights. So for me, that's a lot. And she's like, OK, once you get to, you know, 25,000 weaken like Taylor it down and do maybe to a day or you can even do one a day. But we'll just do you really wanna build Number is, the more you do the better, like quality content, you want to just inundate people like where they're just over you. But honestly, if you're putting quality content down, people are gonna love it if you're posting. So going to hashtag strategy. I love this. This is something I didn't even know until I met a sassy and she started helping me with us. So here's the deal. If you go when I wrote down a couple examples, if you go to Conde Nast Traveler's instagram, um and you look in their little bio section at the top. So like the only thing that you can really link all of instagram is your one little bio thing that you put any of their names so you can put your website link. I think I put the creative live link this week. That's something you can change. Sometimes I'll put a link. Teoh. You know something else that I want to promote? Maybe it's like a video or something, but you can change your link and then draw traffic to that link by mentioning something like, I wanted to promote my creativelive class, but she talked about how messing up the flow and the visual flow of my instagram is not a good idea. You can't just post an advertisement. People don't like that. You can Dio is post a really cool photo that matches your feet and then underneath it say, Hey, if you want to check out my creativelive class, click on the link above in the bio and then someone could go and click on that link and go to it so you can use Instagram to draw topic. But in a way that's, you know, not super adds the or like very advertising like people don't like it when they feel like you're selling. I have brand sending me like free T shirts and things and being like, Can you just like, snap a an instagram while you're wearing our shirt in some exotic location and tag says. And then it looks really fake around, like check out level A this shirt lined. And people don't like that because they know that you're getting like a sponsored post and they wanted to feel authentic. And so that's what I'm talking about, the authenticity. They want this to feel like it's your voice and that you're doing it and that you're not like getting paid and doing sponsored posts. And even though I have someone running my instagram, I write every caption. I don't do the hashtags. I write every caption. She'll pick out all the images for that month in my Dropbox and literally in Dropbox. Next to each picture, there's an area where you can write a caption Oh, fill out and write the whole caption and then automatically alerts her and she could just copy and paste it in to my instagram. And so I do. I really take pride and writing personal writing personal stories on my instagram, and a lot of times people like when they hire someone to run it there, it just becomes generic. They're like Check out the awesome yellow sand in this place that I don't know what it is, but check it out cause I'm running someone else's instagram, you know? So it's it is important to seem, and to come across up then ticket. Have some say in the voice that your day going back. The hashtag strategy. If you go to Conde Nast Traveler as an example underneath in their bio, they'll say hashtag at home in the world. That's their hashtag. If you want hunting us traveler to find your image and to find your work and to re poster images because that's what they're doing, they're surfing the Internet for images. You have to add that hash tag into your comments section in your photo, and I've gotten featured many times and Travel channel in other publications by just including their hashtag you Goto Lion Travel Channel, their hashtag live or live travel channel. Not sure which one spelled the same travel and leisure. It's hashtag TL picks, traveling our planet. It's just hashtag traveling our planet. All of these people have, like a 1,000,000 followers blah blah, blah around the world picks. If you go to their website, they'll say, Hey, here's our editor's email. Usually, when a site says, like, here's an email for our editor, something like that, you email them and what they do is they'll do a sponsored post where maybe you pay 50 bucks and they will feature you on their site. And a lot of people were doing that cause they know of the huge following, and you'll instantly get $500, if they post your image and you pay for it. But like a lot of people, no, like a lot of people do it for free, like the big brands like Conde Nast travel there surfing through and they do it for free. But you are also are dealing with a lot more competition where if you go to certain travel sites that are doing sponsor posting, you email them like sometimes I do it for free and you can email them and say I have this amazing body of work that I really think fits your Instagram feed. Would you be willing to feature any of it and submit it to them in an email? And sometimes the future? And sometimes we'll say Sure for $100 or whatever, but they know that that will instantly get you. They'll say, like follow at Laura Greer, travel and check out her work and getting featured posts on other instruments is a great way to build your instagram. And the way to do that is by just surf through all these sites and write down their hashtag for all the sites that you want to be a part of your allowed to have up to 30 hashtags and your comments on my comments about three with us 60 60 tool. So what My what the top was Sasa does for my account is really tricky. I don't if you guys were not on your phones. Now those of you at home, if you can goto Atler grew travel and you look at one of my posts. You'll see. I'll have a caption about a story that I did, and then you'll see like three little Emojis underneath it. What she did is she hid all of those hashtags Nobody likes to see a lot of hash tags. It's very busy. So what she'll do is show Post something. So amid it immediately copy and paste 30 hashtags into the first comment and then put an emoji at the end of it. And then it hides all the hashtag, and then she'll do a second comment, put 30 more hash tags in it and hide it with another emoji and then do 1/ comment. And she doesn't immediately actually post. So she's the 1st 3 comments on it, so literally. All you see is my caption and three little Emojis, and she just hit like 90 hashtags in there. And it's a really clean, awesome way to do it and to embed a bunch of hashtags into your post without, like, overwhelming people and all of the hashtags air literally, strategically trying t target certain travel brands and people that I want to repost my work. I've done a mixture of, um, doing sponsor post very rare, my paying for it, but it's awesome, like you're not going to get seen or noticed or reposted unless you're doing this. So hashtag strategy is really important and using the Explorer page to search for Hashtags. So, um, the explorer page, we're even on mine like, let's say you want toe check out hashtag I'm using. I don't even know because my girls don't worry. If you go to the comments on my instagram and click on like one of the 1st 2 comments, a bunch of hashtags will come up. Copy them. You know, if either ones that you like and to save them, like on your phone or somewhere like in a text document to save like in groups of 30. Like some hash tag. So you don't have to like every time you post right about hashtags, save them as text a little text blips, maybe in, like your notes or something on your phone. So every time you post, you can just like copy paste. Comment. Copy paste Comment Copy. Done. Done. Your hashtag takes like, two seconds, so it doesn't have to be an overwhelming thing, but you should try Teoh, you know strategically chooses hashtags. So sometimes you're like, Well, how do I choose them? I don't steal them from mine or steal them from Go check out the hashtags that other travel brands air using still there hashtag go to the Explorer page and look at other house size that other people were using on travel photos. And take those hashtags like it Doesn't you know, just basically, you want to start getting yours. Health out there to be searched for within the travel world. And so you need to explore and check out what other travelers are hash, tagging, and then use that in your images. That makes sense. So another way about how your words air searchable and instagram, it's like, doesn't really work that way. It's like your hashtags are searchable, so you really need Teoh not just post awesome images, but attach searchable hashtags of them.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Travel Gear List

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Art, Life, and Business Discount Code
Writing & SEO Guide for Travel Magazines
Sammy's Photo School Discount Code
Novica Discount Code

Ratings and Reviews


I've been listening for, like, two hours. OMG. Like, I could, like, you know, get more from this if, like, she stopped jibbering and get to, like, you know, the topic? She sounds more like a rambling stream-of-thought teenager than a mature adult giving a succinct organized presentation. In two hours, I have, like, learned about two or three things I can, like, use. Like, Ehhhh...? It's like, bor-ing! Like, whutttt? Is she, like, 15 or what? Sheesh.

a Creativelive Student

I have to start by saying that I was lucky enough to be part of the live audience in this class! What Laura has shared this 2 days, is something that will have taken me a few years to learn. Thank you for remanding me that we create our own opportunities and we have to go for what we want instead of waiting for it to happened and will these tips your share in this class, will make it a lot easier to approach editors or potential clients to be able to conquer my goals! Thanks you very much Laura and Creative Live for making all these possible for the photo community all around the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Student Work