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How to Develop a Social Media Strategy

Lesson 33 from: Becoming a Travel Photographer

Laura Grier

How to Develop a Social Media Strategy

Lesson 33 from: Becoming a Travel Photographer

Laura Grier

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Lesson Info

33. How to Develop a Social Media 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

How to Develop a Social Media Strategy

My final chapter is about packaging yourself as a multimedia maven. I like that term. Create yourself is a media bundle to be more competitive and valuable. So we talked a lot about triple Threat and about branding video photography. A lot about writing today. Ah, lot about strategic writing today. A lot about pitching all these things. And so the fact is again, going back to with the definition of a modern day photographer is specifically travel with. This applies to most photographers. You have to be kind of savvy in all these different mediums. And so social media we talked about a little bit in the beginning is so important. And I think in the travel realm it's especially important because a lot of travel brands are mainly looking for stuff on Instagram and other. They're getting mawr involved in Stop Chat. I just started Snapchat ah, week or so ago. I bought it, bought it for a really long time, and I finally decided to join. And for me, I only did it because I've been getting rea...

ched out Teoh via Instagram by some travel brands, asking me to do a Snapchat takeover, which I don't even know what that meant when they're asking me. But what they're getting into now is asking a bunch of different influencers or people that are traveling to do one day, maybe one week takeovers for their accounts and showing a day in the life of a travel photographer day in the life of a blogger or just showing different destinations around the world. They're getting savvy because they're like, Well, how we gonna create the Snapchat content like not one person has the most interesting life in the world. But we can get a bunch of people doing cool things to do to take over. So don't be afraid of social media. And don't just think it's just for the kids. A za Muchas Snapchat is silly, and I can turn myself into a draft and send it to my friends and all that good stuff. Believe it or not, major travel brands are starting to take it seriously and wanting people to join it. So I joined this week, and it's Laura Greer travel minus the E in travel, I believe, is my Snapchat. So I didn't do much today because I've been here talking to you guys. But we'll do some worsen. Absolutely. Okay, So packaging yourself is a multimedia may even And I'm gonna talk a lot about Instagram because we've already talked a lot about writing. But Instagram has been where I've put most of my focus and I think probably cause it's, you know, photo related and and I can curate it. And it's been a really great platform for me to get my work out there. So let's dive in. Social media strategy is near the Yellow Python. It matched me. I felt the need to pick up this animal imposed with it cause I happened wearing yellow that day. I was with my mom. It was when we were on that trip in Indonesia and we're at put out on a lot, which is like a floating sea temple. So you can see in the background and low tide. The water goes all the way up to that temple. It looks like it's floating, but someone had is the snake there and I had to pick it up because it matched me. So what are you using? And are you reaching your audience? I don't know. What are you guys using or any of you using Instagram Chopin's like Good for you. What about your own blog's Facebook? Was that Facebook Anyone else to use Snapchat by the only one up here comma. Okay. Okay. Crystal. Really? I see it. Follow each other. So, social media as I fought it forever, I still thought I still fight it actually. And I have someone helping me do it because I I recognize my weaknesses. Social media is a week. Feels a mind like I it takes up. Wait a lot of my time and I fought it for a long time, and I finally had to give in because again, it's a free tool to get yourself out there and seen by more people. So you should be using it like I understand. By the way, I'm paying somebody and assistant to help me do it. So then I was like, I'm paying someone to use a free app like this is crazy. But if you think about the jobs that you could potentially get, it will make up for it in the long run. You should definitely you don't have the time or the know how or really want to do it yourself. find someone who can, because it is really important. And I'll tell you a couple of reasons why before we dive in there now is a photographer in the event space and in the wedding space. Certain brands and PR companies are now on Lee hiring photographers that have a high social media following. It's sad, Ah, lot of photographers were being chosen by the amount of their followers and not the quality of their work. And it doesn't mean that you should not care about the quality of your work and get more followers. But it means that if you're a good photographer, you need to be as competitive in your social media as you are with your work, because that's important to them now if they're doing an event where they want to bring an event photographer in, they realized now that having all their vendors at the event with high social media following that are all gonna be snap chatting Instagramming. What's going on at the event is only gonna get them more press, and that's more valuable to them than the photos that they get from that event. And it's sad and it's like, hurts me it hurts him deep inside that this is the reality. But it is. And so it's important to not ignore that. Because I thought in jobs through Instagram, I've gotten brands, sending me things and asking me to do things for them. On Instagram. I've been reached out to buy travel TV shows and people based on instagram and I, and it's one of those things where you can't ignore it. It's just a way to get your work out there, and there might be the next best thing. Maybe Instagram will fade away. Kind of like a Twitter sort of house, and you don't know. But in the time being, it's important to do it. You mentioned earlier the new algorithm, or that you want to talk more about that are ask that question again. Instagram changed the way they display your feed now, and so they use some sort of algorithm to put up what's most popular. So it's no longer a timeline, and you know that's irritating for me as a user, because I see stuff that maybe was posted six or 10 hours ago when I'm trying to look a, you know, like real time. What came up. Yeah, most recently, and I'm wondering how that's affecting you guys. And if you figured out a way to beat the system, so to speak. Okay, so my name is Laura Greer travel, and I have a girl that is Dame Traveler, an instagram. Help me manage my account. She actually manages a lot of different people's accounts, but all in the travel space. I wanted someone that knew how to strategically target people in the travel space to post my images for me and she I asked her about her thoughts on the algorithm. She said that it's actually increased thief following and increased the engagement that's happening. So I think it might be frustrating in your case for that. But ultimately engagement in in the images and what you're putting out there is what's gonna drive more traffic and more followers, and doing it by what people want to see has been driving more engagement, which is what they're trying to dio. I think that you know there's going to be easier ways to do it right now. It's kind of like frustrating, but I think ultimately you're gonna find that it will. It will help you. And with that being said, you said that even being more strategic with your hashtags and things like that is more important now because it's going to actually drive you further up in the ranks, and you'll probably get a faster following because of this new algorithm. But yeah, right now it is. It's a it's changing all of us. Hate change. I mean, I know it's like Western. You finally learned something, and that changes. So let's talk about the importance of social media to travel brands. So when I started, And this is also for boards of tourism's and for anyone for a hotel, anyone I've ever pitched, an idea Teoh, even for speaking engagements, I think creative. I've been asked me when I've been. I've spoken for Canon and they asked me how many followers across the board I had. It's a weird thing that that's like part of my prerequisite as a photographer and as an expert. I'm an expert. I've been doing photography for 16 years, but a lot of times we were not judging you based on how many colors you have. If you're an expert s, so it is important, consider it like what circulation numbers used to be for magazines and newspapers. Uh, instead of people used to ask you, like, what's the circulation of that publication? And now people are asking, There still are circulation numbers online, but they're now asking, What you're following is and it's one of the questions they ask you in a media form when they send it out to you, and I'll show you what a sample media for looks like. So don't lose out on potential jobs. It's worth the investment to outsource. So I talked about that and like, there's a lot of potential jobs that you could get that I didn't even know existed. Certain companies are asking people, for instance, the climb C l Y M b. I don't know if you guys, they do all these really amazing tours on the world they're doing right now, a social media contest where you can apply like all of you, just like do a 60 minutes 60 minutes, 62nd video and explain why you would be really good at going on and taking over their instagram account. They're offering 10 like Lifetime, like Amazing Bucket List trips like Antarctica and climbing Millet, Kilimanjaro. All these epic trips Teoh someone and they're offering it for free to somebody that wants to take over the instagram for the length of the trip and do photos on the trip and anyone can apply. And a lot of companies are starting to do this. They're starting to find people that are savvy er than they are to run their instagram and their social media accounts. Snapchat all that during travel. Because a lot of Travel Traveler is and jetsetters like myself are finding our information on Instagram. I'm researching places to go and photos from that place by Hashtags on Instagram. I'm I'm checking out ideas in places the shooter places I want to go. I'm getting my inspiration of trips. I want to go on from an image I'll see on my feet and instagram. I follow a lot of different travel brands so they know the importance of it, and there's all these opportunities like that. That's just one company where people are offering you to come on. A trip for free just runs social media for them. So, like that's a fun opportunity to show that your current and relevant well, it's like this all the time because I'm like every time I feel like I finally given and I do something, it's like something else pops up like Moon. I've learned that and and it's frustrating because again, I started off as a film photographer and I didn't even have to know how to use a computer and or how to do anything other than developing print pictures. And it's like, I mean, I can't even talked about how to take a photo once in this class, barely. And that's and it's so important, like my craft and how I edited and everything is and the final product is super important, like I could give a whole two day seminar on that. But for me, this all this stuff, this is what's going to differentiate you from just another trap like photographer that take awesome photos to being like, wanted and sought after and given these amazing jobs and getting yourself out there and getting a following and having travel brands want to sponsor your travel and all these things, and this is how you will differentiate yourself by by writing and by doing social meeting all these things. So you have to think of yourself as a brand, and you have to educate yourself with all the new things that are happening in the new technologies. And you have to be okay with change and embracing it and then show that you're a multimedia content creator. So I not only show my pictures on Facebook. Also, different pictures on my blogger, different pictures on my instagram I really, really highly curate my instagram. I show that I'm active in all these things. I show that I'm actively writing. I'm actively doing shoots and blogging about it. I'm actively during my social media. I like you want to show that you're kind of a jack of all trades, and then you can package yourself as a multimedia content creator. And how can you monetize some of these trips? Because it's hard to tell them. I'm not gonna really get into money, I think was you, um, I'm not going to really get into money, and what I charge everyone's different in every job is different. To be honest, in the travel realm, it's they don't pay a lot. Let's be honest. Some big travel brands might, but a lot of the jobs. They know that people are so excited and wanting to travel so much that a lot of people will do it for free and or trade. And so you're competing with a lot of people that are willing to do that job for free. So you have to a offer something different. And B if you want to make yourself more competitive in charge than you need to offer something very valuable to them. So how I structure it is giving away all this. All this information is different for everyone. So what I did was I spent the whole last year because I've only been really doing writing like this and pitching brands for about two years. The whole first year, I did everything for free. I just said, I need to, you know, pitch and pitch and get all these jobs and get the travel jobs. But I always aligned it with with a shoot or something that I was already doing where I was making money. So I'm not losing money on the trip. I would do it while I'm doing a catalog shoot for Novica. Why would do where I knew I could write an article on Make money or I would do it on the back end of a destination wedding I was doing or a vacation I was doing. So I wasn't losing money, but I was building up kind of a repertoire of working with different travel brands. And so now I can show do is that I worked with Princess Cruises and I worked with Rainforest Cruises, and I worked for the boards of tourism's of these countries. And I've done all these things the Four Seasons and Villa. So now I can take all those things and and from my first year and use that to create a multi media package where I can make money. Now it's a brands, and now I can take that as a package and say to a hotel chain or Teoh, a tour group or a big company or cruise line. I can say this is what I did for this other cruise line, or this is what I did for the four seasons I offered them. Here's an example of articles I wrote here, my numbers and social media. This is how many posts I did on social media for them during that time. This is what I wrote about in my block here the amazing pictures that I let them use for their marketing. And this is what I charge and create yourself as a package. And so now you're not like your you've done it now, like you have this under your belt. Now you can start, like charging for, and what I usually leverage is social media and photography. Those air, usually the extras that nobody else can give them. That's your unique following, and that's your unique voice that most writers and other people out there can't offer as well. So, um, I like by putting energy into my social media numbers and my paying an assistant to help me with it. It's really helping me to have that is more leverage to getting paid jobs. It's also in my photography. Ultimately has been my selling point, because that's something that's very valuable, that they can keep forever and use once I'm there. And I'm done like doing my social media or Snapchat like it's done like I'm done with it And, you know, once the articles published, it's done, but like they can reuse my photos for a lot of things, and that's valuable. And you should be charging for that when you get to a point where your competitive and they want you. So that's how I monetize a lot of this and they don't know again. It's not Take until you make it cause you're actually doing it. But nobody isn't or you did those first dollars for free and in their mind, like I charged the Four Seasons like They don't need to know that you did the work. You did amazing work. You should be getting money for it, but you've got to start somewhere and you've got to go out and do those jobs to build up that portfolio first.

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