First Steps: Goal Setting
In thinking about social media, it's really helpful to first sit down and decide what your specific goals are, and I'm talking about like, big picture goals, not like, I wanna grow my Instagram following by 100 users this month. It's more like, what do you hope social media will help you achieve? So what's your end goal? So one of the main things that social media is good for is to really help drive traffic to your website. So I was kind of thinking about this, and this is an analogy I thought of like an hour ago, but I kind of think of social media as like, the appetizers at dinner. You get this whole array of things presented to you from a restaurant, and you can kind of pick and choose what you want. But really, each of those appetizers is like a touch point for the restaurant or the chef to influence you. And that's kind of the lead up to this main course or the entree that you're gonna be delivered. So you want social media to be kind of like your appetizers, and your website to b...
e kind of like your entree or your main course. In general, when you're sharing on social media, you're sharing things like, here's an image that I took, and maybe it's part of a bigger photo story or photo essay or blog post or something, so you can share one image on Instagram, and then direct people to the post on your blog. Or hey, I have a new special for holiday portrait sessions, more information is on my website, follow the link in my bio. So you kind of shunt people towards your website, direct traffic that way. So in theory, your clients will see something interesting on social media, go to your site, and then take action, and that action could be something like, offering you a job. Increasing sales of whatever product you have. I mean, your product, as a photographer, is you. But it could also be selling prints, it could be selling jewelry or books or whatever it is that you create. Through social media, you're also just raising brand awareness about who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer. You create opportunities for partnerships. And you also really are able to participate in the greater conversation through social media. This is true on Instagram, maybe even truer on other platforms like Twitter, where it's more kind of conversational. One question that I get asked a lot is what if I don't have a website? I know that there are a lot of photographers out there who get their start on Instagram. They've never been photographers before. They download Instagram, they start taking photos on their phone, suddenly they have this big following, and they're being offered these photo jobs and never once have they had a website. So what I have to say about this is, in this day and age, there's really no excuse not to have a website, especially if you're a photographer. It's pretty simple to get one up and running. There are sites like Squarespace that really make it easy, there are templates you can just like, drag and drop your images into, and sort of drag and drop the blocks around on the page, and they're pretty simple to get started with. But the other thing I have to say is that, kind of going along the lines of that same appetizer, entrees analogy that I brought up earlier, there are times when I go to a restaurant and all I order are appetizers. So I think it's really a personal decision that each one of us has to make. I think that having a website legitimizes you a little bit. I mean, you don't want to go to a restaurant that only has appetizers and can't deliver a main. But at the same time, if it's something that you're maybe just getting started with, you're stepping into, maybe just having that social media as the initial touch point is good, it's a good start. But I think eventually building up to a website is really gonna be helpful. What it really does is makes it known that you are a legitimate photographer and not just an Instagrammer. I think that's one important piece to remember.