5 Keys to Social Media


The Business of Wedding Photography


Lesson Info

5 Keys to Social Media

We're gonna get into five keys to social media. So this is more about the how, how to post, as opposed to what to post and how to engage. So first of all, you want to innovate. Don't just post your work. I did tell you you should be posting your work, right? I love that you've got, look at all your notes, look at all these pens. You're flipping pages, we're already onto the second page. (laughs) I'm sorry. I'm very ADD, I will absolutely notice stuff like that. But don't just show your work. Show things that are interesting, that are helpful to the target market that you're looking for. Now, Instagram, that is where I'm pretty much just posting my work, but if you flip over to my Facebook, I will post popular content. If there's something popular on weddings like bridesmaids with puppies, have any of you? Yeah, a lot of you are nodding. Yeah, I remember that bridesmaids with puppies thing. I'm sure it was stupid. I mean, it was cute, but it was-- (audience laughs) Really being honest h...

ere. But it was a little stupid, but in a funny way, because what bride is holding a puppy? I'm sorry. What bride wants the puppy on the wedding dress, right? But things like that are things that I would post on Facebook because they're clickable links, right? And that's interesting to my brides, so they'll click on that. Now, with the way that Facebook changes, the algorithms, the outbound links aren't quite as seen as they used to be, but it's still something that your existing clients, clients you're trying to reach are going to be interested in. Things on Pinterest, you know, maybe you do have boards about wedding photography and it's all the stuff that you've taken photos of, but maybe you have a board on there about nesting, home decor. These are things that your clients are interested in, right? They're building a home. Either they're already moved in together or they're going to move in together. So innovate. Think of different things that you can post that are going to be attractive to your clients, and not just about weddings, right? But, you know, fashion, nesting, whatever it is. Tagging. How many of you guys know the difference between tagging and hashtagging? Okay. Some people do, some people don't. When I ask this question, it's usually about 50/50. So I'm just gonna clarify it for everybody really quick. Tagging is when we tag an account. So if you are on Facebook and you are doing the @ sign, searching for the florist that you worked with that day, the wedding planner you worked with, or perhaps you're tagging the shoe designer in that post, that is a tag. You are tagging another person, company, another account. A hashtag, which is not really used quite as much on Facebook, it's more Instagram, a hashtag is kind of like a searchable way to label that photo. So that's where you see the number signs. The number sign, and then let's just talk about Jimmy Choo shoes. I would do hashtag Jimmy Choo shoes. Then, people can look up Jimmy Choo shoes. Now, you can follow hashtags, so I follow the hashtag New York City wedding planner. And then everyone who's posting there, it comes up in my feed, which is very important because ultimately, you want to engage with people, other people, which we'll get to that. But you also want to make sure that your photo pops up in as many places as possible. Now, another way to tag is when you're tagging the actual photo, so if you're on Facebook, you have the option to tag the photo. Usually a person, you know, it detects their face, but on Instagram, when you tag a photo, your photo will then show up in their tagged photos in their feed. This would be a good time, actually, to go to my phone to show you guys what that looks like, so I'm gonna just grab it real quick. Now, the person that you tag does have the ability to either hide the tag or remove the tag. Sometimes, you have privacy settings where the tag has to be approved before it gets there, but not everyone. So ideally, you're tagging different places so that your photo shows up in as many places as possible. That's really what the tagging and hashtagging is. So if I go over to my photos here, let's just click on this one, and I've got some tags, alright? Wedding day I do, great. So wedding day I do, and this is from awhile ago, so you may or may not see it, but the third little button here, that's the stuff they've been tagged in. Oh, look, and there you go, there's my photo right there and there, see? I've tagged them twice. Alright? This is a relatively new account, so they're allowing people to tag them. That's another thing. When you're tagging people, it may seem great to always tag, I don't know, Style Me Pretty, but Style Me Pretty, I'm pretty sure, has settings on there where not the entire world, they're not letting everyone show up there, alright? You know, and that's a small account. Very few people are going to see that, but someone else is going to see it, right? It's kind of like how musicians think, like no gig is too small, right? (laughs) No gig is too small here. So when you are using that, and I'm just gonna keep scrolling down here so you can see the difference, see how I've tagged both Wedding Wire, the @ tag here, and then also the hashtag here? Now, why did I do that? So the @ tag, that just notifies Wedding Wire that I talked about them in this, and I did, and I also tagged them up in here. I grouped my tags together so you can't actually see it. Oh, there it is, there's Wedding Wire EDU. Alright, so they are there. It is nice to @ tag them here because then, people who look at that can easily get to their account and they like that, so that's a good idea. But now the Wedding Wire one, if I click on that, that's gonna pop up the whole Wedding Wire hashtag, and there is almost a million posts. Now, you can choose to follow that hashtag, and now these posts are going to show up in my feed and I can quickly, you know, engage with them quickly. Like them, comment on them, things like that. Now ideally, I would love one of my photos to be up here on the top. It's not. You know, with a million different posts here, this is a pretty tough hashtag. It's a big one. I usually recommend that you work with hashtags that have less than half a million posts in them. It may seem like, ooh, yay, there's a million people that are posting in here, or a million posts, it's really active. Yeah, it's really active, but let's just go to wedding, which I'm gonna have to search, cause I would never do hashtag wedding. Let's go to tag. Yeah, cause 109 million. Yeah, it may seem like a great idea, but there's no way you're even gonna be seen here. I mean, these photos, this is a gorgeous photo, look at her eyes, oh my gosh, who is this? I hope this person's watching, they're wonderful. Alright, 32 seconds ago this posted. So you're like, okay, but she's kind of up there. But now let's scroll down like a millennial later, which no one ever does, right? And here's this one. That was six minutes ago. So your shelf life is zilch. It's nothing. You know when you use the hashtag wedding? When you're one of these people up top that can get into the top posts, you know, with their 5,000 likes. Okay? Then you can use hashtag wedding. Other than that, who is it, Style Me Pretty? Well, duh, right? Of course they can use hashtag. Alright, so use hashtags all the time, you can use up to 30 in there. You can tag people up to 20 times in your description and up to 20 tags, I believe, in the actual photo when you're tagging. And you can see what other people tag, as well. Style Me Pretty probably tags no one cause they don't need to, right? Everyone tags them. And those numbers sometimes change, so don't hold them as total gospel. In fact, Instagram just announced, so excited, that they are changing their algorithm to allow more of a chronological news feed. Woo! (laughs) You all want to applaud. This is my son and my daughter. (laughs) You all want to applaud that, right? So excited that that's happening right there. Alright, so tagging and hashtagging. We went on a nice little tangent on there. Connecting. Connecting with new clients, existing clients, colleagues, and networking. Do this as much as you possibly can. Your goal on social media, aside from posting your stuff and trying to get new business, it's all about connecting. It's all about socializing, right? If you're doing that, that's what it's for. That's what it's meant to be for. And to do that, you want to engage. Now, engaging does not just mean that when somebody comments, you comment back on your own photo. Yes, that's good. Yes, please do that. But that's not where it stops. You want to engage with people that are in your target demographic, so couples between the ages of, I don't know, 21 and 34 let's just say is your biggest bulk. And you want to engage with people in your location, assuming you're photographing weddings in your location. And this brings me to my two new Insta secrets, which I'm going to, I alluded to them in a minute. I'm gonna go back onto the phone here so you guys can take a look. So I still have wedding up here, alright? That might be a nice hashtag to follow, but again, it's a little big, right? And if you're gonna scroll through this, most of this stuff is, you know, not real people, it's businesses. So that's not one I would potentially follow. One I do follow is just said yes, and this is actually one of Wedding Wire's marketing pushes. They did a contest where you hashtag your photo just said yes, couples hashtag their photo, and it's an engagement photo and they could win, I don't know, something, they won something. Since then, it's been a little bit taken over by photographers, cause that's what we do, we take over hashtags, alright? But you can see some real couples on here. So there's this one right here. That looks like it's a jewelry company. Okay, that wasn't a real couple. But as you look through, you'll be able to find, there we go, here's a cute real couple, right? So excited to share this engagement. So these guys, of course I'm gonna like them, right? Oh, congratulations. Congrats. Alright, now I've engaged with a couple that just got engaged. That is a great way. You can follow hashtags. And follow ones, again, you're gonna find a lot of professional photos in here, but not necessarily all of them. Look at that one with the engagement ring balloon. That one's great. Alright, so hashtag following. Now, in addition to this, another thing that you can do is you can follow locations. So find a popular wedding venue. For me, the Park Chateau is a popular wedding venue. I'm gonna go over to top instead of just tags and I'm not looking for their account, I'm looking for the location. So I can go to that location, and this is a popular wedding venue by me, and see who's posting in this location. Alright? Now, if you're not working on a Saturday night, you're not working a wedding, this is a great thing for you to do at home, because what's happening even though you're not working? Weddings. And what's happening? That one with her boyfriend and that one with his girlfriend and those cute little couple there together, right? All these couples at weddings are posting. These are all people in your target demographic that are probably going to be getting married fairly soon. Alright? So you can go and engage, and don't be a creep. Don't be a stalker about this. Right? But it's a great way to find, look at all these couples, and a lot of drunk people, but a lot of couples. Alright? At a wedding venue that I want to work at, right? So following hashtags and then I call it location scouting, or stalking, you know, whatever it is. So two great ways that you can use Instagram, it's mostly on Instagram, you can't really do that so much on Facebook. Most of your couples are posting things like that on Instagram. And then finally, visualizing. So visualizing is really crucial because we're not putting a lot of text. Something has to be visually compelling in order to get your clients or potential clients to engage with them. So visualizing here, make sure that you are using photos, but also videos. We're gonna get a little bit into videos in a minute, but videos are pushed a little bit more by social media companies. Why? Think about any time the algorithms change, which I know frustrates the heck out of us, any time the algorithms change, think about why. Why is Facebook changing the algorithm to show more family and friends' stuff? Because people were getting desensitized to what was on there and they weren't spending as much time on there. And what's the goal of theirs as a company? For people to spend time on their platform. If you understand that as a company, they just want more people on their platform for longer periods of time, then any change that they make isn't gonna hurt you as much because you understand the root of it. So videos, because they cause people to, even for a split second more, watch what's going on, because they do, you tend to stop at videos just to see it, even if it's for a minute second, but all those seconds add up to millions and millions of hours. So use videos as much possible, and I'll show you lots of examples to that. But first, I'm gonna show you some don'ts. So do not use social media for ranting and raving, which is very commonplace right now. We like to really, really give our opinions on social media. If you decide to do this under the canopy of your business, fine. Sometimes, being polarizing is actually really good. But just be prepared for the backlash. Make that decision for yourself and then be prepared for it. Don't use it scarcely. You should be posting at least once a day on all of them, at least once a day. Use something like Buffer or Hootsuite, Everypost. You know, last week, Creative Live had social media week. Sure, there's lots of suggestions there. I'm not gonna go too far into it, but don't use it scarcely, because remember, you don't want to look like you started yesterday and you don't want to look like a hack. You want to be on there. Do not buy followers or likes. Okay? You need to engage with people authentically. What happens? Two things happen. If you buy followers, you're gonna have a big follower number, but then almost no likes on your photos, and the likes, the engagement, that is more important than the number of followers that you have. I know intuitively you go to some of your competition's social media pages, you're like, oh, they have like 15,000 followers on Facebook or 20,000 followers on Instagram, but then you look at that person that has 20,000 followers and they only have, I don't know, 100 likes per photo. That's not good. Because even if you buy likes on top of it, the likes, the people or the bots that are liking your photos, they're not your target demographic. So then the social media platform isn't going to then push out your photo to more people in the demographic that you're looking for. Getting engagement from actual people that are closer to your client's demographic is what you need. Buying followers and likes doesn't work. Now, I know all of this is a lot, by the way. I am not saying you have to do this all yourself. There is office managers, there is virtual assistants. You can hire people to do this for you, okay? I know it's a lot, but keep that in mind. While you can hire people to do it for you, there are companies who do things like this for you. Flat-out buying followers and likes is a no-no. It's only gonna hurt you, it's not gonna help you. And then finally, don't use it for just bragging and/or selling. If you guys are familiar with Gary Vaynerchuk, he's a fellow New Jerseyan, he has a book called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, and the concept is that you need three to five jabs, which are give, give, give, give, content for every right hook, which is an ask, a call to action. So give, give, give, and then hey, book me for my mini-sessions. Give, give, give, hey, we're doing a sale on engagement sessions this week. Alright, so don't just use it for bragging or selling. Make sure that you're giving content that is valuable to your clients. And this is one of my favorite quotes by Jeff Ostroff. The play button is the most compelling action on the web. Don't you guys all just want to go... (popping sound) Don't you want to hit it? It doesn't do anything. Very anti-climactic, I apologize. But intuitively, we want to click on that. We just want to know what's behind that curtain, behind that screen, and now, social media feeds, Facebook, Instagram, they just play the videos automatically. There is no play button anymore. You scroll and it's playing, right? So we want to have video. In addition to social media, Google is the biggest search engine. Well, what's the second biggest? YouTube, which Google owns, so that's always nice. Nice little monopoly they got there. But people, your brides, your couples, your grooms, they're searching on YouTube, as well. Maybe it's something, I don't know if they're necessarily searching on YouTube how to find a photographer, but they're probably searching how to throw a good bridal shower, how to tie a bridal bouquet, alright? These are videos you can make. How to, I don't know, insert whatever. There's so many how-to's. Usually it's a how-to that you search for as a couple, a wedding couple on YouTube. So make sure that you are creating videos. And these are some types of videos that you can create. I'm gonna show these to you so that you have some inspiration here, alright? So we've got three different types, FAQs, promo video, and tips. We're just gonna go through these so you can have a little bit of inspiration. (upbeat music) Alright, so that one right there, that is like a tips video, just how to have a fun wedding. Easy. That was made with Animoto and I made it in under half an hour. So, so fast. You can do that same exact thing and just swap out your text, and you'll be fine with that. If you want, after you watch this whole course, if you want more inspirational videos, and they are littered throughout this course, you can go to animoto.com/vanessa-joy and that will give you a bunch of different videos I've made like this. Now, in addition to posting these on social media, because you can just post them on social media, now, you can have the little highlights videos here. I have tons of videos in mine, actually, this would be another good time to go to my phone here. Because you are not necessarily getting everybody to go to your website, make your social media like a website. So when I go over to, my clients, rather, go over to my page, I've got something for photographers for you guys there. It's a little bit different, but then I've got these icons and you can go into the About section here and it's just screen grabs, by the way. I did not work on this for a million years. These are just screen grabs from my website, my mobile site, but then I've got some videos here, and there is sound to these. It's kind of irrelevant, by the way, the sound part because I just want to show off who I am, what life looks like, right? My little doggy. (laughs) Alright, let me skip to the next one. This is another video. Now, my husband is a videographer, so these are a little bit more made videos, but I throw Animoto videos in here, as well. This is the little About section. I throw in raves, so things like my reviews are on here. So your videos, you can now use them, it's almost like a permanent part of your social media website. You can throw them in here as well. We're gonna talk about these products and stuff later. So that's another place for you guys to be able to go and make your social media like a website, have that information there, in addition, of course, to having the actual posts. If you go through my social media, there's going to be video posts there, as well. So multiple uses for the same thing. I do have, by the way, the link in here, so really happy that I can give the visual for you guys on that link there. It actually has a full tutorial video in here as well, so you'll be able to grab that and look through other types of videos. I know I gave them to you quickly. FAQs, we're gonna get into that later, I promise. Promotional videos, so I want you to have a promotional video, just not the old three-to-five minute one. You can have shorter, faster ones, and I'll show you what those look like in the following segments, as well. We have a lot coming up. We really only just talked about the foundations. This is just the beginning. Gotta get your branding, gotta get your marketing in there, and then so much comes after that. So more education for you guys and I've been telling you all about social media but, you know, we only had like a half a segment about social media, so one of the best things you can do, go onto my Instagram, go onto other people's Instagram, go onto your favorite clothing company's Facebook page, Pinterest, see what they are doing. Look for their inspiration. Give it a try. That's what I want you guys to try after this segment. Right now, go to your phones. Not right now, we're still on here, but right afterwards, go on your phones. Post a story. Try using hashtags. Find a few hashtags to follow. Find a few locations that you'll, when you're not working one Saturday night, go check out and go try to engage with new, potential clients or florists, you know, other photographers, even. You can connect with yourselves, right? Community over competition. So I want you to go and find inspiration there. Experiment with it. Fail at it, please. And then do some more and see what works for you guys.

Class Description

Along with your technical and creative knowledge, you need to know how to run your wedding photography business and set it up for long term success. How else can you expand and reach your desired clientele? Vanessa Joy, an award winning wedding photographer, joins us at CreativeLive to teach you the skills to help your business thrive. She’ll provide actionable steps in marketing, communication, workflow, and pricing that will attract the couples you want to work with. You’ll learn:

  • How to show your photographic style
  • Secret areas to brand your business
  • Social Media Quick Tips
  • Methods to make clients happy
  • Keys to effective and efficient workflow
  • What products you should offer
  • Packaging that sells
  • Understand how to make profit

Photograph what you love and learn to run a business that allows you to market your creativity.


Célia Gomes

I loved this class! So inspirational and useful tips! Congratulations Vanessa. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! And thank you Creative Live for opportunity of watch the class for free. Célia Gomes, Portugal.

angela warmington

Great course. Full of great business tips and practices that are adaptable to your own personal style of business. She has such a passion and love for her work and it comes across very clearly as she teaches. I am new to wedding photography and am so glad I purchased this course!!

a Creativelive Student

This course is fantastic! Whether your new to the industry or been at it forever, there are amazing tips that can easily be implemented to improve your business. Vanessa lays everything out clearly. There were a number of things I had heard in the past, which is not a bad thing. This reinforced ideas and reminded me to work on things that I have been putting off. I highly recommend checking out this course with Vanessa Joy.