You’ve started your own photography business and already have a handful of loyal clients. But in a competitive market, you know you need to utilize social media to generate new leads, build your photography brand, and showcase your portfolio. The solution? Instagram.
With an active monthly user base of 2 billion, Instagram is the fifth most visited website worldwide. If you’ve found yourself wondering how best to build your brand and book photography clients on the visual-first social media platform, you’re not alone.
Ready to build your photography brand and use Instagram to grow your photography business? Keep reading to discover our top expert tips and tricks for becoming a booked-out photographer in your niche using the power of social media marketing.
Why should you use Instagram to build your brand as a photographer?
You’ve got all the gear and equipment, you’ve built a portfolio, and you have a loyal client base. Do you even need to use Instagram to build your brand? The answer: absolutely.
By building your photography brand on Instagram, you’ll be able to reach your ideal audience, convert clients, share more about your process and unique skills, and build relationships in your industry.
With the average user spending 53 minutes per day on Instagram, the platform is too great an opportunity to pass up. From behind-the-scenes Reels to answering frequently asked questions in an Instagram Live video, you’ll be able to increase audience engagement and build trust as a photographer on Instagram. This equates to more eyes on your work, which in turn can drive sales and bring in clients.
Still not convinced? Consider these reasons to use Instagram to build your photography brand:
- Create a digital portfolio for your work, ensuring it’s up to date with your most recent work to showcase your photography niche and style.
- Harness a visual-first platform to reach new clients, allowing potential clients to go from discovery to a new enquiry in just a few taps.
- Tap into Instagram SEO to reach relevant clients in your local area, leveraging tools such as location tags and location-specific hashtags.
Instagram for Photographers: How to use the platform to win photography clients
From booking more photography clients and expanding your reach to boosting the visibility of your portfolio and collaborating with others within the industry, here are our top tips for using Instagram for photographers.
1. Optimize your Instagram bio and profile to reach potential clients
Treat Instagram like a portfolio and ensure that your bio is up-to-date with your contact details and any information regarding services, location, and booking availability.
Ensure your Instagram bio is optimized with searchable keywords relevant to your location and photography niche to boost your organic discoverability.
Your account handle and name should reflect that of your photography business, while your profile image should be eye-catching and reflect your visual style (such as a high-quality image of yourself or your brand’s logo). Consider a tool like EasyLink by Plann, that can effectively direct clients to your website or online portfolio through a visual link-in-bio landing page.
Take the profile of Australian photographer Mitch Lally as an example. With a bio that clearly indicates his location, he also has links to his YouTube page and presets for sale.
2. Leverage a range of Instagram post formats to showcase your work
With a range of features available on the platform, Instagram provides a number of opportunities to not only showcase your work but also engage with followers by sharing behind-the-scenes footage and answering any pressing questions potential clients may have about your services or pricing.
While your best images should be posted to the grid, don’t neglect Instagram Reels and Stories. Use the Stories feature to share images from shoots that you may not want permanently on your grid. You can also use the “Ask Me Anything” feature on Stories to respond to questions from potential clients, all of which help foster greater engagement and relationships.
Instagram Reels are also a great tool and one that the algorithm heavily favours. Capture the attention of potential clients by sharing behind-the-scenes videos of a photo shoot, or perhaps you can give them an insight into the editing process before sharing the final image. Other examples of Reel ideas include:
- Sharing a “what’s in my camera bag” video that shines a spotlight on your equipment and gear
- Take your followers on a tour of your studio or editing room
- Share video testimonials from existing clients
- Share photography tips and tricks or a side of photography that your client base might not know about
Look at this example from Demas Rusli, who uses a Reel to showcase a new photography feature he used to capture images at the Australian Open. Rusli complements the video with a caption that asks his followers about their own experience viewing tennis, allowing for greater interactions with clients while boosting overall visibility.
View this post on Instagram
3. Harness Instagram SEO to reach relevant, local clients
Instagram SEO practices like location tags, keywords in captions, and hashtags all have the ability to see your work reach new, relevant clients and increase engagement. Hashtags are an effective way to increase your exposure, especially when Instagram allows users to search based on specific hashtags. Consider using hashtags for the location, subject, client, brand, business, and equipment you’re using.
Similarly, captions should be engaging and use keywords that directly relate to the post in terms of theme, clients, location, or activity photographed. If there’s a strong caption, followers are more likely to spend time on an image. Along with keywords, consider sparking a conversation with your audience by asking a question, giving them something to think about, or evoking an emotional response.
Geo-location tags should also be used for each post. Be specific with your location to ensure you’re not just tagging the city, but also the venue the image is taken at, too. This is beneficial as local clients will be able to see your work based on the location tagged, potentially even getting in touch if you’re available to shoot locally.
Take the travel photographer Henry’s post as an example. In this post, he provides a caption that explicitly details the location of each shoot, gives a compelling call-to-action for followers, and uses hashtags to boost visibility.
View this post on Instagram
4. Team up with other suppliers to expand your reach on Instagram
Growing your business isn’t just about reaching new clients, it’s also about building a community of like-minded creatives and networking with those in your industry. With Instagram’s collab feature, you can boost organic visibility by teaming up with a range of creatives within your industry.
Engage with other suppliers who are relevant to your field. For instance, if you’re a family photographer, connect with family businesses in your area by following their pages, commenting on their posts, and sharing their content. Similarly, a wedding photographer can follow vendors and wedding planners you’d love to work with, while fashion photographers can connect with makeup artists and brands.
Consider the example below from wedding photographer Alex Marks, who collaborated on a post with luxury wedding venue Redleaf in the Hunter Valley. Along with showcasing his photography skills, the collaboration helps boost his organic reach and can convert potential clients who may be considering the wedding venue themselves.
View this post on Instagram
5. Make Instagram your go-to client communication channel
With features like direct messaging, Auto Replies and Instagram Stories that allow for “Ask Me Anything” responses to frequently asked questions, you can respond directly to your followers and potential clients. As well as being instrumental tools to boost engagement, these features can also see you answer client questions directly when it comes to your services, pricing, location, and availability.
These direct messaging features allow you to use Instagram as a new business and client communication tool, making it easy for potential clients to reach out to your business and work with you.
Use Plann to build your photography brand on Instagram
Now that we’ve covered what to post and how to do it well, it’s time to put all of that into practice. On top of managing your schedule, liaising with clients, and going out to locations to shoot, we understand it can be a lot to juggle. Thankfully, Plann is here to help build your photography brand on Instagram.
From caption starters and handpicked hashtags to monthly content calendars designed to fast-track your content creation, there’s never been a better time to invest in a strategy-driven marketing approach for your brand.
Go on, and redeem your 7-day free trial of Plann Plus. If you don’t like it, keep using Plann for free!