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Photographers can occasionally have a tricky time when promoting their work and services to a broad audience. Websites can be an effective part of an overall strategy, but they can be lacking when it comes to getting the word out and showcasing a person’s work.
This is where social media comes in, as it can be one of the most effective ways of getting exposure. With the sheer volume of platforms that are currently out there, and more being added almost regularly, it can be difficult for photographers to determine which is the best choice for them.
Instagram can be the most prominent of these to choose from, as it offers a variety of features that any photographer can take advantage of. With the platform being image-focused and its userbase growing steadily, there can be several reasons why you should start promoting your photography on Instagram.
This doesn’t mean that doing so will be easy, however. While many people might assume that uploading their images to the platform will be enough, this isn’t true. Instead, there are quite a significant number of tips and tricks that you’ll need to take advantage of to promote your photography effectively.
There are a variety of benefits to promoting photography on Instagram, with the obvious being that it’s the most image-centric platform currently available. As such, the primary purpose of the platform is to share photos, which makes it the most useful platform for photographers.
This naturally provides a few benefits that every photographer will be able to take advantage of, although there are a few extras to capitalise on too.
For example, there are over 500 million users on Instagram, with more than 300 million of these being daily users. This means that there’s quite a significant number of people that your pictures can be exposed to.
As a result of this, you’ll be able to tap into and connect with a much larger audience for your photography than you may have initially thought. You’ll also be able to engage with other photographers on the platform, which could prove useful if you’re starting in the industry or are looking for overall tips and tricks.
All of this means that you should gain a significant amount of exposure among a much broader audience than if you simply had a website. This can then be leveraged to sell your services, or even prints of your photos, which means that you could develop a large amount of business through Instagram.
Instagram may also provide you with another revenue source, as companies have begun paying influencers to advertise their products. However, this is something that will only be available once you’ve attracted a large enough audience to gain a business’ attention.
Getting noticed on Instagram can be challenging to do, regardless of how high-quality your images are. The sheer volume of users drives much of this that the platform has, with the majority of these accounts posting new photos regularly.
While few of these will be promoting professionally-taken pictures or photography services, it still means that you’ll have a considerable amount of competition when getting noticed. Alongside this is the fact that many followers will not be on Instagram to follow photographers.
This means that you could find yourself competing with a significant number of people for the attention of a smaller audience than you might expect. While this audience will this be large overall, you may not get to the millions of followers that some celebrities can boast.
There can still be a large enough audience for you to promote your work to and hopefully turn them into buyers, although many photographers may not know how to do so. While there isn’t an exact roadmap to do so, there are a variety of things that you’ll be able to do to reach as broad an audience as possible.
The majority of this is focused on ensuring that you create high-quality images and post them regularly. Alongside this, you’ll need to engage with other accounts regularly and start growing small. Nobody ever starts at the top, which means that you’ll need to begin building slowly.
While it could take you a considerable amount of time to build up an audience, the effort could be worth it. To do so effectively, you’ll need to take advantage of a few tips and tricks. Each of these should be done long-term to ensure the best results possible; once you’ve gotten used to implementing them, then it shouldn’t take much time or thought to do so and will eventually become a habit.
Like any other marketing and social media platform, you should see Instagram as a way to develop and maintain your brand. The aesthetics of your images will drive much of this. It’s also recommended that you highlight work that revolves around a central theme or a particular style of photography.
This could include travel, architecture, food, and much more. While there’s a large audience on the platform, everybody will have their interests and will keep an eye out for accounts that match these. If you’re taking a scattershot approach to your images, then it’s unlikely that you’ll draw in too much attention.
By doing so, you’ll be able to target a group of people that will have an active interest in the subject matter, which should lead to increased engagement and more followers. When a potential follower first lands on your profile, they’ll make the decision about whether to subscribe based on the type of images that you share.
If they’re not interested in this subject matter, then they’ll either not come across your profile in the first place, or choose not to follow you. These followers will then begin to expect this consistency to be maintained, which will then help to keep their interest.
Much of this might be relatively easy for some photographers, as many will choose to specialise in certain areas. Highlighting this speciality will help keep people engaged and coming back for more, which is the overall goal of promoting on the platform.
Much of this will also apply to black-and-white images, as well as minimalist photography and much more. While you may not be limited to certain areas, it’s best to keep a cohesive and targeted approach on Instagram.
You can still upload images from other subject matters, although these should be worked in in a limited way and tested among your subscribers to see what engagement you will see and if the photographs add any value to your profile.
While this can be an obvious point, the number of photographers who post all of their images instead of a select few can be surprising. Similar to the point above, you should have a consistent aesthetic that is driven by the theme and the quality of the photos themselves.
If followers see a high-quality image posted and then one that’s of a noticeably lower quality, then they’ll quickly begin to lose interest in your account. Much of this can take place if you take a significant number of pictures during a photo shoot.
When you do so, you should be selective about the ones that you upload to any social media account. You shouldn’t need to cut these down to just one image; Instagram has a multiple picture option that lets you upload several of them in one post. As such, followers will see one photo in their feed but have the opportunity to see more.
When you’re choosing the images that you want to upload, you should take an objective approach and pick the ones that have a ‘wow’ factor. Doing so will ensure that followers are more likely to notice the pictures and engage with them.
This also works into your overall branding; you should aim to market yourself as a highly-skilled photographer who produces exceptional images. Posting images that may not be your best work will work against this, which means that you should be as selective as possible when deciding what to promote.
While the main focus on promoting your photography on Instagram is to highlight the photos themselves, and possibly gain interest in your services, it doesn’t mean that you can’t add a personal touch.
There can be a variety of ways to do so, with one of the most obvious to show off your personality and interests. With this, you could include an interesting moment from your day, achievements from your life, and a variety of other things.
Alongside this, you could show teasers of a photoshoot that you just completed and let followers know to expect images soon. This can help to create a certain amount of interest in the lead-up to uploading the pictures themselves.
There are a few things that you’ll need to factor into this, with the most notable being the 80/20 rule. This is where you limit images to your personal life to 20% of your feed at most, with the rest focusing on your professional work.
If you do want to show off more personal stuff, then you can do so with the Instagram Stories function, or even set up one account for your work and another for your private life. On another note, Instagram Stories may also be an effective way to drive engagement with your followers.
Quality plays a considerable role in how much attention your photographs will receive on Instagram. What may photographers may overlook is that they’ll also need a certain amount of consistency in when they post. This means that you’ll need to develop a schedule of when to post your photographs, and how often.
While there’s no set rule about how many times per week you should post on Instagram, you’ll need to stick to a certain number per week. Alongside this is that you should post on the same day or days every week, which will help build a sense of community with your followers.
Much of this is because they will come to expect your photos on particular days and may actively look for them on that specific day. Not having a regular posting schedule will avoid this, and followers may soon become disinterested in your account and unfollow it.
It’s also been noted that the most popular time for people to scroll through Instagram is in the morning. If you’re looking for the most exposure possible, then you should aim to post then. The time may vary slightly depending on your audience, which means that you might want to test different times of the day to see what works best for you.
People are more likely to interact with an image if there’s an engaging caption with it. These can take a significant amount of time to figure out how to write well, although it can prove to reap dividends over the long-term. When you’re doing so, you should give followers something that will engage them mentally.
While many images may receive a quick like when somebody is scrolling past, many photographers may want more than just this. Comments and engagements can make a large difference in exposure, which means that you need to focus on the caption.
Studies have shown that people are more likely to engage with posts that have a ‘more’ button. This will only appear in your post if you have a caption of a minimum number of words or characters.
Alongside this is how interesting the caption is itself. A great way to take advantage of this is to ask an open-ended question with the post, which should help increase your overall engagements.
Hashtags are perhaps the most effective way to increase your exposure on Instagram and attract the most relevant followers possible. You should add a significant number of them, however, but instead, focus on using specific hashtags that will attract people who are interested in your work.
These will have varying degrees of popularity, which means that you should put a certain amount of time into researching ones that will offer you the most exposure. Much of this can focus on the type of photograph that you’re taking, where the picture was taken, and a variety of other factors. Even the kind of equipment you use can play a role in this.
Interacting with people on Instagram can be an effective way to gain attention for your profile, although many photographers may not realise this. There are a few ways that you’ll be able to go about this, with the first being to comment on other people’s posts regularly.
When doing so, you should target accounts that may be more interested in your content. Once comments and other interactions start turning up on your posts, you should engage with them. By doing so, you’ll be able to foster a sense of community that will keep people coming back to your page.
While Instagram can be a great way to post quick snaps that you’ve taken, this doesn’t mean that you should forego the editing process. The platform is loaded with people who take lower-quality or amateur photographs, which means that you’ll need to stand out from them.
Though Instagram can offer a variety of filters and other editing tools, these are minimal and often shouldn’t result in the high-quality image that you may have wanted. Instead, you should invest in an editing program that allows you to tweak and refine an image as much as needed.
While you should be able to take a variety of high-quality images with just your camera, many may need a certain amount of work before they’re ready to share. While this mightn’t be major, there should still be a few tweaks that you might want to make before uploading it to social media.
You’ll want to make the best impression possible with each of the images you promote on Instagram. As a result, you may have to invest the time and effort into the editing process to ensure that they’re as perfect as possible before you do so.
When it comes to promoting your photography on Instagram, you shouldn’t let the platform take all of the attention. Instead, you should see the platform as a way to further your photography goals and bring more attention to you.
This means that you’ll need to spend most of your time creating high-quality images, which will then bring in followers on Instagram. These can potentially be turned into sales or may lead to some business for you.
Alongside this is that you shouldn’t rely on just Instagram for promoting your photography, or even any single social media platform. You’ll need to spread yourself across several platforms to see the largest effect possible.
Throughout all of this, you’ll need to focus on two factors; quality and interactions. Regardless of which platform you promote your photography on, these will be the key drivers of positive attention and engagement, which should be the goals of your advertising.