This week, I was popping into my Facebook group for photographers to see how I could help my tribe out, and found this post from a friend named Denim… “Something I struggle with… Instagram Captions. That empty box waiting to be filled with something heart wrenching that is going to touch hopefully one person. WHAT DO I SAY? …
*goes to Pinterest to find something catchy*
It’s just not fulfilling me anymore. My clients and future clients deserve more than that.”
Whew. Anybody feel that!? I know I do! Writing Instagram captions hasn’t always been easy for me. (And honestly, it’s still not always easy!)
To be honest, writing is something I actually love doing and have always been told I’m naturally “gifted” at. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be good at it too, (yes – even if you think writing is super hard for you!)
Because when you really think about it, writing is simply the communication of thoughts through letters, formulated into sentences. That’s it. It’s not as hard as it seems, I promise!
How about a few quotes on writing to get us started, eh?
– “The only way to learn to write is to write.” — Peggy Teeters
– “Writing is talking, except you get the chance to edit what you just said.” — Bangambiki Habyarimana
– “You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald
– “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” — Louise L’Amour
– “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” — Margaret Atwood
– “Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.” — Isaac Asimov
Okay, are we feelin’ a little bit more motivated to write…? Is that blinking cursor lookin’ a little less intimidating? I hope so!
Now, there’s a catch… we don’t just need to write.
We need to write words that CONVERT.
What do I mean by that? Well, we aren’t just drumming up thoughts and words to throw into the world without expecting a return on that investment, are we? (Yes, spending time writing captions is totally an investment, because it’s one of time!)
Let’s back up a little bit. Why are you even on Instagram for your business…?
To share your work with the world, in hopes that you get more clients, and are able to create more work… right? So why would you show up and post something that doesn’t have anything to do with your brand, and that doesn’t have an end-goal in mind?
(Spoiler alert: doing that won’t help you move the needle in your business.)
We want to successfully convert people from just being passive admirers on our social media accounts to becoming paid clients, (that rave about our services to everyone they know.)
So this means we don’t just need to write instagram captions for the sake of writing them; we need to write with an end goal in mind, (and if you haven’t caught it yet, that goal should be to turn someone into a client.)
Now, that doesn’t mean that every single post you write is going to be persuading someone to book you, (or even directly involve selling your services.)
Some posts are simply just going to be about something you love or are passionate about, (but there’s still a goal, to build your brand morale – which, in turn, brings clients in.) It’s some kinda magic, I tell ya!
Friends, the reason you’re feeling burnt out, jaded, and uninspired with your approach to Instagram is because you don’t have a strategy.
– You’re posting just to post, (because you’re told you need to show up and be consistent.)
– You’re googling or pinterest-ing instagram caption ideas, and trying out other people’s recommendations for what to post, (that may or may not have anything to do with your brand – at all.)
– You wish you could give up IG altogether and still have a successful biz, because honestly, Instagram is draining you more than it’s filling you up.
So here you are, back in this same exact place of confusion, overwhelm, and exhaustion every. single. time. you open up your app to share your images with the world, hoping that somehow you’re going to inspire someone else… when you’re not even honestly being inspired yourself.
“Okay Jess… geeeez, I got it. I realize I’ve got some work to do. 😅 So how do I fix it?”
Glad you asked. 😉
The easy thing to do would be to give you an instagram caption idea or 100, or even to write them for you. But here’s what I’ve got to say to that…
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
So… ya’ll got your poles ready?
(You get a line, I’ll get a pole, we’ll go fishin’ in a crawfish hole. Fiiiiive card poker on Saturday niiight, church on Sundayyy morniiinnnnnn.)
I just let my Southern show. 😂
Alright so I want you to think of your words, (or your copy,) as crafted, instead of written. See? Now we’re just organizing our words in a way that will move people, so it’s more science than it is an art. Less intimidating, right?
How To Write Better Instagram Captions (For Photographers Who Struggle With IG)
1. Know Your Brand.
So first things first, you’ve got to know what your brand is about in order to know how to share it.
So, who are you? What do you do? Why do you do what you do? What makes you different?
These are all vital questions to have answers to, (well, if you want to be able to write instagram captions that actually make a difference; both by impacting people and increasing your income.)
Here are a few more things to know before you post your next picture on IG:
By figuring these out, you’re able to know what you need to post, and why. Instead of just rolling up to that instagram captions cursor lookin’ like. 🙇🏻♀️
2. Don’t reinvent the wheel.
Sometimes we need a little guidance, and that’s why I’m eternally grateful for GPS’s. (Lord knows I’d never make it anywhere outside of the 5-mile radius of my home here in Japan if I didn’t have one.)
Well, I’m here to tell ya there’s GPS’s for writing copy, too. Say whaaaat!?
Okay, so they’re not literal GPS’s that tell you what to type word-for-word… (although that’d be a pretty legit invention.) But they ARE formulas. (Don’t worry, there aren’t any numbers involved for those of you who didn’t necessarily love math class.)
There are SO many copywriting formulas for writing sales/advertising copy, or just copy in general. I could type them all out, but for sake of time I’m going to link them below so you can do a bit of research!
Check out these resources for some ideas to get your wheels turnin’, (there’s a buncha formula’s in there!)
Mind BLOWN, right!? Who’d have thought there was a literal formula available for writing instagram captions. LOLZ.
Bonus points, check out this page of mine and see if you can identify the formula I used! Being able to read and recognize it in an actual copy is key to learning how to do it yourself! 😉
3. Say it with a story.
You’ve likely heard this over and over, “say it with a story.” Yeah yeah yeah… *rolls eyes*
(C’mon, I know you’ve watched instagram captions transform into literal mini-novels over the last few years. It’s like a thing now. And so is authenticity… don’t’ even get me started on that one. 😂)
But it’s a thing because it works. People are literally designed to remember things in story-form.
So, how do we do this?
Instead of just sharing something like “Jessica and Clayton’s gorgeous adventurous couples shoot is on the blog! Link in bio!”
Or… “So excited to share this sneak peek from Jessica and Clayton’s session! I had SO much fun with them during their shoot, and I can’t wait for you guys to see it! Link in bio!”
I mean literally. I’ve seen 1,000x captions that basically say the same thing, or something similar.
So let’s dig a little deeper.
Yes, we could talk about something that happened during their session. Maybe there was a super funny moment, or maybe they did something that warmed your heart. These are good starting points!
But what makes me different, is that I’m about really building people up and impacting, so in order for me to share something, it’s gotta be better than silence. And it’s also gotta be about THEM, not me.
. . .
So, what if I spoke into what I saw in them and who they are as a couple.
What if I shared something that they had NO idea that I noticed, or that I was drawn to. What if I talked about how they inspired me to do “xyz.” Then, they’d be the hero of the story… not me. And that’s EXACTLY what you want. 😉
Because see, this whole photography/shooting thing isn’t about us, and when we make it about us, we’re not doing our job.
Yes, it’s our job to create beautiful work, but without our clients, we wouldn’t have subjects. And without subjects, we’d all be landscape photographers, (which is totally epic btw,) but obviously shooting people fires us up, that’s why we do this!
These are the top things I’d recommend to any photographer who’s currently struggling with writing social media posts. I hope these tips have been oh so helpful for you, and that they helped take some of the intimidation away from that little blinking cursor! As always, let me know if you have any q’s (yes, I legit reply to all of the comments below!)
Did you know that you can get my signature 5-step framework for faith-based photographers who are ready to grow a thriving photography business that makes an impact (and income) — right where you’re at? Well, now you do!
Wanna stick around and stay learnin’? I knew I liked ya. 😉
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Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂