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WHERE PHOTOGRAPHERS GET THEIR LEARN On,

and clients strut their stuff.

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K

How to Create An Elevator Pitch for Your Photography Business

Alright, let me paint the scene. It’s post-pandemic and you’re at a business networking event. You’re bouncing around the room making small talk and suddenly you get asked the dreaded question, “So, what do you do for work?”… and you internally panic. You rack your brain for a smooth elevator pitch, you know the one you always said you’d create for situations like this, but never did.

To cut the awkward tension, you utter, “Well, it’s complicated…”. Oof, you just lost them.

You see, the moment you told them what you do is complicated – their brain shut off. You just gave them a one-way ticket to tune out of this conversation because no one’s brain likes to break down anything past “it’s complicated”.

Can you relate? I can. Until I had enough of that mess.

Without further ado, let’s create an elevator pitch for your photography brand.

 


 

 


 

1. The Purpose of An Elevator Pitch

 

Marketing is an exercise in memorization. Everything our brand communicates to the world should help them remember who we are, what problem we solve for them, and the positive result they’ll experience once they engage our solution (aka hire us – woot, woot).

Therefore, we want to make it simple for our target market to memorize our brand, and an elevator pitch makes it super simple to do that.

Not only that, but it grabs people’s attention. For example, tell me which of these two answers you’re more interested in when asked the “what do you do question”:

a) I’m a brand photographer.

b) A lot of brands struggle to get high-quality photos of their products, which lowers their sales. I’m a brand photographer who specializes in…

B – the answer is B.

Now that’s an elevator pitch that roped you into a story and got you thinking. Can you imagine if the person you were talking to was a shop owner? They’d hire you in a heartbeat after rattling that elevator pitch off, and we didn’t even finish it.

Let’s get started!

 

2. Your 3-Part Elevator Pitch Formula

 

Part One: State the problem your client has.

Believe it or not, our clients buy solutions to problems. Therefore, opening your elevator pitch by stating a problem gets their attention.

What I want you to do is take a second and jot down all the possible problems your brand solves for your clients.

Let’s use the brand photography example from above.

Problem: A lot of brands struggle to get high-quality photos of their products, which lowers their sales.

Perfect. Remember, don’t overthink this.

 


Part Two: State your solution.

This is where you answer the “what do you do for work” question.

Solution: I’m a brand photographer who specializes in capturing product content.

Enter your solution here. This part might even help you hone in on who you really serve!

 



Part Three:
What are the positive results they’ll experience from working with you?

We’re about to paint a picture of success, you ready?

Positive Result: So that they can attract customers and increase their sales again.

Ooh, la la. Okay, elevator pitch – I see you.

 


 

Alright, now let’s put it together.

Imagine you’re back at the networking event. The dreaded question is asked, but this time you’re excited because you have a bomb elevator pitch. Read this aloud and see just how powerful it feels!

Ready? Aaand, go:

A lot of brands struggle to get high-quality photos of their products, which lowers their sales. I’m a brand photographer who specializes in capturing product content so businesses can attract customers and increase their sales again.

*drops mic and casually pulls out a business card*

 


 

3. Where to Use Your Elevator Pitch

So, besides droppin’ mics at networking events, where else can we use this amazing elevator pitch of yours? I’m glad you asked.

Here are my favorite places to “place” my elevator pitch:

  • On my business card
  • In my email signature
  • My Instagram bio
  • Marketing materials

Now, remember, you can alter, shorten, or condense it for any of these purposes. The point is, having this baby ready to go makes you feel more confident, look more put together, and come off as a gal with a serious solution because you know how to work a problem (and a room, am I right?).

And, if marketing is an exercise in memorization – this is a great way to help people memorize what you do. The more places you put it, the better!

Questions? Send me a DM – better yet – send me your elevator pitch! 😉

 


 

Wanna work with me 1:1 to get my eyes on your photography business, and help you fuse your faith into your biz?

 

You got it, friend! Click the link below to schedule a discovery call to see if we’d be a good fit to work together! I’ll start prepping your strategy in a Google doc now! 😉🥂

 

Working From Home

 


 

Looking for more helpful photography tips? Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼

If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂

 

Education

ideal clients

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K

How To Use Your Style To Attract Your Ideal Photography Clients

When I first started my business, I didn’t know who my ideal client was. I operated from the mindset of, “the more clients the better, right? ‘Cause that’s more money…?” ⁣

NOPE. 🙅🏻‍♀️⁣

 

Your ideal clients are so very important, in fact: they’re the lifeblood of your business, and it’s vital that you not only know who they are – but know what to do to attract them.⁣

 

And I don’t just mean by what you say. Yes, speaking to them through your copy is important – but there are tons of ways you can “speak” to them, without even having to write or talk. 

By simply doing my job well, I make some bomb friends in real life. 😎⁣


 

 


 

Storytime.

Let’s take a look at exactly how important it is to market to your ideal clients. Welcome to the stage, Morgan. 😉⁣

Morgan reached out because she wanted a non-maternity, maternity session. Meaning, she didn’t want a cheesy one… she wanted an adventurous couples session, where she just happened to be pregnant. 😂

In her contact form, she mentioned she’d been following me for months and loved everything that I put out, that my work stood out like crazy to her, and that she felt like we’d really connect well.⁣

Both her and her man, Andrew, were travelers at heart too. So much so, they planned to road trip the U.S. in a renovated school bus once they got back to the states. They, (like Clay and I,) also rented a campervan and road-tripped New Zealand.

Seeing a theme here…? ⁣

 

I spend my time intentionally on social media and my website, sharing what my passions are, & all the things I love and enjoy spending my time doing.

All of which doesn’t “directly” relate to my work. BUT IT DOES – because it brings me people who really love and value the same things I do.⁣

After us establishing we were bff’s, (like for real, we got lunch last week 😂,) she even messaged me a few months after her session about being interested in becoming a photographer, (and to be more specific, a traveling one – just like I am!) ⁣

These kinds of things don’t just happen. It’s the fruit of years of intentional, hard work that I’ve put into my brand: such as establishing my brand voice and tone, my overall messaging, my website, my marketing strategy, the list goes on and on. ⁣

Now, isn’t that so much better than just working with a bunch of random people that you never see again after you work together? Don’t you want to work with the clients you have THAT level of connection with? Ones you can build a true relationship with? ⁣

Then let’s getcha on the path to a calendar full of your dream clients, shall we? 

 


 

HOW TO USE YOUR STYLE TO ATTRACT 

YOUR IDEAL PHOTOGRAPHY CLIENTS:

 

1. Be mindful that you get what you put out.


Also known as, “your vibe attracts your tribe.” It’s so true when it comes to marketing, and I’ve seen it play out time and time again in my own marketing strategy. 

I choose to make it known across all my platforms (instagram, pinterest, my website, my blog, etc.) that I’m all about a bold, adventurous, glamorous, travelin’ lifestyle. 

In return, those are the type of clients I end up working with, and the same things they value. Coincidence? Nope, that’s intentional marketing, friend. 😉

Start incorporating your personal style and things you love into your own marketing strategy. For example, here are some things I’m intentional about sharing that help build my brand:

 

  • My faith in Jesus
  • My husband, Clay (& other marriage things)
  • My love for traveling
  • My intense taco & queso addiction
  • My love for all things South-western 
  • My husky pups, koda & keira
  • Why I’m a photographer & my purpose behind it

 

Ask yourself what type of topics would help you further target your ideal/dream clients, and spend a few minutes jotting them down. Then, when you’re creating content for your blog or instagram, create content centered around those topics, and watch your peeps start to join in on the conversation! 

Pro tip: Create a collection on IG called “Ideal Clients,” and save some posts of the people who responded to or commented on your content. This will help you get a bigger picture of the type of clients you should be targeting!

 

2. Use your personal style/aesthetic to draw in potential clients.

 

Notice how I’m dressed in the image below? What words come to mind when you look at it?

 

ideal clients

 

Bold? Western? Casual? Fabulous? Edgy? Glamorous? Colorful? 

I’m doubting any of these came to mind: dainty, ethereal, airy, soft, bespoke, etc…

And that’s totally intentional. Because nothing about my brand should be those things! I want to really drive the point home that I’m about the former rather than the latter. So, I make sure to dress in a way that resembles my brand style. 

Your personal style + your brand style = the perfect concoction to draw in your ideal client.

For a big-picture idea of my brand and how I use my personal style in it, check out this pinterest board that encompasses all things JVP!

 

3. Use your editing style to your advantage. 

 

Just like my personal style can attract my ideal client, my editing style helps to do so too! 

My editing style technically straddles the fence between the two popular terms “dark & moody” and “light & airy.” In fact, I’d be safe to call it, bright & vibrant. 

I don’t want it to be so light & airy that it loses all of its depth and contrast; washing out the color in the image, and I don’t want it so dark that my subjects get lost in the image and their skin tones are muddy and unflattering. So, I straddle the fence and found my perfect spot in the midst of it.

If you’re struggling to establish your editing style with consistency, I highly recommend utilizing Lightroom presets. They really help you to find a style you love and then be able to easily replicate it on all of your images! That’s actually how I found my style, through purchasing a billion different presets and then tweaking them to a place where I loved how they looked.

I have a masterclass that includes 6 mobile & desktop presets called the “Mina Marlena Preset Masterclass”, though it’s more-so geared towards fashion photographers & bloggers, but super verstatile for other things as well. If you’re interested in that, hop on over here and check it out! 

I also have a blog post on how to edit with lightroom presets like a pro, so definitely check that out if you want more info on using them, and how they can optimize your editing workflow! 

How to use your style to attract your ideal photography clients:

 

  • 1. Be mindful that you get what you put out.
  • 2. Use your personal style/aesthetic to draw in potential clients.
  • 3. Use your editing style to your advantage.

 



Have questions about developing your own style to attract your ideal clients?
Book a free call with me and I’ll help you figure it out!

 

ideal clients

 


Want more helpful tips? Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼

If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂

how-to-stop-comparing-yourself-to-other-photographers-jessicavickers.com 

Education

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K

Things To Know Before Creating A Website For Your Photography Business

So you’ve decided it’s time to take the plunge and start building your photography website – (whoop whoop!) 

I couldn’t be more excited for you to take this next step, and I know it’s going to next-level your brand for real – especially if you’ll do it right!

Having a website to showcase your work is so important as a photographer, because it establishes your authority and expertise, and gives potential clients a seamless experience when viewing your portfolio. (You know, instead of just scrolling through endless facebook albums and your insta feed.)

Having a solid website can uplevel the value of your brand, (which in turn allows you to charge higher prices and not feel weird about it, cough cough.)

 


 

 


 

Three years ago, I decided to finally quit the never-ending cycle of purchasing a website template, customizing it, and then never launching it. I was like a serial website template hoarder. (Seriously, I did it FOUR times.) 

I wanted nothing more than to hire a graphic designer to help me build my brand, but I just couldn’t swing it financially at the time – so I stayed on the hamster wheel.

After a year of mulling over the fact that I’d never be proud to launch a site until I had someone help me, and one breakdown over having been in business for 3 years and never having a site to show off – my husband helped me hire a designer to uncover and build my custom brand. (Which I was actually able to pay him back for before it even launched – cause God had a plan.) And to be honest, it was the greatest thing we ever did for my business.

I remember listening to one of Jenna Kutcher’s “The Goal Digger” podcasts about 4 years ago on my way home from a Florida vacay, and she was talking about how when she went to design her site, she was looking at everyone else’s websites for inspiration. (As in – all the other photographers around her.)

And then it dawned on her – only dead fish go with the flow. She realized that in order to be HER, (truly her) – she had to build a brand around her, and it wouldn’t look like anyone else’s. (Thanks Jenna for that one!)

And that’s what the team at Refinery Original helped me do. We dug deep into who I am, what I love, and why I feel I was placed here – and through it, we developed my brand. We embraced my southern roots and fierce faith and built this little photography/ministry love-child you’re now interacting with today.

But before all that – there was some major research that had to take place on my part. So without further ado, here are the top five things I WISH I knew before building my photography website – (or attempting to.)

 


 

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE CREATING A WEBSITE FOR YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:

1. Find your why before building your site.

A huge part of building a brand, (especially a personal one,) – involves knowing why you do what you do. And honestly, prior to working with Erica & James, I didn’t really know my true “why.” I’m sure you’ve heard about the importance of “finding your why” at this point, it’s preached everywhere – and for good reason.

Knowing this helps you out in SO many aspects of your business. It helps you:

  • develop and share your brand story, (which in turn naturally attracts your ideal/dream clients.)
  • get clear in your marketing and sales copy, (so you’re putting out the vibe that attracts your own tribe.)
  • narrow down your services to the ones that fire you up, (so you’re actually filled with purpose and passion when you work, (can I get an amen!?)

 

There are so, so many benefits to knowing this, so please take some time and dive into uncovering yours before building your photography website.

Figuring out my why eradicated the competition; because nobody was doing what I was doing. Nobody has the purpose I have. (Just like nobody has the purpose YOU have!) And when you’re wrapped up in your purpose, you don’t have eyes for anybody else’s. You’re too captivated living out your own calling.

 


 

2. Get introspective.

When I dug in and investigated who I was, I actually found my unique style. I literally found a home in myself and potential brand, and then I created a Pinterest board based on what I truly LOVED – and it didn’t look like ANYONE else’s. (Not even in the slightest.)

It was seriously so different, and it lit. me. up. ya’ll. It was SO freeing to have a vision of “the perfect JVP brand” that didn’t look like anything anyone else was doing. I so deeply want YOU to experience the freedom in that process.

SO – go ahead, create a secret Pinterest board and pin literally EVERYTHING that makes you happy to it – but only one rule: NO website templates or branding mood boards – not yet. 😉

Here’s an idea of some things you can pin:

–  Outfits that inspire you and that you’d actually wear, (or would love to photograph other people wearing)

–  Landscapes with colors that inspire you and that you’d love to travel to

–  Home decor that you drool over, and would actually decorate your house with

–  Unique experiences you want to have one day (for me, that’s living out of a campervan temporarily & buying an overlanding setup) 

–  The things that make you the absolute happiest (for me – it’s spending quality time with my husband, pups and family; and living a simple life in the country.)

Wanna see an example of the JVP Mood Board on Pinterest that served as the foundation for the site you see today?

Thinking about creating a website for your photography business? Click here for the five things I wish I knew before creating my first photography website!

VIEW THE WHOLE MOOD BOARD HERE: https://pin.it/tict3aro4ovkrt

That mood board above resulted in this vision board that my designer whipped up:

 

And although my brand has evolved a tad since then (this was in 2017) – this still serves as a pretty dang accurate depiction of my brand aesthetic, and I’m all about it!

 


 

3. Define your ideal/dream client.

A pretty site won’t do you any good if it isn’t attracting your dream clients, and repelling those that aren’t a good fit for you. 

In business, there’s a term called “ideal client” and it refers to the dream client you’d like to work with over and over. Someone you wish you could clone and only work with for the rest of your biz life. (You may already be familiar with this term, but if not – I want to educate you for a sec.)

Have you ever shot a session for someone that you just did NOT vibe well with? Either they constantly asked for a discount or extra things that weren’t included in the scope of their project, or they didn’t value your time or expertise during the session, or they had a bad attitude. (Really just anything that rubbed you wrong.) From that moment forward, you realized you did NOT want to work with them, or anyone else like them, again.

This is good, really! It helps you to see who you’d like to work with, so you can get clearer on how to speak to them, (and how to create a site that speaks to them too!)

Create another Pinterest board for your dream client/ideal client, and pin things to it that they’d love and would connect with. Then, look at your own brand board and this board side by side, and find the overlap. It’s there, and it’s gonna be GOLD for you when it comes time to design a site that converts.

 


 

4. Do your research.

There are SO many different options when it comes to choosing a platform for your photography website. (As I’m sure you’re well aware of if you’re reading this post.)

I first chose WordPress and used a Bluchic theme, then I purchased another WordPress theme, and then I purchased a Flothemes theme, and then a Showit theme. Out of all of them, I’d hands down recommend going with Showit over any of the others. My pick for a website builder was Showit before even hiring James & Erica at Refinery Original – (so I’m thankful that was the builder they designed on as well!) 

Why did I choose Showit? Showit is a drag and drop website builder, (which means there’s no confusing coding knowledge needed in order to use it!)

This was a GAME CHANGER for me because trying to teach myself code just to make changes on my site resulted in a ton of headaches and sleepless nights. Ugh. Don’t remind me.

It was important to me to have a website that I actually knew how to use and change things on when I needed to. I didn’t want to have to find a designer or developer every single time I wanted something changed, that would’ve been an absolute nightmare, (both mentally and financially!)

I can preach about Showit till my lips fall off, but lemme just show you. Here’s a screenshot of the back-end of Showit, so you can see why I love it so much!

 

In Showit, I can literally click or adjust ANYTHING that you see on the screen. Anything on my site, I can change with just a few clicks and have the new version published immediately (or whenever I’m ready to!)

My site’s also responsive, which means it works on mobile too; which is VITAL nowadays, because of how many people are using phones to browse the web!

I just checked my Google Analytics, and 70 PERCENT of my website traffic comes from mobile devices on a monthly basis, so – ya gotta have one that plays well with mobile! 😉 

 


 

5. Be Strategic.

Be strategic with choosing a customizable website template, if that’s the route you go. (Which is usually much easier on the pocketbook than hiring a designer to build you a custom site, which isn’t necessary at the beginning of your biz if you follow these tips.) 

Showit has KILLER templates for sale now – (seriously, some of ‘em even tempt me!) Oh, and to clear things up, I’m not an affiliate for Showit. They don’t even have an affiliate program, I checked LOL. I legit just can’t rave about them and their customer service enough! (And when you’re having trouble… they respond with crazy helpful advice… and GIF’s. #sold.)

Had I known these things before trying to build a photography website, I could’ve saved myself from going down a THREE-year rabbit trail – that sucked up a lot of my time, energy, and finances.

Because let’s face it, you can’t drive traffic to a site that doesn’t exist; which means there’s a lot of potential clients and inquiries slippin’ through your fingers!

 


 

To sum it up, here’s what I wished I knew before investing in a photography website:

  •  Find your “why” before you build your site.
  •  Get introspective.
  •  Define your ideal client.
  •  Do your research.
  •  Be strategic.

 

Have questions about building your own photography website the right way? Drop ‘em below in the comments, or book a free strategy call with me so we can chat! 

Disclaimer: I’m no designer by any means, but I’ve learned a heapin’ of helpful tips to make sure I’m putting my best foot forward on the web!

Thinking about creating a website for your photography business? Click here for the five things I wish I knew before creating my first photography website!

 


Wanna stick around and stay learnin’? I knew I liked ya. 😉

Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼

If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂

how-to-stop-comparing-yourself-to-other-photographers-jessicavickers.com    3 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Photography Business

 

 

Education

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K

How To Communicate With Inquiries via Social Media

You’ve recently started your photography business, and you’re super pumped to finally be chasing this dream. The only problem? (Well, one of them anyway.) Client communication… It makes ya sweat. Big time.

No worries, we’re gonna fix that friend. 😎But first? We’ve gotta chat about some “not to-do’s” before we chat about all the to-dos and how to’s. K?


 


 

How To Communicate With Inquiries Via Social Media:

1. Take note that it’s not super professional to communicate with potential clients through social media, and especially not all the way up until booking.

I know, I know. The title of this blog seemingly contradicts this statement, but what I’m talking about today is how to move your conversations with potential clients OFF of social media, and INTO your workflow.

Chances are, your client communication is lacking structure. You’re responding to inquiries however you get ’em. Whether it’s through Instagram DM’s or Facebook messages, you name it – you’re takin’ it. Not only does that complicate your workflow and exhaust you, but it also devalues the experience of your brand.

Now, I’m not saying you can’t chat with people through social media, because you totally can! But when it comes down to business, (i.e. discussing pricing and contracts) you better get your butt off social media and get them into your workflow.

Curious how I handle all of my client communication? Straight through Honeybook, 100% of the time. Honeybook has allowed me to increase the number of clients I book, speed up my workflow, and triple my bookings because of its professionalism and ease-of-use. I recommend it to 110% of the photographer’s I meet because it’s truly changed my work/life balance and made me actually LOVE doing all the parts of my job. Time-saver, world-changer. 💃🏻

If you want 50% off of your first year, you can totally click right HERE! Using that link will getcha a free 7-day trial, so there’s nothing to lose. Try it, and you’ll see why I rave about it. Here’s to landing your next dream client! 😍🎉

2. The entire goal of chatting with potential clients on social media is to get them to BOOK, and if you don’t make the process seamless, easy, and professional… they’ll get distracted.

… Which means you’ll end up losing the lead to the endless scrolling that we’re all tempted to do while we’re on our phones.

Even worse, if your client communication is strictly through social media, nothing is set in stone. They say they want to shoot with you on a certain date, and then you guys chat and plan the shoot all day long (or even worse – for weeks,) and then come the day of, they don’t have any skin in the game. There isn’t a contract, so they’re technically not even required to show up or follow through with it.

 


 

So here’s how I do it. I’m gonna give you a little rundown of exactly what I do when someone reaches out on social media.

Potential client reaches out and says something along the lines of:

Client: “Hey Jessica! I’ve been following you for months (yes, I stalk your work. LOL.) I just wanted to reach out and see what your availability looked like for August. I’d absolutely LOVE to book a couples shoot with you, and just wanted to get an idea of what your pricing looks like so I can plan ahead! 🙂 “

Me: (Here, I’d immediately freak out with excitement and use 7 too many emoji’s, cause that’s just who I am.) Then, I’d check out their profile and see if I recognized them, and if not – I’d take a good 10 minutes or so just to learn more about who they are: what their partner’s name is, what they love to do together – just to see if we share any commonalities.

We’d chat for a while back and forth about things COMPLETELY unrelated to photography, until I finally swapped the convo over to a taaaad bit more professional vibe, and directed them to my contact form.

I’d explain I literally just have them fill that form out so it’ll pop them into my workflow! So they fill it out, (and usually love the process because I make it fun by getting to learn more about them and their story,) and then BOOM – I’m able to switch workflow mode on and progress them along all the way up until the conversion – where they’re viewing the proposal, signing a contract and paying the retainer – usually within minutes of contacting me! 😉

Wanna learn how to do that too? I gotchu!

 


Here are 3 musts to successfully convert a client from “social media scouting” to officially booked:

1. Establish connection ASAP.

You need to feel like bff’s. This does two things; it builds trust in the eyes of your client and gets them pumped for their shoot they’re about to book 😉 , and it also differentiates you from other photographers, (that they may, or may not be reaching out to at the same time as you.) Let your personality shine, build those connection points, and seal the deal!

2. Answer their questions before they can ask them.

They need to be catered to and hand-held every step of the way. This helps them feel seen, heard and understood; all of which someone expects when dishin’ out dolla bills for a service. Ya hear?

 

3. DON’T back down or get nervous when it comes to asking for money.

If you act weird about it or present your pricing haphazardly… it’s gonna raise red flags. People won’t believe you’re confident in what you do or the results you can get them. You’re providing a service for them that is absolutely invaluable, and nobody can do it like YOU can. Be confident when sending your information over, YOU GOT THIS!

 


 

Having a hard time converting your followers into paying clients? Struggling with client communication in general? Hop on a free strategy call with me so we can pinpoint where you’re losing customers, and figure out what you can do to fix it! 

Having a hard time with client communication? (i.e. converting potential customers into paying clients?) Here's some tips on getting clients booked!

 

Wanna stick around and stay learnin’? I knew I liked ya. 😉

Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼

If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂

how-to-stop-comparing-yourself-to-other-photographers-jessicavickers.com    3 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Photography Business

Education

how-to-look-like-a-professional-photographer-when-youre-just-starting-out.jpg

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K

How To Look Like A Professional Photographer When You’re Starting Out

Feeling like a professional photographer when you’re just starting out is an absolute STRUGGLE. There are SO many factors causing you to feel inferior to other photographers around you: from not having a workflow, to not having contracts or a “system” for booking people – and not having the “brand” it seems like the other legit photographers around you have. Not to mention not owning the equipment you need, and not knowing anything about whether your biz is even “legit” legally, (that probably just made you cringe.)

To be honest, most days you feel like a fraud and a poser running your own “photography business,” and just hope you don’t get “found out” while you don’t have things figured out. 🙈

Am I right? Been there, done that, got that t-shirt.



 

I know it seems like the ONLY thing you can do is just keep trying, and hope that time spent developing your craft will one day get you to where you need to be. But the truth is, there’s a faster way. Today we’re gonna dive into all the ways you can make your biz look more legit – even if you don’t feel it.

(Spoiler alert: YES, it’s possible.)

 

How To Look Like A Professional Photographer (When You’re Just Starting Out):

1. Get a CRM. (I can’t stress this enough.)

(Seriously.) It’ll solve at least 5 out of 7 of your problems.

My CRM of choice (Honeybook) is only $30/month – and the return I make on that investment monthly is INSANE. (We’re talkin’ thousands.) Still think you can’t afford it…? Eat at home instead of going out just once, and you’ve already paid for it. (We really do argue harder for our excuses than for things that’ll change our lives.)

  • CRM’s are also known as “client relationship managers” and they’re absolute GAME CHANGERS. Having a CRM will help you:

      • Feel legit, because you’re putting your best (and most professional) foot forward
      • Get organized; all of your bookings will be in ONE place, not in a bunch of emails, texts and phone calls. (so you’ll know exactly where everyone is in your workflow, and what tasks need to be done for them)
      • Automate workflows (so you never skip a beat throughout your client process)
      • Have contracts (so you don’t end up losing money to a nightmare client that took advantage of you)
      • Never have to talk about payments again, (HB handles it all for you, and can even send out automated payment reminders, heck YES)
      • Have a solid calendar system (so you’ll never double-book again)
      • Generate reports (know what lead sources are making you the most money – so you can focus your efforts on those)

 

I used to think I couldn’t afford a CRM, or that I could just wait until I got more official. Then I realized that actually getting one was the step I needed to put my best foot forward. I realized it looked WAY more professional than just chatting back and forth through texts, emails and fb messages. And guess what? I started booking triple the amount of sessions once I switched to HB and drilled down on my workflows and systems!

 

2. Present yourself professionally, (yes, especially on your personal social media.)

They always say “your vibe attracts your tribe,” and if you think about it, that can be a good or a bad thing.

If you’re trying to shoot couples but you’re always complaining on your social media about your spouse or significant other… that doesn’t put a solid message out there.

If you’re trying to attract dream clients that are easy going and laid back, but you’re always complaining about SOMETHING on social media… you’re gonna attract people who complain.

If you’re trying to attract clients who don’t bat an eye at your prices in sticker shock… it’s probably not smart to complain about prices of xyz going up or asking things like “where can I get xyz that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.”

Guys. Be smart, stay professional, and stay positive.

 

3. Focus on your client experience.

So you may not have all the expensive equipment you want yet. But you know what you do have? A heart that can serve others- and that doesn’t cost you a dime.

Focus on how you can make your session unforgettable BEFORE your clients ever see their images. Think about ways you can make the experience for your clients better than any other photographer around you, and pour your time and energy into that. It’s said that people actually remember the experience that’s associated with their photos more than the photos themselves… which means even if you may not be able to give them the best photos in your town yet, you’ve still got a shot at giving them the best experience!

 

4. Only share your BEST work. Quality is better than quantity.

I know it’s tempting to post almost every photo from a session, but really make sure you’re only sharing the BEST ones.

If you’re sharing unflattering poses on people, or low-quality photos… that’s what people will think you’ll do for them as their photographer – so they probably won’t be booking you. Make sure your clients always look phenomenal, and that the quality is the best you’ve got.

 

5. Create a marketing strategy.

People generally believe the more someone’s working, the more “legit” they are. I’m not sure why… but seeing someone with lots of bookings typically translates to “high in demand” in the eyes of potential customers.

So don’t just wait for clients to come to you. You’ve got to be proactive in your marketing, not just reactive. Set a goal for how many clients you want to get next month, and then outline a plan to make it happen. Maybe you’ll reach out to past friends and pitch a shoot for a good rate, or maybe you can attend an event and network in-person. Make a plan, and then execute on it and get your name out there! You ARE a photographer!

 


 

I know sometimes it seems like finally arriving at that “professional photographer” status you desire so much is so far out of reach – but it’s really not. It’s all about what you’re willing to invest in your business; with your time, resources and finances.

The only thing stopping you from being where you want to be is YOU, and once you realize that… you’ll be unstoppable.

Put these tips into effect stat in your biz, and you’ll both see, and feel, yourself up-leveling. I promise.

Know you need to make a change in your business but don’t know where to start?

Feeling overwhelmed with all of the “how to grow your photography business” advice out there? I gotchu boo!

Book a free strategy call with me, and let me see how I can help!

Starting a photography business, and struggling with feeling legit? Click here for my top tips for putting your best foot forward as a photographer!


Wanna stick around and stay learnin’? I knew I liked ya. 😉

Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼

If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂

how-to-stop-comparing-yourself-to-other-photographers-jessicavickers.com    3 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Photography Business

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Why Your Client Communication Is Hurting Your Photography Business

I used to do it all wrong when it came to client communication. 🙈 I responded to all of my inquiries with the typical “photographer response” that went a little something like,

“ Hi [name!]

I’m SO excited you reached out, and am beyond honored you’re considering me as your photographer!

I’ve attached my investment information below, let me know if you have any questions at all. I look forward to hearing from you, and am so excited to potentially work with you! 🙂

–  Jess “

Then I’d attach my pricing as a .PDF, and wonder why I was getting ghosted half the time.

Oh, you’re doin’ that too? I figured. Don’t worry, if ya stick around; we’ll getcha away from that basic response in a jif. 😉

 


 

Have you ever wondered if your client communication is what's hurting your photography business? Click here to make sure you're not doing these things!

 


WHY YOUR CLIENT COMMUNICATION IS HURTING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:

Digging deep into the roots of our business isn’t exactly the most fun thing to do. Am I right? We’d much rather be shooting, editing, or location scouting; you know, the fun stuff.

But we won’t be able to get more of the fun stuff on the books if we don’t pay attention to the not-so-fun stuff. That made sense, right?

Client communication is hands down THE most important part of your business.

No, really…

 

YOUR CLIENT COMMUNICATION WORKFLOW IS THE BACKBONE OF YOUR BUSINESS – AND THE HEARTBEAT OF YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY.

 

Since you’re still reading, I’m going to “pre-diagnose” a few areas of your business that may be putting you up a creek with no paddle. But don’t worry, they’re all totally fixable!

 


 

1.  You’re responding to inquiries with pricing first.

    • Chances are, you’re probably responding with something similar to the example at the beginning of this post. And that’s okay, but we can definitely get you hooked up with some better communication skills straight outta the gate. 👏🏼

 

    • Instead of responding with a generic response that basically just includes your pricing, then sends the client on their way to make the decision; take some time to get to know the customer,  (especially before you shove a pricing menu in their face.)

 

Seriously! Think about how this conversation would ACTUALLY go in public. If someone walked up to you and inquired about booking, would you just immediately respond the way you do in your emails? I’d hope not!

We want this to be a conversation, not an interruption.

 


 

2.  You’re not taking time to listen to the customer.

    • People need to feel seen, heard and understood. Would you believe me if I said that alone mattered way more than you showing them your pricing?

 

“Most people think ‘selling’ is the same as ‘talking’. But the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job.” – Roy Bartell

 

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” –Stephen R. Covey

 

    • This is the exact reason I suggest not sending your pricing right off the bat. It’s not that you’re hiding it, it’s that you’re warming the lead up to receive it.

 


 

3.  The method of your communication is unprofessional.

    • Chances are, you’re responding to inquiries however you get ’em. Whether it’s through Instagram DM’s or Facebook messages, you name it – you’re taking it. Not only does that complicate your workflow and exhaust you, but it also devalues the experience of your brand. Now, I’m not saying you can’t chat with people through those mediums, you totally can! But when it comes down to business, (i.e. you discussing pricing and contracts) you better get your butt off social media.

 

    • We want our customer’s undivided attention when they’re browsing our services, right? How rude would it be if we were about to chat about the most exciting part of the whole sha-bang (actually doing a shoot together, payment, etc.) and they just immediately turned around and started talking to someone else? That’d crush us… right? Well, that’s exactly what’s likely to happen on social media; because it’s a platform you don’t own and it’s fast-paced. Think attention-span of a goldfish fast. So get them off and onto your website, in your emails, etc.! 😉

 

Curious how I handle all of my client communication? Straight through Honeybook, 100% of the time. Honeybook has allowed me to increase the number of clients I book, speed up my workflow, and triple my bookings because of its professionalism and ease-of-use. I recommend it to 110% of the photographer’s I meet because it’s truly changed my work/life balance and made me actually LOVE doing all parts of my job. Time-saver, world-changer. 💃🏻

If you want 50% off of your first year, totally use my link! There’s a free 7-day trial, so there’s nothing to lose. Try it, and you’ll see why I rave about it. Here’s to landing your next dream client! 😍🎉

 


 

4.  You’re focusing on what they can do for you (and your bank account,) and not what you can do for them.

    • It’s not actually about us, and the moment we make it about us is the moment we lose the strongest part of our sale. Get back to why you do this, and if it’s just for the money – please re-evaluate.
    •  What is the value you bring to your sessions? What about your services actually changes the quality of someone’s life? (Because yes, our sessions totally have the power to do such!)

 

“Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her to solve a problem or achieve a goal, not of selling a product or service.” ― Brian Tracy

 

“Engaging people is about meeting their needs – not yours.” – Tony Robbins

 


 

5.  You’re putting the focus on price, not value.

    • Responding to your inquiries with a price immediately… is a surefire way to get price-shopped. That’s what every other photographer around you is doing. I mean think about it… you walk into a car dealership and as soon as you walk up to the car a little closer, upon first glance, is the price on a big sticker. So it only makes sense that since you’ve got what you need from that car, you’re gonna head on to the next one and check it out, and so on and so on until you’ve looked at as many as you need. Then, it’s tempting to choose the “best deal.” Right…?

 

    • Ask yourself the following questions:
      • “How can I make my inquiry responses different? How can I strengthen my communication about the value of the service I provide, and not just the service itself?”

 

‘Once you understand that selling is an educational process for the buyer, and closing represents Graduate School for you, your career will move into high gear.’ ― Zig Ziglar

 

“People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.” – Zig Ziglar

 


 

These are the very things I WISH I would’ve known so much earlier on in my photography business. I pray they not only strengthen your client communication – but help you dig deeper into why you chose to do this in the first place. One of the things I value most about my job is doing it with intention, and these points help me to do so, while keepin’ me supa-fired up in my calling. 😉

Want some motivation to actually do the work here? Check out the FB message Markay sent me after implementing what I taught her in her 1-1 mentorship with me! I’m all about that results life. 😉

 

Have you ever wondered if your client communication is what's hurting your photography business? Click here to make sure you're not doing these things!

 

Now, do ya believe me…?

So before you go, make sure you do the following before you respond to your next inquiry:

1.  Respond to inquiries in a more personal way, and wait to touch on pricing.

2.  Take time to listen to your potential client. (We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.)

3.  Communicate professionally, route all of your inquiries to one place. (Again, I use Honeybook!)

4.  Focus on what you can do for them, not the other way around. Be intentional.

5.  Put the focus on the value you can give them, not the price.

 

*Disclaimer: This post includes an affiliate link, and I’d so appreciate it if you used it! Affiliate links help me continue to show up and serve you guys for free each week; so you win too! Plus, I’d never promote anything I wasn’t a HUGE fan of – duh. 😉

 


 

Did the tips above just rock your world? Do you know you need more of where that came from? (The education and the money-makin’ potential?)

Hop on a call with me to see how I can help transform your photography business, ’cause I’ll bet my bottom dollar I can! 😉 

Have you ever wondered if your client communication is what's hurting your photography business? Click here to make sure you're not doing these things!

 


 

If you’re struggling with your client communication, download the freebie below! (It’s my entire communication workflow!) 👇🏼

download-the-free-guide-jessicavickers.com

Wanna stick around and stay learnin’? I knew I liked ya. 😉

Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼

If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂

how-to-stop-comparing-yourself-to-other-photographers-jessicavickers.com    3 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Photography Business

Education

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7 Ways to Next-Level Your Photography Business

Today we’re chatting about 7 ways to next-level your photography business. But before I jump in, I wanna let you know why this is today’s topic.

This week, one of the members in my free facebook group for photographers posted this:

“I don’t get it. I get little to no business, but constantly put out offers for photoshoots and deliver images so fast. (Because I get so excited for people to see their pictures.) I’m offering deals and constantly practicing; trying to learn new stuff. But I feel like I’m not getting any clients. What am I doing wrong? 

It makes me want to just stop all together cause I feel like I’m not good enough. Does anyone have any tips or tricks or business advice into bringing more people in? I’m at a loss. I just want to create, and I’m not getting anything. Granted I live in a smaller town, but wouldn’t that mean you get your name thrown out there more? Idk. I’m at a loss, and any advice would help.”

Have you felt this way before, too? I know I have.

Because I wanted to give her a high-value, info-packed, in-depth response, I actually recorded a video and walked her through a process of how I would revamp her business, if it were mine! You can totally watch this 20-minute video here!

If you’d rather read, (cause you’re trying to be quiet and don’t have headphones LOL,) I’ve compiled our chat into this post, and turned it into 7 ways to next-level your photography business. Here we go!

 


 

Are you stuck in a rut? Click here for 7 ways you can next-level your photography business: right where you are, with what you currently have!

 


 

When reviewing Hailey’s social media profiles, I noticed a few things she could implement that would definitely improve her brand’s online presence, (and therefore fix her lack of bookings.) There are a few things I recommend to anyone who has an online presence for their brand:

 

7 Ways to Next-Level Your Photography Business:


 

 

1.  Know why you’re doing what you’re doing. (a.k.a. your mission.)

  • Think of this as your guiding compass for your photography business. Anytime you feel off-beat, or like you’re just not really loving your work or the season you’re in, remind yourself WHY you do this.

 

  • If you’ve never found or written a mission statement for yourself or your brand before, I HIGHLY recommend it. I have mine on a sticky note on my computer, as well as posted on my vision board above my computer. Anytime I’m feeling “ehh,” I look at it and it immediately re-inspires me.

 

  • If your work isn’t coming from a place of purpose, it’s probably not going to feel purposeful when you do it. Spend some time digging into the heart of who you are, what you love, and why you love it. Chances are the reason you feel you were placed here, and the reason for you having a photography business aren’t as far apart as you think…

 


 

2.  Know what makes you different. (a.k.a. Your USP.)

  • Before you can truly sell and market your service or product, you have to know why it’s different from everyone else’s. Think about the instant pot. It’s different from a crock-pot, and it knows why. It doesn’t market itself to you based off of the fact that it cooks food, because a lot of devices do that. The instant pot can do it faster, and better, (and it does more.) It capitalizes off of it’s features and experience! 

 

  • You may be offering the same service as another photographer, but the way in which you offer it and the experience that you bring to the table is unique to YOU, friend. (However, there’s even more that’s unique to you than just that, and you need to dig down and figure out what that is to truly sets you apart.)

 

  • Finding out what makes you unique and different is what sets you apart from the other photographers around you. (Which therefore eradicates the competition around you. So yes, this step is vital.)

 


 

3.  Know what you’re passionate about shooting.

  • People can usually sense when someone is genuinely super passionate about their work. I am a completely different photographer when I’m shooting a couple in love than when I’m shooting a kids first birthday party. COMPLETELY. I’m in my element and I’m doing what I do best when I’m photographing couples/seniors/etc. 

 

  • Maybe the reason you’re not bringing in the clients you want, is because you’re posting sub-par work. (Because you’re not shooting what truly fires you up.) Spend some time shooting sessions for free that you arrange and execute the creative direction for; shoots where you’re completely in charge and that are just for you. This is the greatest way to get reinspired and to figure out what you LOVE shooting.

 


 

4.  Once you’ve found what you’re passionate about shooting, shoot TONS of it.

  • Whether you’re shooting paid work that came in, free shoots, styled shoots, etc. Just build your portfolio up for these kinds of shoots, and they’ll start coming in.

 

  • Share your new work across all of your platforms. What you put out, you will bring in. You have to be showing “x” type of work in order to be bringing in “x” type of inquiries! People won’t know you’re booking destination weddings if you’re not showing them. What you put out, you bring in. Law of attraction, friends! 😉

 

  • People need a portfolio to view, a few shoots posted sporadically on Facebook and Instagram isn’t enough. When you’re asking someone to hand over their hard-earned cash, you need to have a portfolio that makes them say “YES PLEASE let’s do it.”

 


 

5. Be Consistent.

  • If you’re only posting on social media with a “rapid-fire random posting” approach, then it’s not going to help you much. You have to be consistent with your content.

 

  • Consistency on social media often translates to dependability in the mind of your potential clients. When people see you constantly working, and always showing up, not only does it make you seem as if you’re in high demand, but it helps you to stay top-of-mind for your potential clients. You may be thinking, “Well what am I going to say? What am I going to post if I’m not shooting paid sessions often enough?”

 

  • If you need more content, schedule a batch day or two each month to get social media content for your business. It can be of you, or of a friend, or of different pretty areas around your town. It doesn’t matter, just get out and shoot. Not only will you get better, but you’ll constantly have fresh content to share! It’s a win-win!

 

  • As far as your captions and copy go, here are a few things that work well for engagement: 

 

  • Ask your audience a question.
    • (Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get responses immediately, this is new for you so you may get crickets in the beginning, but stick it out! I promise they’ll start talking!)

 

  • Provide value:
    • Talk about things to know when booking a photographer
    • Provide outfit tips/inspo
    • Talk about what a shoot experience with you is like
    • Talk about yourself
      • I know you’re thinking, “What? I’m not interesting!?” I promise people want to know more about you; and if you’re not yet ready to talk about yourself talk about your dog, cat, a friend, your significant other, your family, etc.! I swear it works.

 


 

6. Be mindful of how you’re presenting your brand and/or services.

  • When you’re running a service-based business, constantly offering deals devalues the quality of your work. It becomes too sales-y and people cringe at the way it’s presented! I’m not saying you can’t ever offer a deal, but try to instead add value instead of discounting, that way your service/offer/product becomes a “no-brainer!”

 

  • It’s often said that the best way to sell is at an 80/20 ratio. Serve 80% of the time, and sell 20% of the time. I’m sure you’re wondering how you can serve as a photographer, and I don’t just mean shoot for free 80% of the time and sell 20% of the time; that’s DEFINITELY not a sustainable business model! However, I’m primarily referring to your copy. Make sure you’re only hard-selling in about 20% of your posts, and that the rest are serving and storytelling. You can serve people by sharing thoughts that inspire, motivate, etc.

 

  • That being said, don’t feel guilty or bad about selling, it’s a necessary part of running a photography business! However, when you spend more time serving, it helps you sell from a confident mindset, versus one of desperation.

 


 

7. Get out of your house and network.

  • Many times we expect our clients to come find us. But that’s not always how it works.

 

  • How do you think service-based businesses were successful before social media? Social media may make us more accessible, but I think we may have lost some of the social skills necessary to actually network.

 

  • There are pro’s and con’s to social networking and physical networking, don’t get me wrong. But you can’t just do ONE kind of networking and expect your business to thrive. Yes, it’s totally easier to just hide behind a computer and only network from our phones/computers on social media, BUT, keep in mind it’s never going to be as powerful as actually seeing a human behind in FRONT of you, talking to JUST you.

 

  • Networking in person is more powerful than networking on social media. You don’t have to “beat the aglorithm” in public guys! You’re not battling for someone else’s attention in person, you’re not sitting here at war for their ideal time to listen to you. 😂

 

  • For example, just today I went to work from a different work setting, a cafe called “Tacos & Coffee.” I casually brought up the fact that I worked from home and needed a day out of the office to the cashier, and she asked what I did; so I told her I was a photographer and an educator for photographers. Then, she asked how much I charged and if I took personal pictures for brands. She is moving to Austin, TX and is an intuitive life coach in need of branding and social media consulting! Guys. ALL I DID WAS LEAVE THE HOUSE.

 


 

Truth is, there are so many things you can do right now, right where you’re at to next-level your photography business.

Some people think they can’t grow their business because they’re not making money, but that’s a big, bald-faced LIE. 

I will say, your business will grow the FASTEST and go the FARTHEST when you invest in it. It’s just the truth. But if you’re short on finances, then implement these changes first. And if you’re still not booking, you definitely need to book a free strategy call with me so I can take a more personalized approach, to really dig in and see what’s working and what’s not in your business!

If you already know that’s what you need, you can totally snag a free strategy call with me right here! During this 30-minute strategy session, I’ll pinpoint what it is that’s holding you back, and how I can help you fix it. Then, you have the option to proceed with a mentorship if we’re a good fit, and we’ll start getting the needle movin’ in your photography business! Sound good? Let’s do it, friend! (Also, no makeup or real clothes required. It’s chill.) 😉

Are you stuck in a rut? Click here for 7 ways you can next-level your photography business: right where you are, with what you currently have!

 


 

Wanna stick around and stay learnin’? I knew I liked ya. 😉

Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼

If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂

how-to-stop-comparing-yourself-to-other-photographers-jessicavickers.com    3 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Photography Business

Marketing

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A Photographer’s Guide to Instagram

Here you are again. It’s Monday morning, and you’re staring at a blinking cursor, wondering what to post on Instagram. It’s prime posting time, (whatever that is, thanks algorithm,) and it’s slipping away by the second.

You know you need to post consistently to stay relevant and top-of-mind for your potential customers and ideal clients, but you never know what to say, so you go another day without posting, (hoping nobody notices.) “I’ll get back on top of it tomorrow,” you tell yourself (for the third time in a row.) 😳

… Tomorrow turns into Friday, then next week, then next month.

Hey, we’ve all been there friend! At least I know I have. 🙋🏻‍♀️

It’s like you approach Instagram with a setup for failure to begin with. No bueno. No more. 🙅🏻‍♀️

Instagram doesn’t have to be so hard. I promise. 😉

So don’t worry, we’re about to dive into some practical, actionable strategies for posting on Instagram; so you can know exactly what to say and how to share it.


 

 


 

But first, let’s set some things straight. I gotta cue a record scratch right here…

I know you want to grow a social media following… but please remember:

 

“Popular does not pay the bills.” – Jenna Kutcher

 

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got over 10, 20, or 30,000+ followers if you don’t have a strategy in action for converting your ideal clients into leads, then customers, then repeat customers. 🤷🏻‍♀️

This is EXACTLY why I am completely against buying followers. It’s really sad to me, and it’s always obvious when people do it. They jump from 1,000 something followers to 10k+ overnight, and just hope nobody notices. I honestly feel bad for them; that they felt the need to do that to seem important or legit. But that’s another soapbox in itself!

Truth is, buying followers actually hurts more than it helps, and soon brands are going to require you to prove your following is 100% organic, and yes – they can run a test to see if it is. So if you’re doing this, swallow your pride, rid yo’ self of the bots, and get to work building an organic following. You can do it!! 🙌🏼)

Okay, so now that we’ve covered that. 😅

Before you get started with your Instagram strategy, there are a few things you need to find out in order to know what YOU should be posting on Instagram.

(‘Cause spoiler alert, not everyone can post the same stuff and get the same results.)

Instagram isn’t a one size fits all kinda thing, (and neither is anything else when it comes to marketing for that matter.)


 

Do you ever stare at the blinking cursor, wondering what to post on Instagram? Click here for my best tips to grow your following, (and your profits) on IG!

 

Once you’ve established these things, you’ve got a solid framework to base your strategy off of. One that won’t just grow your following, but your profits too, (‘cause that’s what we’re all trying to do here, riiight!?) 🙌🏼

A little heavy lifting goes a loooong way here, friend!

 

However, if you don’t know this stuff – you’ll forever waste your time on Instagram because there’s no rhyme to your reason… you’re just wasting hours writing things that don’t have true potential to scale your biz. 😳

 

(If you need help deciphering these things, totally hit me up and snag a FREE strategy call to see if we’d be a good fit for a mentorship, where I hand-hold ya through this entire brand-building process and we get ya set up for social media success! Yep, it’s possible friend!! Hellloooo custom photography social media strategy! 💃🏻)

If you’re good to go with those brand buildin’ blocks I mentioned above, just keep on scrollin’!

 


 

My top tips on how to post on insta: 👇🏼

–    Show up with the good stuff

–    Only share what you want to shoot more of

–    Remind people you’re booking (but in the right way)

–    Have a point to each post

–    Don’t just post and ghost

–    Change your mindset

 


 

* Show up with the good stuff.

In order to truly make an impact on Instagram, grow a following, and grow your engagement, you’ve gotta show up.

Sounds super simple, right? But I so get it… it’s totally not sometimes.

However, when you know what you’re supposed to share and why – it makes it so much more simple to create your content and show up with it. Knowing what you do and why is KEY – it makes planning your content SO much easier (and not as draining!) 🥂

  • Decide how many times you’re going to post a week on Instagram, and stick to it. Consistency is key here. Instagram notices when you’re being consistent, and the algorithm works in your favor when you are! 🙌🏼

 

  • (However, don’t just post crappy content for sake of being consistent.) Quality trumps quantity any day. That’s why having the categories for your brand is so helpful, because it keeps you switching things up so your brain can churn out content quicker!

 

  • Once you’ve decided on your content categories (the type of content you’re going to show up with,) keep a running note on your phone or in Evernote (my personal fav,) of caption ideas and add to it often. Whether you’re inspired by a caption you read and want to put your own twist on it, or hear a quote while you’re browsing through a coffee shop’s marketing material – whatever it is that inspires you, drop it into the folder for that content category, and then you’ll never run out of ideas for what to post!

 


 

* Only share what you want to shoot.

This sounds super elementary as well, but friends – don’t just post work for the sake of posting it.

  • If you’re currently sharing newborn photos but shooting them makes you want to scratch your eyeballs out – DON’T POST THEM.

 

  • Truth is, you attract what you put out, and people are going to think you’re all about shooting “x type of sessions” if you’re posting them. Notice I didn’t say you had to stop shooting them… just don’t post them.

 

  • Take photos of something else you love, or add yourself into the mix to make up for the missed content! (Definitely do the latter from time to time!)

If you need to book more couples, set up some styled shoots and post model calls to get the content, and share that!

 


 

* Remind people you’re booking.

For some reason, we think clients are just supposed to find us and book us without us letting them know we’re booking.

Weird, I know. I’ve definitely been guilty of it too. 😂

  • But, you want to be sure you’re putting in a good mix of “hey I’m booking” posts, with posts about you and other things you love! Otherwise, you’ll come across as car salesman-y, and that’s no bueno.

 

  • A good rule of thumb is to serve (or share about you and things you love,) 80% of the time, and sell (remind people you’re booking, share specials/deals on sessions, etc.) 20% of the time. That’s why finding your other brand categories is so helpful, because you know exactly what to pull from to fill in the rest of the blanks!

 


 

* Have a point for each post.

Decide on what your goal is for every piece of content you’re sharing.

  • Is it to get them to inquire and book a session with you? To learn more about you and your brand? Give you tips/recommendations? Build your brand morale? What’s the point?

 

  • If you don’t have a point for your posts (that feeds directly into your goals, either monetary or mission-based) then you’re wasting your time.

 

  • Pro tip: your primary end goal should be to get people OFF of your Instagram and onto a medium that YOU own. Ex.) your website, your email list, etc. That’s where you can actually make an impact, connect them with your service/offerings, and make bank. Instagram doesn’t pay the bills, funneling them into your offerings DOES. 💸

 


 

* Don’t post and ghost.

If you’re not going to take the time to engage with your audience, don’t bother posting.

  • Instagram has to be a “give and take” type of relationship, not just a “take, take, take” one. It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason.

 

  • Take at least 15-30 minutes to engage with everybody that comments on your post, and then go share some love back on their pages. It speaks volumes about who you are and your commitment to your fans, and people DO notice. I promise. (I know it means the world to me!)

 


 

* Adjust your mindset.

Stop looking at followers as something you need MORE of, and instead be grateful for those who’ve already shown up and want to hear from you.

  • If you only have 5 followers, that’s 5 people who’ve shown up that want to hear from you and have raised their hands towards you and your content. Speaking to 5 people can be scary if you’re not used to public speaking. Now, what about your 100 followers? 200? 400? 1,000?

 

  • Bet ya have a different mindset now, don’t ya? If I were to have to stand in front of all 4,800+ of my followers to chat – I’d sweat a bullet or two, wouldn’t you!? But, I remind myself that’s exactly what I’m doing everyday… showing up and serving them – and it helps to bring immense purpose to what I’m doing now, and who I’m doing it for.

 

 👉🏼 It’s about an abundance mindset over a scarcity mindset, friends. 👈🏼

 


 

I could go on and on about social media and the strategies behind it, but we’d be here all day! 😅 However, I hope this post was oh so helpful for you and has gotten you excited to show up and put your words and art out into the world this week! 😍 I believe in you more than you even know, and I can’t WAIT to see what you share!

Like I said, if you’re really struggling with your photography social media strategy – snag a free strategy call with me and let me see what I can do to help you have a strategy you LOVE, that makes you excited about creating your content and sharing your work! 💃🏻

 

Do you ever stare at the blinking cursor, wondering what to post on Instagram? Click here for my best tips to grow your following, (and your profits) on IG!

Here’s to rockin’ Instagram with a plan, friends! 😎🤘🏼

 


 

If ya liked this little gem, you’ll LOVE this guide on how to create a photography business with zero competition. (Cause that’s what we all want, right!?)

Do you struggle with writing instagram captions? Do you stare at the blinking cursor with intimidation? Click here for tips on writing better captions!

 


Wanna stick around and stay learnin’? I knew I liked ya. 😉

Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼

If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂

how-to-stop-comparing-yourself-to-other-photographers-jessicavickers.com    3 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Photography Business

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3 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Photography Business

Over the years, there’s been more than a handful of things I wish I’d known about running a photography business. Thanks to years of trial and error, some post-session breakdowns, and more than a few all-nighter editing sessions, I’ve finally figured out a system that works for me and brings me only dream clients. So, I’m gonna take you through a little time capsule and we’re gonna get you set up to rock and roll before you have to hit any of the bumps and obstacles I did. Without further ado, here are 3 things I wish I knew when I started my photography business.


 

3 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Photography Business

 


1.  Don’t try to shoot everything.


More specifically:

  • Only book sessions in your niche
  • Create a portfolio of things you genuinely love to shoot
  • Only shoot the things that fuel your creativity
  • Only show what you want to book

 

So let’s dive into what these really mean.

* Only book sessions in your niche. 

It’s super important that after you’ve shot everything for just a little bit, you start to only book sessions in your niche.

(I’m probably not the first person to ever speak to you about the importance of a niche. But in case I am, and you’re unfamiliar with that funky term- let’s break it down.)

Niche – “a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.”

So, that means for us, a niche is a strategic segment of a market in need of our photography services. Easy enough. Some examples: seniors, couples, weddings, families, newborns, etc – those are different “niches” within photography.

You can get even more specific, and choose a niche like “traditional” or “modern” wedding photographer; or adventurous senior photographer, or adventurous couples photographer. The list goes on and on.

You’ve probably also heard the saying, “the riches are in the niches.”

Okay, so what the heck does that mean!?

 


Basically, that means you can scale your biz better by niching (or narrowing,)

down the scope of clients that you’re attempting to serve.


 

If you’re like me, when you read that sentence you gulped and felt a pit form in your stomach. Because in your head, narrowing down means *fewer clients*, which means *fewer shoots*, which means (ugh) *less money.* (We’re bein’ honest here, right!?)

You may be feeling a bit down because you also want to do it ALL. And I understand because I’ve been there too. I remember wanting to serve everyone, simply because of how happy my photography services made everyone who stepped in front of my camera.

BUT – one of the greatest messages I’ve heard comes from a woman I admire so dang deeply.

“You can’t do it all, and do it all well.” – Lara Casey

Read that again. Seriously, do it. This doesn’t only apply to your photography biz, but girl – it’s about your LIFE.

If we’re trying to do it all, we’ll be mediocre at a lot of things, but not great at anything.

I’m not saying you have to narrow down your services to just ONE niche (if you can, that’s legit. But I couldn’t either.)

However, I was able to get it down this far:


I’m a – senior, couples, family, newborns, children’s, action, pet, event, real estate, wildlife, aerial, landscape, brand, astrophotographer, photojournalist, concert, macro, baby, food, vehicle, street, underwater, advertising, stock, equine, – photographer.


 

So, how do you even begin to start narrowing things down…?

I recommend writing down all of the things you’re currently shooting. Then, start to scratch out the sessions that you’re never really excited to show up for, and the ones you aren’t on fire after shooting. You know… the ones you dread.

That brings me to my next point:

* Only shoot the things that fuel you creatively.

Whew. If this isn’t one of the top things I wish I knew when I started… I don’t know what is.

A good rule of thumb to set for yourself is: “if it doesn’t fuel you creatively- don’t shoot it.”

In the beginning, I’ll be honest, I shot everything. (Seriously. If it moved, I shot it.) And I actually advise that, because it’s through shooting everything that you’ll find out what you love, and what fuels you creatively. (But, once you’ve figured those things out, you can’t grow and thrive until you start narrowing them down.)

But keep in mind, just because you eliminate certain types of photography out of your scope, doesn’t mean you can’t ever shoot them again. (I actually advise you to from time to time, just to keep your mind fresh and creative juices flowin’!)

For example, just because I’m not a landscape photographer, doesn’t mean I’m not gonna shoot landscapes every time I go on vacation. Uh, you BET I am! (Not shooting landscapes in New Zealand would’ve been like… a sin.)

But, you don’t need to be repetitively showing these on social media.

Want me to let you in on a secret?

* Only show what you want to book.

Just because you shot a session, doesn’t mean you have to post it.

I know… for some reason that doesn’t really register with us. We think “well I shot this session, so obviously, I have to post it.”) But, it’ll hurt you in the long run if you’re posting sessions you don’t even want to book. Because if you’re showin’ it, people are gonna keep bookin’ it.

So, when you’re just starting the process of niching down, you can keep taking the bookings for the sessions you don’t really want to continue booking, but start phasing them out in your portfolio and on your social media channels – and then, drop ‘em when the inquiries stop rolling in.

The next thing I wish I would’ve known before I started my photography business:


2.  WORK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE,

WHERE YOU ARE.


 

I remember when I first started I was following all the photography blogs and drooling over everyone else’s work, (meanwhile wondering why mine wasn’t there yet. Ugh.)

And that’s okay. It happens to all of us. But, I wish I would’ve focused more on what I could do with what I had instead of thinking a new lens or new camera would fix it, when honestly – I just needed to know how to really use my own camera.

If you’re not comfortable shooting in manual mode, you DON’T need more than an entry-level DSLR. Simple as that. Once you’ve mastered manual mode, then it may be time to upgrade to a full frame camera.

Now, there are definitely times when it’s more beneficial to have a full frame camera vs an entry-level DSLR. For example, entry level DSLR’s (and most crop sensor cameras) don’t handle low light situations very well, meaning- when you go to crank the ISO up, it can get pretty noisy/grainy, (sometimes to the point where your images aren’t salvageable.)

But, if you aren’t being limited by your equipment yet,

then it’s not time to upgrade.


3.  INVEST IN LENSES FIRST


 

I wish I would’ve known to upgrade my lenses before anything else.

Granted, I believe it’s important to get yourself a full-frame camera if you’re determined to really do this thing, but – the quality of your images is primarily dependent on your glass (or in other words, your lenses.) If there were ever a scenario where the words “you get what you pay for” applied – it’d be right here.

I remember when I first started, I was shooting on a Canon 7D and one of the kit lenses it came with. I had finally gotten the hang of shooting in manual mode, but I was just stuck in a rut because none of my images looked how I wanted them to. They just weren’t sharp enough, and they didn’t have that “wow factor” I was looking for.

I was interning at a local magazine, and we were headed out to shoot content that day for an upcoming article in the magazine. The editor knew I was primarily interested in learning about the photography side of things, so she offered for me to take some photos of one of the models. So, I set the camera up the way I would’ve with my own, and started snappin’.

I remember the moment I looked at the back of the viewfinder to check the images- and my jaw fell open. (I’m sure the model was probably scared as to why lol… BUT- I couldn’t believe my eyes.)

 


It was then I knew I’d finally gotten to a place where I’d outgrown my equipment;

because THAT was an image I’d be stoked to slap my watermark on.


 

It had that exact “wow factor” I was looking for. The catch? The lens was the 70-200mm/2.8 USM II Series lens (If you’re unfamiliar with that particular lens, it was a whopping $2,000 at that time. Yes, JUST the lens.)

Now, not all lenses are that expensive, and the price for them depends on a ton of different factors. But moral of the story? That was some dang good glass, and the images proved it.

If you haven’t bought any good glass for yourself yet, one of my all time fav lenses is the Canon 85mm 1.2 – and yes, the 1.2 version is worth it. I know it’s pricey, but if you save up long enough, you can totally do it. This was the lens that completely revolutionized my work and set me apart from the rest- allowing me to finally create those quality images I was dreaming up in my head. Yeah, it’s that big of a deal.

If you’re super tight on cash, the Canon 50mm 1.8 (also known as the “nifty fifty,”) is a really good lens for the price – it’s super cheap (like $100 cheap,) and produces some beautiful images for the money. It’s def better than your kit lens, I promise. In fact, if you can lay your kit lenses to rest, for like… the rest of ever, that’d be a good idea. 😉

You can find the exact list of all the equipment I use and recommend in my biz, here! 🙂

So – to sum it up- here are the top things I wish I knew when I started my photography business:

1.  Don’t shoot everything.

2.  Work with what you have, where you are.

3.  Invest in lenses first.

Are these helpful for ya, friend!? Do you have any other q’s regarding tips for starting your photography biz? If so, pop ‘em in the comments and I’ll get back to ya in a jif! 😉

 


 

If you need help building, growing, and/or systemizing your photography business, totally reach out and book a free strategy call with me. Helping you flourish is what I do best. 😉 

Do you struggle with writing instagram captions? Do you stare at the blinking cursor with intimidation? Click here for tips on writing better captions!

 


 

If ya liked this little gem, you’ll LOVE this guide on how to create a photography business with zero competition. (Cause that’s what we all want, right!?)

Do you struggle with writing instagram captions? Do you stare at the blinking cursor with intimidation? Click here for tips on writing better captions!

 


Wanna stick around and stay learnin’? I knew I liked ya. 😉

Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼

If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂

how-to-stop-comparing-yourself-to-other-photographers-jessicavickers.com    3 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Photography Business

 

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