I’m a photographer based in Houston, TX that specializes in sophisticated wedding and high school senior photography.
Kicking off The Summer Series are educators Shauna & Jordan! They are AMAZING photographers + educators, and I’m honored to have them contributing to be a part of this series here at Reed Gallagher Photography. Without further ado, let’s get to their post!
Hi friend, we’re Shauna and Jordon. A husband and wife destination wedding photography duo, documenting love stories for our amazing couples all over the world— from the Amalfi Coast, to Paris, to the beaches of sunny Florida. We are here to walk you just how we were able to photograph these couples through our 7 Lead Generation Tips for Instagram Marketing.
And because we work with such amazing people while traveling the world, we are often asked how we work with so many dream clients?
Now, while we do receive many of our couples through our amazing planner connections and past clients, the truth is that the couples who aren’t finding us through word-of-mouth, are actually finding us on Instagram.
So often we are asked how on Earth do we find those couples (or how they find us)? And the answer is a whole lot simpler than you think- but it isn’t necessarily easy. Just like anything in life, you have to show up and do the work. But if you do? Well, then your ideal clients will be lining up to work with you.
The other day we saw a post in our Instagram stories, and that post said, “Realist thing I ever read: ‘People pray for the cake. Then God gives them the batter, eggs, oil, icing, a pan, an oven, and they get frustrated and leave the kitchen.'”
Let that sink in. Sometimes you have everything right in front of you, but do not want to put the work in to make it happen.
Because the truth is, these 7 Lead Generation Tips for Instagram Marketing are simple, but they are far from easy. Because honestly?
And if there is anything in life that is the most difficult, it is doing the same thing over and over again, even when you don’t see direct results, because you never know what kind of roots you are growing.
Instagram is easily one of our easiest ways that clients can get to know our work. But it isn’t just because we post a photo and call it a day. (I know. I’m sorry friend! As we wish it were this easy, too.)
But, there are some real and valuable tactics that we use while on Instagram. So, we are sharing with you our 7 Lead Generation Tips for Instagram Marketing.
And if you stick with them and keep that consistency going, we know that you will see a change, because members from our Marketing Method Course have seen the changes themselves. But you have to commit to these tips, and stick with it, just like they have.
Instagram works off of an algorithm. That algorithm monitors how much engagement (likes and comments) a post is receiving. The more engagement, the more people it will show the post to over the next day or so. With that, it is important that you pay attention to when your posts are doing best.
The good news? There are apps out there that track your best times to post for you. For example, WhenToPost, Plann, Planoly, are just a few (just a quick Google search will show you all the options out there). Some apps do a better job than others on their free accounts, so just test the waters and see what you like. (We personally prefer WhenToPost).
Trusting people to come across your work without the use of hashtags is essentially the same odds as winning the lottery. However, once you start utilizing and adding hashtags to each of your posts, that allows people to search for your work! Yes, this is how Instagram is like Google! Because, like Google, Instagram IS a search engine! And it’s searchable with and through hashtags. Now all you have to do is figure out what your ideal clients are searching for and then use these as your hashtags!
(New to hashtags or looking for a strategy that is proven to work? You can grab our Hashtag Cheat Sheet and steal our hashtag strategy to get started!)
If you have done any education with us, then chances are you have heard me preach this over and over. But the truth of the matter is, you have to know who your ideal client is, and then figure out how to love and serve them. If you really want to make a connection with future clients, it is so important that they can get to know you as well. Which is why we believe in the power of showing up and showing your face in your stories.
We cannot even tell you how many times we have gotten inquiries that tell us that they feel like they already know us, and one of those reasons? Because we show up in our stories. Yes, it is scary. But we promise, showing up in a way that will attract your ideal client (and consistently) will more than pay off.
While we are on the topic of sharing our faces and who we are in a way that will speak to our ideal clients, it is important to note that it is also critical to know your “Why” for your business. (And no- we aren’t just talking about a “Financial Why”, meaning you do it for the money). The “Why” that sets you and your business apart. The “Why” that moves your clients to tears because they know they have to be not just anyones couple- but your couple.
Our Why? It comes from deep within our souls. And we mean it. We live by it. And because of that, we have brides who message us the night that they were proposed to because they have to be a #CooneyCouple. Because our why? It means something to them.
(Don’t know your “Why?” You can join our Free 5 Day Challenge and figure yours our for free!)
Knowing your ideal client is probably the most important part when getting found through Instagram. Because not every couple out there wants to work with you, and you don’t want to work with them. You want to work with people that get you excited to do your job! This is your ideal client, and knowing who they are, what they do, and what they’re interested in makes finding those hashtags for you to use so much easier. You have to get in the mind of your ideal client and the words they are using to search through Instagram.
Let’s have some real talk for a minute. When you’re on Instagram, how much time is spent mindlessly scrolling and watching stories? (I will be the first to admit I spend way too much wasting time on the app!) So one of my goals is always to reframe how I use the app. To be the change I hope to see. So for 10-15 minutes each day, I authentically engage. I comment on my follower’s photos.
We follow vendors who we think would be a great service for our couples, and then? We comment and engage with their work- and I expect nothing in return. Because honestly? When you put good out there with no intentions on getting it back, people see that. They see your heart, and it makes them take notice of how you’re changing the game.
Yes, we have established that we need to be consistent in all the things mentioned above, but also, be consistent in posting daily. Choose high quality posts. Write great captions. Leave a prompt for your followers so they can respond to it. (Y’all… if you give them nothing to say back, what are they supposed to say? “Nice content” like all those spammy commenters? Chances are, if you don’t give them something to respond to, they won’t).
Friend, if you do those 7 steps, you will be well on your way to boosting your engagement and lead generation— all by utilizing a free app that your ideal client (and you) are already utilizing. All you have to do is put in the time and work. It will not happen overnight, so be sure to be persistent, and then? Get ready to start seeing those leads rolling in more than ever before.
(Ps- Looking for more instagram strategies? Click here for our 7 tips on attracting your ideal client on instagram!)
Hugs and lots of love,
Shauna and Jordon
Reed Gallagher is a Houston photographer for the elegant bride + chic senior, an educator for the driven photographer, and queso obsessed biz owner.