Vanessa Joy has been on the show quite a few times and is always one of my favorite photographers to chat with. In addition to being a talented photographer, Vanessa is also a talented businesswoman.

She’s creative and innovative and I’m excited for you to hear some of the ways that she’s using social media to find and book new clients. She also shares how she approaches raising her prices and the most unusual lead source that she’s ever had.

(Here are the highlights, but you can listen to the episode below or on the Momentum podcast).

Social Media is Supposed to be Social

I think that we all know that social media is supposed to be social, but sometimes, as business owners, we fall a little bit short with what we’re sharing. The goal of social media should be to start an interesting conversation.

Vanessa says, “It’s like walking into a room and seeing how many people you can get to look your way.”

Just posting an image isn’t usually enough to do this. When Vanessa posts, there is a usually an open ended prompt, such as, “Guess what?” or “You won’t believe xyz…”. This encourages people to engage with you and starts a conversation.

Using Social Media to Find New Clients

When we think about using social media to get new clients, I think most of us think about clients finding us. However, Vanessa used Instagram to find clients. As a wedding photographer, many of her future wedding clients are wedding guests.

She regularly checks the locations (not the actual Instagram feed) of her favorite venues and looks for couples who have posted pictures of themselves at the wedding. She likes their photos and interacts with them and hopes that they notice.

Sometimes she goes to their Instagram feed and comments or asks a question on a picture that interests her. It’s a simple thing that can be done over a cup of coffee and it’s effective.

Using Social Media to Book More Clients

As a photographer and business owner, it’s important to know your demographic so that you know where to invest your time and energy in social media. As a wedding photographer, her potential clients are primarily on Instagram so that is where she focuses.

If she were a family photographer, she’d use Facebook more.

Over the last few years, more and more of Vanessa’s leads are coming from social media. Since Instagram is the first place that so many potential clients are seeing her work she realized that she needed to figure out how to get as much information there as possible.

Her solution is brilliant and so cool! She created a “menu” in her Instagram Story Highlights that has information about her, product info, raves and even video. You can see how she did it HERE.

Be Your Brand

One of the best things about the “menu” Vanessa created on Instagram is how good it looks and how well it matches her brand.

Branding is more important than ever.

Today’s consumers know what a well put together brand looks like. It’s much more than just a logo, “You have to ooze your brand”. One of the best compliments that Vanessa gets when people meet her is, “you look just like the pictures you take”. She is her brand.

Vanessa is offering her free ebook, Nine Secret Ways to Brand Your Business. Be sure to click the link and get your copy. It’s full of tips that will help you make sure that your brand is professional and attracting the clients you want.

Work On Your Business Not In It

Ok, you have to do both, but it’s important to prioritize and use your time wisely. So many photographers spend hours doing things that aren’t making them money or having a positive impact on their business.

This is what Vanessa calls, “busy procrastination”.

Identify the things that are profitable. Don’t spend all your time editing and no time marketing. Don’t do $10 an hour work. Do $1000 an hour work.

For Vanessa this means outsourcing her editing so that she has time to focus on marketing, branding, social media, meeting with clients, etc…

Links from the show



Video of how she made Instagram Menu:


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