Photography for social media is the whole meal!

We love our photography clients but photography for social media is a path to a discount package! Let’s change that narrative today!

We want to respect their wishes/needs and have a fruitful relationship that spreads over many years. Just like you & I, they’re managing an ever-changing industry that changes requirements at the flip of a dime. This can be exciting but also present frustrating situations which could be avoided. OK – let’s get to work!

Photography for social media is a line often told to bring the price down. Let’s get into that and help you navigate situations like this.

Why Do Clients Say “It’s Just for Social” if it Hurts the Freelancer?

That’s a fair question to ask, and understandably it’s frustrating to think they don’t care about the artist…if that was true. The truth is, the vast majority of clients DO care about the artist/freelancer. They love our work, our creatively and what we can inject into their businesses. They aren’t the bad guy here but because of circumstances they often bring the bad news. It’s not about them seeing us in a bad light. It’s more about the speed of change in our industry and sometimes the old rules that worked a few years ago are now borderline insulting. It’s not intentional.

In the past, social was just a side option that had little impact. It was the freebie in the deal and the big photographers aimed at magazine layouts, TV spots, and billboards. Then the world changed and social took over. One image posted by a celebrity could Trump the number of eyes a standard magazine could get. One repost by a major account could overshadow any promotion from a billboard or TV ad. So when the world changed, the rules should have changed and they didn’t. For that reason + add smaller budgets, and you get clients asking for a lot more with lesser budgets. Can we blame them? Honestly, it’s the easy thing to do but it’s not entirely their fault. We have to take ownership and come up with a solution.

Walid Azami Photographing in NYC

Walid Azami Photographing in NYC

Is it the Photographer’s Fault?

That’s also not true, but it is our job to fix it. It doesn’t matter how things progressed, it’s up to us to manage our future and growth in the industry. And that’s why you’re here. That’s why I am here. Let’s work!

TOUGH LOVE MOMENT: If you want the problem solved, you have to roll up your sleeves and fix it. Complaining won’t do anything. Bad-mouthing clients definitely won’t fix the issue.

I’ve noticed that 98% of the time, when I explain to the client, they understand. They do, because they don’t want to steamroll you. They want you to win. They want to win. They want to do this without conflict. This video talks about the solution and the method of speaking to them.

Walid Azami Photographing in NYC

Walid Azami Photographing in NYC

Talk About Business to a Businessman/Businesswoman – Let’s Communicate

I want to remind you that your clients are entrepreneurs and negotiating contracts are something they do in their sleep. They wake up negotiating contracts and addressing budgets. This is not a tip-toe situation where you might offend them. Here’s how I would like you to think about negotiating with your clients:

They aren’t new. They’ve done this for businesses far bigger than yours, budgets far scarier then what’s in front of you. At the end of the day, they need a stellar product at a budget-friendly cost. They want to do it quickly, without much friction and if at all possible…they want it to be pleasant.

Here’s where we as artists can do better. Normalize talking about money and terms. You’re not offending anyone. You’re actually being more honest. Speak to them about your needs and what it takes to afford your services. They’ll decide if that’s something to move forward on. Explain to them your usage rates, and what certain rights/licensing may cost. They’ll decide if it matches their budget. Explain to them all of your terms. Explain to them, your hesitations and offer some solutions. This is a two-way street.

Artists, we must stop this passive tactic. Talk to them! These people are human beings who can empathize with you & me. When they say “it’s just for social” – that’s YOUR JOB to tell them your thoughts about photography for social media.

Clients Are Not Psychic – We Expect too Much of Them

Fair is fair, and we have to take accountability for our shortcomings. Clients manage budgets but they are not psychic. Clients hire and negotiate contracts, but they are not psychic. Clients look for new talent, come up with market plans and some of the creative, but they are not psychic. Clients need you & I to speak and communicate. This video will help you with that and I hope you invest 6 minutes & 12 seconds into your career.

If you like what I shared about client conversations, you will love this blog post next! This blog talks about photography myths that hold you back from finances and bookings.