Photographers are making some terrible mistakes with their TikTok and Instagram Reels content. It may also give them a false sense of hope or reality because the following and engagement are higher than average. Chances are those engagement points will lead to exhaustion and rarely a paid client. How can photographers fix this?
Are you a Photographer or an Influencer Photographer?
This blog post and video are more for the photographer that wants to earn money from their business, accumulate traditional clients, and not rely on branded posts for their revenue. Those are “influencer photographers” and for them the likes and follows have value, and that’s entirely a different model.
If you are a traditional photographer, and you capture images for families and magazines or just about anything, this applies to you. I am writing because I hope that you look at your content a whole different way, and use it as a tool to grow your business.
Photography TikTok Mistakes to Avoid
- Before/After Photos: a friend of mine said to me, “Walid what is this trend with before and after photographs all over social media?” And when I asked why it bothered her, she said “it makes me think they are going to post my before photos for everyone to see also”She has a solid point, you are scaring potential paying clients with the before and after photographs. Maybe you are playing to other photographers and that is not your ideal client.
- Quick Edit Videos: Many photographers on TikTok or Instagram reels showcase the before and after photographs. And while it does get a high engagement, that generally does not push paid clients over the edge. In fact, it could lead them to think that the edits are quick and require a little effort, and that drops the value.Photographers must understand that we are the creators, and the client relies on us to do the creative thinking for them. You and I both know that image did not take you two seconds, but they don’t understand the process. They assume you ran it through one of the many apps on their phone also.
- Wrong Photography Ideal Client: I spoke about the ideal client in the previous example but many of those likes and follows are from other photographers. Peer support is important but you have to understand they are not your ideal clients… Which means they will never purchase from you. They only wanted to learn your style and then use that in their own business to make money. All of those likes do not equate to revenue.
- Following Trends: look at the explorer page on Instagram or just check any hashtag on TikTok. Watch how it is one copycat after another, the same song and dance, the same photo tip, the same editing tip, the same everything… That’s because people follow trends and they are chasing likes.While it may increase your engagement, it’s also letting your clients know there is nothing original about you. If people check #BeginnerPhotographer – they’ll see a number of duplicate videos. This shows that you are not a stand out from the crowd. And let him know that if you don’t do it for a cheap rate, the next copycat will. It allows them to treat you like a vending machine, not a one-of-a-kind boutique. And when you were treated like a vending machine, you are paid like a vending machine.
How to TikTok Correctly for Your Photography Business
By now you see that social media engagement is important but I would much rather have a smaller audience who are actual potential clients. And here is what will push them over the edge to hire you and give you their hard-earned money.
Create TikTok videos that showcase how hard you work for each client. Are you a stickler for getting the perfect lens for that fashion shoot? Give us insight to that and talk about your process. Do you drive around aimlessly finding the perfect location for your next photoshoot? Take us on the trip, we would love to see how much time you spend on our photoshoots.
Take us behind the scenes what makes you unique and helps you stand out from the crowd. That is what makes you hireable and someone they are eager to work with.
I Want More Help with My Photography Business
Whether you were looking for one on one coaching calls or online courses to strengthen your business, I’m here for you. If you wish to find out more about my services please visit this link.