Business

3 Ways to Increase Your Facebook Reach

3 ways to increase your Facebook reachQuestions fill my inbox on a regular basis asking me what I think about Facebook today compared to the Facebook of 5 or 10 years ago (back to when it’s started). It’s changed so much and you guys have noticed that overall it’s becoming harder and harder to reach your audience with your business page. I love it when you guys email me questions and I can turn them into blog posts and elaborate on things for you. I’ve decided to give a few tips tips on how to increase your Facebook reach, even in today’s world.

However, I definitely want to send any photographer who is only using Facebook as their social media marketing and no other platforms to go check out this blog post about why you shouldn’t limit yourself to Facebook. The best thing to increase your reach overall is to diversify where your audience can find you. So if Facebook isn’t working as great as it used to be, start utilizing new platforms in addition to implementing the tips below.

  1. Provide Beneficial Content – If what you’re writing about on Facebook is only about you, you need to start providing content that makes your Facebook page about your followers instead. Stop posting incessantly about your latest sale or mini-session deal and instead provide content that can help your followers. Tips and tricks for looking better in photos, things they should know to prepare for their session with you, resources for what they can do with their photos afterward and a variety of other bits and pieces of information they might be interested in. Make your page about them instead of all about you.
  2. Post More Often – It’s easy to just not post content when we’re not shooting, right? As photographers we post up our sneak peeks after a session and then, for the most part, we feel done with those images. However, our audiences are constantly changing (and hopefully growing), plus Facebook only shows our posts to a certain amount of people. So, it would make sense to re-post our favorite images from our portfolio to ensure more of our audience gets a chance to see them. When you aren’t out shooting in the Winter, or when you have a few weeks off but you still know your followers want to see your amazing work, share it! I started using a service called meetedgar.com which is all about social media scheduling from a completely different strategy – the strategy of re-using old content. I used it to create a library of around 260 images (enough to post one image a day for 5 days a week for a year) and then Edgar automatically schedules and cycles through those images. As my portfolio grows during busy season I can swap some out, but this gives me new content and interaction with people every day on my page. I have seen photographers just not post at all in between jobs and that’s a quick way to lose interest from your followers. Remember that they originally followed you because they loved what you did in the first place, so make sure you keep on showcasing your photography!
  3. Be Genuine – It’s easy to get wrapped up in the marketing lingo and business when you’re out their trying to hustle. All business owners hustle. Sometimes that starts to come across in our Facebook updates when we start to sound like robots posting the same captions all the time, or not including a bit of a story or quote to go with our images when we share them. Be genuine and let your voice be unique when on Facebook, it’s one of the best ways to stand out. If you sound like all the other business owners and photographers out there because your voice is too “business-y” then you just become one of many, instead of the one standing out!

If you want to learn more awesome behind the business stuff like this make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter below, where we’ll be giving out extra special discounts and a few free products only for subscribers this Winter. You can also join our Facebook group, follow us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and even follow me on Pinterest where I love to pin social media, blogging, business, and photography tips from all over the web! If you subscribe to our newsletter you’ll need to head on over to your email after you hit the submit button here to confirm your subscription. If you don’t see a confirmation check your junk/spam!

What Happens When a Client Asks for RAW Files?

What Happens When a Client Asks for RAW Files?

Here’s the scenario. You upload your clients photos to a gallery and send them an email, or you mail your client a disc of images. Which by the way, stop doing that..it’s 2016. But that’s a different post for a different day. ANYWAY…. You send out the photos, your client emails you and says

“I love them! My husband dabbles in Photoshop and would love to edit them, can we have the RAWs?”

or

“Is that all of them? Can we have all of the RAW files?”

OR something along those lines…

And your first thought is ‘WTF. What do I do?’ Generally, within the community, it is a resounding,

“NOOOOOOO!!!!”

I generally have to agree with that. You will hear a million different analogies on why you shouldn’t send your client the RAWs, but here’s my favorite.

You don’t go to a baker, show them a photo of a cake, and then ask them for all the baking supplies, so why would you give your clients the RAWS. Those RAW images are just that, the ingredients to a cake and they haven’t been processed (baked).

This post isn’t about an analogy though, this post is what happens when you get that dreaded question, and how you can prevent it.

First things first, you shouldn’t give your clients the RAWs. Period. MOST of the time, clients have no idea what they’re asking for. There are many websites out there telling your client what they need to ask you (like when a client asks what gear you shoot with…they get that from a site and probably have no idea WHY they’re supposed to ask you that). This is no fault of the client. They just truly have no idea what it means to have a RAW image. Clients generally are also unaware that a RAW image is just that, RAW, unedited and usually in a format that they can’t even open on their computer without photo editing software.

Second, Put that ish in your contract. ‘Studio A does not give RAW images out, ever.’ That way, when they do ask you can direct them to your contract.

Third, SOMETIMES your clients are asking this because they don’t like the photos. I hate to say it, but if you’re adding weird editing to your photos, you’re probably going to get this question. If your photos differ every time you edit, and you aren’t consistent, you are probably going to get this question.

As photographers, this is a weird question. We don’t understand when a client asks and we freak out. It’s an easy fix (especially if it’s in your contract!). It’s a simple answer.

“Hi Client! 

I’m so glad you had a chance to look over your images! Unfortunately, per the terms of my contract, I do not release RAW images. All the images were gone over with a fine-toothed comb and only the absolute best were chosen.

Thanks and have a great day!

Sally Photographer”

It’s a fairly easy email to send. If they don’t like it, they don’t like it. You can always give them the option to buy the RAW files from you. For a hefty, hefty fee. That’s up to you.

 

5 Reasons You Need Studio Management Software

photographyawesomesauce.com-2Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means Photography Awesomesauce receives commission if you make a purchase using affiliate links.

What is studio management software? Well it’s usually downloadable software or an online service you can use to manage everything behind the scenes with your photography business. I’m all about simplicity when it comes to business. Work smarter, not harder and all that jazz. Here are some reasons you – YES YOU – may need to invest in studio management software this year.

  1. You’re unorganized. Let’s face it, business is hard. You probably became a photographer because you loved taking photos and not because you loved handing all the paperwork and crap behind the scenes, right? You have stacks of receipts, paper contracts, and stuff scattered all over your office and files and it would be super nice to streamline things and not have to deal with all this behind the scenes stuff in the unorganized way you’ve been attempting to deal with it for a long time. Studio management software can take all that unorganization and organize it for you online.
  2. Go Paperless. If you’ve been printing out and sending contracts to your clients through the mail, or sending them a PDF to send back to you in the mail, you could go paperless using studio management software. Snail mail is for snails. If you want to get your bookings, contracts and payments much faster and make the experience much easier on your customers, then studio management software is the way to go. You can just send a contract online that can be signed digitally and connect it to an invoice – so your clients aren’t really booked until they’ve both signed and paid – and you get paid faster! Plus there’s less error for double booking clients!
  3. Automate Emails! AUTOMATE! Have you ever thought about all the information you need to send clients after they’ve booked (or before) about the booking process, what to wear for their session, other tips and information? Or had clients ask you incessantly for photos and you keep having to answer repeated questions for them over and over again? Wouldn’t it be awesome if all that information was sent to them and right at their fingertips and you didn’t have to remember to send it? One of my favorite features of studio management software is the ability to send a series of automated emails to clients based on the date they’ve booked. I use this tool to send clients links to my favorite wedding vendors and resources, reminders about when they’ll receive their photos, tips for their wedding day, reminders about engagement session and in general – to just provide useful information and resources for them. For a long time I was kind of against the automated email idea. I mean, it just seems really impersonal, but the truth is that I don’t have the time or memory to remember to send out these emails and rewrite them for each individual customer on time. My clients know there’s an email system to send them info and reminders and I’ve received nothing but compliments on it over the last year. Plus, if they want more info they can just hit reply and we can have a personal conversation about whatever the email topic is. Clients have loved the additional resources and have felt like I was more attentive and helpful than they initially expected. With weddings especially, I never want my clients to feel like the dead time in between booking and their wedding (which can be months or even a year or more) is time that I’m not attentive to them. I want them to know I’m thinking about them even when we’re not doing the actual work and automated emails definitely provide me the tool to level up my customer service.
  4. Let clients book automatically. Have you ever though it would be super cool to have a section of your website where clients could pick their session date and time from a calendar and then automatically book with you online? They could book everything and sign their contract and pay their invoice, without you having to do much work on your end? Studio management systems have that – specifically, Pixifi, the best studio management system out there, has this option perfected!
  5. Track some accounting. Accounting is the bane of any creative’s existence. I mean, who wants to punch numbers? You did not become a photographer to punch numbers! Lots of studio management programs have some accounting tools to help you manage this behind the scenes!

Now, the question might be, where can you find an awesome service that will help you with these tasks? My first recommendation is Pixifi. There may be other companies out there can do one or all of these things, but Pixifi is THE BEST. There’s simply no question. Of all the options out there, Pixifi is the one that truly cares and invests time back into its customers and creating tools and options you ask for. You literally can’t beat their customer service. In fact, you can read about how I feel about their customer service in this blog post about How to Win at Customer Service. Pixifi has a 60-day free trial which gives you more than enough time to set it up, test it out and start utilizing all of its tools. Setting up a management software can be tough and it tends to be one of the reasons why people shy away from these programs more often than not. However, there’s tons of resources out there to get you set up on Pixifi. First, when you sign up there’s a wizard built in that will walk you through a lot of the initial set up. Second, you can join the Pixifi Facebook group once you’ve signed up where there’s a great community to ask questions and get help from other users. Third, you can also pay someone to set it up for you too. Our very own blogger, Lisa Otto, offers this service and can make it quick and easy if it’s too overwhelming for you. That said, I’ve now gone through Pixifi set up twice, and I have to say the current Pixifi is so much easier to set up. In fact, the automated email system in particular is incredibly easy.

If you’re interested in trying out Pixifi, you can use my referral link. Please know that I may make a commission if you use my link to sign up and decide Pixifi is right for you! I’d recommend Pixifi with or without a referral system though. 😉

If you want to learn more awesome behind the business stuff like this make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter below, where we’ll be giving out extra special discounts and a few free products only for subscribers this Winter. You can also join our Facebook group, follow us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and even follow me on Pinterest where I love to pin social media, blogging, business, and photography tips from all over the web! If you subscribe to our newsletter you’ll need to head on over to your email after you hit the submit button here to confirm your subscription. If you don’t see a confirmation check your junk/spam!

How to Actually Schedule Instagram Posts in Advance

photographyawesomesauce.comIf you know anything about me, you know that automation is my jam. Anything I can automate in business gives me my life back and is worth the money spent. Even though I’m running four businesses, I’d still want to automate as much as possible with just one business so I could spend less time working and more time having freedom. That’s part of why we started businesses anyway, right? More freedom? More time?

To help you get back more of your life today I’m going to blog and share about how you can really schedule Instagram posts in advance. If you have ever tried to schedule Instagram posts in advance you’ll know that you can’t do it in the Instagram app, and you can’t do it when you log into Instagram from your desktop browser. One of the easiest solutions for business owners is Latergram. Here’s the problem with services like Latergram, while they allow you to schedule photos and captions in advance, all they really do is send a reminder to your phone at the time you wanted the post to go live and you still have to go in and actually make the post go live. It can definitely help you save time by not having to make decisions on the run with what you want to post, but wouldn’t it be better if the entire scheduling process was completely automated? Wouldn’t it be better if instead of having to still go in and make the post live, if something just did that for you?

Enter, Schedugram, my new favorite service. I’ve been with Schedugram since it was relatively new, so it’s actually not my new favorite thing, it’s been one of my favorite services for awhile. Schedugram allows you to log into a desktop internet browser, schedule your Instagram photos, captions and a first comment, and then completely automates the post going live from there, so you don’t have to drop what you’re doing at 3pm to make that post go live – they make it live for you.

Right now Schedugram is the only service of its kind and they do have a free 7-day trial if you want to try it out. I’m not writing this blog post because I get any kind of kickback from them. I, in fact, get nothing. I’m writing about Schedugram because it’s been such an incredible time saving tool for me in business, and because since using it seriously and taking advantage of all it has to offer, I’ve more than tripled my Instagram following.

Schedugram helps me be consistent with my presence on Instagram and consistency is one of the keys to booking more clients and connecting with new people. It also lets me manage social media and be more productive during my work hours because I don’t have to drop whatever I’m doing to think about, decide, and then post something on Instagram. I can create my plan of attack in advance, schedule it for however far in advance I’d like and voila my work is done.

To top it off, Schedugram has also provided a really good customer service experience for me. They’re very responsive when you email, and if their server is having issues they’re prompt at notifying you and making sure you are still happy and getting what you need out of the company. That kind of incident is incredibly rare though, but I appreciate their efforts to be great at communicating anything that may be going on that will affect my experience as a user.

So, if you want to take back some of your life in 2016, increase your presence on Instagram, and start having some consistency to your online presence – jump on the Schedugram wagon with me and hopefully it can be another tool in your arsenal that will help you take your business to new heights.

If you want to learn more awesome behind the business stuff like this make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter below, where we’ll be giving out extra special discounts and a few free products only for subscribers this Winter. You can also join our Facebook group, follow us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and even follow me on Pinterest where I love to pin social media, blogging, business, and photography tips from all over the web! If you subscribe to our newsletter you’ll need to head on over to your email after you hit the submit button here to confirm your subscription. If you don’t see a confirmation check your junk/spam!