I feel like I say this to you often, but it’s true …
You aren’t alone in any of this.
The common mistakes I’m going to talk about, I’ve done them. You probably are, or have, as well.
You see, as artists we are so eager. I’m not sure it’s like this in every entrepreneurial field, but it’s certain for ours.
We are screaming from the rooftops about our work, our passion, and our existence.
But how does this affect our social media game? And more importantly, how does it affect our Facebook audience?
Most likely it means we post without direction or a plan.
You know exactly what I’m talking about when I say that we photograph a session …
we are so excited about the results …
and we rush to Facebook and post 17 sneak peeks (even from the back of our camera).
This is fine, I understand the “why” of it. But the results might not be so fantastic.
As I’ve mentioned before, our audience has to scroll through a bajillion posts a day.
And though we may love to showcase every pose we nailed from a latest session, your audience, not so much!
SO MY #1 MISTAKE WHEN STARTING OUT ON FACEBOOK WAS … OVER POSTING
But wait … I don’t mean in quantity. I mean too many of a non-significant, non-helpful category.
I am a believer of posting 3-4 times a day, spread out in a 24 hour period (I’ll talk more about that in a minute).
But posting a million sneak peeks … no! Posting over and over about a upcoming mini session, no. Posting “please book now” until the cows come home, no.
No. No. No.
What I was doing wrong was overselling & often!
If you are going to post, and take up someones time, make it WORTH their time.
Make those posts something they want to see.
Make those posts engaging.
Make those posts helpful.
Make those posts desirable.
And shocking enough, sales tactics aren’t.
Yes, it’s true that we need to market ourselves. But the way we go about it, dictates our success.
You don’t need to cram down the throats of your audience “book me”. The fact is, they will, if & when they need you.
What you need to do, is become someone that stays in front of them.
But how do you do that without selling, selling, selling?
Easy. You become a resource.
I’ve taught this part a time or two on the blog, and it’s so important that I’ll do it again here.
If you have a Facebook page, running a business, or blogging, you’re readers need a purpose to visit. That’s it. It’s as clear cut as that!
If you aren’t posting about what matters to them, you will quickly be unfollowed, ignored or even blocked.
LET’S THINK ABOUT THIS …
You have a friend who sells cars.
Let’s call her Susie.
You will most definitely need a car in the coming year.
But not today.
You liked Susie’s Facebook page. Heck, that shiny red Mustang caught your eye.
But immediately following her page, you notice that your feed is flooded with a daily sales pitch & pictures of a car she “knows” you’d love to see.
Susie doesn’t post anything that’s helpful to you such as: tips to buying a new car, things to look for, how to get better gas mileage, etc.
She just posts about selling a car.
What do you do?
Probably unfollow her, right?!
That really sucks because you needed a new car soon & IF she would have played the game right, you MIGHThave gone to her when the time was right.
Why? Because she would have been someone who gained your trust. Because she would have been someone in the industry you were familiar with.
She literally lost a potential client because she over advertised & wasn’t helpful.
Well my friend, that’s what your audience does if all they see are “book now” posts.
I HOPE THE LIGHT BULB WENT OFF HERE.
Posting to Facebook needs to be deliberate.
It needs to be with a purpose.
It needs to be something that helps your audience.
Yes, you will advertise too. That’s important! BUT it needs to be a strong balance of informative, personal & contributing to their successes before you sell to them.
IF they need you, they WILL book you.
Your job in posting is to make them a believer of WHY they need you!
For this example let’s say you are a wedding photographer. Things that you should be posting about are relative to their current state of mind & helpful. You know a soon-to-bride has wedding bells on the brain.
She’s filled with so many questions and a ton of decisions. Provide tips to planning, provide her a list of local vendors, provide her must-haves for their upcoming events (bridal shower, dress shopping, picking bridesmaids, seating charts, wedding day, honeymoon) … you get the point.
Be that friend who keeps plugging away with solutions! SOLUTIONS!
If a soon-to-bride sees you helping her, she’s loving your sneak peeks, and needs to book a photographer … bet your bottom dollar you are going to be called.
#2 WORRYING ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF “LIKES” OR “FOLLOWERS”
Here’s the thing … growth comes from what we talked about above.
It comes naturally by being a resource.
So start with dedicating your social media profile to helping your genre & the strong leads will follow.
Numbers are just that … they are numbers. They aren’t clients.
Focus on nurturing a relationship with your viewers.
#3 NOT POSTING OFTEN ENOUGH
What?! I know you are going to say “but Stacie, you said your #1 mistake was over posting.” …
Well my friend, this was more about over posting in a salesy way.
Posting itself, I believe, should be done 3-4 times a day. But remember, those posts need to be a strong balance of helpful (80% of the time) and marketing your business (20% of the time).
But why 3-4 times a day? Because not every audience member will be on Facebook the exact moment you post. Some have jobs, some have errands, some get up early, some stay up late, some keep their phone on “Do Not Disturb” until bedtime.
The fact is, consistency is key in creating a buzz.
I try to post early morning, mid afternoon and evening. This ensures I get the engagement I am seeking.
#4 NOT AUTOMATING & SCHEDULING
I feel so passionately about this subject. After all, I design planners
to keep you organized. So clearly this is important to me!
Automating your business will keep you from pulling out ever last strand of hair you have left!
Here’s the thing, you can’t be in a million places at once.
But running your own business requires you to be.
How do you do this? Simple.
Who has the time to post to Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Newsletters, AND run the business part? No one.
You need to run, and I’m serious, RUN, to Buffer.
Sign up … start scheduling all those tips, tricks & engagement posts we talked about in the beginning of this post. Buffer is FREE. That means you have no excuse. It will fill your social media schedule so that you can put down that phone & go photograph.
The great thing about Buffer is that it allows you to create a schedule (we talked about this in “Not posting often enough” part).
It also allows you to cross post which means you write a post once and push it to all your platforms.
Another great thing about Buffer is that it allows you to shuffle your posts so that they are random. This is perfect.
Once a month I go in and schedule out 20 engagement posts. I use the shuffle so that they go randomly into my schedule.
Later I pop in and schedule 15 inspirational quotes, hit the shuffle again.
Then when I have a moment I schedule all my blog posts, and you guessed it, I hit the shuffle button.
Now my queue is filled with great things that help my audience but aren’t in any particular order. You see, social media shouldn’t “appear” scheduled. It should appear spontaneous. And this is the perfect tool to do that!
#5 NOT APPLYING AN AUTO MESSAGE TO YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE MESSAGING SYSTEM
Finally, the last of my 5 most common Facebook mistakes and this one is a quick fix.
Your Facebook page will most definitely get a message or two. Your response time is important to your business.
But how do you do this when you can’t be married to your phone?
Easy. You automate an initial response.
This isn’t like those annoying auto-email responders.
This is about acknowledging someone messaged you & giving them a resource while they wait for you to reply.
It can be as simple as this: Thank you for contacting me. I’m sorry I’m away from my computer but will get back with you shortly. Until then please enjoy this FREE download of “What To Expect During Your Wedding Day” …
Which will then link them to your Newsletter Sign-up form — BAM! now you have their email address and can ensure you keep the lead warm!
SO THERE YOU HAVE IT … THE 5 MOST COMMON MISTAKES THAT PHOTOGRAPHERS (AND I) HAVE MADE ON FACEBOOK.
I hope that you take them, adjust your strategy and keep reaching for success! You got this my friend!