MARKETING TIPS INSIDER

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Welcome to Marketing Tips Insider! I was beyond thrilled when Vickie asked me to start this series because, well, marketing is the very thing I love to talk about the most!

Each month for the year 2016 I will be diving deep into specific subjects to help you elevate your marketing strategy. It’s the very part of our business that can add overwhelm and stress, yet it’s truly a key piece of success for any photographer.

Right now is the perfect time of year to step back and reassess your own marketing. For this segment, I’m going to focus on social marketing because let’s face it, social marketing is the biggest source of exposure for any business. Here are 5 tips to consider for 2016:

TIP 1: HYPER-FOCUS:

This should ease your mind right away—you do NOT need to be everywhere. If you feel overwhelmed, anxiety ridden, and stretched-too-thin by all of the platforms that you hear are buzzing all around you, take a deep breath. It’s a proven fact that you are much better off choosing 2 to 3 platforms and going “deep” rather than going “wide” by doing everything out there.

The 2 questions you should ask yourself in determining the best platforms for your business are: “1) where do my target clients spend time?” and “2) which platforms do I love to use the most?”.

As a high school senior photographer, we know that the seniors are on Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram as well as various others like Vine, Tumblr, etc. For the most part, Mom is on Facebook and Instagram. Which of these platforms do you feel will best serve your business? Which do you absolutely love to spend time on? If doing all of them is too overwhelming, choose the 2 that you can commit to and “go deep” on those 2 platforms over the next year.

TIP 2: GO DEEP

You knew this would be the next tip because it makes logical sense in this article to actually explain what I mean by “going deep” on 2 platforms, right?

Think of social media as a big party. When you walk into the room you greet the hostess and then start looking for people you know to chat with. As other people walk into the party you say hello, introduce yourself if you’ve never met, exchange small-talk, laugh, socialize, etc. Sometimes you get into deeper conversations with others at the party when topics of mutual interest come up. You add to the conversation, listen, laugh.

Enter Social Media. It’s the same thing…but online. The best thing you can do for your business online is to engage with your followers! When they talk to you, comment back! If they spoke to you at a party you wouldn’t ignore them, right? Engaging with your followers is the fastest way to build relationships online.

If you have a large following, sometimes engaging with every single comment isn’t logical but still, even commenting on a few within a post will show that you are “real and present” on your own profile. It will give hope to others that someday you might engage with one of their comments!

TIP 3: BE A LEADER

Become an expert in your field! Posting valuable tips and information for your audience establishes that you are good at what you do and know what you are doing in your field! People want to do business with experts and leaders.

For example, post information that is valuable and interesting to high school seniors and their moms such as beauty tips, style and fashion trends, color advice. Choose a topic you love and feel you could expand on and post on it regularly.

The consistency and regularity of posting on a specific subject combined with the value of your content will be the very action that will mark you as a leader and expert in your market.

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TIP 4: BE NEWSWORTHY

Share on-point and original information but also be a curator of valuable news. In other words, you have your own amazing information to share but sometimes it’s okay to share information from other sources (with credit given where applicable)!

This is something that will help you with the overwhelm when “thinking up something to say or share” online. There is a ton of great information out there and you can be the source to share beauty tips and fashion ideas from the experts in those fields. Of course, giving credit where credit is due is a given.

This is where the “repost” app on Instagram or the “share” button on Facebook comes in handy. Also, quoting experts is a way to pull in content-rich info. If ever in doubt, simply request permission from the original source before sharing. But in most cases, reposting or sharing with credit is okay.

TIP 5: BE AUTHENTIC

This is self-explanatory and you know the drill: be you/do you online. Let your personality and true self shine when you post!

My best advice for this is to post and write from your heart. Don’t look at what other photographers are doing and feel like you have to do the same thing to be “good”. We are all unique and we all have an authentic voice and message to share. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in trying to be “like” everyone else. Sounding “cool” like other posters. Stop…and just be the wonderful, authentic “you” that people want to hear from!

When you write a post, it should be the same words, sentence structure and style as if your were at Starbucks having coffee with your best friend. How do you talk when on the phone with your sister/brother/friend? This should be your same voice on any post you share. To get used to “talking authentically online” try this tip: use a voice recorder such as DropVox or Dragon Dictation to “record” what you want to write into a blog post, Facebook or Instagram post. Be casual as if speaking to your friend. Then, correct typos and copy/paste that into your post.

You are the voice of your brand and you are the *IT* factor of your business. Let the true-you shine in anything and everything you write and post online.

So there you have it—my top 5 TIPS for your online social marketing for 2016. Spend time applying these tips as they make sense for you. I wish each and every one of you much success, peace and joy in the New Year!