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Content Creation for Creatives

We’ve all been there at some point. You post an epic photo or something that is super helpful, inspirational, or even funny...

and…

NOTHING…

CRICKETS…

It’s discouraging for sure! But we’ve got some tried and true ways to increase your engagement and help you create engaging content every time!

Use the right Content!

Video gets 12 times more shares than text and images combined. (source: https://www.wordstream.com)


Take a look at your own feed… the majority of brands are using video. Why? Because it works! Video is more likely to grab your audience’s attention and encourage them to take action.

I know, I know… creating video content regularly means more time editing and adjusting every little detail. It can… and there’s plenty of programs that allow you to spend hours creating and adjusting.

But there’s got to be a better way... right?!  

What if you could create a professional marketing video quickly and easily... From your office or studio… the park or the pool… or even the school pick up lane?



What if we told you that it’s already possible to do just that. No more fussing over music and licensing…. No more editing and trying to time transitions. Just straight forward, professionally created, marketing videos that are ready for you to post to social media in just minutes.

Gone are the days of spending hours editing and adjusting every little detail. Just upload your images… Then Click → Create → and sit back and wait for your Vivi video to be delivered right to you.

It takes 7 seconds to create a Vivi video (Trust us… we timed it 😉 )  



We know that video captures our audience’s attention… now imagine just what it will do for your own social media feed.

Now That You’ve Got The Right Content…

Take it a step farther! Engage with every person and every comment that comes your way. If your clients and followers take time out of their day to comment and engage with your social media feed… make sure you’re doing the same. Thank them for being there… reply to their comments and be an active presence on your social accounts.

Do the same with your hashtags. If you use a hashtag regularly, take the time to follow that hashtag and interact every time you use it. Set aside 10-15 minutes each day to comment on the hashtags you use the most. This shows Instagram that you not only have something important to share on social media but that you’re interested in the content you are sharing. Social media was built to be SOCIAL… so be an active presence there and you’ll push past those algorithms boosting your content to the top of the social media line! (More on hashtags in the 30 Days of Social Media Magic: link)

→ PRO TIP: When someone expresses an interest in your work or a session, comment on their post and tell them you’ll be reaching out soon… then DM them later in the day. Thank them for their interest and tell them you’d love to chat more about scheduling a session together soon!

Get Personal! Your clients… and future clients… want to see you. They are hiring more than just a brand, they are hiring you! Pretend you’re sitting down for coffee with your social media followers. What would you say to them if you were face to face? You social media content shouldn’t be any different. Have a conversation… be real and take them behind the scenes often so that they can see more than just the images you create.

→ PRO TIP
: Go Live! Make sure people see who you are! Your business is about more than just gorgeous images. Flip the camera around and add content to your stories regularly. Your clients are about to share some of the most important and intimate days of their lives with you. Show them just who you are… and how much fun they’ll have working with you as often as you can.



Still stuck on what to share on social media? We've got even more ways to rock your social media game here.

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#30DOT | Share your Thankfulness
In this season of holiday hustle and bustle, it's easy to get distracted by the twinkling lights and holiday rush. As a photographer, you're likely right in the middle of busy season... wrapping up those final wedding edits only to be buried under endless fall sessions and holiday minis. Our calendars are full,and there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to get it all done.


But amidst the chaos that often comes with this time of year, we would like to encourage you all to slow down just a bit in this season... to take time for your family and friends... and to remember all of the awesome people and moments in your lives that you are thankful for.



THAT'S WHERE
#30DOT COMES IN!

We would love for you to join us in sharing each day what you're thankful for! Post a video or a photo each day on your social media account and help us celebrate all of the reasons we have to be thankful in our lives!


We would also like to take a moment to kick off this season by reminding you how important each and every one of you is to us and this community!! Your passion for what you do and your heart for your clients is incredible and inspiring. It is absolutely humbling to watch the growth and incredible talent that surrounds us in this group every day.

We believe that business, at its best, is personal, purposeful and Monday's can be something we're passionate about.

We believe that most of us would prefer to talk to other people as opposed to ro(bots).


We believe that empathy is more important than efficiency.

...and we believe that every. single. person. is a unique and unrepeatable miracle.

~ David Jay, Founder ~

Be sure to use #30DOT to help us share your joy and your gratitude.
We'd love to have you join us in celebrating all of the things we have to be thankful for! Need some help getting started? There's a whole list of prompts for you at: www.30DOT.com

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Creating Brand Loyalty with Mini Sessions


Outside of 'what should I wear' it's probably the question photographers hear the most...

"Do you shoot Mini Sessions?"


Whether you're a seasoned pro... just starting to plan out your Mini Sessions for the first time... or you've never hosted them before, we're here to break down all of the ins and outs of hosting successful mini sessions time after time.

Photographer Lindsay Wiatt sat down with us to share just how she has boosted her business by offering limited Mini Sessions throughout the year. Lindsey has been a photographer in Oregon for over a decade, and has been hosting signature sessions like her watermelon and tulip minis for years. She limits her Mini Sessions to a few times a year, only schedules certain dates and times, and says the move is strategic.

"I never wanted it to look like I had a ton of them because then the people don't see the value."


Creating that value means not only spending time educating your clients and showing them the value in what you are offering, it means valuing yourself as a photographer, and the time that it takes to create a successful mini session event.

Mini Sessions are hard work. There are often additional factors like props and sets to take into consideration or location rental costs. It's also important to remember that mini sessions are not simply pint size sessions with your pricing slashed in half. (Or at least, they shouldn't be.) In order to stay profitable, it's important to know your own cost of doing business (CODB)  and set a goal that is bigger than your normal session fee.

[For more on just how to figure out your CODB, be sure to check out our live interview. with Heatherly Doan of Photo Life, on the Shoot & Share Facebook page]


"Usually I set a number. Say I want to make $10,000 on this mini session go. How many sessions do I need to book? How much time is it going to take? My personal goal is I always aim to make double my normal session, because we're working in an hour block- my regular sessions are an hour long. I want to aim for double that number in a mini session hour."




While many of Lindsay's clients now return year after year, she says Mini Sessions offer photographers a unique way to create brand loyalty with previous clients and turn first time clients into repeat customers.

"I'd say 60% are new and 40% are my mainstays. And those 60% usually first find me through a mini event and then the following year they then become a full session. It's kind of like a 15 minute interview. My favorite is when the family leaves and they're like 'my kid doesn't smile for anybody and they've been giggling and laughing the whole time. I'm booking another session!'

Each year she hosts only three mini session events: Tulips, Watermelons, and Christmas Trees. Her mini sessions aren't listed on her website and she keeps social media chatter about them limited on her main page, instead directing clients to a special Facebook group just for that specific session. For Lindsey creating excitement about her upcoming sessions starts months ahead of time by sharing inspiration boards, color palettes and little hints on social media.


"They can ask questions, they get outfit inspiration, so just really creating excitement around this big event. And then you have this big reveal. I'll usually do a quick 'go live' and people start snagging the dates up and we make it really fun and kind of exciting. So it's just creating that buzz around something because it's not something that you do all the time."

But getting to this point didn't happen overnight. Lindsey says she fully understands the uncertainty and even desperation many photographers go through in the beginning; feeling like they need to share everything to social media, take on everything and every client. And while she says we've all been there, dialing in her process and what she offered, and focusing on her style and brand, helped ensure that her clients wanted to return time after time. She even took time to revamp her social media to ensure her followers were seeing her vision.


" I then stopped for 6 months, posting everything... everybody gets a sneak peek. I was then only posting the look, the aesthetic, the styling that I was inspired by. That I wanted to put out with my brand. Not that I didn't love every person that showed up with their tennis shoes and play shoes and not completely put together, but I wanted to show people putting more thought into it. So now, my brand is really established. People know my look." 

That vision is what keeps her clients excited and coming back throughout the year. Lindsey says her business and mini sessions exploded when she stopped offering mini sessions year round. Many of her clients will book a full session when minis aren't currently available and will still come back for the mini session when it is. Her biggest tip: Make sure that you are creating connections and excitement with your clients that encourages them to come back year after year. Evolving your sessions between simple and something bigger year to year gives your clients something new to look forward to and allows them to keep traditions within their own families as their families grow and change each year too.



Want to know even more about Mini Sessions? You can see Lindsey's entire interview here.

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Looking to consistently find new clients like top photographers do without spending 3-5 hours a day?

You're not alone. We all know we can be doing more to build our photography businesses, but we also have busy lives filled to the brim and overflowing at times. So, we need a way to reliably grow interest in our services, without throwing away hours a day. We've seen social media work for a bunch of photographers, but how to we do it well? And by well, I mean... how do we get results? Engagement, shares, inquiries... bookings!

Well we have a few strategies below that will help. We've kept them simple so you can just start. And we know they work because we've taught them to many others and the results are the real deal.

Candace wrote us:

"Update. I've booked 3 sessions with full payment after my post this morning 🙌"

3 sessions from a single post? Now that’s the kind of traction that social media can get you (when done right).

Candace's process is simple. She posts killer Vivi videos of her photos (that take her minutes to create) consistently through the week with clear calls to action. Then she responds to her comments and inquiries.

Here's why her posts are working... Let's dive in.

A 3 step process for client-getting social media posts


Step 1
: Be consistent

You won't get very far by posting here and there. Your audience (even if it's tiny) only sees the posts that Instagram or Facebook show you... remember that algorithm you keep hearing about? Well it's super complicated and super simple, but there are basically two cycles you can be on.

😞 THE DOWNWARD CYCLE:

You post a beautiful photo from your last session after a week or two without posting... because hey... who has time for social media with 3 kids or a full time job? And besides, the last post you put up only got 12 likes anyway. But you know that people are finding new clients with their posts so you feel like you should. You caption it something like "Feeling the summer vibes with this one." This new post doesn't perform any better than the last. That's discouraging... bummer... and you don't have another session for 3 weeks so what would you post anyway? 3 weeks later, same story. Same 12 likes. Same discouragement.

The less you post, the less Instagram puts you in your followers feed. Which means less eyeballs on your work. Which means less engagement. Which means even less people see the next post (darn you algorithm!) and the cycle continues downward.


😁 THE UPWARD CYCLE:

You post a sneak peek from your latest session as a quick video that includes movement and music which creates emotion (more on this in #2). You caption it something like "Kristen slayed both dresses in her Fall Mini Session! Which one stands out more to you? The classy white? Or the vibrant orange? ... and hey... are you ready for your mini session? Click the link in bio to reserve your session before they're gone in the next week." A number of people like and comment their favorite dress... one even inquires about pricing on the mini sessions.

You post again the next day and the next, each with questions to engage your audience and calls to action to give them something to do. The algorithm sees the engagement and consistency and shows your next post to more people. Some of them engage too, so they show it to even more. And the cycles continues upward!

So yes, the best way to be seen and to grow is to post consistently. More chances for people to see your posts and more chances to find out which of your posts do best... and then keep doing it!

Being consistent is difficult, especially with our busy lives... that's why there are tools to help you out:
We created a crazy effective 30 day course to walk you through exactly what to post and how to post it.


Step 2
: Use video

It's no secret that the algorithm favors video. Just take a look at your feed today! If the people you follow feature videos, those are the posts you see most. Here's why:

1. Video is shared 12X more than photos or text. (more potential clients reached)

2. Video can convert visitors to purchasers 80% more effectively. (more clients booked)

A video is the whole meal... not just a a couple ingredients and it can really tap into the emotion behind your images. Your potential clients make purchasing decisions emotionally... so help them out.

And video can be super fast to create. Have you logged into Vivi lately?


Step 3
: Use CTAs and Tag your people

Tagging everyone in your video is a sure way to extend the reach and encourage sharing. And once you're in front of more people, use that description area to make a clear Call To Action (CTA) that encourages people to comment, inquire, etc!

-


If you're looking for more ways to optimize your posts to consistently find new clients... check out the 30 Days of Social Media Magic from Vivi. They'll hold your hand each step of the way to the most profitable month of your business! (and it's only $29 if you get in today).

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