By now, you may have heard the news – Instagram introduced Stories to the social app! Not too long ago, we discussed Snapchat and whether you should use it for your photography business. The introduction of Stories to Instagram is undeniably similar to the Snapchat platform. The benefit of Stories is it incorporates the short video format of Snapchat with all of the features wedding photographers have to come to love about Instagram.
Instagram Stories allows you to share quick posts and videos with your audience. They disappear in 24 hours, and you can continue to post new ones for your followers to view. It’s a different way to share about you and your business, without overwhelming your followers. When you post to Stories, it’s your followers’ decision to view your images and videos, which helps you know who is engaged with you. Stories are a great opportunity for you, and here are our top 3 ways you can use them to grow your business.
1. Showcase Your Personality
Beyond your images, your personality sells you. It’s what makes clients fall in love with you and your images, and hire you for their wedding day. Just as you write your posts on Instagram with your personality in mind, use Stories to showcase additional aspects your followers do not see on your account. All you have to do is take a photo or record a short video of your choice and give your followers a deeper insight of who you are.
To showcase your personality, share aspects of your daily life that highlight your areas of interest. If you can’t start the day without a Vanilla Latte, share a Story about it. If you are passionate about homegrown orange juice, share a video of your process. A morning run with your dog, an afternoon surf session, or an evening cocktail with a view – these are all unique aspects of your personality your followers can relate to.
Keep your followers interested by sharing more about you as a person and you as a photographer. These are both aspects which make up who you are, and help you connect with your followers on a personal level. Use the features built into Stories, such as adding captions to highlight why it showcases something unique about you.
2. Show Behind the Scenes
Instagram Stories give you a fantastic opportunity to showcase how you work. You can now do this without interrupting your curating and posting strategies. Behind the scenes videos show a unique and personal side of you, and the process that goes into creating your beautiful work. For example, before the wedding shoot, you can take a video of the location you are at or the gear you packed during your morning prep. Wedding photographers, Jessica Claire and Melissa Jill are on Instagram Stories and showcase videos of the locations where they will shoot the wedding day.
Also, if you are working on a new project or idea for your photography business, share it on Stories. Show small sneak peeks of your website design or a new album design. Even if you are redecorating your office or studio, your followers will be interested to learn more about it. After your images are edited by a wedding photography editing service, and you create a blog post for them, you can share a sneak peek of the post on Stories. The more connected your followers are to you, the easier it will be for them to trust you with the most important day of their lives.
Tip: Use Stories to highlight other vendors that you work with at a wedding. Not only are you showing some behind the scenes video from a live wedding, but you are sharing the love with a fellow vendor. Your followers will love the view into a real wedding, and your fellow vendor will appreciate the share.
3. Share Your Daily Routine
How often are you sitting in traffic, waiting at the airport, or standing in line? These moments provide the perfect time for you to pull out your phone and take a photo or record a video to share with your followers. Not only does it keep you entertained, it shows your audience you go through the same things they do, which humanizes you. Use Stories when you are buying groceries or taking the dog to the vet, which are also activities your followers can relate to. It’s necessary for you to find ways to build trust and form relationships with followers who are potential clients, and this is a great way to do so.
Instagram Stories now gives you a place in your feed to highlight the potentially mundane or normal things you do on a daily basis. Because Stories disappear after 24 hours, you don’t have to worry as much about a video being immortalized forever on your feed. Stories can be used to showcase the things you may not post on your regular Instagram account. Maybe they don’t match your curating strategy or you would rather focus mainly on posting past wedding photos. Daily activities you can show are when you are out to dinner with friends, as you get your hair done (the before and after), or while you take your afternoon hike. Wedding photographers, Mary Marantz and Mckenzie Deakins are on Instagram Stories and showcase videos of these daily routines. Your followers will be interested in your hobbies, and this will give them another reason to feel close to you.
Stories are the next evolution for the Instagram platform, and they provides many benefits for wedding photographers to take advantage of. The similarities Stories has to the Snapchat platform are undeniable, and only time will tell if Stories takes on the same interest level that Snapchat has. Because Instagram is an image-based platform, it has a natural draw for the professional wedding photographer. How else can you spice up your Instagram business account to increase your followers and book more weddings? Our Guide, Instagram for the Wedding Photographer is full of actionable items for you to use to have a successful Instagram account!