I’m really excited to talk about content creation with you guys because I think oftentimes as photographers, we don’t think of ourselves as content creators, right? In fact, I asked a question on Instagram to know who among my audience create content. Over 50% of those who answered said: LITERALLY NEVER.
Then what I did is I clicked over to their Instagram accounts and I saw that they have posts. Well, my friend, that means that you are a content creator.
If you’re reading this and you’re also thinking that you’re not a content creator and you’ve never created content, I want you to shift how you’re thinking about content, how you’re creating content, and know that even when you’re just posting on social media that means you’re creating content, which means you’re a content creator.
What is Content Creation?
A lot of people think that creating content means blogging and it definitely does mean blogging. Generally, creating content means you’re just putting information out in the world that’s going to serve someone else. And for us as business owners, the people that we want to serve are our ideal clients. So if we can think about creating content in a way that’s going to serve our ideal clients and help them get one step closer to hiring us right now, what we’re doing is content. So when I say create content, I primarily mean blogging and creating social media posts.
And the reason that creating content works is that you’re giving someone something that’s going to create a relationship, that’s going to create some value for free.
When you’re consistently creating that content that week after week after week, it starts to, whether the client realizes that or not, build trust really quickly because they start to see you as authority. They start to see you as somebody who can take care of them because you clearly know stuff and know what you’re talking about.
So think about your favorite influencer, think about somebody that you follow on social media or listen to their podcast, somebody that you really look up to. And I want you to think about if they were to sell something to you or if they throw in a sponsored post once in a while, are you mad at them? No, of course not! Because they give you so much value for free.
It’s the same way with photographers. You can show up, give value for free, and every once in a while, I’ll say, “Hey, I have this thing that you might like, here’s some information about it.” Then get back to the free stuff. And they start to like you and that starts to build trust. That’s why creating that content is so valuable because you’re able to show up and be in front of someone without selling.
What if it’s constantly promotions and no free value? You guys, how often would you get on lives with me, how often would you get on the training with me, or how often would you listen to the podcast? Whenever we can combine this value with a little bit of selling every once in a while that it starts to really become effortless to get hired by our ideal clients.
One thing I want to point out is that you don’t have to blog to create content.
I think we think about blogging a lot because it’s good for SEO, there are a lot of benefits to blogging, but you don’t have to actually blog to create content. For example, some of you guys may have not known this, I was actually the host of a podcast before I started the From Better Half to Boss podcast.
It was a local doula and me, and we had a podcast specifically for Oklahoma City moms where we would interview local experts in our community to share and that is how we created weekly content.
You do not have to write blog posts in order to create weekly content if you much prefer to talk and you’re like an extrovert and you want to go out and meet people, even if you’re not an extrovert (PS, I’m not an extrovert and I still have a podcast), you can create content that your ideal client finds valuable without having to write a blog post every single week or every single month.
Another thing that one of our students has done, actually several of them have, is start a YouTube channel. If you’re already in the studio taking photos or if you’re already doing sessions, what if you just recorded some behind-the-scenes content that showed people a little sneak peek of what it’s like to work with you?
I like, as a photographer, blogging and putting the content out there in a readable format. But I just wanted to, before we get into the details, really give you permission that you don’t have to blog. You can create a YouTube channel. You can create a podcast. There are other ways to get content out.
But the core theme is you’re creating content every single week or month, whatever you feel is something that you can do consistently to create content. If you start to get the hang of it, increase the frequency.
I don’t want you to create one piece of content, one blog, post one YouTube video, one podcast, and go “That was really hard. That really took a lot of time. And I don’t think I can do this anymore,” and quit because here’s the thing – anytime you’re learning something new, like think about the first time you picked up your camera, how difficult was it to remember where the on switch was, how to change your aperture, how to change your shutter speed. It took effort to stop what you were doing and look at it and change it. But now for most of you, it’s second nature.
It’s the same way with these marketing activities that we do. At first, it’s gonna feel challenging. It’s gonna feel tough. It’s gonna feel like “This is really hard. I can’t keep spending X number of hours every month writing a blog,” but it’s gonna get easier and easier and easier.
Creating Long-Form Content
When we talk about blogging, I want you to think about basically two different buckets of blogs: you have your client session blogs and you have your content blogs, like the things that we’ve been talking about this whole time, the way that you’re gonna give value to people.
Think about it in those two little chunks, because when you have your client sessions, you’re gonna blog about them in a storytelling way, but that’s a little bit different because if you don’t have sessions, then what are you gonna blog about? So, yes, I want you doing this if it’s valuable to your audience.
PS. Birth stories, 9 times out of 10, are very valuable to your audience. If you have birth stories that you can share, that’s exciting for people to read. And so I always blog births and I typically would always blog newborn sessions.
I did not typically blog 6-month sessions, 12-month sessions, and family sessions. It was just harder for me to create an interesting story around those types of session, not impossible, but it’s just the workflow that we kind of created.
But the type of blogs that I want you to think about today that we’re gonna be talking about are the content-based blogs, the value blogs, the things where you can say,
- “What is my ideal client Googling?
- What is my ideal client searching for on Pinterest?
- What kind of hashtags are my ideal client searching outside of the realm of photography?”
And this is so important because as photographers, we immediately think things like “How to find a birth photographer, questions to ask your birth photographer, how to find a newborn photographer?”
And those things are good. I do think that there’s value in blogging about those types of topics, but don’t box yourself into this corner of only talking about photography. If you are here, chances are you’re a birth photographer or a baby photographer. So I want you to think, what is that mom searching on Pinterest about her pregnancy in general, or maybe about getting pregnant or maybe about what to do after the baby comes or maybe what to do, like pumping or what she’s going to do after she goes back to work?
Think outside the photography box when it comes to what types of things to blog about.
We actually have this freebie, which is kind of old, but I just downloaded it and it’s actually really, really good. It has 52 blog post ideas for birth photographers, it would also work for baby photographers. It’s at thebeautyinbirth.com/52. So if you’re sitting here and you’re like, “Okay, I think I have a few ideas, but I could probably come up with something,” go to that URL and download. It’s literally going to hand you 52 ideas.
Breaking Down Long-Form Content to Short-Form Content
You’re going to start with this one piece of content, and this is where I get really excited, which is kind of dorky of me, but I actually really am a weirdo that loves creating content! When you create one long-form piece of content, it’s so simple to then take that and break it into social media posts. So when you’re creating this weekly or monthly piece of content, I want you to think about all of the ways that you can break that down into social media posts or Instagram lives.
So let’s say you’re going to write about 5 Reasons You Should Consider Home Birth. Each of those five points can then become its own blog post. So if you write, “You want to be surrounded by family and friends and have whoever you want at your birth,” that can become its own standalone social media post. And you can basically just copy it from your blog post and put it onto social media, format it a little bit, but do it to where it makes sense.
When I started doing that when I realized I could do that, I started to churn out content like a crazy person, because all I had to do was make one blog post and I could make between 5 and 10 pieces of social media content from that one blog post.
Now with Reels and TikTok, it’s the same kind of thing. We feel like, “Oh man, now I have to create something else. I have to do video, I have to do reels, I have to do TikTok.” But if we go back to our piece of content that we’re creating once a month, twice a month, once a week, and we go back to that core piece of content, and we say, how can I take a piece of this and turn it into a reel?
So then you’re scrolling through reels and you’re thinking of that while you’re scrolling for trends, it’s so much easier to come up with content ideas than if you’re just scrolling, then trying to think of something. So base it on that piece of content.
When you really start to understand this and you take that 52 blog post ideas and you start to create your own content, it really starts to position you as the go-to expert, because I guarantee you guys, photographers are not doing this and they have not ever been doing this. Photographers are still in the year 2007 when it comes to blogging and most of them are just blogging client sessions saying, “Oh, look at this beautiful family,” spamming it with SEO keywords and calling it good.
That is such a huge missed opportunity when it comes to what you can actually create and how you can actually position your business as the go-to person, for whatever niche that you want to specialize in.
And so you can listen to this with one of two lenses:
Number one is that sounds really hard. Maybe I’ve tried something like that before. I don’t think I’m going to do that. It sounds too challenging.
This, my friend, is what it takes to grow the photography business to the level that you want to grow it – doing the things that are hard, that are challenging, that takes a little bit of effort in the beginning.
I’m going back to the camera example: you didn’t pick up your camera and know immediately how to take great photos. It took time and effort, and so will this, but it is effort that is well worth it because you know what? Now I have hundreds of blog posts that I can go back to and repurpose content from, reshare that old blog post, pull out something new from it, and tell a story from that blog post – it’s just a vault of content. So I’m doing the hard work in the beginning, I’m creating it, and then I have it to go back to when I want to create content.
5 Ways to Make TikTok Content from Long-Form Content
I also want to tell you about five different ways that I’ve been taking the weekly content that I create for you guys and turning it into TikTok videos and how you can do the same thing. Don’t let this overwhelm you. Take a nugget or two with you and go with it.
Set a Theme and Categorize
So I have like a sheet on my computer over here where I take the weekly theme of the content. So for you, it might be monthly theme. You’re taking your content theme and you’re breaking it down into a few categories.
Trend: you’re thinking of this content theme, “5 Reasons to Have a Home Birth,” and you’re looking at trends thinking how can you create a trend from this topic?
Inspirational: How can I take this topic and inspire someone with it?
Duet: On TikTok, you can go and find somebody who’s already created content around this topic and literally duet them and visually agree with them, you don’t have sound and you’re just basically, it’s a way to like reshare their stuff on TikTok. It’s so powerful. It’s such an easy way to get content out there without actually having to create content, so that’s the third thing.
What To Do: If I’m gonna say 5 Reasons You Should Consider Having a Home Birth, this is the TikTok where I’m gonna list out all five reasons in 15 seconds really, really quickly. I might also take those five reasons and dive a little bit deeper in separate videos, but that’s, what’s so great about Reels and TikTok is they’re their own pieces of content. They’re their own platforms that you can dig into. Is this making.
Tell a Story About It: So, if I’m saying 5 Reasons You Should Consider Having a Home Birth, I might tell my own story of having a home birth. I might tell a story of a client who had a homebirth and share a little bit about their experience. The same thing that I would put in a blog post, I could quickly tell in a storytelling talk in 2 minutes or 1 minute or 30 seconds, because I talk really fast.
And so everything starts to stem from this one piece of content.
So I have a question for you – what is your next step with content creation? You’re here, you made it to the end, right? So, you know, I’m going to help keep you accountable and take some sort of action from this episode.
So maybe it’s for you to start a blog. Maybe you’ve never had one and now’s your time to start one or maybe it’s to put something out there that isn’t perfect, but it’s done. And you know, that done is better than perfect. Or maybe it’s to repurpose some of your old blog content into social media content. You spent the time to listen to this episode, so now it’s time to go take some action.
My friend, remember if you have a passion it’s not in the accident because not everyone loves the thing that you love. So whatever your passion is, I hope that you will get out there and make it happen. Have a great week.