July 4, 2022
I think, by now, we all know TikTok isn’t just for dances or teenagers right? But what you might not know is TikTok is actually a really valuable marketing tool for small businesses, and yes, that means photographers. Let’s look at the numbers:
CRAZY right? It’s hard to ignore numbers like that. Especially when TikTok is so new and so few businesses, must less photographers are hopping on.
Think about the early days of Facebook and Instagram. Back when Facebook is first created, you could post and all your fans and people outside your fan base would see it. It was so easy to be seen and to be found organically.
As these social platforms started growing, they started introducing ads, and so it became harder and harder for more small business owners to get your posts seen without paying. Don’t get me wrong, I still think it’s possible to grow organically on Facebook and Instagram, but it was just easier when these platforms first started. And I think that that is the ear that we are living in right now on TikTok.
Now, I know you’re a super smart cookie and you might be thinking, “Okay, but why would I be on TikTok when I’m just a small business. I can’t serve people in other countries or states than mine, so why would I spend time on TikTok? If my video DOES go viral, MOST of those people won’t even be able to hire me.”
And the answer to that question can be answered with this question – why would you spend time marketing your business on ANY social media platform? They ALL reach people worldwide. The difference between TikTok and say, IG, is that TikTok is reaching a lot more people for free or organically than IG or FB.
The truth is, short form video isn’t going away. Video, in general, has been rising in popularity on social media for years, but short form video (meaning TikToks, IG reels, etc.) is exploding. SO many platforms are adapting to TikTok-style videos, including the biggest players like Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and even Facebook. Plus TIKTOK is very visual, which makes it even easier for photographers to create content.
So, if I were to create a TikTok FROM SCRATCH for my photography business – what would I post? I’m glad you asked and I’d love to tell you!
There are 4 categories of content I would post on TIKTOK if I were working to promote my photography business:
People LOVE behind the scenes. And even though it needs a little prep and thinking ahead, there are so many opportunities for you as a photographer to show the different things that you’re doing behind the camera!
Talk about your process, how you prep for a session, what are you packing, what are the props that you bring, why you choose the gear you choose – those kinds of things!
The goal that I want you to have is to attract people in your local market who could be your ideal clients. But when you share photography tips, give a little lighting tip, or even an iPhone-ography advice to your audience, it shows people that you know what you’re talking about, your expertise, and it starts to build trust in you as a photographer.
What memorable (big or small) things happened at a newborn session or birth or family session that you can share? Remember these videos are NOT long – they’re usually 15-30 seconds.
Sharing session behind-the-scenes, photography tips, and stories are good to build trust and authority with your potential clients, but it also might attract other photographers who are not your ideal clients.
You want your ideal clients to watch your videos. So if you could think about what non-photography related things that you can talk about or that your ideal client might want to know about, so you could pop up in their For You Page for something other than photography.
This can be anything from places to take a new baby in your city to best places to eat gluten-free or do prenatal yoga… get inside the head of your ideal client and make content around that!
Let’s think of a topic, let’s say – “What to Put on Your Baby Registry as a First-Time Mom”
Video / Content #1:
I would think – “Okay, how can I make this fit into a current TIKTOK trend?
Video / Content #2:
With that same topic, I’d think, “Okay, how can I make this into an interesting story?”
Maybe you could share something that happened to you while you were registering or something you registered for that was useless or that you couldn’t live without!
Video / Content #3:
And THEN how can you make something about this topic inspirational or motivational? Something like a quick video about how we get bogged down with STUFF and what do we REALLY need for our baby?
Video / Content #4:
Then, I’d think, “How can I make this topic into an instructional video?”
How can I tell them the steps or list out things in relation to the topic of what to register for as a first-time mom?
Then boom – that’s 4 videos ALL from that 1 topic!
Another Content Idea:
Look to see what non-related photography niches are doing well on TikTok. What content are other people making that serve your same ideal client (maybe content from midwives, chiropractors, etc.) and think about how can you do something similar or put your own photographer spin on it.
Now, what are some ways you can HELP TikTok show your videos to people in your community? First of all, the AI in TikTok is smart. A lot smarter than any of use probably realize. And they know where people live. So your content actually can be seen on the For You Page by people who live near you and could potentially be your ideal client!
Here are a few things you can do with your videos to make sure they’re more likely to be seen by people in your area:
One side benefit that I got from posting on TikTok every day for 60 days and kind of being an early adapter to TikTok was being able to connect with other people who serve my same ideal client that. On other platforms, they have a lot more followers than me, they have a much larger audience than me, but because we were both kind of like figuring out TikTok together, we were able to make a connection.
And I think that you have that opportunity as well! If you’re on TikTok as a photographer and you’re looking for midwives, chiropractors, massage therapists or birth class instructors that are local to you who are also on TikTok, that is a great opportunity to get your foot in the door with those service providers.
And just say like, “Hey, I saw you on TikTok. I just got on TikTok too!” Now you have this thing in common. You’re both learning TikTok and you can kind of get in their world as a result of TikTok. Don’t sleep on that opportunity to reach out to people who are in your network or could potentially be in your network like birth centers that have a lot more followers or a much larger audience than you. Find them and connect with them on TikTok.
A question a lot of people have is…“How often should I post?”
And my answer is…the more you post, the faster you’ll learn what people like to see and what they don’t like to see from you.
If you’re going to post 30 videos, you could post them in a week, a month, or a year. How long do you want to wait to see what works?
In the beginning with your first 25-50 videos, a lot of them won’t get a lot of views and that’s okay because this is your learning phase! Use this to know which videos or content are working and which are not!
I hope now you can see the benefits of not only using short form video, but specifically TikTok as a photographer. If you want to continue this conversation, head over to our FREE Facebook Group filled with over 5000 photographers from all over the world!