For years photographers have relied on traditional marketing methods like direct mail, vouchers and flyers, along with referrals and word-of-mouth to find new clients and grow their business.
But these methods can be costly and time consuming to implement, as well as taking a long time to deliver results.
Today, one of the quickest ways to grow your photography business is with Facebook ads.
With Facebook’s fantastic capability for audience targeting and the different attention-grabbing ad types you can choose from, there has never been an easier or faster way to find new clients as a photographer.
But, as you might have found already, it’s not quite as simple as boosting a post or putting up a Facebook ad and having clients and bookings magically appear.
There are two things you need to do to make Facebook work for your photography business.
1. You need to be willing to put in the effort
2. You need to have the right strategy
In this post I’m going to share with you some tips you can follow that are specifically to help photographers, like you, grow your business with Facebook ads.
You can take what I’m sharing here and use it to create an effective Facebook ads strategy – one that will finally start getting you the results you want, and stop wasting your money.
Here’s what I’m going to be covering:
- How the right targeting is critical to the success (or failure) of your ads
- How to create ads that get the attention and interest of your ideal clients
- Why your current ads aren’t bringing you the bookings you hoped for
- How to set the right objective for your ads so that you get the best results for your money
Let’s dive right in!
Target The Right Audience
It’s going to sound really obvious, but one of the keys to successful Facebook ads is having the right target audience. If you want your ads to perform well and generate enquiries and bookings, you need to be crystal clear on who your ideal client is.
Many photographers think they know who their ideal client is, but in reality most only have a vague idea.
Targeting by age and gender is a good start, but you also need to know what they’re interested in. What are their hobbies? Where do they shop? What activities do they take part in? Where do their children go to school? That kind of thing.
If you’ve read some of my other blog articles you’ll know I often talk about how important truly understanding your ideal client is. The more you know her, the easier it is to speak to her and make sure your marketing message, including Facebook ads, connects with her and engages her attention and interest.
When you’re really clear about what she’s into, you can combine her interests with location targeting to easily attract your ideal clients to your photography business.
As a local business, you definitely want to target by geographical location. You only want to spend money on ads to reach people in the area that you serve.
You can do this in a couple of ways. The default option Facebook gives you is to target everyone in the location. This includes people who live in the location you select, as well as those currently travelling in it.
Unless, you’re offering a photography service that appeals to people visiting or holidaying in the area you serve, and can accommodate clients at short notice, you’re probably better off selecting the option for just people who live in the location.
Facebook also lets you set the radius targeting of your ad. So for example you can set your ad to display to people in your city and a certain radius around it. You can even choose to only include (or exclude altogether) specific neighbourhoods or areas by dropping pins on the map.
Again, it all comes down to knowing your ideal client in detail so you can target the location(s) she’s most likely to be living in. It really is super important to get clear on this before you start spending your money on Facebook ads. Or any marketing, for that matter.
Make An Offer That’s Relevant
One of the biggest mistakes photographers are making when it comes to running Facebook ads is not having a clear strategy.
Before you run any ads you need to know what you want to achieve from them, and most importantly how you’re going to make them profitable. Otherwise you might as well just set fire to your money now.
Running ads just to get likes on your FB page or post, or promoting your website is not a profitable strategy.
Page likes or website visitor numbers are just vanity metrics – they’re meaningless if you’re not turning those fans or visitors into bookings.
You need to put a plan in place that will attract the attention of the audience you’re targeting with the ad, make them aware of your business, and then lead them along the journey to becoming a paying client.
It’s not the job of your Facebook ad to sell your services to your target audience.
The goal of the ad is to get their attention, gain their interest and encourage them to take the next step.
That next step could be clicking through to a blog post where they can learn more about your business and how you can help them, or to a landing page where you can collect their email address in return for a free offer.
The next step should not be asking them to book.
To attract the attention and interest of your target audience, your Facebook ad must have an offer that meets your target audience where they are right now in their buying journey.
Are they actively looking for a solution to their problem, or are they not even aware of their problem or need for your solution?
Position Yourself As The Expert
High ticket, non-essential purchases, like photography, require you to build a relationship and establish trust before someone decides whether or not to book.
You can do this by using content that both educates and provides value to potential clients.
Instead of promoting yourself, your photography or your services to your target audience on Facebook, promote blog posts that help them, and that position you as an expert at the same time.
With the Facebook pixel on your website, you can retarget readers of these blog posts with another ad that promotes a free PDF guide or checklist in exchange for their email.
Because the reader knows and trusts you a little bit more than before visiting your site, these ads will work better (and cost less). You can then follow up with emails that build on the relationship.
It’s at this point that you can make an irresistible offer for your photography services.
By taking the time to provide value and getting them to know, like and trust you through your blog and email content, you’re much more likely to see those Facebook ads result in happy paying clients for your photography business.
Choose the Right Ad Campaign Objective
When setting up your ad it’s important to choose the right campaign objective, so Facebook knows what results you want. It can then put your ad in front of the people most likely to get you those results.
If you’re sending people to a blog post or page on your website choose Traffic. If you’re sending people to a landing page so they can get a PDF guide in exchange for an email address choose Conversion.
Conversions generally cost a bit more per click. That’s why it’s best to reserve these ads for targeting a warmer audience. That is, people who know a bit about you already, either from visiting your website, being a fan of your Facebook page, or as a subscriber on your email list.
To track your traffic and conversion results you need to have the Facebook pixel installed on your website and landing pages.
If you’re not sure how to install the Facebook pixel on your site, or whether it’s installed properly, I’ve created a simple cheatsheet with everything you need to know. Download it by clicking the banner below.