Want to grow your social media? Want to learn how to use your brand to grow your social media? We want to show you how it is possible to do that! We are going to cover all of the ins and outs of how to grow your social media with your brand and all the essentials you need to know.
Cassidy Lynne is an expert in social media and personal branding on social media. Cassidy is a wedding photographer. She started shooting weddings in 2017 and has remained consistent since then. Though she fully went into it full-time in September 2020, she started focusing on photography education after doing that part-time for a while. She says it’s been bliss going into it full time and she loves being her boss and being a full-time photographer as well.
Her brand started from training students who had little to zero experience in photography. She taught them and trained them from the ground up, showing them how to shoot and everything photography entails, and eventually, they became pros at it.
In building your brand you need to have boundaries with work and personal life. Incorporating some of your likes and interests into your brand helps your brand’s growth. Here are some of Cassidy’s biggest tips for building your brand on social media.
Building your brand’s presence
One of the greatest things to build your brand presence is typing the way you talk!
How do you create a voice for her brand? Writ the way you would talk to people. It is really important to type how you would talk to people because that is going to be the one thing that is going to be there when they reach out to talk to you on a phone call. Writing the way you talk is so important for just building a really strong brand presence. It is like giving out your brand mission statements.
What statements do you want to represent your brand in? How are you serving your clients? Whatever your brand mission statements are, implementing them into everything you do in your business is necessary. You just have to have those statements in place and have a big vision for your business before you can start implementing strategies.
Knowing your brand helps you not to be lost on how to type and how to create content for your brand. This needs to begin with your brand mission statements like “What’s your mission?” What are your goals in doing photography?”
Photographers are creative beings but when it comes to writing it can be a little challenging, so it is a good reminder that you already have your brand voice. Make sure that it gets communicated clearly. Having your mission statement makes people have a reason why they want to buy from you.
People are often tied to a story. They want to hear a story, they want to invest in emotions, thye buy for emotions. Give your brand a story, make sure your photos are tied to emotions and make everything you do come into a full circle.
The foundation of your business begins with a mission statement and it is often hard to come up with it. It can be intimidating to evaluate your business on that level but it is essential.
Brand mission statement
If you are struggling with your brand statement it always helps to have a few people sit down and look at your work and have conversations that would help gear you towards your brand mission statement. It helps to have an outside pair of eyes looking at your business when it gets hard for you to get the birds-eye view of things.
As a brand, you need to go and make your mission statements if you do not have one already.
Identifying your brand
How can you identify your brand and what are those things a person can do to find their brand?
Evaluating your current brand helps. Ask yourself what are the things that you like about your current brand? On the flip side, what things do you want to change that are going to be important? What is your business going to be important for? So these are healthy exercises one can do every couple of months to help your business.
You can also practice showing your personality, your interest in your brand, and what connects you to your brand. A personal connection matters as much as good photos but a personal connection to the client matters more. Do not get so caught up in photos, focus on a few person-to-person interactions.
Continually showing your face in your brand helps because your personality and you are going to establish a connection with a potential client. That is what is going to set your business apart. So show your face whenever you get a chance to in your business on social media, on your website, and on every space that your face should be on. That is going to set you apart from other photographers who have great photos but not much of a personal brand. These few exercises should be helpful to anyone starting on building a personal brand.
It takes time to build a brand, it is important to remember that it doesn’t happen right away. When you begin to incorporate yourself into a personal brand, it takes time to adjust. It takes time to build trust, so you have to be patient. Though a lot of people want it fast, you have to take time to build trust.
Consistency in branding
One of the first things Cassidy thinks of when it comes to branding is consistency: the colors, fonts, and the generic vibes in your photos. As photographers, consistency in your edits and colors, and fonts are important, as it is good for clients to know what they’re going to expect from your Garland visually.
How you talk across all of your platforms is one thing that is going to help you with your brand. When posting specifically on social media, keep your brand mission statement in mind with every single thing you post. Use those statements to drive your content and captions and your stories, everything you do on social media.
Keeping those mission statements in your head as you’re creating content is going to help you target the right people who are going to be booking you. Your feed is one of the biggest things that you can do for personal connections and your stories you can post your face. Your face is like the secret sauce for personal connections and a personal brand.
Have your content pillars, and make sure your 10 pillars reflect your mission statement, and stick to those. It is easier to stay consistent and come up with content and create content because you have that brand-clear mission.
Having two content pillars under one umbrella
When people have two content pillars under one umbrella. She asserts that there’s nothing wrong with having different audiences and different niches. She thinks you need to create specific content for each of those audiences. You can have content pillars that are different but could be almost identical.
Having two different niches isn’t a bad idea, it can help your business. It is hard as specialization is important and the more you shoot, the less specialized you seem. Specializations are also crucial, and potential clients value them.
Split it up and make them specific for each of the niches. Some people do it well both ways, but to Cassidy, it looks like speaking to everyone while speaking to no one. So splitting them and shooting different things is what she recommends.
Building a social media presence
As a wedding photographer, Cassidy targeted wedding clients, and in doing that she had around 3000 followers on Instagram. In her social media growth, one of the biggest things that catapulted her growth was video marketing on TikTok, as using TikTok was very easy and a bit more attainable. So her presence with photographers started with TikTok.
She soon discovered she liked video marketing and started doing a lot of it. When she transitioned to TikTok was when her social media presence started growing. She consistently posts often on TikTok, and ties Instagram to her other platforms.
Be specific with your target audience so you are talking with potential clients. Video marketing allows you to connect better with people. But in video marketing, it is hard to transition when your audience is already used to particular content, unless you want to be a lifestyle influencer. It is hard to transition from photography to other areas.
Find the social media platform that works best for you and use it. As one can’t be a jack of all social media platforms.
Pinterest is one of those platforms that helps you in the long run. Pins live forever, as Instagram posts live for five days. Pinterest is kind of like a long-run marathon thing to Cassidy, while Instagram is just like a quick sprint. Pinterest can be considered a longevity app, if one has about four viral pins, one is a star on Pinterest. When just starting out, you don’t want to sleep on Pinterest.
Just find the platform that works best for you!
Strategies that work
Consistency and authenticity are the two huge things that Cassidy has noticed that help her overall presence and her audience to feel connected to her. Posting consistently, but also making those posts authentic. Refining her content and knowing what her audience likes to see.
When she started it was more of a trial and error thing. Knowing what works and what didn’t and then refining her content to create her secret recipe. What works for a person never really works for everyone else.
Know what works for you and refine that down and then use that as a template for every single thing you do from then on keeping your target audience in mind, putting yourself in their shoes so you can communicate better.
Reels in video marketing, although generic, are a high thing right now and though photographers do not create videos they have to have an adaptable mindset. Being adaptable in willing to change the types of videos one posts, also establishing yourself as an expert in the field helps. Those are things Cassidy tried to focus on. For instance, being an expert in weddings, she showed them she knew how to shoot a first look, how to shoot a reception and a client’s first look. Giving the clients an experience to connect to you and come back.
Showing your face consistently helps as no one else is you and your personality makes you stand out. You have to be your brand. Also having quality content helps you a long way. Also never bee afraid to try things and fail as in that process you learn better.
Staying consistent in posting
It is a struggle with consistency even for people who preach about consistency a lot! Even if you schedule posts for two months out, stories are something you can’t schedule. Reels are also something that you have to go and manually post so it’s like no matter what you are never truly caught up.
Consistency can be tiring. The more consistent you are, the more tired you get. So having a template of goals to hit every single week helps. When Cassidy doesn’t hit them she’s not too hard on herself, as she understands that she’s a person. So giving yourself grace is something that helps her, as well as posting reels and TikTok videos every day works well for her.
Focusing on 5 original stories daily as her feed posts do not necessarily have to be every day anymore. She also uses a feed planner to help her with how everything visually looks, apps like Later, Planoly, etc, also doing batch content helps her most of the time.
It is better to do what they’re capable of and not do what you are mentally incapable of because you’re going to burn out and that’s bad. Keep yourself in check and not be afraid to take breaks when you need to.
Making an impact on social media
One thing that people can do to make a big impact on their social media and brand presence is headshots. For Cassidy, headshots help spark interest. Using those headshots on your feed or new profile picture and updating all the photos on your websites helps, as that’s a huge thing for personal connection. It builds your confidence and bridges the gap between you and your clients.
Maintain the vibes you have on your profile on your website as well, there should not be two different scopes to your works. From your colors, designs, and all there should be uniformity. Recycle your content and what you post on social media you can recycle on your website. For instance, doing a post and giving fun facts about you on your website. Your website should be your main priority as well as your socials. Help your audience understand your experience and how they can benefit from your experience. Tie it all together on your website.
One major thing that helps one to stay consistent is being yourself. Remaining true to yourself and your brand and incorporating that into your social media and your website. Keep your vibes consistent in your pictures, captions, videos, and your services. Keep a uniformity all through your socials to your websites.
One of the sentiments Cassidy lives by is the fact that you cannot please everyone. If you want to build your brand, you have to focus on the people who are going to value your work and make them your target audience and create content for them.
You can’t please everyone, for example, family sessions, if you’re not a family photographer, you might not please clients that want family sessions or budget shoppers or luxury weddings. Whoever it is, everyone is not your ideal client so stop acting like they are and focus on those people who are valuing your work right now and valuing your brand right now.