Originally featured as a guest post on Planner's Lounge.
Instagram is a fave of the wedding industry for obvious reasons. Plenty of eye-candy at our fingertips. It’s loved by brides as well. You might be surprised to receive the occasional inquiry from someone who found you on Instagram, or even a direct message or comment right on your Insta account from a potential bride. It’s going to become even more common, especially when you’re doing it right.
Social media is truly here to stay and Instagram is a big player. While the algorithm has thrown us all for a loop, it’s important that you’re curating your feed regularly and editing with a keen eye.
Nowadays, a bride who is interested in you and your services will scroll through your feed and gobble up as much digital content as you provide. While a pretty website will draw her in, a poorly maintained Instagram account will turn her off and send her packing.
Start with the basics. Make sure that your account is properly branded with a professional photo of yourself or your logo for your profile photo, along with a short and sweet (and emoji free) description, and an account name that’s consistent with the rest of your online accounts.
Here are five common mistakes I see wedding and event pros making regularly on Instagram:
Sharing “Inspiration” Photos
When you feel you’re lacking portfolio photos or original content of your own, you might fall into the bad habit of sharing and regramming “inspiration” photos. Kick that habit fast! Beyond the obvious issue that it’s misleading – at a glance brides assume it’s your work, no matter how clearly you might try to explain or credit otherwise – you might also be sharing beautiful work that’s unattainable for those who are willing to work with you. A client who’s a perfect fit for your rates (and level of experience) may be intimidated by a feed full of over-the-top six-figure weddings.
Keeping Your Account Private
Your business account should be public. I repeat: your business account should be public. Requiring clients and colleagues to request permission to follow you is an immediate turn-off and doesn’t allow them to enjoy the anonymity of browsing as they fall down a rabbit hole of tagged photos, suggested accounts, and so on.
Not Sharing Enough of Yourself
While your followers love to see gorgeous real life event pics, they’re also interested in getting to know the person behind the pretty portfolio – YOU, the one they’re going to invest their hard earned money in. I understand that we’re not always feeling camera ready, but taking the time to snap a picture when you’re feeling and looking your best or even investing in (or trading for) some new head shots to share occasionally will make a difference. Not every photo that isn’t directly wedding related needs to be of you, but consider how you might share pics from your work day or even what you’re up to on your day off. You might be surprised to find that your personal photos get more likes than a simple bouquet shot.
Sharing Too Much of Yourself
On the flipside, there can absolutely be too much of you and your personal life on your feed. If you’re a selfie-addict or single and mingling, save the duck face and hot tub shots for your personal account. This may be hard to hear, but your ideal clients don’t care about your child’s dance recital (certainly not 6 photos of it in a row), blurry photos of your new pet cat, or your third $8 green smoothie this week.
Are you a rolling stone, constantly travelling? Can people tell at a glance of your feed what your product or service is, or is it more clearly showcasing your latest purse purchase/trip to Costa Rica/kiddo’s trip to the dentist? Truthfully, it was a picture of my canned Alphagetti lunch that prompted me to get a private personal account fast. This might not be the most popular school of thought, but stick to the carefully edited and selective highlight reel for your business account. You can always get more personal in your Instagram stories.
Not Spreading Out Your Content
Stick to quality over quantity. If you have some new photos that you’re really proud of, rather than firing them off in back to back posts only minutes apart, exercise some self-restraint. Spread out your content over a few days instead for a much better impact.
Don’t be afraid to scroll through and edit your feed occasionally. It takes concentrated effort in the beginning to curate your Instagram feed, and remember to take your time and compose, focus and brighten or edit photos, to make for a more pleasing feed. The effort pays off and soon becomes a habit. Check in on how your feed looks as a whole occasionally and be conscious of how the photos are spread out as well. As you step up your game, you’re sure to see an increase in followers and interaction.