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December 20, 2022

5 Ways for Photographers to Use Facebook Live

Marketing is in a state of constant evolution. As soon as you become accustomed to one way of promoting yourself, an update will come along that makes your current strategy outdated or ineffective. Being flexible and adapting to these changes is crucial to maintaining an effective marketing strategy as a photographer. 

Social media is one of the top marketing platforms and there’s no denying it. Building your following, connecting with current and potential clients, sharing news, and making your work stand out are important aspects of a good social media strategy. Just like marketing, social media is always evolving. A strong, but flexible social media strategy is going to be your key to successful marketing campaigns now, and 20+ years from today. 

This guide will focus on one crucial part of social media marketing—Facebook Live. According to LinkedIn, searches for “Facebook Livestream” have increased by 330% since Facebook Live’s inception in 2015. These live videos are sustaining attention spans and driving more engagement than traditional videos. Facebook Newsroom analytics show that live videos are being watched three times longer than regular videos. And content creators can expect around three times more engagement on live content than its traditional counterpart, according to Live Reacting. These stats are hard to ignore as a digital marketer!

What is Facebook Live?

Facebook Live is a tool that lets you broadcast videos live to your followers through the Facebook app and desktop website. All you need is a smartphone with a camera, a good connection, and a little bit of practice. The technical side is easy, but producing engaging content takes a little more creativity and thought.

Simply “going live,” isn’t enough to get people to watch your video. Consider the value you are offering your followers in the form of unfiltered and unedited, relatable content. The main charm of Facebook Live is that you can establish your brand as authentic and relatable while drawing your viewers in, in real time. 

Before you go to live, brainstorm how you want to present yourself on camera. It may feel awkward at first, but these tips and tricks will help you get over those initial hurdles. 

1. Let Your Audience Get to Know You

When people book a photographer, they want to trust the person they will be working with. Use Facebook Live to showcase your personality while demonstrating your knowledge of the craft (and why you’re a good fit for the job). First impressions are huge and have the potential to nudge people to book a consultation with you before they’ve even had the chance to meet you in-person! 

Consider a simple introduction of you and your business as your first broadcast on Facebook Live. Set up a simple shot so that your face is clearly lit with no distractions in the background and tell a quick story about yourself. You can talk about how you got your start as a photographer, how you built your brand, what your values are, and even showcase your sense of humor. Your goal is to be seen as relatable and approachable –someone they could see as a friend in addition to being an excellent photographer.

2. Share a “Day in the Life”

As professional photographers, people are truly fascinated by the work we do. It might even look and feel very glamorous to an outsider. This sense of wonder is something you can hone in on with behind-the-scenes content.

Do you have an interesting or unusual photoshoot coming up? Use Facebook Live to create a video diary of the days leading up to the session and record what happens on the day of the shoot. Props, wardrobe, models, planning—include whatever allows your audience to live vicariously through you as they experience “a day in the life of a successful (insert your specialty) photographer.” Behind-the-scenes broadcasts are a great opportunity to entertain and educate viewers on the work you do. You’re also likely to inspire potential clients to book a session with you! 


3. Offer a Glimpse Behind the Curtain

Do you go to places that most people don’t get access to? Maybe it’s on the bus with a presidential candidate. Or maybe it’s a shoot in an exotic location that people only dream about visiting! Take your Facebook audience on an adventure via live video. Invite them along with you and give them a sneak peek into what you do for a living. 

Be sure to obtain someone’s permission before including them in a live broadcast to avoid legal trouble!


4. Collaborate with Others

It’s highly likely that your audience will enjoy watching what you’re doing, and you’ll start to build a following. It won’t happen overnight, but with consistency, growth will be steady. The engagement that you create with your Facebook Lives will be authentic, organic, and lasting. It’s possible that your videos will catch the attention of people working in associated industries who want to appear on your channel. This is a great opportunity to build brand partnerships and market your services together on the broadcast as a package deal.

Facebook Live is also a cost-effective way of reaching fans. Because it’s live, people don’t expect the content to be over-produced. The point is to be authentic and real, which means you won’t have to spend a ton of money on making your marketing content stick. In the current digital landscape where Live videos receive more attention, you can use Facebook Lives to drive more traffic to your business’ Facebook page. Live videos are also a great way to test engagement and interest levels in your content and ideas before funneling money into them. 

5. Ignite Conversation

Facebook values interaction on its platform. If you can get your audience to comment, like, and share your Live videos, you’ll be rewarded with even more organic engagement. That’s just the way it works.

Think about topics that get people fired up and engaged with what you’re doing. Ask questions, look for feedback, highlight your most active followers, and always remember to thank everyone for interacting with and supporting you. It may seem awkward in the beginning, but it’s worth pushing past that initial feeling. As you keep practicing, you’ll continue to get better, find your stride, and maybe even start to enjoy it.

For more information, check out the article "How to Maximize Social Media for Better Business Results" from Professional Photographer magazine.