Photography fan pages are pretty common these days; they’re an excellent way of keeping up to date with clients, sharing current and past work, and finding potential customers.
I pride myself with my Facebook fan page which I update almost every day and have grown for the past ten months. Very few of you know this but I actually used to spend a lot of time writing for a website on internet marketing; I know a thing or two about setting up a decent looking fan page.
It will do your career a lot of good.
When registering your fan page, the first thing you want to do is to select the right category. I find it’s best to list yourself as a website rather than a public figure.
There are a couple of reasons for this:
Firstly, you look a bit ridiculous when you’ve got 12 fans and you’re calling yourself a public figure.
Secondly, when you do become a massive success, there are limitations in when you reach 10,000 fans if you’re not listed as a website; make sure you get that right.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this changes now that Facebook is allowing subscriptions though.
One of the good things about having your own fan page is that it can turn up in a Google search if they deem it relevant enough. For this to happen, you have to include the right sort of information. To do this, edit the basic information section of your page and say what you’re about.
Have a look at mine below to see what I mean.
You need to use as many keywords as you can. These may be similar to the following:
Brighton based photographer, specializing in portrait and landscape photography.
Then when someone Google’s ‘Brighton portrait photographer’, there’s a better chance that you’re going to pop up.
Fill in as much of this information as is relevant to you but try not to repeat yourself.
This section is useful for search engines but I don’t typically read them myself; I prefer to focus my information on the profile picture or on the “About” section of the page. The “About” section will appear under the profile picture, above the like counter. This can be used to attract new visitors who are viewing the page for the first time.
It costs nothing to fill in, so don’t avoid it.
The profile picture is a little bit more complicated than what you’re used to; this is where you can really try to promote your page.
What you may not be aware of is that you have 180 x 540 pixels to work with; use that space to either display a picture, or some text that will entice your visitor to click like.
I’ve used both as you can see below but I currently prefer the simple version.
With the simple version of the profile image, I can do three different things:
- I display my full name and logo at the bottom so there’s no confusion.
- I can include a photo of one of my models.
- I can include my logo icon.
The logo icon is especially important because it’s what people see when I comment on a post or write something on my wall.
My logo helps to build my brand and can do the same for you if you choose the right one. It doesn’t have to be a logo as such – maybe just your name or favorite photo – but it should definitely be something that you want to associate with yourself.
The choice of a portrait was a no brainer; I can change this once a month to a new photo, attracting the attention of new and old visitors.
You have to keep your fans entertained.
If you’re planning to use the Facebook banner on your page, that’s fine but I would be wary of using any fancy custom banners. Make sure you have at least five photos if you do choose to activate it.
The reason not to use these custom banners is that this is the perfect space to display some of your own photography: the content that gets people interested in what you have to offer.
Lastly, make sure you have five photos; there are five boxes and you don’t want any empty. As you’re going to be uploading lots of photos anyway there’s nothing to worry about!
All photography fan pages should have access to your portfolio but I’m aware that people are still worried about sharing their photos on Facebook.
So long as you take care of how you put them up, no one will steal them or use them for anything worthwhile.
The first thing to do is to learn how to professionally share your photos on the internet, you can read about this here.
Make sure you pay very close attention to how it’s done; it’s more important than you may think. Things like colour profiles and image size are very important.
If you’re worried about people taking your photos, it’s neither uncommon nor unacceptable to include a watermark. Make sure it’s small, in the corner. If anyone steals your watermarked photo, it will be clear where it came from.
Have a look at my Facebook watermark below. There’s nothing worse than taking a good photo and putting a big garish watermark right in the center. It’s completely distracting from the photo and won’t do you any favours.
Only choose the best photos.
I see this all the time on Facebook: a few good photos dispersed amongst a load of rubbish – you can’t even tell what’s good anymore. When you’re sharing photos, remember that your album can only ever be as strong as the weakest photo; if you’re going to include all of your wonky, poorly exposed duds as well, you’re not going to go far.
I’ll give you an example:
I was at a friend’s wedding BBQ the other day. I took 761 photos but only 156 made it into a photo album. I’m way past taking poorly exposed, wonky or out of focus photos but I still make sure that the variety I’m displaying is going to interest the reader – no one wants to look at five photos of the same person doing exactly the same thing.
If you leave the viewer impressed and wanting more, you’re onto a good thing.
The next step with photos is to frequently add wall photos.
You may have noticed that I regularly update my Facebook wall with new photos – that’s so that I can keep you interacting with my Facebook and get your feedback on my photos.
You may also notice that you no longer hear from certain pages on your Facebook even though you “like” them. This happens when you stop interacting with them, either because you weren’t interested, or they stopped posting content you wanted to see.
Keep up your interaction with regular photos if you want your fans to remain interested.
If you really want to gain new likes on Facebook and you have a way of sending people to your fan page, I would suggest using a fan page generator to help convert more fans.
You can have a look at mine here, the landing page for my fan page. If you haven’t liked it, you can’t view that particular page until you have.
There are free versions of this as well as paid alternatives but they all do basically the same thing, with different limitations.
Here is the version that I use; you can see how useful it can be in this article which I wrote for another website. Again, you’re going to want to keep everything photography related and there are themes for that.
Claim your Name
Once you’ve got all of the above complete, it’s time to start sharing the page and getting people to like it.
It used to be that, after you had 25 likes, you could claim the custom URL but I think that’s changed so you don’t have to anymore. Either way, it shouldn’t be hard to find 25 fans, just bribe your friends.
One of the first things you will want to do is to claim your name; my top tip for this is using capital letters.
Facebook will recognize where you have specified capital letters so, when I set the URL to ExpertPhotography, even when someone types in www.facebook.com/expertphotography, it reverts back to www.facebook.com/ExpertPhotography, which looks a lot better.
All of this can be done from your “Basic Information” section.
Keep your title relevant and include the word “photography”; ‘Tim Smith Images’ doesn’t tell you that he’s actually a professional photographer even if you think it sounds better. Keywords are key when it comes to internet marketing.
Share your Page
The next step is to go into your resources tab and select how you want to connect with people.
You may want to take out some advertising or email your contacts, telling that you have a new fan page.
There are two options that I always use. The first is to connect your page to Twitter if you have one. That way, whenever you post something on Facebook, it will appear on Twitter too, which should hopefully improve your reader’s interaction.
Slightly more complicated: use a social plugin if you use a website.
This means generating a Facebook ‘like’ box that people can click on while they’re browsing your website which will instantly make them your fan. There are different options for different websites but one thing I would absolutely recommend is to use the official Facebook plugin.
I wasted so much time not using it because, although it’s not the best looking thing in the world, it certainly helps to gain new fans. My page is currently growing by about 1,000 new fans a month and I put a lot of that down to this plugin.
Don’t miss this step.
When you’ve completely everything above, the very final step is to share it on your personal Facebook and ask all of your friends to like it.
I’m not one for finding fans like this because, if they’re not interested in what I’m offering, I don’t really want them on the page – it does nothing – but, when you’re first starting out, it helps to boost your numbers so you don’t look like an amateur.
And there you have it: everything you need to produce a page that will get you more customers for your photography.
A note from Josh, ExpertPhotography's Photographer-In-Chief:
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