Did you know that nearly 38% of engagements occur between November and February? Not only that, but nine out of the 10 most popular days to propose fall between Thanksgiving and New Years Day (July 4th is the outlier).
As a wedding photographer, now is the perfect time to update your Instagram account, plan your content, and develop a genuine engagement and outreach strategy to ensure you’re ready to catch the eyes (and business!) of newly engaged couples in the coming months.
This post will walk you through exactly how to get your Instagram account ready for the busiest engagement season of the year!
IMPORTANT STATISTICS TO KNOW ABOUT ENGAGEMENT SEASON
Roughly 40% of couples are engaged 10 – 15 months, with the average being 13 months.
Most couples search for the majority of their vendors 7-9 months prior to their wedding.
71% of couples wed between May and October, with fall becoming increasingly popular.
64% of couples announce their engagement on social media.
1 in 4 couples search for vendors on their smartphone.
On average, couples hire 13 vendors.
50% of couples start wedding planning within 1 month of getting engaged.
50% of planning is done from a smartphone/tablet device.
56% of couples only consider booking vendors they can find on social media.
The top ten most popular days to get engaged are Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Christmas Eve, New Years Day, Saturday before Christmas, Two Saturdays before Christmas, New Years Eve, Friday before Christmas, December 23, and July 4.
Three of the five most popular wedding dates are Saturdays in October.
The majority of couples focus their attention on wedding professionals who provide information upfront (think: pricing and reviews) and communicate in a timely fashion.
All stats provided by WeddingWire.
It’s safe to say that one of the first places couples will go to research vendors is Instagram! In fact, I’m willing to bet some couples already have potential vendor posts saved on the platform to reference once they begin planning. With that being said, let’s jump right into how you can get your Instagram account engagement season ready.
UPDATE YOUR INSTAGRAM PROFILE
Capturing the attention of potential clients on Instagram starts with genuine engagement, but converting those people into followers is your profile’s job.
Let’s start with your profile photo. It’s important to use an up-to-date photo of your face that’s clear and welcoming. Resist the urge to use your logo or an image from a past client’s photo session. A photo of YOU welcomes potential clients to your account and immediately creates a personal connection, so a headshot here is best.
Once you’ve updated your profile photo, move on to your bio. Make sure information like your name, website, how to contact you, what events / clients you specialize in documenting, where you’re located, and what dates you’re currently booking are easily found here and on your website. The goal with your Instagram bio is to remove any confusion and doubt from a potential client’s journey to booking you as their photographer.
Lastly, you want to make it easy for people to find you. One way to do this on Instagram is by adding keywords to the name section of your bio. Think of Instagram’s search bar like a search engine. In it, you’re not only able to search for a specific account, but you can also search specific keywords or phrases to help you find what you’re looking for. As a wedding photographer, adding your location + ‘Wedding Photographer’ to your name section increases your chances of being found. Just in time for engagement season!
UNDERSTAND YOUR DREAM CLIENT
Before you start liking and commenting on engagement photos, take a moment to visualize your dream client.
Where do they live? What do they like to do? What kind of couple are they? What do they value most? What kind of wedding vendors are most important to them? What’s their dream wedding look like?
Answering these questions helps us fully understand who we’re talking to, where we can find them online, and how we should talk to them. Once you understand your dream client, you’ll be able to create content that captures their attention and easily start a dialogue with them on Instagram.
PLAN YOUR CONTENT
The absolute best way to stay on top of your Instagram game is to pre-plan your content. I recommend planning out your content a month at a time. This ensures that you always have something to post and that the content is relevant, engaging, and beneficial to your followers.
With engagement season coming up, this is the perfect time to take a look at what you’ve been posting and refocus your content to align with the time of year. The goal for each post should always be to help your followers. Show them that you care and support them through one of the most exciting moments in their lives! Do this by focusing your content on them, not you.
Take a moment to think about the topics you could share that would be most beneficial to your dream client. Think to yourself: “What would I want to know if I just got engaged?”
With your Instagram content, you can:
provide educational information for your followers that helps them plan their wedding
share your work along with personal stories about couples you’ve worked with
include important dates and information for potential clients
tell your story in an honest way to connect on a deeper level with your followers
showcase your personality and what it’s like to work with you
Once you’ve nailed down the key topics you want to focus on during engagement season, spend some time creating dynamic, engaging, and valuable content that focuses on those topics and aligns with your brand.
What I want you to avoid here is using quotes or emojis as captions. These posts provide no value to your followers — something that results in people hitting the unfollow button. Instead, pair your images with an anecdote about a couple’s proposal, what you loved most about working with them, how they fell in love, what was special about their photoshoot location, your experience working with the couple… anything that dives deeper into your connection with your clients.
Oh, and don’t forget to share a photo of yourself with a fun introduction at least once a month to familiarize your followers (both new and old) with who you are!
ENGAGE, ENGAGE, ENGAGE
I’m going to be blunt here: none of these tips will get you the results you’re looking for if you don’t spend plenty of time engaging with your dream customers and complementary brands on Instagram.
Using the right hashtags, keeping your account updated, and posting consistently just isn’t enough. You have to be on the platform, spending more time engaging than you do creating and posting content. It’s the only way to grow your following, period.
The two best ways to find and engage with your dream clients, especially during engagement season, are through hashtags and locations.
Choose a handful of hashtags that you know your dream clients are adding to their posts and spend time engaging with them. Some hashtags newly engaged couples could be using are #isaidyes #heproposed and #imengaged.
The process for engaging with potential clients using locations is the same as engaging with them through hashtags. However, there are a few extra steps involved to find your dream clients through locations.
First, you want to take your location into consideration. Where do you want to book the most clients? Once you’ve chosen your region(s), think about locations in the surrounding area where people would propose. This could be a local attraction, outdoor area (think: hiking spots, beaches, and parks), hotels, or historical monuments.
Take it a step further by thinking about establishments newly engaged couples would frequent. Places like bridal boutiques, wedding venues, and florist shops are businesses your dream client can visit and potentially share with a tag on Instagram during their planning process.
To find these tagged posts, simply search for each location under “Places” on the Instagram search tab.
Once you’ve posted your content for the day, spend 30 minutes engaging with people sharing content tagged with your desired hashtag or location. The more you engage, the more growth you’ll see on your account, but be sure to keep your interactions genuine!
Like posts you actually enjoy and don’t leave salesy comments. Focus on leaving a meaningful comment (like “congratulations!” or “that dress looks amazing on you!”) with the goal of hopefully starting a conversation that leads to a connection. Instagram works best when it’s used to create and build relationships!
Based on the information shared in this post, the majority of newly engaged couples this year will begin researching and reaching out to wedding vendors between January and March in 2019. With an updated Instagram account, mobile-optimized online presence, consistent and engaging posts, and daily engagement habits in place, you’ll be ready to take on the busiest season of the year and book your dream clients!
Did you find this post helpful? Earn some extra friendship points by sharing this with your wedding photographer friends! Feel free to share any insight or questions below. Happy engagement season 🎉