• Instagram

was a time when Facebook was the ONLY social media tool that was worth a small business owner’s time. Well, like everything in the internet world, things have changed. I can’t say that I know exactly what Facebook will be like in 5 years but there are a few things I’m realizing right now about this aspect of the social media world. Facebook is making it harder and harder for small businesses to reach an audience. Why? Well, it’s genius on their part. They allowed businesses to start up and use Facebook marketing for FREE and now that millions of businesses depend on Facebook

to stay open, they are charging for “Reach”.  They are going to make a KILLING on this if they continue in the direction they are currently headed. The hard part for us is that if we want a large percentage of our fans to see our posts, we have to PAY for it. By the time the “Promotion” takes place, the post is old and we missed our golden window of opportunity.  So what is a small business to do?! Well, to be honest, I’m not sure what to do about the Facebook crisis except keep doing what I’m doing. We have 18,000 fans on Facebook and yet our posts reach an average of 5,000. That sounds like a lot but when you think about the ratio… it’s horrible.

This is where Instagram comes in! There are several reasons why I absolutely LOVE Instagram and I think that EVERY small business should have an account!

1. Even if you’re not going to commit to use the account, you still need to make it and SAVE your name!! It wouldn’t surprise me at all if it was already taken. If you don’t have an account, stop everything you’re doing and make one right now!!

2. Young people LOVE it! What does that mean? That means that our future brides 5-8 years down the road will not be on Facebook anymore (it’s considered “Mom” territory now)… they will be finding us on Instagram and Twitter!

3. Your images are GUARANTEED to be viewed by all of your followers (unlike Facebook!)

4. Instagram gives small business owners a chance to share about more than just their business, they can share their LIFE!

5. Instagram is SIMPLE. Facebook has become so complicated and overwhelming sometimes. Instagram is refreshingly easy to navigate!

There are also a ton of little tips and tricks for improving your Instagram account!! :

1. Make sure your BLOG LINK is under your profile! If you’re using instagram to announce a blog post, this is the easiest way to push mobile traffic there! If you don’t have your blog URL under your profile, you’re making it REALLY hard for people to view what you’re announcing.

2. Find a good balance between personal posts and business posts!! If I posted 15 instagrams of Bokeh in a row, I would lose followers. If you look at my Instagram account, I try really hard to balance this! Lets be honest, it’s hard to not post 15 in a row… look at this cutie!

3. USE HASHTAGS! And create your own! For us, our most common hashtags are #kjbride #katelynjamesbride #kjweddings and #Bokehthebichpoo . I know using Hashtaags has a bit of a learning curve but it is WORTH it! By using hashtags for our wedding images, we have created a hashtag that our brides are using now!! I love seeing a KJ Bride use the #KJbride hashtag when she posts about her own wedding!

4. Follow your clients! I love following my brides on Instagram! I feel like I’m caught up on their life when I arrive the day of the wedding. If you run your business personally, this isn’t weird at all. If you want them to follow your posts, it’s only fair that you follow theirs as well!

5. Keep your “selfies” under control. I’m really not big on sharing pictures of JUST my face. haha Maybe it’s a confidence issue or maybe I just follow a lot of our high school kids from youth group and I see selfies non-stop! ha! HOWEVER, I did just post one last night because I had my hair and makeup done for a video shoot that we were working on. I think a selfie every now and then is OK and it’s helpful for your followers to see YOU…. but not every other day. This is just my personal opinion!!

6. Follow vendors/leaders in your industry and LIKE their posts! The more you interact, the more interactions you’ll receive in return! If you receive gifts from friend and vendors in your industry, post about them!! It’s just the nice thing to do. :)

7. Host giveaways through Instagram and have followers repost an image with your name tagged! This is a great way to gain some followers every now and then!

8. Share some of your REAL images. We don’t JUST post iPhone shots on Instagram, we post our work as well! We just save images from a blog post or from our facebook page and we post them on our Instagram account with one of our hashtags!

9. LINK YOUR POSTS! This is HUGE! So often during coaching sessions, photographers say “It’s just too much to keep up with!”.  Well, with instagram, this isn’t an excuse anymore! You can link EVERY post to twitter and facebook with two easy clicks! So when you update Instagram, you’re updating all of your social media at once! Genius right?! :)

10. Last but not least, be POSITIVE. No one wants to follow a Negative Nancy. It’s just common sense. If you’re running a business, you can’t have rants on social media about the grocery store worker that ticked you off…. it’s just not professional. Keep everything you post engaging and uplifting!


26 Comments Photography
  1. Nicole Gilbride reply

    Love this post (and your selfie yesterday!)!!!! Such good advice! I’m glad I was one of the 5K that saw this post on facebook!

  2. Digna Toledo reply

    Love this post katelyn! YOU ARE AWESOME! THANK YOU SO MUCH.

  3. Tessa reply

    This is so very helpful! Thank you much for sharing! Also just followed you on IG ;)

  4. Lacoya Heggie reply

    Awesome post! I’m a wedding planner and I executed some on these tips/tricks immediately! Thanks so much for sharing :)

  5. Lindsay {Everistta} reply

    Great tips! I love Instagram and have gotten a lot of business from it.

  6. Natalie reply

    Woohoo! I love how you shared the image of my little V-Day Gift! You are so awesome Katelyn! Loving these tips!

  7. Thuy Minh H. reply

    Thanks Katelyn, great post! The tips were useful. I guess I’m one of the lucky 5k because I regularly see your posts :)

  8. Emily reply

    Great advice! Thank you so much! I’m excited to see this video you’re talking about!

  9. Martha reply

    Thank you for the post. That’s exactly how I found out about you! Through Instagram, you liked a photo and I clicked on your name to see what you did. Went to your site and absolutely love your work! Would love to do one of your coaching sessions, hopefully in my future! I just started my business last January, definitely takes time to build a clientele and get your name out there.

  10. Emily reply

    Great post! I’m sharing this with the sty,it’s/makeup artists that I coach now. Great advice that’s applicable for all small personal brands!

  11. Kayla reply

    How do you link your post so it updateds fb & Twitter?

  12. Sandy reply

    Katelyn, can you please tell me how you post a real picture on instagram? i have googled and googled and just can’t fingure it out! thanks so much, sandy

  13. Kristina W. reply

    I don’t have instagram or twitter (but also don’t have my own business) but I love when your instagram photos show up on my newsfeed!

  14. Robin reply

    Thanks for the awesome tips Katelyn! Can you tell me how to post to twitter and Facebook with two easy clicks?

  15. Kristin Wilson reply

    Thank you so much for posting this, such great advice was included! I am still a “newbie” of sorts to instagram and trying to navigate it better between business and personal tidbits … so thank you for sharing!!

  16. Evangeline renee reply

    Great advice!

  17. LOrin reply

    What crazy cool timing – I was just thinking I would love to hear some Insta-awesome tips from you, Katelyn! Thanks for sharing! What apps, if any, do you use to get the full-size of your camera images?

  18. Tara reply

    Hi Katelyn! Great post. ..Thank you. Have a blog about twitter tips or just getting F started?

  19. Susanne Ashby reply

    I love Instagram! Thanks for posting about this! I was wondering if you could tell us how to link to your facebook business page… is that possible? I know how to link it with my personal FB account… Just wondering if that’s what you meant. ;)

  20. renee @ using creativity to slow down + savor life reply

    oh i love this post on instagram…it’s definitely my favorite of all social media outlets. to me, it’s just so full of positivity..and what’s not to love with a feed full of awesome and fun pictures!! i’m so sad with the way facebook has been headed. i just love connecting with others on there. i’m not a wedding photog…but these insta tips are really great and inspiring. i think insta is the future for sure!! and, i wouldn’t mind if you posted 15 pics in a row of bokeh…i have to admit, i know i’ve probably posted 15 pics of my two kiddos in row…lol. it’s hard when you wanna share what you love…but i get it…not everyone wants to see that. :) but, again, i wouldn’t mind. :) thanks for sharing this!!

  21. Lisa Lazzari reply

    I actually just had a meeting about the decrease of youth on Facebook. High School students are on Instagram and Twitter more so than Facebook because – like you said – it’s viewed as “mom territory” now. Great post – not just for photographers but for small business owners and social media professionals. :)

  22. Cindy Habel reply

    Awesome Katelyn! Thanks! I’ve only just started using instagram but already i can see it’s benefits :)

  23. Kristin Hines reply

    Thank you for this post. I have been looking for a way to effectively use Instagram for my business. Thank you for sharing your tips with us.

  24. rosanna reply

    Thank you for your tips. I will start putting more of my work on IG. You were my Push!

  25. Ashley reply

    Hey Katelyn, just wondering should you have your blog site on Instagram or your website? What is better?

  26. Jessica reply

    I can’t figure out how to post to instagram from my computer. can it only be done via mobile??? there must be a way- YOU have more than cell phone pictures on yours ;-)

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