Thanks to the rise of the internet and social media, it’s never been easier for photographers to share their creative work with others that care about what they do. Many have built a significant audience that they’ve later been able to leverage for their businesses.
But as your presence grows, it’s essential to make your audience feel like they’re a genuine part of the journey. If you discard them, you cannot expect people to stick around for long. Fortunately, there are several ways you can connect with your audience. This guide outlines some of the best ways you can do this.
1. Respond to Interactions on Social Media
Even if you haven’t established yourself as a photographer yet, you probably still have at least a few fans that eagerly wait for you to post your content. And when you do, many will often show their appreciation in the form of comments and direct messages.
One of the easiest ways to connect with your audience is by responding to these interactions. A simple “thank you” goes a long way, but even leaving a heart emoji is better than nothing.
Naturally, responding to your interactions will become a little trickier as you gain more followers. Get into the routine of setting aside a bit of time during your day to maintain this habit.
2. Go Live on Social Media
One factor that has contributed to the rise of the internet celebrity is how easy it has become to broadcast live on platforms like Instagram. And as a photographer, you might find that this is a particularly useful tool for building rapport with your audience.
Most of the main social networking sites have an option for you to go live, and some creator-specific platforms like Behance also include this functionality.
Of course, you’ll need to have a particular reason for going live. A couple of things you might want to consider include:
- Frequent hangout sessions
- Announcing a new product launch
- Sharing camera gear reviews
3. Be More Relatable
If you think about all of your favorite brands and creators, they probably have one thing in common besides amazing products: you can relate to them on a personal level. And as a photographer looking to become more known, letting your personality shine through will go a long way.
Regardless of how advanced you are, you’ve probably had similar struggles as your audience. You might have previously gone down a career path that you hated, and you almost certainly were once not as good at taking pictures.
Of course, you don’t want to reveal every last detail of your life. But being more open about who you are will build trust and a deeper connection.
4. Do Regular FAQ Videos
If you’ve been on YouTube for any period, you’re probably familiar with FAQ videos. You might also have listened to them if you’re a big fan of podcasts.
Shows that invite the audience to share their questions have remained popular for centuries, and for a good reason: they make the person answering them much more accessible.
By hosting FAQ sessions, you give your followers a chance to learn more about you. On top of that, you can also use these as an opportunity to help them directly with common photography-related queries they might have.
5. Host In-Person Meet-Ups
Despite the number of online channels that have emerged, meeting people face-to-face will always be the best way to build a connection with someone. And while you might not think of yourself as someone special, many of your followers will likely want to see you in person.
Hosting in-person meet-ups is an excellent way to connect with your true fans. You get to learn more about them and how you’ve inspired them, along with making it easier for other like-minded people to meet one another.
To host in-person meet-ups, consider using tools like Meetup.
6. Start Conversations
Building a connection with your audience doesn’t necessarily mean waiting for others to start talking to you. Don’t be afraid to begin conversations on your social media channels—doing so is often quite effective.
The simplest way to begin a conversation with your audience is by asking them questions. You can relate these to several topics, including:
- Current talking points in the world of photography
- More casual topics, like a big sporting event
- What they think about a photo that you’ve posted
If you have a YouTube channel, you can invite people to leave their thoughts about what you’re discussing in the comments section.
7. Host Online Seminars
When you’ve built up enough knowledge about photography, it’s time to start giving back and teach your audience how they can improve their skills. You can do this in several ways, such as starting a blog or creating regular videos.
Another helpful way to teach your audience what you know—and build a connection in the process—is by hosting online seminars. You can provide in-depth tutorials and talk about your workflow before inviting attendees to share their questions with you.
To host online seminars, you can use your preferred social media platform to go live. Alternatively, tools like Zoom are helpful.
8. Use “I” Less
Notice how we haven’t used “I” in this article? That’s deliberate; we want to build a connection with you.
The language you use with your audience can play a huge role in how connected they feel to you. You can talk about yourself sometimes, but try to include others.
Using “we” and “you” will make your audience feel like they’re a part of the journey, making them more likely to stick around and engage with your content.
Connect With Your Audience
Being a photographer (or any type of creator) with an audience has several advantages. You have the freedom to be your authentic self and grow a genuine connection with those that care about your work.
Getting closer with your audience will help build a sense of community and make your followers excited to join your journey. To get things right, you’ll probably need to go through a bit of trial and error—but as long as you’re authentic, you’ll achieve what you want to.