May 5, 2022
Today is another coaching call episode where we sat down with one of our students from our course The Instagram Major and coached her on all things Instagram. And you get a lil’ front-row seat in on our conversation.
Today we chatted with Dallas-based intimate wedding photographer Annie Shannon, the sweetest human on the planet, about her Instagram. In today’s episode, we go over her Instagram feed, giving her tips on the disconnect she said she’s feeling with booking potential clients from Instagram. While going through our course The Instagram Major, Annie discovered her niche: accessible elopements and intimate weddings for couples who want the view without the hike. We coach her on how to incorporate that specific niche into her Instagram strategy and in her business as a whole. We also chatted with Annie about how to align your content strategy to speak directly to your ideal client, so you’re MORE likely to connect to your followers on Instagram and convert them into paying clients. I pray that listening in on our coaching call with Annie will open your eyes to different ideas and strategies YOU can use in your own business – whether you’re similar to Annie or not.
Biggest concern and issue:
Funneling people through her Instagram, with them getting to know Annie when they see a post or reel. Going from getting to know Annie and her brand and then booking her. She doesn’t know what the disconnect is, but she does have people reaching out wanting to book, but a lot of messages asking for tips and advice through Instagram when it comes to wedding planning and engagement sessions.
Lindsey: I think your personality is showing up on reels and stories, but when I come to your feed your work is incredible but I’m not seeing how incredible it is from your feed itself.
Annie: I am trying to figure out how to lay it out ascetically so when someone comes to my page it is pleasing to the eye.
Lindsey: Ascetics of our feed aren’t as important as they used to be, but it is still important in the photography industry when it is a showcase of your portfolio. You want your feed or portfolio in your feed to be eye-catching and like “WOAH”. It has to do with the positioning of your feed posts.
Evie: Having educational lives is good to have on there but we want to see a lot of your work intermixed with them. When I look at this it almost looks like you’re a bridal educator/planner. It’s not showing off your work as a photographer as well as you could be.
Lindsey: Make sure if you are trying to get more bookings, that your portfolio is front and center and you are posting that consistently.
Annie: I need to do more styled shoots or model calls because I haven’t been booking this year. Maybe that’s because I leaned into friends and friends of friends. Coming back I didn’t have a new portfolio in my new editing style.
Lindsey: Since you haven’t been posting as consistently and have transitioned your editing style a little that’s the other thing, making your work look disjointed and busy. The editing styles are different. Is there a way you can go back and edit old work and then just post?
Annie: I could but I don’t think my older work reflects what I am currently doing and the niche market that I am trying to target. I do love the more intimate side of it. I’ve been selective on what I show, but I do need to show more of it.
Lindsey: We want to see more of your work, more frequently and in a more cohesive editing style.
Evie: You’ve already presented yourself as serving your clients, but now we want you to present yourself and your photos.
Lindsey: In your highlights show stories of you shooting. It’s a powerful way to help your followers see themselves in your ideal client’s shoes. The disconnect is they are coming to you because they see you as an expert but the emotion and connection between you and your work, that is the missing link. What you do is showcase the emotion and experience to work with Annie on reels and stories.
Annie: I want to make it so that when they click on my feed they are not confused or lost.
Lindsey: People don’t think about a stranger or go through our highlights from the perspective of a stranger coming to your page. A highlight is a mini-movie that still needs to tell a story.
Annie: I want to showcase the hard work that goes behind the scenes of editing photos and the work that goes into their photos. I see a lot of business educators behind the scenes, I am not an educator, when it comes to behind the scenes do I show what I am doing when it comes to content photos or stuff that brides don’t care about?
Evie: When we say behind the scenes, there are two camps. You show the process of everything that involves your clients (responding to inquiries, client consulting, etc) giving a glimpse behind the scenes of your workflow. Delivery, editing all of that. On the other hand, I would pull the curtain back to who is Annie Shannon, what her life looks like, and who are you.
Annie: When we were talking about niches in the Instagram Major, I realized I was marketing in the wrong niche, not the complete wrong niche, but it was off by a little bit because it quite frankly was killing me health-wise due to my asthma. Due to this and the encouragement in that call, I am pivoting my brand a tad bit to become more accessible. In episode 172 you mention pivoting slowly is the way to go. I would love to hear your thoughts on how to go from full-on Adventurous Destination Intimate Weddings and Elopements to doing more Accessible, Vows with a View, no hiking to little hiking on Instagram? And since I am in a space where I am not booking as much destination work would you recommend I hone in on more local on Instagram and build out from there?
Lindsey: My thought is, you are pivoting yes, but you are pivoting under the same umbrella. I wouldn’t worry about doing the slow pivot as much for you. It’s niching down more for you and getting more specific with elopement weddings. Make “Let’s plan an accessible intimate wedding or elopement day” a brand pillar for you. Make that a prevalent part of your brand is an identifier.
Evie: If you’re not reaching people in Dallas with “Vows With a View”, if you’re trying to stay more local this season it would be key for you to do free and styled shoots for what is possible in Dallas. There might be a disconnect in your client’s mind with what “Vows With a View” look like in Dallas Texas.
Annie: I’ve been kind of flying by the seat of my pants with a tiny bit of strategy when it comes to Instagram due to the season of life I have been in since July of 2021 – 50 hour workweek for 6 months, 3-month engagement right after that so I haven’t fully been able to incorporate content pillars into my Instagram strategy and will finally be able to very soon, would you recommend slowly pivoting into those content pillars or just lean into them right away?
Evie: I would not pivot slowly, the reality is, it’s not a pivot. You now just have more clarity for yourself and the people you are speaking to. I would lean into it right away.
Annie: When it comes to reels, as it comes to being somewhat of the storefront of my business, while I am strategically trying to grow my business and fully book out my calendar, would you recommend sticking to more educational or client prospective reels as opposed to posting personal reels that may show off my lifestyle?
Lindsey: I almost say both. 70% client target and then 30% personal.
Evie: The more client-targeted your reels can be, the more your growth and conversion on Instagram will be strategic. I would lean into the client-targeted content.
The Reels Minor: www.thereelsminor.com
Follow along with Annie:
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