Photographer builds business through Facebook

Ryser offers tips for building your business through Facebook

Claire Ryser of Visionaire Studios picked up her first camera in July 2007 at 21-years-old. “I decided I want this to be more than a hobby in March 2008 in Dallas, TX, when I was shooting my third wedding,” says Ryser. “Due to the success I was seeing in my business, I was able to quit my day job less than one year later in January 2009. I’m honored and amazed to be living a dream.”

Ryser credits social media marketing opportunities with rapidly building her business.

1) How do you use social media to market your business?
Social media is a way for me to keep my current clients up to date on my most recent projects or news that they may find helpful or interesting. It’s also a way for me to express my personality, character, self expression and just talk about real life moments that are happening in my world. I’ve found that just being REAL, being me, and not putting on any stuffy or “professional” airs allows my clients to get to know the REAL me. So many of them say they feel like they already know me just from reading a few of my status updates on twitter or facebook!

Facebook has been a major exposure factor for my business! At first, I was just using it as an added-value for my clients. I would upload a few of my client’s wedding photos a couple days after the event and tag the bride, bridesmaids and anyone else I knew in the photos. It was such a hit!

Just hours later, there would be 20-50 comments from the bride’s friends on the wedding photos I had just posted! People would rave about the photos, ask about my business, and compliment the bride. Not only did it make ME feel great to see the comments, but the bride would call me saying how much it meant to have so many people tell her how amazing she looked in the photos! It is just another special memory for the bride to have! Which is great because now I’M attached to those memories.

My blog, ( ) has been an amazing and constantly growing keystone in marketing my business. Vendors, clients, family and friends of clients can come to see my recent work and read my client’s love stories. I really try to dig deep to learn about my clients — who they are, what they love, what they love about each other. So not only are people looking at the photos, they stay on the site for long periods of time to read. The average time visitors spend on a blog post is about 4 minutes. Which is a long time in internet land!

Twitter and facebook is like the appetizer to a 6 course dinner — quick snap shots of who I am and what my business is about. My blog is the entree! It’s like the “meat and potatoes” full of photos, captions, information, stories. Many of my clients say they’re obsessed with my blog and can’t wait for the next event I blog about!

2) How has social media increased revenue for your business?
Indirectly, social media helps create a buzz about my business and increases people’s awareness and recall, many times in a viral way! Status updates are a form of repetition, keeping me and my brand in front of potential clients at a consistent rate.

Often, when I meet a new potential client, she will tell me she saw me taking photos at her best friend’s wedding. Then she saw her best friend tagged in the wedding photos on facebook (I also tag myself in these photos) and then found my blog. So while I can’t pinpoint or say which specific form of social media is responsible for bringing in revenue, I can say that without it, I would probably be bringing in a lot less OR not reaching the right kind of clients who fit my personality and style. I would say that about 70% of clients found me on the internet while browsing photos, searching weblogs, or using google. So if I had no web-presence, I most likely would not have booked those clients.

3) What are your recommendations for small to medium-sized businesses as far using social media?

USE IT! It’s free, it’s easy. Keep things updated with information that would be interesting to your target market. Use the “@” feature on twitter and facebook to mention clients or industry peers. Share knowledge, inspiring quotes, helpful tips. People will see you as a resource that’s valuable and unique. Don’t be afraid of creating discussions, interactions etc. through Twitter and Facebook as this helps people stay connected and learn about you as a company.

Also, I can’t stress enough that people need to see a face. Often times, companies just use a logo as their profile pictures. But if there’s anyway to use the photo of a key person or designate someone in the company to be the FACE of the business, it humanizes you. People will find it easier to approach and interact with a person rather than a logo

4) Are there certain businesses that wouldn’t benefit from social media?

I truly believe every business could benefit from social media. This is your pedestal! This is your megaphone to the world and a way to actively get your message across. Create conversations about yourself. People listen to other people. It’s 2010… even President Obama has a Twitter. I think city’s, shopping centers, travel agencies, media / production companies, restaurants.. give links to upcoming events, notify people of sales or links to coupons, keep the public informed about what’s going on of things they may find interesting or important. Non-profits could alert the public about a desperate need and where to donate or inform the public about success stories to inspire the community to react for a similar cause.


1 Response to “Photographer builds business through Facebook”

  1. 1 Phillip Hayes July 20, 2010 at 7:02 am

    Thank you for a great insight on staying connected and building real connections with you public. Great story.

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