Earlier this year, I met Nina Larsen Reed at WPPI. I instantly liked her and new that I had to have her on the show.
Nina is passionate about education, quotes the same books I do, and has only been a professional photographer for four years.
And this was actually just her first year photographing weddings. She set a modest goal of booking 10 for the year. By March, she’d already booked 22! How impressive and exciting is that?
Be sure to tune in to hear how she launched her wedding business, why having a hyper-niche is so important, and how she converts Instagram followers into clients.
(Here are the highlights, but you can listen to the full conversation below or to the episode on the Momentum podcast).
Choosing a Hyper-niche
Nina moved to the US from Norway in 2010 and found herself starting over in her career.
She spent the first six years of her photography career specializing in aerial dance photography. During this time, she traveled around the country and around the world.
While that may sound fun and exciting, she got to the point where she wanted to be home more and work locally.
Although the decision to try wedding photography was rather impulsive, every step after that decision was calculated and well prepared for. Before she’d photographed a single engagement session, Nina binge-listened to every episode of Six Figure Photography and signed up for one of their marketing courses. She also did Brand Camp courses to work on writing web copy.
These steps helped her identify her “why” and her niche.
In most areas, the wedding photography market is saturated. To get referrals, you have to make a connection with people and be memorable.
Simply telling people you’re a “wedding photographer” doesn’t help you do this.
However, people will remember you if you have a unique niche. For Nina, the answer to, “What do you do?” is, “I’m a wedding photographer who photographs outdoor lovers in nature.”
Nina works with couples who would rather go hiking after work than watch TV — couples who truly want to incorporate nature into their wedding.
She believes it’s just as important to be the ideal photographer for your client as it for a photographer to book ideal clients. When you’re the ideal photographer for a client, they will book you because they really want you and not just someone in your price range.
Using Instagram to Connect with Potential Clients
The key to using Instagram successfully is to be authentic and engage with people who could become clients.
Nina doesn’t participate in comment/like exchanges with other photographers. For her, having 1,000 followers who are genuinely interested in her work has more value than 10,000 photographers who are all hoping for a follow back.
Instead of leaving generic comments on other photographers posts, look at local posts and comment on things that genuinely interest you. Make it real. Commenting, “Cool photo!” doesn’t start a conversation.
The same principle can be applied to using hashtags. Using hashtags that are used and followed by photographers probably won’t bring you any new clients but using hashtags related to where you live might.
Nina Larsen Reed: https://larsenphoto.co
Six Figure Photography: http://www.sixfigurephotography.com/