I absolutely LOVE giving a few sneak peeks on social media!! I am way too excited to not post! I am as excited as the client. So other than being so excited to share the image with the client, I have my reasons for posting to social media. First, I want to mention that posting images on social media is not practiced by all photographers. Everyone varies on their opinion on this. I personally love it and here is why!
This is a no brainer for me as a business owner. I am not just the photographer, I am the marketing and PR representative for Melissa Lynn Hunt Photography, LLC. I take all of my jobs very seriously over here. The reason for the sneak peek of my professional images, is not just for advertising but to bring the session around full circle. I am typically sharing some type of “on the session sneak peek” while I am shooting. So during the session I am sharing behind the scenes images and videos. This markets my business because it shows what to expect when we are together. It give potential clients an inside look at all the fun we have. After the session I can then post the result and inform my audience of what their images could look like!
I try to post a sneak peak asap but I do my best to do it no more than 3 days after the session. Why so soon? The client and I have just left a session so happy and overjoyed at how awesome it was! All through the session I am sharing back of camera peeks and pumping myself and the client up even more. I myself can not wait to edit and share. Now I know if I can’t wait, think about how my client feels? The sooner I can post the peek up the better. The excitement from the actual session hasn’t worn off yet and the client can continue their happiness by sharing their images with their family and friends. It’s all still fresh and new so while the client is sharing all the awesome images with people they are also recalling the FUN they had on the session.
THE VALUE OF THE REPOST
I encourage my clients to share their peeks by reposting them on their social media sites. This is an extension of my own advertising efforts. So now I am not only reaching my following, but I am also reaching the following of my clients. I typically increase my followers exponentially within 24 hours of a repost. In the senior portrait world I am fortunate to work with clients who love social media!
Many will argue that sneak peeks can hurt their business. The biggest argument I have heard is that by doing social media sneak peeks we are giving clients access to images they may not have purchased. So let me tackle this argument from my perspective.
WEBSIZE AND WATERMARK
I definitely try to avoid the “theft” of un-purchased images. Listen, if a thief wants to steal, a thief will steal. Whether it’s a digital image or a car. If they want it, they will get it. All of my sneak peeks are web sized, watermarked, and bordered. If a client really wanted to crop the image and try to print, then they will. I feel comfort knowing that it will look terrible if they do. Since my images are web sized, when they print it will look distorted and fuzzy. If they crop around the border and the watermark, then they will lose valuable parts the image. It’s their misfortune. The value of showcasing my work far outweighs all possibility of theft!
Not to mention, all clients sign contracts that detail things of this matter. If they were caught, they would see consequences.
MY CLIENTS VALUE ME AND MY WORK
I know that there will ALWAYS be that one client. That one client who is a nay-sayer and a rule breaker. It’s unavoidable. But I also know that I am attracting the type of clients who truly see value in me personally and professionally. They believe in me and my work. They have done their due diligence by signing their contracts and following my procedures. They respect my business and follow the policies I have in place.
My clients are also well informed upfront about my pricing and policies. They are not going to work with me if they feel as though they can not comply. This is why I firmly believe you should front load your potential clients with a ton of information before they even book with you! Less surprises for both them and you!
If you aren’t giving Sneak Peeks on social media yet, I would be the one to encourage you! My best advice is to stay consistent with how you post and when. Setting expectations for your clients is very important. Be sure you are setting realistic expectations for yourself too. If you think at most you can put out 1 sneak peek of a client per session. Try and stick with that for all clients. If you are giving sneak peeks of some clients and not others, it can be very hurtful to the clients who are left out. They notice this stuff immediately. Make sure you lay out a good plan to treat your clients fairly!
Melissa Lynn Hunt is a Charlotte NC Senior Portrait Photographer.