Photographers Are Leaving Money on the Table 

Photographers and small business owners are always looking for ways to grow their business.  One of the ways they do that is by setting up a website, Facebook page, Twitter profile, Instagram account, and so on and so on.

Then, they rarely, if ever, make any updates and they lose business because of it.

There is a business responsibility that comes along with managing your presence on Social Media if you REALLY want to grow your business.

Here’s an example of how NOT to use social media:

While having my website redone,  I searched online to find a local photographer and went through all kinds of photos and found one that I thought might be the right one to help me.

I found her Facebook page and sent her a message inquiring about her services.  A couple messages back and forth and she asked me to, “call back next week as it will be easier to discuss that way.”

Okay, no problem.  It wasn’t a big deal but not the way I would have handled this customer service opportunity. I might have asked the person if I could call them (rather than asking them to call me), and if there was a time we could connect and put a bit of effort into the message so as not to make them feel they were being dismissed.

My schedule was full and I put the task of following up with this photographer on my list of things to do.  The following week, it’s late afternoon and I get to that item on my list and think, “Now is the time; let’s get this done before the end of the day.”

I call her business line and she answers, “Hello” – not, “Thank you for calling business x,y,z. How can I help you?” or anything along those lines.

I introduce myself and remind her of our discussion on Facebook and she sounds confused, then she says, “Oh yeah, right.”

Next, she asks me if I could call her back in ten minutes or tomorrow because she just walked in the door to her home and her kids were going to make some noise.

There is hesitation in my voice but I say sure, no problem.  This is the second flag that she doesn’t want my business, but I call back in ten minutes anyway. I get voicemail.  The next day I call and get voicemail again. She never called back, nor did she follow up via Facebook.

Soon afterward, someone I know referred me to a second photographer.  I go to her Facebook page and I reach out to her.  She replies instantly, is super friendly and asks me for my email and phone number and says she will call me that afternoon.

One week later, she sends a reply email from a Facebook notification thanking me for contacting her again, and saying she would never have thought to look on Facebook and… that she will call that afternoon.

Another week has gone by and still no phone call.

Feeling discouraged, I get my team involved in the search. We contact a third photographer who doesn’t reply on Facebook but does reply to email and lets me know she is out of town until spring.

Finally, the fourth photographer I reach out to responds and I have an appointment!

Photographers and small business owners – you have got to do better than that.

If you use Social Media as a channel to market your business, pay attention to how you treat people when they reach out to you on that channel in an attempt to do business with you.

Don’t just create a social media account and throw things up when it’s convenient for you, giving no thought to your audience or potential customers and never check in.

#SocialMedia does work when you actually respond to your inquiries. Share on X

The challenge is, small business owners often don’t even recognize a paying customer when they are standing right in front of them.

In this case, it’s about photographers.  But, are you guilty too? Have you done any of these things:

Abandoned social media channels you set up?

Failed to respond to comments on your blog or on social networks?

Failed to notice messages people have sent you inquiring about business?

Not keep your website and social media profiles up to date with information about your services, the best way to reach you, or when you are not taking on new clients for an extended time period?

Here are seven things you can do right now to fix this problem in your business:

  1. Close or deactivate any social media sites you have set up and don’t use.
  2. Refresh the current information about your business on social media to ensure it is current.
  3. Update your graphics, use nicely branded, crisp photos for your profile picture.
  4. Create a process to check and respond to social media daily.
  5. Disable the Facebook message box on your page if you don’t want to respond to business inquiries.
  6. Remove social icons off your website that you no longer use.
  7. Get clear about the content you will post on social and create a plan to keep yourself on track

Social media can become overwhelming. Even more so if you followed the path of jumping on every new platform that was available just to get your name out there. It can be manageable with a simple plan and schedule for you to show up and check in.

You can make #SocialMedia work FOR you, with just a little work FROM you. Share on X

Putting processes into place can help grow your business. My book, Pilot To Profit can help you learn how to navigate modern entrepreneurship so you can build your business using online marketing, social media, content marketing and sales.



11 thoughts on “Photographers Are Leaving Money on the Table ”

  1. Lisa, it sucks that this was a photographer and that it took that long for you to find someone that was responsive (and hopefully good)! I am a photographer and my first priority are my clients as this is potential business, but more importantly, a great relationship that will be long term. I think not only photographers, but many small businesses forget this, and need to recognize that their follow up and follow through is critical. I had a recent business do the same to me…ask me to call her back. I thought about it for a minute and realized that I was giving HER business and so didn’t call back and found someone who was more responsive. Social media does make it a bit harder (messages on the business page of fb didn’t used to show up very readily) but now I make it part of my protocol to check and more important, ask the person for their email so I can do a proper follow up!

    Thanks for a great post…I hope photogs read this and get it! If you’re ever in Atlanta and need a photographer, I’d love to hear from you…and I’ll respond! 🙂

    1. thanks Rupa! I am glad I am not the only one who found it odd to ask a customer to call them or call back. My response would be how can I contact you.

  2. Business owners forget that if you appear incompetent in following up with customers, you will appear incompetent in the service you’re selling. Great advice, Lisa, to shut down the channels you don’t plan on monitoring!

    1. totally agree Nicole. Your reputation is important and with so many online rating services where people can actually ruin your reputation by sharing their experiences, it’s time to be on your top game. I could have named the businesses I had these interactions with but my intent was not to name and shame but rather to share because we could all easily be guilty of this.

  3. Lisa,

    I am sorry you had such negative experience with photographers in your area. But I would like to say that out of all of the different small businesses, photographers (pro photographers) usually have some of the most up to date and dynamic social media pages. One of the reasons, is that we (photographers) always have new great visuals of our clients – so it’s easy to post new content on a regular basis. I could come up with a dozen of examples from coaches, to consultants, to even marketers who have “abandoned pages” on Facebook, and don’t even know that Message box exists on their fan page.

    So while I understand that you had a bad experience with photographers around you – I would like to go on the record to say – this is not the norm. People you describe sound more like “hobbyists” than professional photographers. And that exists in every industry…

    Check out my Facebook page for my Photography business: and I would love to continue this discussion if you are interested 🙂

    1. Hi Alina, You could substitute any business name for the word photographer for this post. My intent is not to say photographers are bad but rather to showcase my experience in trying to hire one. Interestingly enough, someone replied to my newsletter today and recommended YOU. These photographers were all great in how they presented themselves on social and I would say they appear to be more than hobbyists, their websites and photography exceptional, the downfall is in their communication and follow up skills in serving their clients. Maybe it’s the area, who knows!

      1. Oh, that is so interesting. 🙂 Small world, right? And if you are willing to travel – you know I will make it worth your while. Photography stopped being a “local” business a while ago.

        I guess I was objecting to the generalization of “photographers do that” in the title 🙂 Because I know SOOO many photographers who are on top of their game and can be used as examples of great social media presence and response.

        Everything else – I completely agree with. If you set up a Facebook page (or any other social media page) – it’s an open invitation to the world to contact you through that channel. And should be treated as such – maintained and checked. Not as an inconvenience…

  4. Very good points. It does not seem like this person wants any business. Even the fact that she said to initially call NEXT week does not exhibit desire to do business (unless it is Friday). Excellent information!

  5. Lisa,
    You are so right! As usual. I will be the first to admit I fall short in this department from time to time {blush}. But it is the truth. Sometimes we are overwhelmed with all we have to do and customers we are already serving, however to not respond promptly shows a lack of professionalism. It is up to the business owner (myself!) to put good business practices in place that allow us time to respond to clients promptly.
    I love having you remind me of the importance of these little things that mean so much! Thank you!

  6. I totally agree, Lisa.

    It’s not that challenging to:
    a. Set aside 30-minutes a day to check incoming social mentions, messages, check in your favourite hashtags or channels and ENGAGE.
    b. Set aside an hour or two a few times a year to make sure all your channels are up to date.

    Not too long ago, I went to a store that had the same hours of operation published on their website AND their Google Maps listing – only to find out that they were wrong… and it was a bigger brand than you think – one I promise you shop at regularly.

    Time for some businesses to get a wakeup call a-la-Lisa!


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Lisa Larter Bio Image of Lisa x400

Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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