photography + brand marketing

Fuel the fire of micro-influence

Are you feeling ready for summer?

My summer countdown email series has brought us to topics that support your marketing from various angles, and it’s easy to notice that each topic is ultimately about forming stronger personal connections. Marketing in today’s environment IS personal, and there’s no better time for YOU as you greet your seasonal customers face-to-face this weekend and beyond.

But you aren’t the only face of your business! Every grateful, satisfied, exuberant person who experiences your product or service is walking away into the wild world to share their joy!

Influencers are all the rage these days. You’ve heard the term, and probably rolled your eyes at the thought of selfie-snapping Kardashian-types posing on the street. But today’s influencers garner more Instagram engagement than the A-list celebrity. They get paid thousands just to wear a certain brand in one social media post. It works, because today’s consumers trust people more than they trust brands.

Well for you, my friend, I introduce the concept of a micro-influencer. You don’t need thousands of dollars – you have brand ambassadors right here at the local or regional level. You have raving fans within your specific niche. It’s true for a bakery, a dog-walker, a hair colorist, a photographer, a furniture maker, a musician or an online business. I’m talking about your very best clients, the ones who love you and will follow you anywhere. They attend all your workshops, send all of their friends in to your shop, “heart” and re-share every one of your social media posts…

Pay attention. Notice those people, and pay them extra attention. Say thank you, gift them a little something extra, share a coupon or referral code. Engage back on their social posts (isn’t it so cool when a brand comments back to you!?). Let them know you see them. They’ll immediately become and even stronger ambassador for your brand.

Without being too creepy, dig in to learn more about where they live, work, what events they attend, and how they spend your personal time. How strong is their social following? Some of this info may bring new ideas to light in your new micro-influencer strategy.

Incentivize and encourage. One easy way to bring all your fans along for the ride is to inspire user-generated content. It’s a thing. It even has an acronym in the marketing world, UGC. You can do this with a photo contest, asking fans to share how they use your product in their daily life. You can create a photo-stopping moment in your own physical space (think cool backdrop, quote signs) or just have them take a selfie with you mid-service, with your product or smiling by your sign, etc. Encourage customers to answer, ask, or provide feedback on a question in video form through their Instagram Stories. Then re-share!

Skip ahead to the easiest formula of all? Start activating this one TODAY:

  1. Find any variety of ways, in person and online, to continuously encourage your customers to share their experiences on social media
  2. Consistently search mentions of your name and location tags on all channels
  3. Re-share the best content, both physically (store wall) and online, complete with exciting thank-you messages
  4. Your customers feel cool for being shared by their favorite brand or business; they likely re-share again
  5. Their network of like-minded peers wants to be cool too, and they go out of their way to be your customer!

P.S. If you’re ready to give it even more oomph, reach out directly. Slide into someone’s DMs (direct messages) and be human and sincere in your ask. Do you have a new product or service you can offer to them, in the hopes they share with their friends? Can they help you test something out? Will you host them and five of their friends for an exclusive workshop, sneak peek or sample service after hours?

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photography + brand marketing