How to promote your photography

A queer guide to building your online clout.

How to promote your photography

If you’ve got a passion for photography, at some stage you’re probably going to want to start sharing your work with the world.

Social media can be a useful marketing tool and – for a visual medium such as photography – Instagram is an obvious choice.

First step – ask yourself some questions

What’s your objective with your social media activity?

Try and get really specific with this. Frame it in terms of – “I want to use Instagram to…”

There’s got to be a point or a purpose to it all.

How will your social media objectives help you reach your broader life goals?

Make sure that you’re putting your social media activity into context.

How will your objectives in relation to Instagram help you progress towards some of those bigger goals and aspirations that you’re working on.

Social media is a means to an end, not the destination itself.

What are you selling?

Maybe you’re an artist who just wants to share their talent with the world. That’s totally cool. But if your social media activity is in some way linked to paying your bills, try and articulate the product you’re selling.

Do you want people to buy your photos? Do you want people to commission you to take photos? Do you want people to sign up to your photography course?

Who is your target audience?

This is important from a commercial perspective, because you need to have a really clear understanding of who are the people who are possibly going to buy what you’re selling.

That’s who you need to connect and engage with. No one else really matters in this context.

What are the key messages you want to convey to your target audience?

What do you want your target audience to say about you?

If you’re selling photography courses, then you need to convey that you’re an expert in photography, and that they might benefit from signing up for one of your courses. There’s lots of different ways that you can say that, but it’s really important that you understand your underlying message.

How to I get more followers on Instagram?

You might find that the questions above – and the discussion that the questions generate – leads you to a conclusion that one of the first things that you need to do is to attract followers to your Instagram account.

Obviously, they need to be the right kind of followers – there’s no point having numbers for the sake of numbers. You want to connect with your target audience, you want to connect with people who might buy what you’re selling.

Here’s a summary of some of the key steps you should be considering.


Post regularly – ideally you want to be posting once a day. Don’t spam people, obviously, but if you only ever occasionally appear in people’s feeds it’s going to be harder to maintain visibility and connection.


Use the functionality that Instagram gives you. Use video, use stories. Keep an eye out for any new functionality that they’re releasing and be an early-adopter.


Fairly crucial in the world of Instagram. There’s some formatting tips on how you can avoid hashtags distracting from your caption, but it’s worth spending some time getting your hashtags right.


User-generated content is something that you’ll see featured in some of the most successful business Instagram accounts. It may not be right for you, but have a look at it to see if it’s something you should try.


It’s pretty easy to see how working with other people who have similar objectives to you can be an Instagram win-win. Don’t wait for people to discover you, be proactive in getting out there and finding people to collaborate with.


Contests can be more trouble than they’re worth, but they work for some brands. Worth having a think about.


You can spend a lot of time over-analysing this, but it makes a lot of sense to try and time your posts with when most of your target audience is going to be looking at Instagram.


Instagram Insights make it easy for you to see some obvious performance trends in what you’re posting. You don’t have to be an analytics expert to figure out that you should do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t.


Given what we currently know about the Instagram algorithm, this is possibly the most important thing you should be focused on.

When people comment on one of your posts, like the comment and reply to it.

Get engaged with the posts of people who you think might be your target audience. Be present on Instagram.