Welcome to Keeping it Candid – Wedding Photography Unfiltered for photographers who want to keep it real. I’m your host, Sandra Henderson, international wedding and family photographer and educator with a Marie Kondo-style approach to running a business – you know, keeping things simple and getting rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy!. More importantly, I’m a strong enneagram 3w2 who is obsessed with tacos, and my love for travelling is one of many things that drives my passion for all things systems, workflows, and beating burnout as a business owner. Join me twice a month for a candid, behind-the-scenes look at what it’s really like working as a wedding photographer – where I’ll give you actionable steps to take your business to the next level. Absolutely no fluff here, friends! So grab your favourite notebook and pen, and let’s dive into this week’s episode.
Hi friends! Happy Tuesday – or whatever day it is that you happen to be listening to this episode!
Before I get started, did you catch the last episode of Keeping It Candid? It was all about the importance of a pre-wedding questionnaire, and I dove into some of the specifics that I ask my clients in order to prepare for their wedding. You’ll definitely want to go give it a listen if you missed it! And then head over to the Shownotes to get your hands on my brand new Wedding Day Questionnaire template!
It includes 9 pages of questions, broken down into each section of the day:
1) Day-Of Contact Information
2) Getting Ready
3) First Look
5) Family Formals
6) Wedding Party Photos
7) Newlywed Portraits
8) The Reception
9) Additional Details, and
10) Vendor Info
The questions within each section cover every bit of information you could possibly need to ensure a successful wedding day and create a photography timeline with ease. You’ll walk into every wedding with a new sense of confidence because you know all of your bases are covered to keep things stress-free no matter what! And the best part?
Ok – now, as they say, back to our regularly scheduled programming! It’s already AUGUST, and for so many wedding photographers out there, that means endless days of doing all the things now that busy season has really settled in. Weddings, engagement sessions, editing, blogging, posting to social media, going to meetings… It’s the best but it’s also a LOT.
If you’re anything like me, creating content and posting to social media actually gets harder during busy season. You’d think it would be the time when it was easiest – with how often I’m behind my camera, I have constant access to fresh new photos to share. But when I’m having to do so much client-facing work, I just don’t have the mental capacity to show up on socials as often.
Which, is a total catch 22, right, because I’m sure it’s no secret to any of you listening, showing up on social media consistently is important.
I want to be clear though that I’m not a supporter of the quote/unquote “rules” that exist surrounding posting. I truly believe you should use social media apps in a way that works for you, whether that be posting once a week or twice a day. Figuring out what consistency means to you and creating a schedule you can stick with is far more beneficial than trying to do what everyone else is saying or doing.
One thing you can do to make it all a whole lot easier is to start repurposing your content. What I mean by that is, re-using your written content, like blog posts and captions, as well as your photos, across multiple platforms at different times.
There are a few different ways you can do this:
I use each of these in my own business and it’s honestly been one of the biggest game changers. So let’s take a look at what each of these is all about:
Reposting old content is the easiest place to get started. Scroll back through your posts on Instagram and find content from 2019 or 2020 that could still be relevant to your audience today. Copy the caption, and then decide if you want to re-use the same photo or if you want do something like turn it into a Reel instead.
If you’re creating a Reel you’ll need to post manually, but if you’re using a static image, you can use an app like Reposta, which will pull the caption and image from any post on your Instagram account. No matter the method you choose, you’ve now got a brand new post without having to generate a new idea of what to say.
You might be thinking, but what if someone recognizes it? Won’t people notice if they’ve been following me for a long time?
The short and simple answer is – no, people won’t notice. Even your most engaged followers aren’t going to remember. The Instagram platform is generating more than 95 million posts each day, and we can easily consume hundreds of them within 10 minutes of scrolling. When you’re scrolling, you’re SEEING the content, but it’s not actually resonating with you most of the time.
Can you remember the photo and caption of every single post you’ve seen on Instagram just today alone? Probably not. After your viewers have consumed thousands upon thousands of other Instagram posts, they’re not going to remember that what they just saw crossed their feeds years ago, either. Studies have shown that we need to see something an average of seven times before it truly resonates with us. Given the average Instagram post reaches less than 10% of your followers, it’s pretty likely that a large chunk of your audience never saw the content at all the first time around. It’s a frustrating statistic but with the right marketing plan, you can flip the script and use that to your advantage.
2) The second way you can use repurposing content to your advantage is one of my favourites. Create a system that takes one piece of content and generates five week’s worth of posts from it across multiple platforms. I know – big surprise, one of my favourites is a SYSTEM! I just can’t help it. Anyway –
To get more specific, I’m going to break down what that looks like for me:
So, first comes the blog post. This is the longest piece of content I’ll need to write, so it just makes sense to start there!
A week later, week 2, an email goes out to my email list. I tweak the content from my blog a little bit to be more personalized, like adding in a field that will automatically input someone’s name so I’m able to speak directly to them when I land in their inbox.
On week three, the content gets condensed for Instagram. There’s a limit of 2200 characters in an Instagram caption, but SEO experts recommend a minimum of 300 words in a blog post! So what I’ve written on the blog or in an email is likely significantly too long to post as-is in a caption. I go through and figure out the best way to make sure the most important details are being shared, and delete anything I’ve written that isn’t absolutely necessary.
This step actually has a little bonus option – If the original content I wrote for my blog was something like sharing three tips for dreamy sunset photos at your wedding, for example, I could actually create three different Instagram posts by sharing one tip in each post.
Next up comes posting to Facebook on week 4, and this is definitely the easiest step in this repurposing system. For a standard post, very little needs to be changed between Instagram and Facebook. The caption doesn’t need to be shortened further, and there are no limits to characters or the number of images I can post on Facebook. But, I do want to make sure I’m always respecting the platform I’m posting to. I remove hashtags, Instagram handles, and anything else that isn’t a native feature of the Facebook platform. This way I’m not overwhelming my viewers with useless information and they’re more likely to pay attention to what I’ve shared.
If my Instagram post was a carousel or Reel that included several photos, I turn them into an album on Facebook to utilize all the features my business page has available.
Lastly, on the fifth week, my content lands on Pinterest. This is the most condensed version of what I originally wrote, with just a small paragraph of space available for a caption. BUT, this is where everything comes full-circle. Pinterest is a search engine and not only gives me opporunity to utlitize keywords and search terms to increase my reach, any content I post can be directly linked back to the original full blog post I posted on week one, generating more traffic for my website as well.
That’s it! Five weeks worth of content without having to generate something brand new for each platform. If I wasn’t using a system like this and wanted to show up on those five platforms every day, I would have to generate 7 pieces of content for each platform each week. That’s 35 pieces of content a week in total. That’s a LOT, especially considering all the other things I need to be doing to keep my business running. I don’t have the time for 35 pieces of content a week! With this system though, I can focus on a week’s worth of blog posts, and then use that content to fill in everywhere else I want to be showing up consistently.
OK – Before I move onto the final way to repurpose your content, I wanted to talk a bit about this five-week schedule, and why I’m not just posting to all five platforms at the same time.
Remember I mentioned earlier, that studies have shown you need to see something an average of seven times for it to fully resonate with you? Scheduling the content further apart increases that likelihood. Thanks to things like the algorithm and people’s general browsing habits of hopping from one platform to another, it’s more likely your audience will see – and pay attention to – the content when it’s not all being posted at once. You can also use the analytics available to you on each platform to find out the times your audiences are most engaged to fully take advantage of what the algorithms can do for you.
Now we’re onto the final way you can repurpose your content so you can keep showing up consistently while doing entirely less work along the way –
When creating new content specifically for Instagram, try using the same content for both static posts AND Reels. Think something like sneak peeks – you could post the static images to your feed the first time. Then, create a Reel that includes some behind the scenes footage from the wedding day along with the sneak peek images to post later. And don’t forget to include some trending audio to maximize your reach and engagement!
I did this recently as an experiment, and I was genuinely surprised by the results. I posted 8 sneak peek photos in a static post in the morning. Then, that evening, I posted a Reel that included the exact same caption, and the exact same 8 photos in a different order, and a song that was trending. Both posts performed well, of course with the Reel reaching a larger audience thanks to the algorithm. But the people that were interacting with each were completely different. My followers who were commenting on the Reel, which was posted almost 12 hours after the static post, were seeing the photos for the first time. I was able to leverage two totally different parts of my audience with, essentially, the same piece of content.
With all the changes underway behind the scenes at Instagram, making short-form video content the main goal of the platform, the idea of content creation is feeling more exhausting than ever. As wedding photographers, we signed up to create with our cameras. Most of us are not on the path of becoming famous influencers who create viral Reels all the time. Repurposing your content is the perfect way to take some of that pressure off yourself so you can spend more time behind your camera without worrying about finding the time to act out the latest trend and learning how to edit video content, too. You’ve got enough editing to do already!!
Another reason why I’m so invested in repurposing my content is that chronic illness life can be unpredictable at best. I never know when things are going to take a turn and leave me without the mental or physical capacity to do something. When it comes to things like portrait sessions and wedding days, I’ll push through and rely on my medication and heating pads that I can wear under my clothes to get through the day if I need to. But on office days, I give myself the grace to rest, and the more I’m able to streamline through different systems – like repurposing my content – the less guilt I have about things I quote/unquote should be doing. Whether you’re also living with a chronic illness, or if you’re a parent or a caregiver or just have a LOT on your plate right now – you deserve the grace to rest, too. I hope today’s tips help you give yourself permission to do just that. Rely on your systems to keep things running smoothly so you can come back tomorrow or the next day feeling like your best self!
Thanks so much for listening to Keeping It Candid: Wedding Photography Unfiltered with Sandra Henderson! You can find full show notes from today’s episode at simplysandrayvonne.ca/keepingitcandid. In the meantime – let’s connect! You can find me on Instagram @simplysandrayvonne, and on Facebook in the Wedding Photography Unfiltered community! If you’re loving this podcast, I’d be so honoured if you’d go ahead and hit that subscribe button and leave me a review!
Until next time!
August 9, 2022