The Blog Library
Confession: When I see “Best Nine” posts on Instagram, where photographers stick nine highlight photos in a single square, I admire them – but then my marketing mind winces a bit.
It’s not that I don’t want to see beautiful photos. (I do. FLOOD me with beauty, people. I need it.)
What I don’t love is when that’s all a business owner puts up for the summary of their year.
Think of every post you make (social media or blog post) as sending a single line message.
If you could sum up each thing you post in one line, what would it be?
Beautiful photos usually send the one-line message: Look – I take beautiful photos!
And that’s important, of course.
But if most of what you communicate throughout the year is “Look, I take beautiful photos. Look, another beautiful photo,” then you’re going to do a great job convincing people you take beautiful photos.
But you’re not clearing all the hurdles that lie between them agreeing you’re a good photographer and them actually swiping a card.
What if there’s a better way to do a Best Nine post?
Not the only way. But one option that helps you clear some hurdles. Because if you’re going to take the time to publish, might as well achieve more than one thing, right?
Select your best nine now, and email each of the people in the photos and ask questions like:
- How and where have you used your photos?
- Have there been any moments in particular you were glad you had them created?
- Has there been anything unexpected about how you enjoy/use your photos day to day?
- Looking back on your session, does anything you were worried about beforehand seem to matter as much now?
- Now that you’ve done it, what would you tell a friend who was thinking about having their photos taken, but was hesitating for some reason?
Little snippets will roll into your inbox. Some will be expected, like photos used as lock screens, of making tired parents smile. If you get lucky (and with nine people, I bet you will), some will go deeper. Like a moment of seeing an image and having it diffuse family tension. Or giving a family member with dementia a visual anchor. Or someone seeing an image of themselves that paused the tape of self-criticism in their mind.
Now you can put up your Best Nine post and say “In coming days, we’re going to hear some real talk from each of these people about their session and what these images actually do in your life.”
And for the next nine days, you can post the images singly, and (with permission) tell a brief story, share a key quote, and create a more meaningful call to action.
Now your single ‘summary line’ is no longer: “I take beautiful photographs. Book me.”
Now your single lines are diverse and meaningful:
- Photos help heal family rifts. Book your session.
- Photos silence the relentless self-critique in your mind, replacing it with love. Book your session.
- Photos make kids feel important. Book your session.
- Photos can help make elderly relatives feel grounded and included. Let’s get some to them.
- Photos remind you of your deepest goals when you feel exhausted at the end of a long day meeting the demands of your family. Let’s create yours.
(Not sure how to take client emails and then write engaging brief posts that send these messages? That’s what Irresistible Words is here for. I’ve had published authors tell me this course made them better writers.)
Don’t just use your “Best Nine” end-of-year roundup posts to show off your work and growth as an artist (which, by the way, you should be immensely proud of).
Create alongside it a roundup of all the ways these photos enter your target client’s real, messy, beautiful life and make it even better.
You’ve got eight weeks between now and the end of the year. It’s plenty of time to email people and schedule the posts, all before the holidays. Wouldn’t it be great to roll into December with your social media all tied up like a bow?
(And bonus: Emailing past clients like this will also get you new testimonial language for your website, which you can refresh next January.)