Facebook Ads have always been a big part of our coaching The Marketing Mastermind for Newborn Photographers, but there is no doubt that they are becoming increasingly popular among Newborn Photographers.
While there are great courses available to get started with Facebook Ads, learning to use them effectively to get bookings for Newborn and Cake Smash sessions takes experience, patience and knowledge of the mechanics of advertising.
To help you get started, or improve your ads, here are the 5 most common mistakes I see photographers doing with Facebook Ads.
1 – Wrong Targeting (including Lookalike audiences)
Facebook knows more about your clients than you do, trust me.
With relatively new accounts, trying to force Facebook to only target those you believe are your “ideal clients” can do more harm than good – as it restricts the domain “the algorithm” is operating on.
Especially with Custom and Lookalike audiences, if your numbers are low (small following, not posting regularly, not done much advertising in the past) you risk seeing high advertising costs and not very good results.
2 – Ads Don’t Sell
Think about it this way: even when your ads are set to bring direct sales (for example an ad that links to a booking page) they are not the only element of your “funnel”.
At the very least, you have:
- The product you are selling (is there enough demand? Have you sold it before)
- Its pricing (not everything can be sold with an immediate profit via ads)
- The product page, landing page or your own process for dealing with leads
- The ad itself, with its campaign objective, targeting, copy, images
Each element contributes to your “conversion rate”, and I have seen so many times photographers saying their “ads don’t work” when the problem was somewhere else in the process.
3 – Wrong copy
An ad is not a post.
I see so often ads that look and sound like a post, written thinking that the person on the other side:
- Knows exactly what you are talking about and how your session works
- Knows you
- Will stop everything they are doing and sit down to read your ad in detail
Copy that works should answer at least 3 questions:
Who should be reading?
What is in it for them (yes, because nobody wakes up in the morning thinking “uh, I can’t wait to read another ad so I can spend more money!)?
How can they get it (a call to action)
4 – Not tracking the difference between your Instagram and Facebook ads
There is a massive difference in advertising results between Facebook and Instagram, so when advertising on both platforms you should monitor very closely how your budget is being spent, and the results you are getting from each.
5 – Trying to convert leads from ads like you convert your website enquiries
This is also something I see quite often, not adapting the enquiry workflow to take into account where your leads are coming from.
You see, the biggest advantage of social media advertising is that you can reach potential clients before they start researching on their own – and before your competitors reach them. So by default, some of the leads you get will be colder (some also will find out that actually what you offer is not for them) and less informed about how newborn sessions, cake smashes or any other photoshoot works.
They will also spend a little time researching other options (spoiler alert: your other clients do exactly the same, you just don’t see it!) so they will need more nurturing.
As I always say to my clients, if you are not prepared to deal with this…. ads are not for you!
3 tips in this sense:
- Don’t do Messenger ads and then immediately ask people for their email address when they contact you. The advantage of Messenger is the immediacy of the interaction, remove that and you might as well use a different campaign objective
- Send out a standard reply to enquiry email, which is the same one you use for your website enquiries and it is not tweaked for the ad campaign you are running
- Follow up on your leads (if you don’t, someone else will)
Last, but not least…
Possibly the most important thing to remember is that advertising and marketing, exactly like photography are a craft – that requires knowledge, experience and training.
While I always encourage photographers to try Facebook Ads, only do so if you are willing to spend time and money to learn how to make them work for you.
If you expect things to work overnight… chances are you will be disappointed and end up feeling frustrated.
Hi, I am Giulia (weird, uh? It sounds like Julia – but it’s written with a “Gi”) and I am the founder of Grow Your Photography Studio.
I am known for my no-BS, hands-on approach to helping newborn photographers get more clients and grow a business they actually enjoy running. I believe marketing should not be a “necessary evil” and that taking action is the first and most fundamental step toward success.
Feeling on the brink of burnout? Read our guide “Photographers on the brink of burnout“
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Most of the times, all you need to do for your ads to work is to let
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