Periscope: The one tool you’re not using that is costing you clients

Periscope – you’ve probably heard that name around the internet before, but maybe you aren’t quite sure what it is yet or you think it isn’t relevant to what you do. Here’s the truth: it is, and it can get you clients. Periscope for photographers isn’t something that has really caught on yet, so you have the chance to be at the vanguard and lead the charge.

One of the beautiful things about being a photographer is that you get to be behind the scenes. Even though you’re an active participant in “making the magic happen” and capturing those wonderful moments for your clients, you don’t actually appear in the shots yourself.

Periscope puts you front and centre and gives you a platform to talk.

I know, the thought of that can be absolutely petrifying, but the thing about Periscope is that it’s a fascinating little place filled with business owners who want to support each other – and it’s an excellent way for your clients and potential clients to get to know what you’re about on a deeper level.

Think about how many times you’ve gotten an e-mail or a text message, gotten kind of miffed at the person, and then when you finally talk to them about it, you realize that they didn’t mean it how you took it.

Face to face conversations are the best, and Periscope is the closest you can get to a face-to-face without actually being in the same room as your clients. It’s a platform for you to talk about what you do, why you do it, and why people should consider using your services.

Without ever having to put an actual pitch out there.

So while it might be scary to broadcast yourself out to the internet, Periscope is a great way to stand out and place your flag in the photography world. So consider this post Periscope for Photographers 101.

Periscope: The 5 W’s

The What

Periscope is a live streaming video application that uses your Android or iPhone to broadcast live video of you out to the world –  or at least to anyone who’s watching on Periscope. Scopes are available for 24 hours after your broadcast ends, and then they get swiped by the system (but I’m going to tell you how to keep them permanently and use them as a great way to amp up your site and newsletter content in a moment).

The Who

Periscope is a Twitter-based add-on. You need a Twitter account in order to have a Periscope account, but you don’t have to be actively posting on Twitter in order to have access to Periscope.

The When

Periscope officially made its debut in March 2015, so it’s still a new service and it’s not widely used by business owners yet (which is precisely why you need to be jumping on that bandwagon early)

The Where

Anywhere. Anytime. All around the world.

The Why

This is the big one. As I said earlier, Periscope is new, which means that it’s still forming what it can be, and an increasingly large segment of scopers are actually small business owners. But photographers haven’t started using it effectively yet (and I’m going to tell you how you can change that).

How to use Periscope effectively as a photographer

Periscope is the #1 way to get “face-to-face” time with your clients without actually being in the same room as them. Great, right? Periscope gives you unprecedented opportunities to communicate with your audience directly and clearly. One of my favorite parts of scoping is that you can interact with your audience directly – so they can comment and give you hearts, and you can answer their questions on the spot.

It’s not something that you need to spend hours and hours preparing for. If it’s the fall, you can talk about five great location ideas to shoot family photos that aren’t a pumpkin patch. During wedding season, you can provide tips and tricks about what shows up really well on camera vs. what doesn’t. You don’t have to include anything super technical in your scopes (in fact, it’s probably better if you don’t, unless you’re trying to reach fellow photographers as your target audience).

If you’re not a strong writer, but you feel comfortable “on camera” having a daily or weekly Periscope broadcast can be an excellent alternative. Your potential clients want to know how you think, they want to know how you approach photography, they want to know that you’re knowledgeable about whatever it is that you’re doing. It can also be helpful to weed out clients that you don’t want to work with. If you’re not a headshot photographer but you keep getting inquiries about headshot photography, jumping on Periscope to talk about the work that you do and establishing yourself as an influential photographer in one particular area will help to attract the right kind of business to you and deter the wrong kind of clients. They key to remember, give them value! This isn’t all about you – so educate, enlighten, and inspire them!

You can also scope about things like your setup (just how much interaction are you going to do at your sessions), you can do a venue or studio tour (including giving them session ideas), or you can share with them how to display their photos… anything useful to them!

You just want to make sure that you go into your scope with a particular topic and some “talking points” to help keep you on track. Remember, you’re live, and your scope will be up for 24 hours after you log off, so make the most of that time.

How to Save Your Scopes (And what to do with them afterwards)

Saving your periscope broadcasts is a simple process. You can use a website called katch.me to do it and it’s extremely simple. You just log in using the same twitter as you use for your Periscope account, and you can set it to automatically record your scopes to your katch.me page. You can then have your scopes for life and you can refer back to them as much as you need!

My favorite thing to do is to actually share these out with my newsletter. If you struggle to figure out what to write in your content, you can expand on something you’ve done in a Periscope, or just write a little intro and embed the video right into the newsletter from Katch.me

Are you using Periscope? What tips and tricks do you have? Share in the comments, below!

Author: MarieMasse
I help client documentary photographers fine-tune their workflow + marketing game, so their work is filled with sessions that represent their voice + client values while earning a living. I shoot undirected, off-beat stories that aren’t preserved often enough (like the story of couples before starting a fam or becoming empty-nesters – a dream project of mine), so my clients’ old box of photos is a meaningful, visual diary of their life + legacy to leave behind.

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