It’s Valentine’s Day and love is not only in the air…it’s also on TikTok! You have wedding photographers on TikTok looking for knowledge and inspiration on their craft, and you also have couples on the app looking for a photographer and inspiration for their big day. Professional wedding photographer and Sony Artisan Kesha Lambert has tapped into both of these audiences, with her @KeshaLovesHats account ranking as one of the most popular wedding photographers on TikTok with over 20.4K followers. We caught up with Lambert to learn more about how she got started on the app, how she creates content to grow her business and how you can do it too.
The Sony Artisan explains her dual-purpose presence on TikTok for both educating other wedding photographers and finding new client couples to photograph.
Find & Focus On Your Audience
Lambert first did some research across the different social media platforms to see where was best to engage with her audience. “From my homework and just talking to peers, I found that the things that were trending and where the audience was that I wanted to connect with was on TikTok,” she says. I was so focused on Instagram at the time because it’s a great space for my work to be seen and to interact with potential clients. It’s important for small business owners, artists, creatives and those who have a presence on TikTok or really any social platform, to make sure they’re staying current and they’re in the spaces where they will be engaging with the audience they want to reach.”
Lambert didn’t create a TikTok and immediately have a massive following – it took time for her to really understand the app and to begin regularly posting content. “I wasn’t actually into TikTok at first because I didn’t understand it. It was a completely different language and I didn’t feel like I had the energy to learn something new. But my research and finding that it was a place I needed to be prompted me to create one. It sat dormant for a few months because I didn’t understand it. I probably had about 50 followers who were mainly just my friends and family.”
She began to watch TikTok more and more and began to think about why she was using it. “I asked myself, ‘What am I looking at? Why do I use any social platform?’ And then I started thinking about it from that perspective and it started to open up some ideas,” Lambert explains. “Sometimes I’m on there for mindless entertainment, sometimes I use it to get information like recipes or life hacks. I’ve learned a lot and found a lot of resources connected with like-minded people. TikTok is the space where you learn that some very specific things that you think make you so eccentric or unique or that you quietly think, ‘I'm a weirdo for this,’ – you find out that there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of other people that are equally and specifically as weird as you are.”
Figure Out The Purpose Of Your Presence
Lambert attributes much of her success on the app to her inner circle. She has friends in the wedding industry who are great at think-tanking strategies to grow and they helped her come up with ideas to develop her presence. Even with the rapid growth Lambert has experienced, she says she’s still a baby in the TikTok space, but has found that her account serves dual purposes. She reaches other wedding photographers as an educator, and also reaches other couples getting married who could be potential clients.
“It requires homework because I need to know what each audience wants to see,” Lambert explains. “When creating content for other wedding photographers, I know they are looking for resources. If I’m putting myself out there as an educator, I have to ask myself what other wedding photographers would want to know. Things like: What CRM are you using? What editing techniques are you using? What AI software are you using? And then what does that look like when you use it?”
She continues, “And in the case of finding clients, they are usually on the app looking for inspiration and ideas. So they are looking to get a glimpse of someone else's wedding and what happened, how the couple reacted when they first saw each other in the aisle or during the first look. They’re looking at what flowers they had, or what it looked like capturing the portrait versus seeing how everything turned out. In the case of a potential client they really are surfing for ideas and inspiration and relatable things as they plan their own wedding. If I can show them the way I capture everything and tell the story and they like it, they could be a potential client.”
Set A Goal For Content & See What Sticks
While Lambert says that sometimes her game plan for her TikTok is thrown off due to other priorities, she sets a broader goal for the number of posts she will make per week. “I would say if you're starting out, you want to set a goal for daily posts. I started out doing two to three posts a day, which can be a lot, and now I set a general weekly goal for how many posts I want to do a week. So that might not happen daily, but when it does happen, the content is super intentional. It's not because I'm tapped into the type of content that I should be posting. I think in the beginning, it's just throwing a lot of things at the wall to see what will stick.”
Adapt Your Content, But Be Authentic
Trends on TikTok are constantly coming and going, but Lambert says there’s a right and a wrong way to keep up with them. You have to take both your audience into account, as well as your own style and who you are. “Chasing trends can be inauthentic if you don't find a way to make it reflect who you are,” she explains. “I think the most important thing is to first find out what your audience is interested in and start doing that, but also adapt it to who you are. You can find what’s trending and modify your content to it, but it needs to be something that resonates with your audience. Find what your audience is ingesting, what they’re relating to, which sounds are being tapped into, and then create content that resonates with them and stays true to you. You will get to a point where you tap into the content that works for your audience.”
She continues, “There is also a lot of information out there about current TikTok growth trends in a broader sense that you also want to familiarize yourself with. You should also go out and search hashtags to see what type of content is getting the most ground. Look over the recent past couple of weeks or so as a quick study on the content that is popular now. You will get to a point where you tap into the content that works for your audience and for you.”
See more of Kesha Lambert’s work on her TikTok @keshaloveshats.