How to Determine Content Pillars for Your Photography Business

Whether you’re a new photographer or you’ve been working in the industry for some time, creating a content strategy for social media, blog posts, or email marketing can save you time and create the marketing consistency you need in your business to serve up value for your clients and sell your services, too.

One strategy that I work on with photographers in my membership, The Round Table, involves how to determine content pillars for your photography business. Let’s dive into what these pillars are, why they’re important, and how to use them effectively.

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Photographer and business coach, Sabrina gebhardt, teaches about content pillars for photographers

What is a content pillar?

First of all, content pillars are rotating themes that you try and focus on every time you share content and engage online, whether it be a blog post, social media, your email newsletter, and more.

Generally, I like to encourage my coaching clients to set and stick to creating content for about five content pillars; if you add any more than that, your content can start to feel a bit all over the place.

While many business owners think that content pillars should be only focused on business, that’s not necessarily true: your content pillars can be literally anything, as long as the motivations here are first, to share about your business, and second, to build relationships and connections with your current and potential clients.

How do I come up with my content pillars?

The place I like to start with my coaching clients is by asking what they as photographers have in common with their ideal clients. This exercise typically identifies at least one obvious content pillar. For instance, many of my coaching clients are moms themselves who also photograph moms or families. That makes motherhood an obvious content pillar.

Using motherhood as a stepping stone, then, creating content around your motherhood session types or services, as well as topics that are important to moms (like selecting outfits for family sessions, school photos, homeschooling, and more) can work as content pillars, too.

Let me put it a different way: your content pillars should be tools and topics for connection, and sometimes, these have nothing to do with business at all! That’s 100% okay. What’s something you love to talk about – a topic that feels natural for you to share about – but also could connect with your ideal client? For example, one of my photography coaching clients loves plants, and she uses it as one of her content pillars on social media. She’s built many relationships and connections with other plant-lovers, some of whom turn into photography clients!

Here’s a personal example: for me, travel is one of my content pillars, and while I do accept photography clients for travel sessions, I often share about my non-work-related travels, too. I also share about family photography (and family in general), motherhood stories, my experience with babies, and my work in educating photographers.

How do I use my content pillars?

I like to use my content pillars as a framework of sorts for creating and sharing content online. If I’m doing something in my daily life that aligns with one of my pillars (if I want to share content about motherhood as I’m working from the stands or the car while my daughter is at volleyball practice, for example), then I don’t overthink it: I share it, and I move on with my day.

Content pillars are only as effective as you allow them to be, meaning it doesn’t benefit you if you come up with content pillars that aren’t part of your business or your life. Remember, content pillars are a connection tool, and you want a new follower on social media or a new lead in your photography business to connect with you over the competition. Sharing about topics that interest you (and may interest them!) helps to foster these connections, just like how you build friendships and get to know others in real life.

Want to learn more about how you can improve consistency in your marketing? Listen to episode 31 of the Shoot It Straight podcast to hear from Amanda Warfield, who’s the author of Chasing Simple Marketing.

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