We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Rebecca Burgen a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Rebecca, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Do you think folks should manage their own social media or hire a professional? What do you do?
I have a love hate relationship with Social Media. Yes Social Media has been a huge help to small businesses to be able to reach so many people both locally and internationally. I manage my own Social Media including my website, Facebook business page, Instagram and TikTok. Keeping up with Social Media is a whole other ball game and it is exhausting to say the least. I definitely commit a lot to my social presence and I enjoy going out and having people recognize me/my brand. I have had people recognize my work specifically just by seeing it which is a huge accomplishment in my eyes. I also believe that if I didn’t push so hard to be present on social media and share my work not as many people would see it and recognize it.
Rebecca, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
10 years ago, I officially created my business page on Facebook on August 27th, 2012. I had begun to charge people for photo sessions, many of them being family members and close friends who wanted to show their support in my dream. I always knew growing up that documentation meant a lot to me. I would bring a digital camera to all social events/gatherings and take photos with each person that attended with me. I would do this because I watched my grandpa bring his camera to every gathering, this included just meeting up for breakfast. He would take a photo of the place we met up and a photo of everyone who met up for breakfast with him. He still does this to this day when we see him. I love the idea of photographing those little gatherings big or small because this life is too short.
It was in High School that I realized that documenting moments like these could actually become a career choice for me and I could be a Photographer. I still worked a full-time job along with doing Photography outside of my everyday job since I always thought that was as far as I would take my Photography was just along the side.
In 2020 I quit my 9-5 factory job and I jumped into Photography full time, and I honestly wish I could go back in time and start that journey sooner. I was constantly doubting myself that I couldn’t make enough income to do Photography only. But man, I was so wrong.
What I think sets me apart from other Photographers – one thing I never wanted my career to feel like was just another job. I wanted to wake up every single day and be excited about what I do. And I can say that I absolutely love it. I never wanted to make my clients feel like they are just dollar signs. I want them to know that I truly care about each and every one of them and I will be JUST as excited about their big milestones in their lives as they are even if we just met 5 minutes prior.
The day that I feel my career is feeling like a job and not a passion is the day I retire.
Can you tell us about what’s worked well for you in terms of growing your clientele?
I will forever say that Word of Mouth is everything in a business. If you are genuinely kind and make people feel good about themselves they will pass along your information. They will continue to lift you up and support your business. The way that you talk to people and treat people is number one and it will make or break the clientele you bring in.
How did you build your audience on social media?
When I was first starting out as a business I would attend a lot of markets/bridal shows, anywhere I could display my work for others to see. I would have my business page listed somewhere on my table so that people would see who I was and where they could connect with me/follow me. A lot of the time I would even offer a giveaway for a coffee gift card if they gave me a follow on my Facebook or on my Instagram. After the giveaway they would still be following my page and seeing my work as I presented it. I think that helped out tremendously gaining followers just being able to meet them in person at those events and having them follow my page.
- Website: https://rebeccaburgen.wixsite.com/rebeccalphotography
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rebeccalphotography/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rebeccalbphotography/
- Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/rebeccalphotography
- Other: Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@rebeccalphotography