Intro by Skip Cohen Looking through the archives of SproutingPhotographer.com…
Your website is about what you sell, and your blog is about what’s in your heart. Since you’re trying to sell with your site, then your contact page is a critical component and so many of you make it hard for potential clients to talk with you directly.
So, let’s talk about one of my pet peeves, your contact page!
I’m not against contact pages, just the limits so many of you put on them! Think about the last time you wanted to contact any company and how good it felt when you could communicate with a live body — knowing that, then why limit contact to just a template form? We live in a robotic-default-choice world when it comes to communication. Do something different and make yourself more accessible, and in turn, put yourself ahead of most of your competitors.
I completely understand if you don’t want to put an address down if you work out of your home but give people a phone number to call and an email address if they’d like to write to you directly. Then, give them the third option of filling out an online response form.
And, if you’re going to use a template form, then keep it short. Some of you have decided to sneak in a survey and ask for everything from “How did you hear about us?” to requests to fast for 12 hours before submitting a blood test! Okay, I’m exaggerating, but just use the contact form to make contact. I would keep the form as simple as possible and save more detailed questions once you talk with the client.
Most important of all, respond as quickly as possible when those contact forms come in. Don’t make potential clients wait to hear back from you. Nobody can sell your services better than you, and immediate response to an email from a potential client will immediately start to build trust.
Years ago, a good buddy of mine passed away unexpectedly, and a bunch of us took to the phones. One well-known professional photographer had moved, and we gave up trying to contact him before the funeral. There was no phone number on his site and no new address.
Months later I saw him at a convention and mentioned how we couldn’t find him because there was no number on his site. His response still blows me away,
“I don’t want people calling me! I haven’t got time for phone calls!”
There’s not one ounce of embellishment in this story. He really just wanted contact via email. For the rest of you though, how great would it be to have your website so fantastic that your phone rang non-stop? Give people a phone number and if you want to impress them even more, your cell number too. Then give them your email address.
It’s a straightforward lesson to remember and one that your grandmother probably taught you years ago – treat people the way you’d like to be treated. It’s so easy to be accessible!