Intro by Skip Cohen This post from Sarah Petty’s archives…
Over the years we’ve talked a lot about working with clients and turning a sitting into an experience. In fact, it’s the foundation for a lot of what Tim and Beverly Walden talk about in their coaching program and speaking engagements.
But I want to get you thinking about a different kind of experience, visiting your website. There’s so much you can do to make it more inviting and turn it into a “sticky” feature. Sticky is one of those early Internet words that’s never lost its importance. Your goal is to make your website such a great experience that your target audience wants to come back; share it with friends and enjoy looking at your work and in turn hiring you to be their photographer.
The points below are all relatively easy to implement once you sit down and take a serious look at your website. Think of the sites you enjoy visiting the most – the ones that make it easy to navigate, keep your interest and create top of mind awareness whenever you’re looking for something they sell/offer.
- Make your site easy to navigate! Don’t bury important information where people can’t find it.
- Show things in a logical order. Hook your client on your images first, then “about” section and the information and how to contact you, etc.
- Don’t overload them on images!
- Be consistent with the look and feel of your site and your blog – even though they serve two different purposes, you still need continuity in the design and feel of both. And, for those of you in the portrait/social specialties your target audience is female and most of the time “Mom.” I’ve seen both male and female photographers go overboard on too much of a high-tech look.
- Let your site show your personality.
- Don’t bury clients in policies that might scare them away. The time to discuss your policy on a deposit, for example, is in the contract discussion. It doesn’t belong on your website.
- Stay away from hard to read artsy-fartsy fonts.
- Be careful with reverse-type. Reverse-type is fine, but if it’s a page, you hope your client will download and print, then make it black type on a white background. The average client has a $59 printer at best and trying to print an all-black page with white type is going to leave them with nothing more than a soggy sheet of paper!
- Where you do have text, keep it short and proof-read everything you put on your site. Plus, read it out loud several times and have a friend or family member check it over as well. Ask them to tell you what you just wrote, to make sure it’s being understood. Check out grammarly.com to raise the bar on everything you put in print.
- Be careful with what you show in pricing. Not everybody agrees with me on this one – I don’t think photographers should show their prices. I like having a statement like, “Wedding coverage starting at ___________,” or “Portrait sessions starting at ______________,” but just listing your prices doesn’t begin to give you a chance to sell yourself and what makes you the best choice.
- There’s no such thing as too much contact information. Most important of all, give people a phone number and email address. Many of you use email response templates, which are an excellent addition, but they don’t help at all if you take too long to answer!
As you look over your site remember – your website is about the products and services you sell, while your blog is about what’s in your heart. Having them both showing the right appeal and having compelling content is what creates two of my favorite original Internet marketing words, “sticky pages.” Your goal is to create a site so sticky that people don’t want to leave, and share it with all their friends. Make yourself habit-forming and always exceed expectations.
“Give them quality. That’s the best kind of advertising”
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