In 1988, Howard Baker was President Reagan's Chief of Staff…
Intro by Skip Cohen
Finding this post in Chamira Young’s archives, it’s so on point with what’s become one of the most significant components of your business – your website. In today’s social media world, it’s the equivalent of a brick and mortar building going back just a few years ago. Anybody can have a website, but to Chamira’s point it needs to convey who you are; what you’re selling and then provide easy access to you like the artist your target audience becomes interested in.
Your website needs to be an experience, not just a walk through any retailer. The only thing I’d add to Chamira’s post is the importance of your contact information – GIVE PEOPLE A PHONE NUMBER! There’s no such thing as too much contact information. I understand not wanting to give your address if you work out of your home, but a phone number is a necessity.
And, taking a look at your website and considering some remodeling is such a relevant topic here on the Marathon blog, because they’ve got the team to help you build a better site!
By Chamira Young
Having a website just isn’t enough anymore, although that can really set you apart from your competition, you need to step up your game even further. There are a few key elements that your website must do in order to attract the ideal customers you are looking for. Those clients that are easy to work with, love your style, and share your information.
By taking these tips and implementing them, it will show off your style, professionalism, and will showcase how much you value your clients. When you invest in yourself and invest in your brand, you are putting your best foot forward when new clients are searching for a photographer.
Convey Your Personality
Your website is one of the most important “storefronts” you will be utilizing. Of course, there are other outlets like social media or print pieces like ads, but your website is arguably the most important.
Your website needs to show your personality in every little design. From the fonts, the colors, and the text should show everyone visiting what kind of person you are. Maybe you are a simple, quiet type and your color scheme and text should show that about you. Likewise, if you are wild, bubbly, and outgoing, then bright colors, something that will catch attention and more exclamation marks might be more in your ballpark.
Each person who visits your site should feel like they met you or that you are speaking to them. You set the tone in your color and image choices, and you want to consider this making a great first impression.
Another way in which your website is necessary is a simple way to contact you. Make it easy for your potential client to reach you. If they want to reach you, they are clearly interested, and that should never be ignored.
Plus, it’s also time to find better ways for people to get in touch with you rather than a cold message box. They are clunky, are a one-size-fits-all tool and feel more like subscribing to something than reaching out for a professional service.
It’s encouraged that you at least put your business email on there so your clients and customers can email you a specific request or question. You get a bonus if you put your phone number on there. Believe it or not, but people still do like to make phone calls and speak to an actual person about things as important as preserving memories.
Keep Your Work Focused
Photographers are a varied group; it’s easy to get interested in and take your chances in a variety of niches. Nature, newborns, seniors, weddings, and more. There are a ton of options!
But therein lies the problem. You don’t need to focus yourself on just one niche, but you do need to make your website focused on the niche you would like to promote most. For example, you might be a wedding photographer and shoot landscape shots in your free time. You don’t want to confuse your potential clients by adding albums full of nature images to your wedding photography site. It’s not the place for those shots, no matter how amazing they are.
Design Your Site Carefully
Now, it’s true that for some of you, the idea of designing your website might make you cringe in fear. It is a big deal, and it needs to be done with purpose.
There are resources out there who will basically walk you through the whole process of designing a site, and there are even more people and agencies offering services to help you. It’s your job as the voice of your website to make this a true reflection of you and your brand, and there’s a duty to take that role seriously.
Your website needs to be designed in a way that shows you are a professional and might need to be updated now and then to continue staying in front of the newest changes and enhancements. A good plan of attack is to go to some of your favorite sites and see how they are set up. Ask yourself why it’s so easy to navigate around their site and why finding what you want is easy. Take a few tips from a wide range of websites, including other photography websites as well.
Think of your website like an interview. Every person who visits is virtually interviewing you to see if you are a fit for their needs and you always want to put your best foot forward. Having a clean, easy-to-navigate site with everything your ideal clients might need is going to make your business seem so much more professional.