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Building Blocks for the New Year!

It’s what most of you call the “slow season,” but that doesn’t mean it should be slow for you! Yes, it’s a time when business in most parts of the country is down, and revenue is low, but it’s also the perfect time to do a little house-cleaning.

As you’re taking a little time to recover from what was hopefully a strong holiday season, now is the time to address some of the easier fixes in your business. Here are three building blocks for easy places to start in creating a stronger website:

  • Most of you have ineffective “About” pages. Your bio is all about how you got started, what awards you’ve won, and maybe even what gear you use. Guess what? If you’re in the portrait/social side of the business, NOBODY cares! What “Mom” wants to know is if you can be trusted. She wants to see if you can capture the kind of images she wants of her family. She wants to know WHY you’re a photographer, not how or what you provide.

Take the time to look over your bio. If it’s going in the wrong direction, this is the perfect time to write about why you love this business. Talk about how your clients trust you to capture great images and help create more memories.

Last but not least, write it in the first person! Make it like an artist’s statement and sign it with a facsimile of your signature.

  • How’s your headshot? It amazes me how many professional photographers have headshots that are merely bad selfies. As a pro, why wouldn’t you want an image that screamed PROFESSIONAL?

There are two images I suggest every photographer has on their site. First and most important is one of you working with a client. Have an associate photograph off your right shoulder slightly behind you with a subject out of focus in the background. You want your profile behind the camera as you’re working. Second, is an excellent portrait – not a selfie or the shot you use after asking one of your kids to click the shutter!

  • Clean up your galleries! Just about all of you need to update your galleries. You share too many images, and most of them aren’t better than what “Uncle Harry” could have captured.
    • Each image needs to be a “wow” print. That means it’s so good that you’d only have to show that one image to get hired.
    • You don’t need to show a lot of photos. There’s no need for more than 6-10 great images in any one category.
    • Remove old outdated images! Keep your galleries fresh and change some of your images at least once a year.
    • If you’re a wedding photographer, stop breaking out your images in categories like getting ready, the ceremony, the reception, details, etc. Everyone knows how a wedding plays out – just let your best images tell the story.
    • Also, for wedding photographers – it’s effective to show an actual album online – this reinforces your ability not just as a photographer but a storyteller.
    • Mix up your technique in your online galleries. This is an opportunity to show black and white, use of depth of field, dragging the shutter, etc.

No one post could cover it all, but there are three great places to get started. Most important of all is to remember, for most of you, your website is equivalent to bricks and mortar locations. Creating a great first impression starts with an excellent site.

Your website is about what you sell – your blog is about what’s in your heart. The two need to work together!