When photographers design websites we want our images to stand out front-and-center. But, it takes more than pretty pictures to make photography website successful! Julia Kelleher of Jewel Images is a also a 10-time creative Live instructor and master business educator and the founder of “Market. Like You Mean It” an in-depth 9 week online mastery course that teaches portrait photographers how to market their businesses.
Julia knows from experience what it takes to create a photography website that not just displays your photos beautifully, but will help establish your band and attract clients as well. Here she shares her top tips for photographers looking to create, update, or improve their websites.
1# Less is more. Clean sites with forward thinking design is what will attract customers to a high end brand. If you use a template that is outdated and “too flowery” you don’t look high end and you look “stuck” in the past. You want your clients to think you are up to date with the latest technology and graphic design.
2# Make SURE your site looks good on desktop AND mobile. When creating a website, look for what is called a “responsive” design. Over 50% of users look for new businesses on their phone and tablets. This means we are not at the point where mobile interface is MORE important than desktop.
3# If you can’t blog regularly, don’t blog at all. Many photographers think they need a blog. However, a blog that is not updated regularly makes you look lazy, mish-mash and scattered. If you do make the time to blog, make sure that the content you are producing is USEFUL to the reader. Think about who your target audience is and what are they interested in. Your articles don’t all have to be pretty pictures you took at recent sessions. Think of other useful and entertaining topics that your readers will WANT to engage with. Some photographers include posts about what to wear, the importance of family photos, or write posts about charities they support through their work.
4# Make sure your contact information is clear on your site! Many potential clients will pass you by if they cannot call you or easily connect with you. You are losing business left and right if it’s hard to contact you with both a phone number and email. It’s not overkill to include an email address, contact form, and phone number on your website. Make sure clients can easily find a way to contact you from every page on your site. One way to do this is to have a Contact tab on the header of your site and/or an email icon or contact information in the footer.
5# Capture Emails: Capture emails on your site by using an opt-in form. An opt-in form is a MUST these days and is GOLD in your business. Grow your list by capturing emails right when potential clients visit your site for the first time. How can you get them to opt in? Give them something they want. This is called a Lead Magnet and can include education, free tips, checklists, cheatsheets,,,,you name it. Good content is KING. When you give information away in exchange for email address, you now have the power to market to those who have visited your website.
6# Have a Great Storefront: Finally, your website is your storefront widow and one of the FIRST touch points a potential customer has when they first discover you. Think about what you want their experience to be like. How do you want your potential client to feel? Work towards creating this type of experience for your client, whether you want them to feel warm and fuzzy thinking about newborn photos, joyous thinking about their upcoming wedding, or you are going for an edgier feel.
Although it may seem overwhelming at first, spending a little time on your website can make a world of difference in getting inquiries and achieving a solid brand in your business.
Jamie Davis Smith