Is your website helping or hurting you?
Hey friends! In the coming winter months I’m looking forward to spending some time on blogging, and have wondered where to start and what would be worth touching on.
Since I looove marketing and branding and feel like I’ve learned a lot over the years of experimenting, I thought I’d start on websites! It’s definitely a huge part of any business and shouldn’t be underestimated.
I redid my own website a few months ago and put a lot of time into taking a look at what is most important when making each decision. Here are some of my personal tips for how to make sure your website is doing you justice!
1. Who’s your DREAM client? Does your design speak to them?
The number one question you need to ask yourself when you design your website is: WHO is your target audience? Because that’s the person you want to work with, right? How old is your target audience? What do they like? Are they fun and colorful, do they love Southern culture, do they like traveling?
Your design should reflect something your client would be drawn to, down to the font choice, color schemes, etc. If it’s weddings, then how would you describe your ideal client’s wedding vision? Now create the visuals to support that. Try and show the kind of work that reflects clients you want to get more of.
2. Do you have too many or too little categories?
There’s a fine line between too little and too much in the case of photography websites. Specializing is important! You can do more than one genre, but pick a couple to focus on. I have chosen a select type of portraits I advertise for.
Maybe split your portfolio into a few big categories, like “weddings” and “fashion” or “portraits” and “sports” because whoever is coming to your website doesn’t want to see all of that together, they likely just have one need. Then you could split even more to sub categories if you have a blog.
Having 15 dropdown genres is HURTING you, and makes it look like you are just okay at everything, not great at something.
3. Does your contact page have a call to action?
You need to make it as easy as possible for people to contact you if they are interested in learning more and booking. You should have an easy fill out form, and also list your email address or phone number separately in case they don’t want to or need use the form.
Call to action means that you should TELL your client an action to get them to send you a message! “Contact me today here!” “Book an appointment now at…” or something similar.
4. Is your “About Me” page personal?
Some photographers want to hide behind their work, but if we want people to invite us into their personal lives and tell their stories, they will be more likely to do so if they feel like they know who’s behind that intimidating camera lens. Choose a photo (or multiple) that matches your brand, that your ideal subject might want to hang out with. For example, silly can be great if you’re about doing fun, laid back, candid photo sessions.
I am PRO listing your accomplishments and credentials, absolutely! But you could also write a blurb about some of your favorite movies, or your kids, or what you do when you’re not editing the night away. You’re a real person, and connecting with people is the first step to getting great photos of them.
5. Is your front page appealing enough for someone to click more?
We all know everyone’s attention spans have dropped from the overwhelming amount of content on the internet. What about your homepage makes someone want to click more? Maybe just a GREAT first image, and a simple but original design would work for you. It should load quickly and have easy to navigate buttons to lead them to see more of your work.
6. Are your images well represented?
Honestly I know some amazing photographers, but when I go to their website their images are not showcased well at all! The template badly resizes their images, or distracts with borders and side bars and colors that clash, or it’s difficult to scroll through to see them. If your images don’t look as good or better on your website then in your editing program, get rid of it! Should be a no brainer but you’d be surprised.
TIP- check out your website on your mobile phone, it may be totally incompatible and need to be customized specifically for viewing from someone’s phone.
Anyway I hope that helped someone with some things to check up on when it comes to your own website! I’m hoping to get my stuff together and write more blogs on my own experiences in the coming months. Happy Holidays! 🙂