When was the last time you visited your competitor’s website? If you haven’t been in a while I highly recommend it. 9 times out of 10, I can safely suggest that you NOT do what they are doing in your own photography website. In most cases, they are probably showing about ten million images, talking about their “artistic” style and trying to explain to you why their photography is a cut above the rest.
There is nothing wrong with showcasing your work and even doing a little bit of self-ego stroking, but if that’s all that the website ends up accomplishing, the responses from new customers may not be as great as it could be.
With today’s fast moving technology, people are using the internet to find everything. And I mean EVERYTHING! We are people who are after something, have a purpose and want instant gratification for what we are doing. If your website is to be a success, you cannot fail to give people what it is they are after. Think of it in these terms: If you don’t give them what they are after, someone else will!
Alongside your gallery and your “about me” section on your website, include a “details” or “information” link in your navigation. This is the instant “light bulb going off” feeling that your website visitors are after. They know if they click on this link, they will receive what it is they have been after: information!
Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and ask yourself “What do I want to know about this photographer and what he (or she) can do for me?” and then do the right thing and answer it! A F.A.Q. section in your website is a great way to answer questions. Simply list a selection of questions with your well written responses below them. If F.A.Q.’s are a little too formal for you, then simply answer the questions in a more “dialog” type conversation on your website.
What about price? I’m sure everyone’s mouth just gaped wide open waiting in response to this one. As photographers, we are taught by the major marketing guru’s in photography that we do not give out our price list. I’ve heard it over and over again: never give price out of context. There is some logic to this theory and I must admit that I’ve been a believer of this philosophy as well.
While I do not condone listing out your price list as a grid of “product = $xx” on your website, I have found it very beneficial to give a price range of your products and services. Yes, people on your website may still be slightly irritated that they can’t just print out a list of your print sizes and prices, but they can get an idea of what they can plan on spending with your business. This is probably the only type of information that should be slightly held back so that you are given an opportunity to show them exactly why you charge what you charge, yet still get an idea of their budget and ability to afford working with you.
The other thing that I’ve found helpful to include on a photography website is your studio policies. Even if you send them your policies when you first schedule their appointment with you, people love being online and placing it on your website, is the ultimate in convenience. It can really help to circumvent those questions that customers have like “how long will my order take” or “can I buy my digital negatives”. If you have all this information available on your website it will make things a lot easier for your client to find out what they need to know.
If you still aren’t sure what to include, put yourself in your clients’ shows for a moment and think about what you would like to know if you were researching photographers. What can you make easier to find through your website?