5 Ways To Boost The Most Important Page On Your Photography Site

7 07 2011

What’s one of the most important pages on your website?

Your home page?

Your gallery section?

While they are all important in creating your overall brand, there is one page that stands out above the rest, and has the most impact in converting a complete stranger into a potential prospect. Yet its also one of the pages we think the least about, and throw up more as an afterthought.

It’s the About Us page.

Statistics continually show your About Us page is the second most trafficked page on your site. Yet if it’s just a few bullet points, a few sentences that give basic information about you, it’s also the number one page that is holding you back.

Your About Us page should be used to sell who you are and what you can do. And while that sounds easy in theory, statistics also show its one of the most difficult pages for people to write. There’s something about “tooting your own horn” that people simply find impossible. They consider it bragging. And therefore they write up a few sentences and leave it at that.

Having trouble writing up your own About Us page?
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Adding The Pizzazz To Your About Us Page

1. Start with a story. Every business started with one late night idea that built up because of passion. Every photographer loved the art of photographing, and somewhere along the way decided to turn it into a business. People love to hear that story. They love to know what was “the moment” for you, and what persuaded you to take action and create the business you are in today.

2. Who else loves you? Over the years, you’ve accumulated awards and accolades. Now is the time to share them with the world. Whether it’s a degree in photography, finishing a week long seminar and training session in Italy, or a 1st place award from the county fair, that’s you starting point. That’s why you are doing what you do today. And someone else has appreciated what you do as well.

3. Say it with a photograph. I’m always amazed at the number of photographers who don’t like to have their personal image showcased on their websites. Why? Be creative with it. Showcase your personality. Create an image that you’ve always dreamed of creating with your clientele. And use it on your site, and throughout your social platforms.

4. Use different media tools. The great thing about the online world is you have a variety of tools available to you to enhance your look and feel. Use them all to showcase what you do. Animoto, YouTube, SlideShare, Photoshop and others offer you amazing tools to create a variety of ways to showcase your talents. Don’t be afraid to use this new technology to make them say “wow”. (example)

5. Ask for comments. Instead of telling people about you, ask your current customers what they think. Then use those in your About Us page as well. Chances are they can say it better, and your prospects will completely relate to what they have to say about who you are and what you offer.

Bottom Line: Online or off, the ultimate job of self-promotion comes down to us, the business owner. If you can’t toot your own horn and make yourself stand out from the competition, it’s that much harder to convince people to use you as their photographer. Its your time to shine. What’s holding you back?

Promote yourself with a new About Us page today >>

18 Reasons Why They Leave Your Site In Under 10 Seconds

3 06 2011

Have you ever entered a site and you can’t hit the back button fast enough? Something about the page is an instant turnoff, and you back out or get out of the browser window as fast as possible.

I did that this morning when I entered a new page from an email I received. And it got me to thinking about all the reasons a site doesn’t work. And by understanding what doesn’t work, you can reassess your own site, and determine what you can do to make it work – to make it more attractive to the people that are coming there for the very first time.

1. Autosound. This is what got me this morning. I entered a page and started looking around, and a voice started to talk with music in the background. The only problem was I couldn’t find where it was coming from – no audio or video button was noticeable on the page, so I had no way of turning it off. I backed out of the page as fast as I could. I work from a home office, so sound doesn’t really matter. But imagine if I would have been in a busy office. That sound – whether its voice of music – would have made me hit “delete” even faster.

2. Popups. Popups are a dying breed, but they are still around and visible on some sites. I don’t mind an occasional popup asking me to sign up for a free report – once. What really bugs me (and a lot of other people too) is when the popup appears again and again, every time I click to a new page. I get it – you want me to sign up. But that’s not a way to motivate me to the next step.

3. Slow load times. Everyone online has what I call online-ADD. If something doesn’t happen FAST, we move away. We won’t wait 15 seconds for a photograph to load – it’s either there now or I move on. If you load more than thumbnails, or have a slow server, you risk losing your best customers.

4. No purpose.
Read the rest of this entry »

10 Things You Never Want To Do With Your Online Photography Portfolio

11 05 2011

As a photographer, your most important marketing tool is your online photography portfolio. On your website or your blog, this is what’s going to showcase your work, and get you hired. Yet I see mistakes all the time. And I have a ton of questions like, “Why isn’t my site getting any traffic?” and “Why aren’t people contacting me online?” Here are 10 mistakes I see frequently – do you see yourself here?

1. Enter Page
Do you really need to divide up your site, and dedicate one whole page to making your visitors choose? If they type in your URL, they want to see your site. They want to start learning about you immediately, not have to decide if they want to visit your Flash site, Mobile site, Fast site, Slow site, Blog, Flickr portfolio, etc. Yes, you can weave things into your site, and have things on the side of your content that allows them to navigate elsewhere. But don’t make your first impression just a choice.

2. Photo Size
Have you ever gone to a photographer’s site, only to wait 30 seconds for it to load a huge file thousands of pixels in size? Boring. This is the web. You don’t need large files – the smaller the better for loading, and to protect you from clients downloading them to manipulate them. Stick to an image that is between 500-1000 pixels on the long edge, depending on how you are grouping them together. Read the rest of this entry »

Photographer Website – 10 Reasons Why 10 Pages Aren’t Enough

19 03 2008

Did you know the standard small business website has 10 pages of content, and will never grow beyond those 10 pages? Yet the number one way to reach your prospects and potential buyers is through content.

A standard 10 page website is a great place to start, but don’t stop there. It’s time to build, and create a site that attracts clients to you. Consider these 10 reasons to continue building on to your website.

1. Depth. People like investigating, and being able to discover more resources. Multiple pages allow people to drill in deeper to your site. Cover a topic in 500 to 1000 words per page; then offer your reader the chance to move to another page for even more information.

2. Resource. What makes your site valuable? People bookmark sites that have a variety of benefits and solutions. Think of how you can generate the desire to have people come back into your site again and again. Then add those pages to your site. Keep people coming back because you offer more than your competition.

3. Power. A powerful site lets people take action. What can you do to direct people to your pages that allow people to take action? Always start with your end in mind. Do you want them to sign up for a free report? Or do you want them to fill out a form for more information?

read more>>

7 Ways To Make Your Studio’s Website More Sellable

7 02 2008

“I put up my website a few months ago,
and I’m still not at the top of the search engines.”

“Why isn’t my website working?
I’m still not making money online.”

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard these phrases! Unfortunately many people still believe putting up a website will be the answer to their marketing problems. If you’re having trouble getting people in to your business using traditional marketing methods, chances are you’re problems will carry through to your online marketing methods as well.

Thousands of websites are being added to the Internet everyday. By doing a recent search on Google I discovered:

66,900,000 pages exist with the word “photography”
9,270,000 pages exist with the words “photography studio”
1,450,000 pages exist with the words “wedding photography studio”
991,000 pages exist with the words “professional wedding photography studio”
196,000 pages exist with the words “California professional wedding photography studio”
And if you’re beyond the top 20-30 pages, chances are you’re never getting in front of your potential customer. So where do you go from here? How do you use your website to get in front of a good, qualifying potential customer?

A successful website is not something you build over night. It is a work in progress, something that you should work on week after week. To start you off, here are 7 ideas to help grow your website and the potential it has to market your business.

Create a professional site. This is probably the first thing you see in any list talking about how to build up an Internet presence. Yet it’s amazing how many sites are out there that still have a homemade appearance.Your website is an extension of your business. Not only should it be informative, it should be entertaining, and provide people with exactly what they are looking for. You are a photographer. Show people your work. Make them feel the emotion of your photography, and the service you provide to your customers. A gallery of a dozen images that each take seconds to load is not emotional. Professionalism comes from knowing what your customers want, and giving them more than they expect.
If you can’t create a professional website by yourself, hire it done. Because you earn your money through photography, don’t expect yourself to be good at all forms of creative graphics. Websites are a marketing tool, not a creative extension of your business. Foremost, your website is a sales tool that can bring in unimaginable profits to your business – but only if you use it as such.

Pricing on your website. The biggest debate on the Internet for photographers is whether to list pricing information. On one hand, listing your pricing will guarantee only truly motivated people will contact your studio. On the other hand, every customer you have will be calling you solely based on your pricing.I myself prefer to not list pricing, or do it in a very discreet way. I want my customers calling me because they love my work. I want them to feel the passion of my art, and call me because they can see themselves in my photographs. Price is secondary.
If you still feel pricing is something you have to list on your website, list it only once on your services page. After you describe what services you offer your customers, list a phrase like “starting from $3900”. This gives your potential customer a basis for your services, yet doesn’t make the main goal of your website price.

Photography Business

Creating a purpose. What is the overall purpose of your website? Is it to get a potential customer to contact you? Is it to drive your existing customers to a place to purchase your photographs? Before your website can be successful, you have to discover your number one purpose. Then use every page to motivate people towards your purpose.Again, your website is more than a brochure. It is a member of your sales team that ‘talks’ to your potential customer. When you talk with a person in person, or on the phone, your ultimate goal is to get them to make some type of commitment. Your website should have the same goal.

Showcase your work. You’re a photographer. Showing a dozen images doesn’t show a potential client what you do. Pull your customer in by providing them with a wealth of information on your website. Clients come to you for photographs; show them photographs! Photography is one of those rare industries in which you can’t have too many graphics on your website, providing they are small files that load quickly.

Use motivating text. Are you writing to your customer in a professional manner? Does your website use the same language you use when meeting with a person face to face? Your website is your sales tool. Treat it as if it were a 24/7 sales person, and let your website do the talking for you.On the Internet, the one thing you can’t do is hide. Depending on how a person searches, every website is a potential find. Because someone from New York, or California, or even India may pull up your site, how are you talking to him or her? Instead of writing your text from your perspective, write as if you are a person in a far away country that knows nothing about your industry. Her sole purpose is to find out more information on wedding photography. Are you educating her? Are you telling her what she wants to know AND what she cares about? (Most people don’t care what type of cameras you use; they only want to know how they benefit.)
Create links to other sites. Is your site a useful resource? Think of yourself as a mini-wedding coordinator or parent advisor. Depending on the type of photography you specialize in, provide your customer useful information to go beyond just hiring your services.A wedding photographer can provide links to caterers, florists, and reception halls. A family or children’s photographer can provide links to schools, clothing and sports stores, and community events.
Tip: When you’re linking to other websites, have them link back to you as well. This boosts up your ratings in the search engines!

Get your site listed on other sites. There are hundreds of ways of getting your site listed on other websites. Linking is one of the easiest methods. But beyond linking, you may try other means.Purchase banner ads. Many sites offer paid advertising, usually at very reasonable prices.
Purchase classified advertising. Many newspapers and magazines offer a deal where you purchase an ad in their print edition, and you get a website listing for free. For example, we have a Colorado Parent magazine in our community. By purchasing an ad in the classified section, you also get a listing on the website.

Find community directories to list your services in. Larger communities have at least one directory online that makes it easy to find resources within your area. Join at least one, and always be on the lookout for others that may benefit your business.

Keep your eyes open for opportunities to advertise your website, both online and in traditional marketing methods.