Running a business is hard work. Whether you’ve just started or you’ve been running the race for a decade, you probably know first hand that the list of to-dos just keeps on growing. That’s why it is critical to create a system and processes that will help you succeed in running your day-to-day operations and help build long-term success. Your website should be the first thing that you give attention to. Why is this? According to Forbes writer Nicole Leinback-Reyhle, “It’s vital to position yourself online with a strong, professional destination that gives customers the impression you mean business and the motivation to want to engage more with your business.” We’re here to offer guidance and the first of a 3-part series, Website Tune-Up: Must-Haves.
Getting Started: Is your website doing its job?
- Attracting new leads (potential clients to your business) on a consistent basis
- Engaging with clients & keeping them interested in your business
- Collecting contact information (or tracking visitors) while they visit your site
- Providing information about your business and giving your audience insight into what you do, what your vision is and why they should trust you
If your website is holding you back from achieving your goals or is creating more problems than business benefits, it may be time to look at a revamp or redesign. Don’t walk away from it, think of how you can make it work for you instead. We’ll get into this later in our series.
Need a little help getting started? Download our website check-list!
The Basics: Engage, Retain & Attract
- Keeping a visitor on your site is easy if you know what their needs are. Find a way to engage, educate and keep visitors on your MUST-HAVE pages.
- Allow ways for potential customers to provide their information easily, while staying on your site, with MUST-HAVE call-to-actions
- Attract more users to your site with MUST-HAVE technological advancements
Must-Have Website Pages
- About Me (Include a photo/headshot), make it personal and relatable
- Portfolio(s): Provide your range of skills, examples of client work and diversity in your locations and focal point
- Contact Me: Easy fillable forms are great to offer simple Contact Me options. Once you have this down, you may want to create contact forms for other needs such as Media Requests, Ordering Photos, Current Clients, Future Clients, etc.
- Getting Started / What’s Next?
Do’s and Don’ts
- Avoid using phrases such as: “I LOVE LOVE LOVE…etc.”
- About Me: Include information that is relevant to YOU and your SKILLS. Create a relatable experience and voice. Don’t be afraid to be bold.
- Portfolios: Clean. Simple. Easy to browse. This should really give your audience an idea of what they can expect their end product to be, both in a breadth of photos and post-shoot editing. Make sure that you are highlighting your skills, and not spreading yourself thin across too many skill-based photography types.
Selling Your Photography & Business
- If you build it, they will come. What do we mean by this? By showing your clients what they can expect, they will respond with positive enthusiasm. If you leave them guessing, they will be filled with hopes of an outcome that you may or may not live up to. Which would you prefer?
- Show what you want to sell! Simple, right? Give your clients and potential clients a visual representation of what they can expect with you and your sessions. A great example is to give them a mock-up of their photos in a gallery view or photo book. They will better understand how their images will look, what products they may want to customize, and what to expect from their session.
- Give them tangibles. For example: on your pricing page you may want to include session page ranges, but not necessarily exact pricing. Let them know what to expect, but use pricing as a guide to drive qualified leads instead of blanket inquiries.
- Guide them in their user experience of your website. Some examples include:
- Check out my favorite family portraits here!
- Learn more about me (and my crazy story).
- Let’s chat about what you’re looking for from your session. Click to get started.
- These are all excellent examples of how you can draw your visitors to the engagement element they are most likely to react and relate to.
Connect With Me
- Connecting with clients can happen on and offline, make sure to offer them enough options to choose from that they will have no problem getting in touch.
- Email, phone, on-site messenger, social media, tweeting, snail mail, etc.
- Give them a REASON to connect, not just to schedule a session.
- Get your photos printed
- Learn more about family photography
- Read my latest blog post
- Refer a friend
- Join Newsletter (Tons of creative ways to get new emails, we’ll look into this in our next series!)
- Provide fast turn-around times for inquiries, especially new clients.
- Show your accolades! Your clients and potential clients want to feel confident that you’re their ‘go-to’ and having your awards and partnerships well represented on your website will help validate this.
- If you’re not already blogging, you’re behind. Spend 1 hour a week coming up with new blog ideas and another hour writing new content. Getting into the habit will help you make the blog more successful in promoting your business.
- Blogs are great for displaying your latest work and sessions.
- Build better rapport with potential clients by showing them a bit about yourself in your blog content and voice.
- Google responds and reflects positive search results when you build your blog using relevant, business-related content.
- More to come on blogging!
SEO & Advanced Website Settings
- Along with the suggestions we’ve mentioned above, having complete information about your business with the Must-Have pages listed, a well-developed portfolio and a variety of ways to connect, making sure your business information is accurate across other platforms is critical.
- Use a real address. Google likes this. Bing likes this. Yelp likes this. Clients like this.
- Get rid of your flash-based website, this will hurt your overall SEO and website ranking
- Here are some advanced pieces of your website you’ll want to focus on once you’ve settled into your fresh, clean, clear website.
Getting your website back on track is critical to building a successful, lead-driving business. By following the outlined action plan, tackling the MUST-HAVE updates, pages and tracking tools available, you’ll be on your way to building a book of business in no time! Still looking for more? Next week, we’re diving deeper into how to build an EFFECTIVE website with lead-driving mechanisms. Stay tuned!
Interested in learning more about business tools for your business? Check out these other blogs by Artsy Couture & the Pro’s!