Hi friends!! In last weeks For Photographers post, I mentioned that with these blog topics we were going to start from the basics because often times, the basics are the items that we look over because there are so many other wonderful things ahead of us in our business. You can read last weeks post here.
This week, I want to touch on something that I see over and over again.. Another basic necessity in having a photography business that does not receive the effort that it sometimes deserves!
Websites!! Or lack there of for that matter regarding todays post!!
I have noticed that many photographers have Facebook pages for their businesses, but not actual websites! Yes, you should have a Facebook page and be engaged on social media for your business, but Facebook is not everything!! Having a real website makes you look 100 times more professional. Anybody can take two seconds out of their life to create a business page on Facebook. When you create a website, you are more invested and you immediately seem more professional to your audience, rather than just having a Facebook page
So, seriously sit down right now and ask yourself why you don’t have a website for you business because I truly believe that you are holding your business back by not having one.
( I created my website from scratch using Squarespace. Before the Abby Hudson Photography rebrand, I was using Weebly. Next week’s topic will cover my experiences with both!! )
Now, once you purchase a domain name for your website and you begin to curate it, remember that you cant just call yourself a photographer, put some prices on there, and expect to start booking!! In order to put your best foot forward with your website, make sure that the images showcase the type of bookings that you want to be receiving!!
The number one thing that I see when websites are not having a positive impact on the business, is the image selection for the website!! You cant say “I am a portrait photographer, here is my website” and yet rather than images of portraits, its full of landscapes.
Yes, by all means, have a few landscapes if you want! Thats great, especially if you are marketing yourself as a landscape photographer or you are selling prints of your work!
However, if you are marketing yourself as a portrait photographer, landscape images are probably not going to get people excited to work with you! People want to envision their time with you, envision what their session will be like, and envision what their images will look like after working with you. With this being said, if you don’t have images of portraits on your website, its going to be really hard for your clients to envision what exactly it would be like working with you and it may be more difficult to get bookings!
Maybe your follow up to that statement is that you don’t have much work that you WANT to feature on your website… I hear you and I have a solution!!
Styled shoots! Now, I am not talking about a big shoot with florists and calligraphers and all of that prettiness.. Those shoots are fun and we can definitely dive into them one day soon!! However, for now, I am simply talking about finding someone that matches your ideal client and working with them for free.
I will be the first to admit that I am always skeptical when someone offers me something for free and whether its actually free or not, I will often times deny whatever is being offered to me so that I don’t feel like I “owe” the person. With that in mind, rather than approaching it as a free session, instead offer it as a gift!!
“I would love to work with you and gift you the images!” sounds a million times better than “Do you want a free session?”
Now, why do it for free?? Well, you’re not charging them so make sure that you are strategic in how the images turn out!! Make sure that you are keeping your business and ideal client in mind when choosing locations + outfits!! You are using this time to enhance your business’s image, so you want to make sure that you have control over how the images turn out!!
Keep in mind that a few “gifted” sessions now will then boost your bookings later by having images that appeal to your ideal client!! These sessions will easily provide you with images for your website, your potential clients will see the images, and they will be more likely to book with you!
Also, I would love to point out that the times that I have been most relaxed and I felt most creative behind the camera have been times when I did not have a paying client in from of me. In knowing that I am gifting the images I am taking at that moment, I feel more comfortable about slowing down, taking my time to think, and thinking outside the box! Those shoots have often produced some of my favorite images!!
So, I know that we touched on two different topics but both go hand in hand in starting your website + attracting your ideal client!! Websites do take dedication and depending on how much you want to customize it, it can be intimidating!! I know!! I was there once too, feeling a bit intimidated by the THOUGHT of creating a website!! After having created one as Hudson Way Photography, and then one for Abby Hudson Photography, and now updating my website on a regular basis- I am here to tell you that it is NOT as bad as it seems!!
Start putting together a few thoughts + words + images that you’d like to include in your website. Envision how you’d like your website to look.. Think of your brand + how you can create a website that matches that brand!! Having a vision before you dive into website design will make the process so much more manageable!! Next week I will be share my experiences with Weebly +S quarespace!! There are a ton of different website hosts that you can use out there so if you find one that you love, I encourage you to start building your website sooner than later!! Otherwise, take time to learn about different website hosts, what each has to offer, the price comparison between each, and then tune in next week to hear my comparison of the hosts that I have used in my business!! See you soon, friends!!