If you have a half finished photography business website or, even worse, no website in progress at all then this video is for you! I’m going to outline why, if you’re serious about this business of yours succeeding, you simply must have a live website. And quickly.
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Do you know how many photographers tell me they’re working on their website? Join the club! We are all working on our websites… all the time!
That's no excuse for not having one. Are you really waiting for it to be complete and perfect before you hit that publish button? Because you know that will never happen, right?
Who are you kidding? Certainly not me. I've been there, done that and got the T-shirt. I've faffed about on a website for months and months and months before finally hitting that publish button. But all I was really doing was procrastinating and giving in to fear and resistance.
And that's what you're doing too.
As a photographer your website is monumentally important! It's not one of these things that can wait. You must have one if you want to be taken seriously, if you want to differentiate yourself, if you want to attract a specific type of client, and especially if you want to command a higher fee for your services.
It should be the first thing you do when it comes to getting you and your business out there - not languishing down at the bottom of your to-do list!
Why? Well, let me give you a few good reasons…
Can you get by with just a social media presence? It's certainly possible, especially if you're working as a photographer part-time. But if you want photography to be your full time gig and if you want to make a good living from it which increases year on year, then building your reputation solely using platforms you do not own or control is a very bad idea.
You have no control over your business’s online future. You’re completely at the mercy of platforms that could close your account for no apparent reason, change the rules at the drop of a hat or drastically restrict how you reach your audience overnight.
Not only that - they own your content and control how and where it’s displayed and for how long. Your content is your gold. When you have your own website it’s up to you how you map out that content and how you want your visitor to journey through it.
It’s also evergreen. It’s there forever for you to feature and link people to rather than being buried within minutes on someone’s crowded newsfeed.
The minute you have a website your credibility increases. A potential client looking for a photographer will view your competitors as far more professional than you if they have a website and you do not.
Have you ever looked for a business online only to find that they don't have a website? I know I have. And the minute I couldn’t find them - that trust I want to feel is diminished.
And yes, I’d rather find a basic website than no website at all. If a business owner can’t be bothered finishing something as important as their website then do I really want to trust them with my hard-earned cash?
As soon as someone lands on your Facebook or Instagram page there are a hundred other posts they can be distracted by. Posts by other businesses, posts from their friends and family, YouTube videos, funny memes - you know how it is…
They don’t have any time to get to know you and your business because no sooner have they clicked on something of yours than they’re away down the next rabbit hole.
With a website you have the opportunity to keep them there if you’re clever. There is no one else there competing for their attention. It’s just you. You OWN this space and it’s up to you to treat them to a great experience. And by the way, I have a video on how to do that!
Answer every question they might have with web pages or blog articles, tell them stories, allow them to get to know you, entertain them, educate them, serve them. Bring your ideal client closer and closer and closer with content they can reference again and again and again rather than content that gets buried within three minutes of you publishing it.
And your ‘less than ideal’ client. Your website gives you an equally great opportunity to make it very clear that you are not the right photographer for them. That’s a good thing!
If your ideal client is looking for a wedding or baby or pet photographer in your area - are you going to appear in their google search with your social media presence alone? Highly unlikely… and that’s a crazy waste. Remember, this is a very competitive industry you’re trying to succeed in.
As soon as you have a website you can begin your efforts to climb those search results. It’s not an overnight thing, believe me, so the earlier you get started the better! You can optimise your web pages and write blogs using all your keywords and phrases and when you start to see that hard work pay off you’ll be so happy you did it.
In case you missed the memo, email is still one of the very best ways to market your photography business. One great email subscriber is worth 50 social media followers. But of course that’s only true if you know how to serve your email subscribers instead of sending them boring newsletters every month.
Your website is what’s going to build your email list for you. You can offer great opt-ins such as eBooks or checklists to your ideal clients in return for their email addresses. So you can keep in touch with those who’ve been interested enough in you to visit your website and sign up for your emails.
If you haven’t heard of the Facebook pixel yet then get on it. You can install this little piece of code on your website in just a few minutes. After that you can target your Facebook posts and adverts to people who have landed on your website, or even specific pages on your website! Do you know how powerful that is?
Try it - it’s crazy effective! Instead of blindly trying to reach as many people as possible - you can simply reach out to those who you know are already interested. Amazing stuff! We have a course on how to master this nifty little pixel inside the membership!
If you’re chatting to a potentially perfect client how are you going to make sure that they can look you up quickly and easily?
Are you going to give them a business card with that long link to your Facebook page? How professional do you think that looks to them?
What if you don’t have any cards on you? Don’t you want a nice, easy to remember link to give them?
Not just you though, your past clients and your friends and family and acquaintances all need something to refer you with! Make it easy for them by making sure you have a website they can send people to and big you up!
Lastly but very importantly, your website might cost you a little money to get up and running but it will pay for itself a hundred times over if you’re clever.
Photographers with good websites tend to command a much higher fee than photographers without. This is not just because they appear far more professional and credible. They are also much better equipped to attract those dream clients who value photography by showcasing their work and service at its very best on a platform that they own and control.
So I’ve outlined why you really must have a website (and quickly) if you want to take your photography business seriously but you might still be sitting there feeling a bit overwhelmed about the task itself. I know how that feels. It’s a killer.
It would be lax of me not to mention that I’ve created a very in-depth website course that lives inside our Togs in Business Membership. In there I walk and talk you through how to create every page on your website so that your ideal client is left thinking that you are actually reading her mind. It’s a great course and it can be all yours along with all the other great courses in there for just $39 per month.
But your website is just one piece of the puzzle. If you're looking to grow your photography business and get clarity around exactly how to do that and in what order - this article on how to write the Ultimate Photography Business Plan is a great place to start!