In 1956 an American computer scientist, Werner Buchholz coined the word "bytes". In trying to define what I want to do with this new series, "marketing bytes" is the perfect description. Along with other writers and educators in our industry we want to give you short concise concepts you can work on to build a stronger business in photography.
When people come to your site are they walking through Nordstroms where everything is easy to find and nicely displayed or is your site the equivalent of Macy's the day after Christmas? Your website needs to be an experience and needs to have a look and feel that connects with the "shopper". Here are some thoughts to consider as you go through your site:
- Make your site easy to navigate! Don't bury important information where people can't find it.
- Show things in logical order. Hook your client on your images first, then "about" section and then information and how to contact you.
- Don't overload them on images - this has already been covered in the Marketing Byte about your galleries.
- Be consistent in the look and feel of your site and your blog - even though they serve two different purposes, you still need continuity in the design and feel of both.
- Let your site show your personality.
- Don't bury clients in policies that might scare them away. The time to discuss your policy on a deposit, for example, is in the contract discussion. It doesn't belong on your website.
- Stay away from hard to read artsy-fartsy fonts.
- Reverse type is fine, but if it's a page you hope your client will download and print, then just make it black type on a white background. The average client has a $79 printer at best and trying to print an all black page with white type is going to leave them with nothing more than a soggy sheet of paper!
- Where you do have text, keep it short and proof-read everything you put on your site. Plus, read it out loud several times and have a friend or family member check it over as well. Ask them to tell you what you just wrote, to make sure it's being understood.
- Not everybody agrees with me on this one - I don't think photographers should show their prices. I like having a statement like, "Wedding coverage starting at ___________," or "Portrait sessions starting at ______________," but just listing your prices doesn't begin to give you a chance to sell yourself and what makes you the best choice.
As you look over your site just remember - your website is about the products and services you sell, while your blog is about your heart and lets you show your personality. Having them both showing the right appeal and having effective content is what creates two of the original Internet marketing words, "sticky pages". Your goal is to create a site so "sticky" that people don't want to leave it, but do want to share it with all their friends.
“Give them quality. That’s the best kind of advertising” Milton Hershey
Illustration Credit: © Welf Aaron - Fotolia.com