I know I've written about this before, but I'm back to hit it one more time. In the last two weeks I've been on a few dozen sites and most of you are missing some great opportunities.. While you're welcome to argue with me, at least hear me out. Hopefully you'll realize you can be so much more effective.
First, your "About" page should be right after your gallery tab. Use your images to get a potential client interested in hiring you and then hit them with why you're a photographer. Many of you make it your last tab and some don't even bother with an "About" page.
Next, let's talk about your head shot...how about something that incorporates being a photographer for a living? Let's get rid of cheesy portraits that make you look like the employee of the month at the supermarket and go for something more environmental.
How about a few images of you working with clients, like a collage of three thumbnails? The first has you photographing a client. It's taken off your right shoulder and behind you enough to see your clients in the background...in or slightly out of focus. The next image is you working with a client looking at proofs or an album layout. The third can be a normal head shot, but get a camera in there with you. This is the most important head shot you've ever used and it deserves more than your high school yearbook!
Your head shot should help sell your services. You've got to remind people you're a photographer. Showing images of you working with clients will help plant that seed.
Next on the list, nobody cares about how you became a photographer, what awards you've won (unless it's the Pulitzer) or how many years you've been shooting. They want to know why you love being a photographer. They want to know your passionate side, not the story of your life. The challenge you have is showing you can be trusted.
Remember who your target is...women make 98% of the purchase decisions to hire a professional photographer in the portrait/social categories. Pay attention to your audience and use a few adjectives describing your love for photography. This is the time to be a romantic and share the passion you have for capturing memories, working with clients and helping them tell their story.
Keep it short. Your "About" page doesn't need to be a resume. So many of you are wasting one of the most valuable pieces of real estate on your site. You're sharing information your target audience doesn't care about. They don't want to know how you fell in love with photography when your grandfather got you your first camera! They want to know if you can be trusted to tell their story and if you see the world the way they do.
Make your "About" page an artist's statement and then sign it. Whether you use your signature or a facsimile doesn't matter. The point is it needs to be written in first person, 2-4 paragraphs tops and then personalized with your signature.
If you think about this, it's really pretty easy...just keep in mind you have two shots at getting clients to come through cyberspace and actually make contact via phone, email or even in person. It starts with showing great images and then letting them know why you love being a storyteller!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.