Photographers need a website. It is one of the most powerful tools you have to connect with your audience. Every photographer can have one, it is not something that it difficult or expensive to set up.
Sometimes your website will be the way people first discover you, so it’s your chance to make an excellent first impression and to convince them to work with you. At other times people will look up your website after finding out about you elsewhere and they will use it to decide whether they like you.
So, what are the 5 essential elements of a good photographer’s website?
1. The 3 Second Rule
A complete stranger should know that you can help them within 3 seconds of landing on your website. Attention spans are short, so if the benefit you offer is not immediately obvious your potential customer is likely to leave your website to check their phone, surf the web or make some tea.
If your message is confused people will lose interest. In no uncertain terms, your website should immediately convey what you do and how you help clients.
Here are some examples:
“Creates Stand Out Wall Art With Her Landscape Photography Of The Lake District”
“Helps People Get Jobs By Taking Brilliant Headshots”
“Documents Weddings So You Have Memories That Last A Lifetime”
You can say this in a few words demonstrate it with some standout images.
Make sure you get your message across in the top section of your home page, so it is obvious without having to scroll down the page or click any links.
2. Obvious Calls To Action
What do you want people to do before they leave your website? Do you want them to buy your artwork, send you an enquiry, book you for a shoot, sign up to your email list or follow you on social media?
Calls to action are super important. Things like Buy A Print, Contact Me, Check Availability are all strong calls to action and should be prominently displayed on your website to encourage people to take the actions you want them to take.
You may want to push people to directly contact you or buy something, or there may be a step they should take which progresses them closer to working with you such as seeing the print in their home, or booking a consultation. Think about the steps you want people to take on their journey to becoming your client.
Obvisouly, you need people to see your images. The images on your website should make it clear that clients will have the success they are looking for after working with you. You should show examples of your work created on past assignments, and if you’re selling prints you should help people envisage how your photos would look in their home.
Your images need to show that customers get what they need by working with you.
Lots of good images show you have a wide range of experience and can be trusted as a photographer.
Think beyond your photos and consider how you can show where your images have been used. That could be by showing a picture of your print on a wall, or your image used in a book or on a website. These additional images help your client see how your photography will help them.
4. What You Offer
Let people know about what you do, the services you offer or how they can buy your artwork. This could include pricing.
Keep this quite short and very easy to understand, it should be easy to get across in a few words.
5. Your Brand
Throughout your website you should be emphasising your brand. Your brand is basically the reasons why people can trust you to get their job done, and the ways you connect with your customers.
Don’t just use the ‘about me’ section for this, emphasise it on every page, in every word and with every image you display.
Your should demonstrate that people can have confidence in what you do by showing the breath and depth of your high quality images, the glowing testimonials and the blog posts you have written that show you are a knowledgeable and helpful member of the community. Your awards, exhibitions, publications and notable clients should be mentioned.
Equally you should show that you can connect with your client. What type of person are you, what are your values, how do yo have empathy with your clients?
Don’t stuff all of this on the ‘about me’ page. You can put testimonials on every page for example.
At a high level, that is how you should think about your website, even before you start thinking about SEO, blogging and all the rest of it.
Andrew is a professional photographer and the founder of the 36exp Photographers School plus the London Photo Show.