As a photographer, you spend countless hours updating your website, blogging, and adding photos online. All that activity shows potential clients you do great work, but does not answer all the questions necessary to get them to hire you. While customers think about your awesome photos they may have unanswered questions preventing them from booking you right then and there. Don’t miss these four essential pages that move customers from consideration to purchase.
An illustrated example: window shopping downtown I see a beautiful dress (for my wife of course) in the window that I just love. I can’t quite see the price tag, and assuming it is too expensive, I don’t go in the store to have a closer look. They lost a sale. Leading me to the first must have webpage: Pricing.
1. Pricing Page
Let’s being with the most controversial page – pricing. Many think public pricing turns away people who think you’re too expensive. I think it attracts those who can afford you.
As a customer, it’s the first thing I want to know and I become frustrated when I can’t find it. If left to my own assumptions I will probably not contact you since I’m uncertain about the cost. I see myself in the same situation at the grocery store – I tend to pass over items not labeled with a price because I don’t want to get stuck with something too expensive.
Packages work well for helping the user choose quickly without getting confused. I like how the Hope and Memory pricing page lists easy to skim packages and cool package names. Customers can get a sense for their options in a matter of seconds.
Helpful hint – call your page Pricing and not Investment (people don’t know what that means).
2. About Page
We’re in a service industry. Nobody wants to hire someone they don’t know, don’t trust, or don’t like. Take one look at your hair stylist and you’ll understand what I mean.
Before someone hires you, they want to know who you are. That’s why my About page is one of the most visited pages on my site. The good news is that people who see your About page are seriously checking you out. They loved your photos and now want to know more about you. Time to “sell yourself.”
The Liz Bradley About Page is one of the most clever I’ve seen. It dives way beyond a headshot and into personality. The page engages with her audience and makes them want to see more. I spent a full 5 minutes on the page laughing at all the interests we had in common like DVDs and grocery shopping. Through these interests I see how similar we are and it makes me trust her. People like to hire people they trust.
Helpful hint – to build this online relationship of trust and likeability you have to show yourself! It amazes me how many photographers don’t use a headshot on their site… anywhere. A headshot immediately puts a face to your name and your brand and will increase the likelihood of a sale. My headshot is more recognized than my logo and is used on every page of my website, as well as in Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Photographers instantly recognize me at in-person events after remembering my image online. You want the same personal branding for your business.
The more personality you show, the more clients will respond. People don’t say to me “I saw in your bio that you do SEO. That’s awesome.” They say “I’m a dad like you, I coach soccer too, or what did you think of the Tour de France this year?” A seemingly unimportant bio may be your single biggest selling point.
3. Testimonials Page
Photography is largely a word of mouth business and you can harness this with your website by getting your clients to sell for you. A testimonials page of quotes from satisfied customers carries more weight than your own words and tells people you’re trusted and do great work. The testimonials page at J Nicole Studio integrates photos with quotes and cities very well. Doesn’t it look like a magazine? It makes me want to spend time on the page and the longer I read, the more connected I feel to her.
Every time someone praises me on Twitter, I favorite the post and stream it into a Twitter widget on my testimonials page. Now this information lives in two spots and is more likely to be seen. I recommend you do the same using a Google Places page. Positive testimonials on Google can help you rank higher (while Yelp cannot) and you can cope and paste these onto your site.
4. Contact Page
I’m sure you have something where users can contact you, but how effective is it?
I like this sample contact page from Liz Bradley which is personal and engaging. Above the form she lists how to get in touch with her giving people direct links to her email and social media accounts. Not everyone wants to complete a form (or can’t) so listing that information next to the form is a good idea.
She also uses only the most essential fields in the form: name, email, message. The more fields in a form, the less likely a user will submit. Don’t ask for event date because some people won’t know it, and you’ll probably ask them in follow up anyway. Don’t ask how they heard about you. Just the bare bones.
Helpful hint – show contact information on other pages of a site to help a Google Places profile. A phone number and physical address are great to include on a homepage or sitewide footer.
One More Important Thing
Check Google Analytics website metrics and see that people don’t spend much time on websites anymore. Most customers visit less than 5 pages and spend about 3 minutes on a photography site. That means we can no longer rely on potential clients to click through all the links in our website’s top navigation to gather all the necessary information to make a purchase decision.
A website is a marketing tool, much like renting a booth at a wedding expo. If you’ve ever rented booth space you know how difficult it can be to get sales from it, and therefore put ALL important information on your event fliers (pricing, about you, testimonials, and contact info) and perhaps have a special offer or giveaway as an incentive to signup.
Less people are coming through your website homepage. They’re coming directly into an image shared on Facebook, a gallery page you sent via email, or a blog post through a search engine. And they don’t take the time to stay long and browse around. So every page of your site needs to represent the 4 topics shown above.
Test yourself. Navigate to your most important blog post. Let’s assume this was the first page a potential client visited on your site. Does this post showcase who you are with a headshot? Does it have a testimonial? Pricing information? Contact information? How long does it take you to find the answers to those 4 questions? The answer is “too long” and you should showcase that information right at the end of the page or post. Something simple and basic will do, just seize the opportunity right at the end of your content (where readers would usually click back to Facebook/email/Google) to get the sale.
If you liked this post, you should read a post by my friend Jenika: Does Your Website Have These Three Client-Pleasing Essentials?