Before taking my business full-time, I was a frontend web designer for a local company. My job was to design websites for corporate clients. I focused on creating great user experiences for every potential customer who landed on their page. And a big part of that was strategically designing each website so that it reflected the company’s professionalism and converted users into paying customers.
Through my job, I discovered basic elements necessary to creating user experiences that converted. And as service-based businesses, these user experiences directly relate to our client experiences!
In my first 3 years of capturing weddings, I convinced myself that I was doing everything I could to bring in clients. I believed that by word-of-mouth, I would find success over time.
I know that there are multiple ways to build a successful business, and that this path might work if I’m lucky. But it wouldn’t work well. At the end of 2016, I was exhausted from juggling my photography clients and my design clients, and I felt overwhelmed.
I’m sure you can relate: I had the itch to do photography full time! I didn’t want to work for someone else. I wanted to be my own boss and make my own schedule.
So at the beginning of 2017, I made a change. Instead of moping and drowning, I decided to connect the dots. I began applying the same strategies I applied for my corporate clients to my website. In the 6 weeks following, I booked 11 weddings!
I’ve seen many photography websites that look the same. Each of them have these three elements: navigation across the top, a logo in the center, and a photo or slideshow. My first website looked just like that!
I wanted to stand out! I wanted to create an experience for my couples they’d always remember, and I understood that their experience with me began at my front door: my website.
By beginning your client experience with a beautiful, professional and well-curated website, you’re showing potential clients how valuable your service is. You give a great first impression and set the pace for an experience that your clients will be proud to show off later.
Donald Miller of the Story Brand Podcast (look it up, it’s amazing!) challenges your website to pass the “grunt” test.
Asking the question – if a caveman came to your website site, would he be able to say:
If your website doesn’t say who we are, what we do OR tell the user where they need to go. I’m sure the user could guess that you’re a photographer, but what makes you different from the other thousands of photographers in your area?
Clarify what you do and who you do it for. On my homepage “Joyful and romantic wedding photography for couples who love timeless imagery with heart behind it” is front and center. I want potential couples to find a connection with the words I use to describe my style.
It may be easy to forget that not everyone knows your style and values as a wedding photographer – it’s all we think about! But sometimes the user needs a clear, definitive statement that tells them that you would be a perfect fit for their problem.
A Call to Action is a command to the user to act immediately, usually using an imperative verb like “Book Now” or “Get Started.” The top right corner of your website is the best real estate to place a call to action, and making this button a different color that stands out will immediately attract the user’s eye and focus.
Don’t be afraid to add these throughout your website. Not every call to action must lead to contacting or booking you! Calls to action can also keep your potential clients moving through your website and getting to know you more. My favorite call to action on my website is for them to get to know me!
What better way to add credibility to your service than to show glowing reviews from past clients? By showing potential clients that you’ve received raving reviews, you’re showing that you’re trustworthy, provide great service and are worth the investment. And if you’re wondering how to receive better testimonials, you can find a whole other blog post on that here!
I truly believe that making these simple changes to your site will give your business a boost online. However, if you want to dig in further, grab my FREE download 6 Tactics to Book More Weddings!
If you have any questions about your website or your photography business, please don’t hesitate to ask! I’m a short email away, and I love helping others achieve their goals — It’s part of why I also adore branding with Creative Entrepreneurs for photos of them doing work and what they love.