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Don’t underestimate the importance of a website for your business. If you’re thinking at all about deprioritizing it and waiting until you’re more established, think again. Creating a website should be one of the first things you do when you open a photography business.
Think for a moment how people might find a photographer for their wedding or an event. Maybe they ask friends for a recommendation. Or maybe they just ask Google. Either way, they want to see a website with examples of the photographer’s work and a list of prices and services.
Your photography website should offer information about your business, and it should be the homebase for all your other marketing and promotions. That means you should be pointing people back to your website, and the website should help you book sessions or sell products.
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Benefits of a photography website
Need more convincing that this should be at the top of your list when you start a photography business? Here are seven benefits of a photography website:
1. You can sell your photography online.
It’s no secret that e-commerce is growing rapidly. In fact, 51 percent of U.S. consumers prefer to shop online.
While there are several ways to showcase your work through online sales platforms, usually you can only display the latest pictures you’ve taken. Additionally, you may not want to be side by side with competitors on sites like Etsy. That’s why it’s advantageous to create a website and set up an online store to sell your photography.
2. You can promote your portfolio online.
You can create a digital photography portfolio to showcase your previous work on your website. This allows prospective customers to browse through your work and get a sense of your style. Clients value accessibility when looking for a professional photographer, which makes a website essential.
3. You can use an online scheduling tool.
As you build your clientele, managing your calendar can become more difficult. Online scheduling software that works with your calendar to seamlessly schedule customer appointments can make your life a whole lot easier.
By integrating the software with your website, you can let clients book appointments whenever they are ready (as opposed to waiting for business hours for you to take a call or respond to email). Customers appreciate the flexibility and accessibility of online appointments, and it can be a key advantage in your overall customer service.
As a bonus for you, most software automatically reminds customers of their appointments, which means fewer no-shows.
4. You can collect customer information.
Your photography website can become an ideal space to request prospect information like email addresses that you can use for promotions. By collecting this information, you can engage with your customers and prospective customers. These and other email marketing efforts are great tools to stay connected with your audience and promote your photography business with reminders to either book sessions or buy your prints.
You might let people sign up for an online newsletter or subscribe to your blog so they can stay connected to your brand.
5. You can effectively advertise on social media.
If you’re investing in any paid online advertising, your website can function as the centerpiece for your campaign. You might think about investing in paid search ads or ads on social media. Facebook has a relatively simple ad platform that can help you drive a very select target audience to your website.
6. You can highlight customer feedback.
In any service-driven industry, prospective clients conduct thorough research and read a multitude of reviews before they commit to your business. If you create a website dedicated to your photography, you can display customer feedback and feature positive reviews as a way of selling your brand.
(And if you have a Yelp page or another profile on a review site, don’t forget to include your website URL there as well.)
7. You can communicate your brand.
When people look for a photographer, they are looking for someone who shares a style or aesthetic similar to their own, and that extends beyond your photos. Your website should also communicate that style, which is essentially your brand.
If you take beautiful pictures but your site is clunky or outdated, people might think twice about booking with you. But if your website looks and feels like your photos, people are more likely to give you a call. Even your site’s technical features (e.g., do you have integrated appointments, can people pay online, etc.) can give people cues as to how adept you are with editing and other technical skills.