With my website design background, I’ve occasionally helped other photographers with website critiques. It’s important to cater your website to your client base, and write effective content that will complement your photos.
And more often than not, I see a lot of text. There’s nothing wrong with the text — it might be well-written, truthful and effective. But the fact of the matter is, by telling your prospective client everything on your website, you lessen the chance of that lead turning into a customer.
Split Up Your Content
Say you’re writing your About page. You might have 2-3 paragraphs stating who you are, a listing of clients, publications, awards, services, etc. But that can all get really lengthy.
With my own website, I decided to split up my content into two pages.
An Info/Contact page contains a brief bio about me, my social media links, a photograph of myself and a short contact form. It’s enough information to give visitors an idea about who I am, what I do and my experience.
The Clients/Publications page, on the other hand, highlights some of my top clients and the publications I’ve been featured in. I hold back from listing all my clients and publication, instead choosing those that have been important to my career, and that I work with on a regular basis.
Cut Your Content
If you feel the need to write more and more and more…just stop. Your bio shouldn’t be any longer than 2-3 short paragraphs.
Think about your clients, and what content would appeal to them. If you have multiple text areas, be sure that the text is catered towards them, not you or other photographers. If it’s something that’s not important to your clients, cut it. Or if you must, include it briefly in your bio paragraphs.
You shouldn’t have to list your services on your website, or why your genre of photography is important to clients. They’re already on your website, so they already think that photography is important for their next project. And your portfolio should show the services you provide, without having to spell out the different genres of photography you offer.
If all else fails, think about whether you absolutely need the content. Is it adding anything to your website that’s not already present?
Why Not Put Everything?
But, why not just put every bit of text on your website that you want?
Simply put, a website is a sales and marketing tool. It’s not supposed to be a historical reference of all your work, nor a complete biography of who you are as a photographer. Instead, you want to focus on what will get people to pick up the phone and call you, or send you an e-mail. You want to make the sale personable to the perspective client.
By putting everything on your website, you increase the chance that the perspective client will assume certain things about you as a photographer, thus lessening the chance of getting a call, even though you’re a really great photographer.
For more on Photography Marketing, see our weekly column.