If your website isn’t producing enough enquiries the problem isn’t your photography.
It isn’t even your prices.
The problem is you’re not communicating clearly or quickly enough what you offer, in a way that makes visitors understand why they simply must stick around to find out more.
A first time visitor to your website is going to give it a few seconds at most before they decide whether to keep exploring or move on to a competitor.
What your visitor experiences in those first few seconds will determine whether your website generates the number of enquiries you need.
What is it costing you to have a photography website that doesn’t get any kind of a response?
If your website isn’t producing enough enquiries then you’ve probably got a disconnect and you need to fix it.
You need to create a strong connection with your potential client when they arrive on your homepage.
Within the first 5 seconds visitors should be able to easily understand:
1. What it is that you do
2. What they will get out of using your services
3. What they should do next
In this article, I’m going to explain how you can create an immediate, compelling connection with visitors to your photography website, by including 3 simple things in the header area of your homepage.
The header is the top section of the page and is what your visitors will see immediately, without needing to scroll down.
To demonstrate these things, and to help you get inspired, I’ve also created two examples of photography homepages.
Note: I did this because I struggled to find real-life examples of photographer’s websites that were doing this well. Which just goes to show what a jump on the competition you’ll have if you put these tips into action on your own page!
Let’s get started…
1. An easy to understand headline
Your headline should clearly communicate the message of your brand: what you offer and what it has to do with the client.
It might be your website but it’s not about you, it’s about your client.
You have mere seconds to capture a visitor’s attention and you won’t do it if you’re talking about yourself.
You need to instantly show what’s in it for your clients – the problem you’re going to solve for them.
This is what will make people want to stay on your site longer – to learn more, reach out and book you.
It also needs to be easy to understand.
This means using clear language that your clients would use themselves.
Avoid jargon and don’t try to be overly clever, cute or wordy.
Distil what you do and who you do it for into just one short headline. Perhaps with a subheadline to expand a little more.
Do not rely on your images to convey your message to potential clients
It is simply expecting too much of your images to try and communicate all that a headline can do so easily in just one or two lines.
Use your headline to highlight specific promises: the results you’re going to give your clients.
Speak to the external, surface level problem you solve (e.g. family photos) and also the deeper, more powerful, internal problem you solve for them too (an excuse to spend quality time together as a family, and a chance to be reminded of that happy time whenever they look at their portraits).
In the example above I used the sub-headline to demonstrate social proof.
Using a testimonial as part of your headline helps your potential photography clients know you’ll solve both their external and internal problems.
By using your past clients who’ve experienced what you have to offer, to vouch for you, it also shows people they can trust you.
2. An image that visually displays the results the potential client will experience if they work with you
Don’t be tempted to use a slideshow of your favourite/best images in the header of your website.
Your photography is your product, and the place to show off the bulk of your work is on your portfolio page.
Instead choose a single, powerful image, that highlights the people you serve, what you do for them, and tells a story of what their life will look like if they use your photography services and purchase your products.
3. A strong and obvious call to action
It doesn’t matter how visually stunning your website and images are, or how much valuable information you include on your pages and blog, if you don’t include an obvious and easy way for them to get in touch, you’ll lose business.
Having a contact link within your navigation menu is not enough.
You need to make it clear what the next step you want visitors to take is.
The obvious main call to action for most photographers website’s should be to schedule an appointment.
Create a button or link that clearly and simply states this call to action, and make it the main focus of your homepage.
Ideally, make the button or text link a bright colour and place it in the top right of every page on your site, so visitors don’t have to search hard to find it.
It’s important to recognise that most first time visitors to your photography website will not be ready to book or even schedule a consultation.
So have a secondary call to action that gives you a chance to turn what might otherwise be one-time site visitors into long term relationships.
To do this you need to offer them a client magnet – some free, valuable content that will help establish your authority and build trust. A free PDF download, video, or even opportunity to enter a contest will work.
In the family photography homepage example above, I included a secondary call to action ‘Plan Your Photo Shoot’ for those not quite ready to click on ‘Schedule A Chat’.
When a visitor clicks on that button a pop-up appears giving them the opportunity to receive a free Family Photo Shoot Planning Guide, in exchange for their name and email address.
When you focus in on your copy, transformational image and social proof you’ll find people will stick around longer on your website because you’ve grabbed their attention.
You can then capitalize on this with a strong offer for free content that will help you to continue to nurture the relationship with your potential client over email.
I hope this blog post has inspired you to take a fresh look at your photography website and make some tweaks to your homepage.
Leave me a comment below to let me know what changes you’re planning to make.
Now that you know the 3 things your photography website’s homepage must do to grab a visitor’s attention and get them to take action…
I’ve created a detailed, FREE cheat sheet to help you make your website as effective as possible at turning curious visitors into happy paying clients.
My wish is to help you sidestep some of the common mistakes that photographers don’t even realise they’re making on their websites, because they’re focusing on the wrong elements and missing out the important stuff. I’ve compiled a list of 7 of these mistakes and how to avoid them. Click here to get my cheat sheet.