As a photographer, what is the one thing that motivates your prospects to convert to clients? Your photographs?
It’s actually your words.
Don’t believe me?
Head out and Google random photographers’ websites. You’ll quickly find the majority of photographers online today create a site driven by their photography.
Sure they say, “welcome to my site”. And they have a bio – very small that doesn’t really say much. And they may list their services with pricing and inclusions.
But then it’s on to the gallery. And it becomes a “best of” festival, showcasing whatever the photographer deems to be representative of their finest photography. 50, 100, 200 images – they take a few best shots from each clients’ file and upload them to a gallery.
No matter how beautiful the photography, the value of it starts getting lost as people go from one site to another, and they all pretty much look the same.
And its’ not just the photography. Even the website designs begin to look the same. It’s enough to leave any potential customer confused.
Which is where your words become more important than ever. Take a look at these two examples.
In this example, all your prospect sees when visiting your site is an image. They build their opinions strictly from the image you provide.
Instead of choosing a “best of” image, you put a selection of images from a past shoot and talk about the shoot:
Brent and Amanda’s Engagement
I was so excited when I booked Brent and Amanda’s wedding. I knew right away they were going to be a fun couple to work with. They wanted something different for their engagement setting, so I started asking them what was important to them. Amanda started telling me about the picnic lunch they shared right before Brent popped the question – all down by city park. I knew then where we had to photograph their engagement.
I met them there and instant magic started happening. With a little direction, they began having fun, and the photographs turned out exquisite.
They wanted a series of images to display at their reception site, so we didn’t take the standard images – instead we had some fun. Here are a couple of my favorites.
I’m SOOOO looking forward to their wedding in October up at the Ritz!
As a prospect, the first image is nice. But there is nothing that allows you to get “inside” what the clients were feeling; what the photographer’s intentions were.
With the second, the story unfolds. Even if you don’t know “Brent and Amanda”, you feel like you do. You get this happy feeling just by reading what transpired.
So ultimately, its in your words. Which is why I always recommend blogging. With every post you make, you can get into the details of what your last shoot was. It doesn’t take a novel or hundreds of words. Just a simple story like the one I wrote above. It’s 142 words.
If you HATE writing – I have a lot of people tell me that – here is a quick way to get your story out and on to your blog.
Pick your favorite images from the shoot. Not a ton, just 2 or 3. Why do you want to share them? What makes them special? Write down on a piece of paper three reasons why these mean something to you and how they best represent your client.
Take those three points and write. If you hate writing, speak. Dragon Software has a great product that allows you to talk while it takes notes. Or if you have a Mac with the new operating system, Mountain Lion, it has a dictation program that allows you to do the same. Just let yourself go without editing or concerning yourself with your language.
Now start at the beginning and read it aloud. Things sound different when you speak them and it will help you discover hidden errors. Correct things as you go along to make it sound better.
When you’re comfortable with your message, post it with your images. Don’t overthink this. Just do it. Your first try won’t be as good as your tenth. And that’s okay. The important thing is to let people see your work and your personality.