What makes you buy from a company? You can probably think of a variety of reasons you shop with the companies you do. Yet if you look at all of them together to find a common thread, chances are you’ll come up with the term “trust”. You would never invest your time or your money in a company you didn’t trust first.
As a photographer, many of your connections will come from your online presence. Your prospects may see your work for the very first time online; their friends and family may order photographs from you without ever stepping foot in your office.
Trust can be earned in a variety of ways. Yet here are the easiest and most effective ways to get started today.
1. Be clear and concise
When I was in college, a teacher had us write up a step-by-step blueprint to help an “alien” start a car. The “alien” would be someone not from this planet, someone that had no idea what a car was or how it worked. Then she read some of them aloud.
Those instructions were amazing. Some people would say things like “put key in and turn”. What is a key? And where does it go? It taught me a valuable lesson: never assume the person reading your information knows what you know. Don’t leave anything out.
Your site is designed to provide information, and without knowing who might be reading it, the more information the better. I’ve chatted with people who want to include a paragraph or two on every page they create, leaving them to view images instead. But if you don’t explain what you want or what they should do next, they really may overlook it.
Never brag about your own products and services – let others do it for you. In today’s world, you can get testimonials in a variety of ways – in person, in video, email, Facebook and Twitter. Combine a quote with a photograph, a name, a company, a web address, or some other identifying information. The more the better.
Also, make the testimonial match your content rather than putting them all on one page. If someone is reading about wedding photography, a testimonial from a recent bride is the perfect addition to that page.
3. Verification signs
Anyone can put up a “Voted Best Photographer 2010” banner. What matters is where its from and how it connects to you. Don’t just add erroneous banners; link them to showcase what the award means. Also add in other signs you are a legitimate business – security, credit card acceptance, VeriSign and more.
Photographers love showcasing their work – yet have a much harder time showcasing themselves. On your about us page and sprinkled through your site, show people how you work by using photographs of you. Whether you hire a professional, use an assistant, or trade services with another professional, its just as important and easy for you to have great photographs as it is for other business owners. [Read more...]