Turn Web Visitors Into Clients

Please join us in welcoming back Zach Prez, author of 7 ebooks and the tremendous resource, Photography Web Marketing Guide.  Be sure to check out his website and like his Facebook page to stay current on some of the best advice for your photography business. In addition to his ebooks, Zach offers a range of services from free advice to personal coaching to help you improve (or begin) your marketing efforts and reach new clients.

Turn Web Visitors Into Clients
Would you rather have a hundred people visit your website without making a purchase or one person visit your site and hire you? The only visitors I track are the ones who hire me and all my marketing activities try to increase that number. A traffic generating website cannot stand alone, it needs to turn the visitor into an action taker. This post outlines three Ps potential clients seek before making a purchase decision. Make sure these are extremely visible in order to drive clients to pick up the phone and contact you.

Professional Photos (no surprise)
People visiting your website need to see wonderful photos before they’ll book a session. You already know that. You may not know how difficult you’re making it to get potential clients to the right photos.

I’ll demonstrate with an example. Pretend you’re renting space at an event and will hand out a flier promoting your photography. You can show a handful of photos on that flier, say three to seven. I suspect you’ll pick out a variety of your best work and show all of them on the front of the flier so everyone can see your stuff and make a purchase decision in less than ten seconds.

Now, I want you to go to your website and time how long it takes to see those very same photos you would have put on the flier.

How many clicks does it take the user to get to the handful of images you really want them to see?

Most photographers use two or three photos on a splash page, forcing users into a Flash gallery and wait through minutes of slideshow to see everything (and exclude iPhone users in the process). Most photographers show their most recent project first on their blog, instead of showing your most important post up front. Remember to show a variety of styles across many sessions, giving you more chances that one of them will resonate.

Personality
It’s human nature to want to buy from people who are similar to us. Just look at your hair stylist… I bet they are either like you, or like the person you want to be.

In a service based business the person you hire is sometimes even more important than the quality of the work.

Consumers want people they respect and like to be around. Your website is the perfect place to sell yourself.
Photographers should show themselves on their website to establish a connection with the viewer. If you represent yourself as a fun or unique person, then you’ll attract people who want to work with a fun or unique photographer. If someone reads you’re a parent of twins, then a mother of twins is probably more likely to hire you for their family photos. So the more personal you get the more chances you have to connect with people.

That goes for social media too, especially on Facebook. It’s hard for consumers to develop a relationship with a business, but they’ll instantly feel your pain (and comment) when you post about a sick child. Personal posts can be more engaging. In fact, the most comments I ever received on my business page was in response to a post I made about reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I found it funny that I work so hard to come up with great marketing ideas for photographers when all people want to talk about is pop culture. But hey, that makes it easier for me to think of stuff to post.

Make sure your headshot is clearly shown on your homepage, about page, and any other pages where people are likely to hire you. Here’s an example from my family photographer (check out the footer).

See another awesome example from Jenn Brindley at the top of her blog. The photo and style of writing tell us a lot about her. Love it!

 

Proof
JC Penny pays Ellen DeGeneres lots of money to be a spokesperson for their brand. It’s because people trust Ellen. They’ll shop there just because they trust her, or like her. Your clients think the same way.

Visitors need social proof to have confidence that you are experienced and respected.

Testimonials, reviews, and awards showcased on your website help potential clients trust that you are a good choice for them. They will take on the mentality “Other people like her, I will too.” The best place you can get reviews is on Google Places. It can help you rank better in Google map listings, and you can just cut and paste the testimonials onto your site.

One note: don’t link to photography association websites or review websites to show your proof. Visitors only need a small visual cue to establish trust (link not needed), and linking out will send them away from you and toward hundreds of other photographers.

The trick is to put social proof on more pages than you think are necessary. If the person came to your site directly from Facebook, they may not have skipped your homepage, or not noticed a testimonials page. So place that baby smack at the end of your blog post so when people finish seeing the photos they’re enticed to hire you.

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Zach Prez is a dad and social cyclist who loves to talk marketing over a cup of Lipton tea. He contributes to dozens of photography business sites and wrote Photography Web Marketing Guide to help photographers get more clients with photography websites. At only $29, you’re going to make your money back with your first booking.

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