There’s no better way to start off a new year than cleaning and tidying one’s space. Especially when it comes to creative work, having a clean basis to work from is a great way to spark off your creativity and encourage others to engage with your work.
People often focus their efforts on their immediate surroundings and tend to forget that the space they occupy online is as important as their studios or homes. Especially online, where privacy doesn’t exist, your website is one the only reflections of yourself that potential customers can access. And, unlike real life, those same people can’t get to know you personally past that first encounter.
As a result, the image you send off with your website is extremely crucial. Ensuring that your website is the best reflection of yourself and your work is about as much power as you have on people’s perception of you online. So how can you optimise this tool and make your website the most user-friendly platform to turn visitors into customers?
1. Keep it simple
There’s often a desire, when it comes to websites, to try and grab the viewer’s attention as fast as possible with colours, flashy designs, and other tools. Contrary to what you might think, this may actually cause your website user to feel attacked and deter them from wanting to see more. To make things easier for you, why not pick a pre-made template or theme provided by your content management platform?
Once you’ve decided on the overall look of your site, pick a light-coloured background such as white or grey, to ensure that your photographs stand out. Make sure the font stays professional and readable against your background, but not aggressive to the eye with bright colours. And stick to your theme on all your website’s pages.
Remember: you’re there to promote your photography or videography, so let your work speak for itself. Don’t overwhelm your viewer with too much information when they land on your site. Simply welcome them with a carefully selected gallery of pictures. And sometimes, less is more: display only your best work, what you wish your potential customers to see.
2. Get straight to the point
The information you share on your website needs to always be accurate because any mistake could lead to a loss in customers. If your email address bounces back or your phone number contains as mistake, it could very easily discourage potential clients and definitely makes you look unprofessional.
So make sure to keep your details up to date, remain clear in your offerings, and provide all the information your users need, such as:
- What type of work do you specialise in?
- Where are you based?
- What’s the best way to get in touch with you?
These will give you some peace of mind knowing that as soon as they land on your website, your users are in the best place to get to know you and your work.
Once these details have been mentioned, you can carry on with secondary information, which isn’t necessary but could make a serious difference between you and a competitor:
- What awards you’ve won
- What projects you’re currently working on
- A biography explaining your relationship to photography
These are nice little touches, and help make you seem not just like a professional service, but like an actual human.
3. Stay organised
One of the most frustrating things when browsing a website is not knowing where to look. An easy way to prevent that is to organise your site into relevant and organised sections.
These sections provide digestible bites for your users to find exactly what they came to look for. Most content management platforms, such as WordPress (which we use at findr), Wix or Weflow offer many options to build custom menus to highlight your main areas, with sub-menus if you need to break things down a little bit more.
You just need to ensure that all your content is organised in a smart way, and don’t forget to ask yourself: where would I look for this type of info?
4. Make it interactive
This is a cheeky one, which is by no means compulsory, but could make a difference in how much users enjoy browsing your site.
Creating an interactive site helps your user remain engaged in your content, and ensure they keep clicking and wanting to see, read, and learn more about you and your work – and, hopefully, book your services.
Once again, your website provider should offer a range of options, so we recommend you look into:
- Creating interactive galleries for your different projects
- Designing pop-up sign-up forms so people consider subscribing to your newsletter
- Allowing your users to browse through the pages of magazines you contributed to
So long as it remains tasteful and timely (don’t attack your user with sign-up forms as soon as they land on your site), it could work a wonder!
5. Add a hint of self
It’s so easy to forget about your identity when you’re trying to sell professional services, and to remain professional while doing so. But having a little bit of yourself peppered around your site is a nice addition that will make you more memorable to potential customers.
It could be as simple as adding a picture of yourself in your bio or creating a logo that represents your work, which you can reuse in everything you do. You’re creating a brand based on your own creativity, so make sure the viewer can sense your true identity not only in your work, but also in the way you present it.
6. Promote yourself
This one should go without saying, but it always helps to be reminded that you should be promoting your site online as much as you can. Handing out business cards or networking is a great way to get people to know about you when you’re face to face, but it’s easier to disappear online.
Don’t be scared to add a link to your website in your Instagram bio, to create a Facebook page that links to your site, or even to promote specific pages of your site on Twitter. In the ruthless online world where the competition is endless, every little bit helps!
And you, how do you optimise your website? What advice would you give fellow photographers? Let us know in the comments!