Is your photography website driving you forward or holding you back?
Imagine walking into a Gucci showroom with money to spend. A fluorescent lightbulb blinks overhead, the air smells like takeaway, and the staff bicker loudly over shift patterns. Then you see the whopper of a price tag on one of the bags. Are you running for the till or running for the door? Yeah, I don’t blame you. After all, Prada’s right across the street and their shop is lovely.
As a photographer, your website is your shop front. So let me ask you, how’s your shop looking at the moment? Is it the feather in the cap of your business that never fails to seal the deal? Or the blinking bulb that devalues your brand and sends people running?
But it is tricky, isn’t it? Because you don’t want to spend money on something that doesn’t need to be done. So how can you tell whether a new website is an unnecessary business cost, or if your current site is costing you business? Well it’s easy if you know what to look out for. So to help you decide, here’s 5 telltale signs your photography website needs some serious love.
1. You’re embarrassed to send people to it
“Having a new website is like having a new shop front and it’s made all the difference. So many more enquiries, and I love it!”
As a custom photography website designer, I know a lot of photographers! And it’s crazy how many of them are actually embarrassed by their website. It’s the only corner of the internet they have complete control over, and they hope no one sees it.
And this should be a big red flag for any business owner. Because if you don’t love your website, your clients won’t either. And however great your Instagram might be, people will always check your website before they enquire. I mean, would you spend thousands of pounds on someone and not check their website first?
Just imagine how many people could’ve fallen in love with your work on social media, only to get put off by your website and end up going with someone else. Imagine how many enquiries your website might have cost you. If the thought of this just sent shivers down your spine, it’s time for a new site.
2. You’re relying on Instagram
Instagram is a photographer’s dream platform with over a billion users. So you’d be silly not to use it. But if you’re only marketing through Instagram, you’re immediately cutting out the 6 billion people who aren’t on there. And call me old-fashioned, but ignoring 83% of the market isn’t a good strategy. So maybe it’s time to make friends with Google and widen your reach.
And of course, you don’t own your Instagram. And hinging your entire business on something you don’t control is a big risk. Imagine if Instagram went offline tomorrow, blocked your account or changed its algorithms so all your enquiries dried up. Would your business still stand with what you have on your website? If you have all your eggs in one basket, it’s time to get another basket.
3. Your photography website doesn’t justify your new price point
Over the years, your business will grow and your prices will go up. And why shouldn’t they? You’re a better photographer now, right? You’re a demon with a camera and you can spot a distressed bride at a thousand yards. And a higher skill level warrants a higher price point.
But customers don’t know all this. All they have to go on is what you show them. So does your website reflect this newfound expertise? Or does it still look like the website of the inexperienced, more affordable photographer you were all those years ago?
The power of branding is absolute. A sleek, luxury website with cohesive branding will add untold value to your brand, and subconsciously justify a higher price point to your customers. They’ll see premium, they’ll expect (and happily accept) premium prices. It’s only natural to outgrow your website. But if you’ve raised your prices and not updated your site, you might be selling Gucci bags from a ramshackle shop.
4. It doesn’t target your dream customers
“Having a custom website has massively helped me emphasise and communicate my brand to help attract the right enquiries and book awesome weddings”
When you first started out in photography, you didn’t know who your dream clients were. But after a few years, you’ve built up a really clear idea of who you want to work with (and who you don’t!) So is your photography website aimed at attracting the clients you want to work with now? Or the clients you thought you wanted to work with a few years ago?
Generic websites attract price shoppers, enquiries that don’t go anywhere and dead-end calls you wish would just end already. Your website is your chance to put your style and personality across to the world. To attract your dream clients and filter out the not-so-dream ones. If yours isn’t doing this, you’ve got one of your biggest marketing tools aiming at the wrong people.
5. Your photography website isn’t selling you as well as you sell yourself
“A website that stands out from the crowd like I do in person. People who go on it feel like they know me before they’ve even met me”
Think back to your last call with a client or couple. You were a firework display of friendliness, passion and experience, right?! Telling them all the amazing reasons they should book you in a conversation that just naturally flowed. Now how does the experience on your website compare to this?
Your website is the thing that sells you when you’re not in the room to sell yourself. It should put your wonderful, unique personality across. And every reason they should book you should be given with the same passion you’d give in person. And most importantly, it should feel like a conversation they don’t want to leave. Every point should lead smoothly onto the next, with a clarity and simplicity of flow that encourages them to keep reading.
Your website should seal the deal for you. So when you have a call with a client, they should be 90% sold already. They should feel like they know you and not care how much you cost because they know you’re perfect for them. If yours isn’t doing this for you, you’re working a lot harder than you need to.
Is a custom photography website worth the investment?
“I’ve had over 1600 unique visits to the site and I’ve made my money back in new work” – Hannah Macgregor
I’m not saying your photography website will replace Instagram. But Instagram is a little monster you have to keep feeding. Posts only have a short shelf life. And every day you have to post again, reply to comments, and create Stories. It’s a bottomless pit of time and work. Your website is an evergreen one-off investment that makes you money while you sleep.
Growing your business and strengthening your brand will always cost money. But after your equipment, a professional photography website should be your biggest investment. And I promise, it will be the best money you’ve ever spent on your business. I built a custom website for one client, and she’d made her money back in two weeks. A sleek website is a gamechanger.
If you’re looking for beautiful Showit templates for photographers, head on over to my shop. If you’re looking for a full custom photography website or a bespoke template customisation, please get in touch today and let’s have a chat about how I can help. Whatever your budget, whatever your vision, let’s work together to create a website worthy of your brand.