If you’ve noticed that your blog posts have all started to sound like the same, boring, obligatory nonsense and your “About Me” page doesn’t really feel like it’s about you at all, you may have come down with the sickness that plagues so many photographers. If your homepage looks like you haven’t changed a thing since you installed the template and your headshots look like stock photos, you may be suffering from a nasty case of Imitation-itis.
And I get it. I’ve been there, too. When you’re launching into the great unknown of Solopreneurship, it’s SO tempting to follow every successful person in your field and do as they do. I mean, if they’ve got 1.9 million followers, they’ve got to be doing things the best way, right?
If only it were so simple. The reason people like Jenna Kutcher and Rachel Hollis became big-time brands isn’t that they discovered the only way to do the thing and be successful. It’s because they let their personalities lead the way. They filled every nook and cranny of their business with their unique personalities, and it drew people in.
If you want to be a successful photographer, the answer isn’t to become a copycat. It’s to become, like, a weird little narwhal. To touch the hearts of your clients, you first have to show them yours, and here are five places you can do that on your website today!
1. YOUR HOMEPAGE
Yes! That very first place people see when your SEO is knocking it out of the park, and a new potential client found you using Google: your homepage. When a new visitor arrives, do they have to go on a deep dive to get an idea of the soul behind the gorgeous images you produce? Or is it right there for them to see before they even have to scroll?
Drop everything right now and make sure that your name, your face and what you’re all about is on the homepage of your website! Add a mini bio blurb or a creative mission statement (emphasis on CREATIVE) to give your site a cozy feel. And lose those overly professional words that you’d never even think to use in daily conversation. Speak like yourself! It will sound so much more authentic.
2. YOUR HEADSHOTS
Are all your headshots and branding images showing you smiling next to a tree, wearing a bland white shirt and holding a camera? Or maybe grasping a mug and laughing on a couch, because OMG lady bosses be drinking coffee! Those images are fine…but your photography is SO much better than fine, so your headshots should be, too.
What makes you unique? What do you do when you’re not working? What hobbies bring you to life? Share them in your images! This is an invaluable way to build a connection between you and potential client instantaneously. “No way! She loves the same things I do!”
And odds are if you are doing something you love — or in an environment that brings you joy — it’s going to show in your headshots.
3. YOUR BIO
Not to burst any bubbles, but just about every photographer describes themselves as “a storyteller with a passion for photography.” Um…yeah. We get that.
Tell us something new! Was your grandma a prolific photographer who gave you your first camera? Did you study astrophysics then discover your true love for photography? Did you have three kids and realize that your love for photographing them had become so much more? Share your heart.
We know you love photography, but why? It’s that “why” that is going to draw people to you. Just pretend you’re sitting down with a client at a coffee shop for the first time. What would you tell them? What would make their eyes light up?
And if you’re struggling to turn what you would say into the written word, grab your phone and record yourself telling your story. Then, play it back and write down what you said.
4. YOUR BLOG POSTS
“The bride was gorgeous. The groom was happy. The dress was gorgeous, and the day was fun.”
Let’s make a promise between friends starting now and ending never that there will never be any more blog posts like these, okay? First of all, lose the words happy and gorgeous, and try these words on for size instead. Second of all, could we liven things up a little bit, please?
The purpose of a photographer’s blog is to give us a peep behind the scenes of a wedding, engagement session or photoshoot. What aren’t the pictures showing us? What significance lies behind what we are seeing? What did you do and how did you feel? Maybe you can even teach us something new along the way!
Pretend you’re telling a friend about the photoshoot you want to blog. What would you share? What emotion-filled words would you use? How was your view of the day different from anyone else’s?
5. YOUR CONTACT PAGE
This is it! This is the place you are driving all of your clients-to-be! This is where you close the sale! This is your last chance to give your clients-to-be a glimpse into the heart behind the business, so make it count.
Reject formulaic language and replace it with something more YOU. Rather than saying “please complete the form,” say “tell me about yourself.” Instead of saying “submit form,” say “holla at ya girl” or “drop me a line.” Go with wording that feels authentic and welcoming, yet still clear, and you can’t go wrong!