If we start a debate about what photography is, we’ll most likely come to nothing. The artists will say it’s a form of art. The activists will claim it’s a means of protest. Your mom will probably assure you it’s all about keeping memories alive. Ed Sheeran will basically agree with her. Businessmen will state it’s a way to advertise their products, and finally some photographers will tell you it’s a business!
I’m not trying to take sides here but one thing’s for sure: If you’re a photographer, it’s your job and whatever you call it, you need to make money with it. And, in order to do that, you absolutely need a photography website. It’s not just because it’s cool and all your competitors have one. Let’s go into more detail and discuss all 10 reasons why having a website is a must for you:
1. Having your own entirely customizable virtual space.
Of course, social media and such platforms as Flickr are amazing tools to get started with. They let you post your content, advertise, and get feedback from the clients. However, there is a very big However here. Your website is like your own house: you own it. That means you have control over everything there, be it designing the style and layout or picking out your signature colors and patterns.
But there is a much more important point: You own your own content! Your website belongs to you, which means your content won’t be removed out of the blue. Here you can read the community guidelines for Flickr and Facebook.
A standard platform might close down any minute sending your content, following, and a lifetime of effort to whatever circle of hell. Besides, posting your photos on Facebook, for example, grants the platform the permission to use your IP content, which compromises your authorship rights. In brief, you control every aspect of a personal website from style to layout and content, so no one can call your photos a “violation of this or that rule.”
2. Avoiding competition.
On Facebook or Instagram there is just too much competing for the client’s attention: messages from friends, hundreds of notifications and, worst of all, suggested similar pages. While the client is looking over your works, Facebook suggests taking a look at the profile of your main competitor!
In contrast, when a potential client is viewing your site, he or she is limited to your photos, and other ads or related pages won’t pop up and distract. That drastically reduces competition: since the client gets more time alone with you and your photography, the chances of him or her hiring you increase.
3. A professional portfolio/CV attracts interest and makes you look credible.
A website is the best form of an online portfolio you can offer your potential clients. Suppose one of your friends praised you and someone, impressed by the friend’s rainbow-unicorn exclamations, decided to look your website up to make sure your works really are as impressive as described. They spend a good half an hour browsing and discover that… Oh, horrors! You don’t have a website! Believe me, trust is immediately lost. In this era, it’s just suspicious for a professional photographer not to be able to afford a simple website. It’s basically the same as a businessman without a business card or a teenager without any social media accounts.
4. Make a brand of yourself.
Because people trust brands. They favor the prestige. Branding is much more than the watermark you put on your photos. To have a brand you need to develop and articulate your signature — your say, your style, odor. Your website is the best place for exhibiting your patterns, motives, and topics, in a word, the spirit of your photography. Here you can find more about what branding means and how to brand your product, in this case, photography.
5. Get the right clients and reject the wrong ones.
Your website is a shortcut to the hearts of the right clients. In your mind, you most probably have an idea of who your ideal client is. If you don’t yet, this article will help you figure it out. As soon as you picture the perfect client, you also have a sense of what they’re interested in. So, you can arrange your content in a way that’ll attract them. Include the topics they like, share or write posts and articles they might want to read. In a word do anything you can to catch their attention and show that you’re the right photographer for them.At the same time your website has the power to push the “wrong client” away. Someone looking for a fashion photographer will take a look at your website and, seeing it marked “Wedding Photography” and all your wedding picture galleries, will no longer bother you. Saves lots of time and energy.
6. Interacting with clients.
Your website is your main tool for interacting with the customers.
First of all, it’s your business card. When the client wants to know more, a link to your website is the perfect solution. Besides, your website acts as an organizer for your communication with the clients. It helps you get feedback which is important for both improving your services accordingly and for demonstrating that you care about your clients and their opinions. They’ll appreciate the latter for sure!
Finally, the website will let you “track your clients,” gather information about them. Following their interest patterns and frequencies, collecting data and statistics will be a great asset for expanding your audience. Here you’ll find detailed information on how to collect customer data ethically and use it to your advantage.
7. Making yourself visible to the clients and to the whole internet in general.
Not everything that shines is gold, but gold does need to let the world know that it’s gold. You need to showcase your talent to the rest of the world, and a website is your flag. Having a social media profile barely makes you visible to the search engines, because of many factors, such as strong competition, or the limited effect social media has on search rankings. Your own website, on the other hand, makes you recognizable for search engines. Moreover, learning the SEO principles you can highly increase your Google ranking. Here you can read on a few simple steps that will bring more traffic to your site.8. More effective social media advertising.
Even though social media isn’t the first choice for promotion, it’s still a very important tool and here, too, a website will make it easier to become more popular on social media and promote your business. Attaching your site link to your professional Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook pages will make you much more visible and connected, as anyone viewing your account will be able to check out your work and form an idea about your professional skills. That will lead to job and project offers and will generally present you under a more professional light.
9. Sell your photos.
Is there even a need for further elaboration? In the end, the main aim of a photography business is making money with your talent, right? Your website can be transformed into an online market where you can sell your photos online. There are various tools you can use to make this happen depending on the platform and website builder you choose. There are, of course, other platforms that will allow you to upload your works and put them on sale, however again, as mentioned in the first point, in that case the platform gets a part of the profit and you don’t get immediate control over the procedure. On your website you choose the rules and prices, payment means, delivery methods, and everything else that comes to mind.
10. 10Web is here to make everything that much easier!
I know that you’re too busy working and there is almost no time for building the site. We are all like that; when we’re awfully afraid of something, we cite being busy as an excuse. But my advice is not to procrastinate, because it leads nowhere. At least not to big success, that’s for sure. In the end, the sooner you start the sooner you’ll be a photographer of a higher level. So start now! If you’re confused which platform to use for your website, check this article out.
10Web is for creativity and promotion, so the community will be by your side when you need them in so many aspects. Most importantly, 10Web will offer you innovative products for making your website incredible. Here you’ll find advice on how to build your site and can learn more about some of our dream services and plugins, for example Photo Gallery plugin or the magical Image Optimizer. Meanwhile, the Customer Care team will always be there for you, when you’re facing issues. All you have to do is ask and they’ll give your case an individual approach and advise you on solving it.
No need to fear anything now! Go ahead and dive into the world of photography. And don’t forget to share with us any other reasons a website’s a must for a photography business.
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