Photography marketing essentials: who’s your web site for?

In my photography marketing consulting business, one of the first things I do when I work with a client is to review their web presence. When a photographer doesn’t fully understand the wants and needs of the present-day image buyer, their site usually reflects what makes the photographer happy vs. one that will makes the buyer happy.

When I see one of these kinds of sites and have to tell the photographer that to increase business they’ll need a new web site or major re-design, one of the first things they think –if they don’t come right out and say it– is “What’s that going to cost me?”

Of course, in this economy, that’s a question that lives in everyone’s mind. But that should not be the FIRST question that comes to mind when thinking about reaching more clients via your web site.

“What’s the business objective of my web site?” has to be answered before you start pricing any solution. As visual artists we’re primarily drawn to the play of light, shadow, color and contrast as they often serve as the basis of our sheer delight. We’re also easily distracted by bright, shiny, and pretty things.

A marketing trap that one can fall into is to simply emulate the web design of a photographer whose photos and web site we admire. Award-winning web sites with lots of stunning visuals suck us right in and lead us to ‘be inspired” (i.e., copy them) when creating our own site; often there’s  little if no attention paid to asking if the design is resonant with our own branding and the needs of the people we want to attract. Read more