Your Website


Marketing for Photographers


Lesson Info

Your Website

The following presentations of following presentation has been approved for photographers who haven't spent enough time really thinking about their websites rated though or dough I mean homer simpson does it a lot better can a body do it better than I I mean uh don't don't don't can actually does incorporates that go ahead can actually incorporates that her regular vocabulary so she doesn't really go ahead and don't so ok, so we're gonna talk about your website we're going talk about planning every know what it is it's the battery for my first cell phone ok, now I got admit when I got this I was hot I'm walking around the new york show I've got it had an intent in here that I lost over the years it obviously had the cradle went here and then there was a an interior peace then went into my car, which I forgot to pull out when I traded in the car at the time but by that point we were already into big, ugly flip phones. Now this makes a really good point there are a whole bunch of you wat...

ching and listening now that doesn't look good I mean I think it's we could bring this back I mean come on who's got who's got I'm embarrassed, I'm not going to show my blackberry because I always get picked on ok, there it is with virtually no memory, I might have been able to dial ten numbers or I had some repeat dialing, no information and I'm walking around is president has the bladder I got a suit on, I got the antenna would come up here and bounce around right about here people would see me, other vendors, other exhibitors it's like, can I borrow your phone? You've got one of those now. The point is that if you're not updating your website, if you're not keeping on top of technology, if you're not paying attention to your images to changes in technology to things that you ought to be doing to get the reach out, then you might as well be just his dumb as I am, if I actually went out and tried to make this thing work again, it's a cell phone it's so outdated it's so ridiculous and what's funny is that it doesn't mean it's not that long ago. This is, um I'm trying to think I probably got this in probably around eighty nine or ninety as my first phone, and it was cool. Now the one thing that it did do, I never lost call, which it was phenomenal, and when this thing was in my car and it was hard wired in the car, I never lost a call where now we've all just gotten used to it um, I keep I keep looking for my my group of you know, from horizon the guy with a little with the jacket in the three hundred people on my team behind me every time you lose a call, then never there. So you've got a choice to make when it comes to your website just keep doing things the way you've always done on, then leave those images up there and don't update it and saddle yourself with this phone again remember, this is on ly this was only the battery, what actually was the whole thing, but I mean, why would you even want to do that? So you got to stay on top of it still makes the great it makes a great prop, so we're going to talk about websites were actually going to do it in two parts were going to part of it today and we're going to do another part the rest of it tomorrow and we're also going to tie in matthew jordan smith at the end of tomorrow a t end of the website section tomorrow and go into things that he went through on building his new site because you have to be involved so let's move into websites your website it's so critical and this is also where, thanks to u five brave souls, we're going to show some pages from your website not to pick on anybody because you're in such good company, you're in, you're in company with a million other photographers out there who are doing some of the same thing. So when we do get something that you really could work on to make it better it's just to make it better, so hopefully you won't be upset with me when I, uh, great quote, today's information age of marketing a web two point oh, a company's website is the key to their entire business. Think about that's from market share it and who's, author of the sales lion blawg and he's, a marketing speaker has done some great things and really understands a huge part of what's going on with technology and websites. This is your store front. This is this is your business, and the reality is, and this is what makes me crazy here. If this was your studio of your dreams or your house of your dreams, you'd pay attention to every single detail. Not only that, but when you were building it, you'd be there. In fact, if any of you ever built had a house built or anything from scratch, I remember going through I got a couple of nods couple of knows I remember going through this with my parents when I was a kid and they were building a new house and every day one of them swung by the property in the morning and one son by the property at night and every night we'd sit down and my dad would scream that the guy put the shower nozzles that the wrong hat height and my mother would scream that the door opens the wrong way to whatever room in the house it wass because they paid attention to every detail this was their dream and I also remember one saying to my dad I hope someday I could I can build ah house like you guys did and he laughed and said don't ever do it again you're too young to die because of all that detail and the reality is that if we were doing if you're building your own new studio you'd literally be looking at everything the ceiling height the floors do you want to call base wall you're gonna have a shooting room you'd have equipment room do you want have a kitchen do you want to have a dressing room that handles x number of clients if you doing ah bridal session what's the what's the kitchen going to be like what's the texture of the walls where you going to put the windows? I want certain kinds of exposure in certain rooms where I'm going to be shooting I want a certain amount of window light you would pay attention to every single detail and you'd also pay attention the timing I want it done by what's today, june first. I want to move into that house by july one and it better be ready or you're not going to get paid. And you be sitting there slamming your fist with with the contractors and making sure that you dream was going to come through. You might even be moving out of another location that you were going to have to give up and you've got you've got the movers coming in to pick you up. You're renting a place down the street to your house is ready. Your landlord wants to three out because he's got another client and your houses and done, and what happens is you be building the house of your dreams or the studio dreams and that's that's a rendition of what it might look like it's going to be beautiful, it's going to be this big, beautiful house and here's how we're going to build it, and instead of paying attention to it instead of realizing what your website really is today, because I don't believe you could be in business, there might be some small town in america or in the world where you can obviously in business, be in business without a website, but in the united states, those places are few and far between you've gotta have a website, you've gotta have that storefront so when you look at your website, it's your office it's your home it's your studio, it's your gallery, it's your business center and inspect it instead of building something really, really beautiful the way you started, the way you were thinking that you'd build it what's happened because you've thrown all this stuff together because you knew you needed a website. There it is, that's what it really came out like it didn't come out looking like that. It's what you were thinking about it's the way you want to be perceived, but instead because of what you built, people believe that people are sitting there going, hey, there's skips new studio do who? I don't like it, and instead of walking in a front door that looks like that, they're walking in the front door that looks like that because your website is too hard to figure out because you thrown in, you thrown them into this maze, you've got things that are difficult to find, you've got I've been on for type I mentioned doing these website reviews, everybody has one thing in common they've got the passion, everybody loves photography, everybody wants to have a good presentation, but they started doing something and then something else came along, and then they decided to do a blogger, but they didn't block all the time. And when you go to their website, there are all kinds of different links, some links or alive, some links or dead some places I was on website one website that took me into galleries of over four thousand images. This photographer is not the first person to do it. I remember one of the night that I mentioned that michael course course santino came over dinner. Michael told me that when he first started, he had two thousand images in his gallery, because in your mind you want to show everybody everything when the reality is you really only need to show them a handful of images, and this is where less becomes mohr and you also have to make it really easy for them to go around. So when you look at the crazy things that everybody has done a lot of cases and I want to go, I'm going to go through every one of these, but I'm willing to bet that everybody here or everybody listening and watching is at least one hit on my my pet peeve list. Here you buried your about section. We're going to talk about about sections in detail because it's, so important to let your clients know who you are, you spent most of your about section talking about your gear or your awards or how you got started. We're going to talk about that because I don't believe anybody cares they don't care how you got started, they don't care why they don't care why you're located or why you like to shoot a particular company's products. They don't care how many lenses you have, they don't care how many awards you've gotten in print competition or anything else, and we'll talk about what they do care about most cases, everybody has too many galleries, you've given your galleries a lot of romantic names, you've given them names that you don't know what it means. I mean, we know what first kiss means, but can you really build a whole gallery around? First kiss? We know what anticipation is. Can you build a whole gallery calling anticipation? Everybody knows how wedding tracks, why not just call it that same with kids with people with with pets with events you photographed, you've said you've set up a landing page that often serves no purpose, except it took somebody there and the logical thinking, by the way, I'm not knocking any you guys, including you guys, hear or anybody listening and watching you start out with an intent and it gets lost because of all these other things, just the way I got interrupted on the beach. You got interrupted in your thought process when you were putting things together and in most cases a landing page I was on when one website where the photographer had for landing pages and you went from landing page toe landing page to landing page the landing page to the site, and I said, why'd you do that? He said, well, I wanted it to look at something as they were coming in to the site. Now the thought process is really good. He wanted to sort of build it like a real time store and the same way we walk into a store or shopping mall and you walk past other exhibits. He thought this would be a good way to show his work. What it's doing is aggravating the client, getting them to think that, oh my god, I guess there is no sight here because I keep getting a different picture, but I'm still on the same landing page. You've got a blogger, but you don't post very often we're going to talk about that, you have galleries that don't connect. I've been on a few websites that the galleries here, but I couldn't I couldn't get any images or the images were just too hard to find or you've made it. You've made it too restrictive in how you're looking for things. You've got your forward button and it's buried over on the side, and you're assuming the customer knows what to do. You have to assume, and I love him dearly. He's my very best friend, you have to assume that everybody looks at your website that has the same experience in the website as my dad who's going to be ninety who used to call me every time you sent me an email to see if I got it did you get? Did you get email that that you're missing the purpose? My most favorite story? And he was partially setting me up, but it was partially true were driving down highway forty one in sarasota and there's, a motel with free wifi, and he says where I need another wife before. I've already got one no dad that's, wifi, and he knew it, but I remember laughing because when he first saw it, he thought it was, you know, like a code for, you know, escort service, you get a free and it was a dumpy motel that we driven by anyway. You just have to assume that nobody knows to drag a mouse to drag the cursor they don't know to move over the left, the right, you have to make it. Just simple for people to look at your images don't put him through where do I shut off the music? Because I don't like it I'm not a big fan of music on your web sites I tell you that right now I shut it off actually this one of you has greg great music and I can't remember which one um I'm not a big fan of might be sherry's what have your soundtrack is I really liked it but you hit on my personal taste if I was older younger I'd listened to it go no I don't want to listen to it now where do I find now I'm wasting time instead of looking at your pictures I'm trying to shut off the music you make the visiting your site, click and click and click this is old school now and the internet hasn't been around that long but it's old school keep the clicks to a minimum get your visitor from you you are al to the most important thing you want them to see if you can do it in one click great if you could do it in two clicks great three click as far as I'm concerned is the click of death it's like dialing if you have been camping you're on a campsite that had an old rotary phone you sit there you go how did we do this because now it takes ten seconds and you've done, you've done your phone number and you're done dialing the rotary phone was just like, ok, cook, cook, cook, right? I mean, it's ridiculous it's the same way with clicks on your website, don't make them mine for the things that they need and want to see the most. You never check your sight to see if it's working. We're going to talk about checking your site every single day every morning, check and make sure that it looks the same way for you that you wanted to look for them. Check it on another computer, check it on a different platform, just make sure that it really is working the way you think it is. You've got dead links all over the place. You don't update your calories. I've been on sites where I know the outfit, that the outfits that everybody's wearing is a look that we saw. I mean, if I get on somebody's website and I see a leisure suit, I know that photographer hasn't changed there's been nothing changed in that web site in a long time. You can see it when you get a bride and she's got heavy green eye shadow, you know it's like, well, all right, so let's see that with must have been a wedding from I'm looking at you to nobody's got on green eye shadow. Thank god I'm not in trouble on blast. You don't do clients a way to contact you. You give him the contact information or you give him the block to fill out. They fill it out and they either they disappear and you don't know that they even tried to contact you there's no phone number there's, no email address. Give them as much information as you possibly can. We've talked about that earlier, and this is where everything we've talked about up to now, this is where the robbery meets the road this's like here it is so right off the bat, you've got two major hooks and you guys, I'm sorry. The three of you on the web review you've heard me say this already you've got three major hooks to get back that client right off the bat. Your goal is to make your site habit forming brian fly fishing makes a a perfect image to get the point across to areas you're galleries and you're about section that's what you have got to hit that's what's so important in who you are now I go back and forth, sometimes I think you're about section should come first where I am this week is that your gallery should really come up first because the picture is worth a thousand words you can say so much with great images that you can't necessarily say in your about section about a cz quickly so you're galleries air first and I really believe that's what you want to get you want to get people looking at your images and every image obviously if you don't know what you're doing then give it up then hold off on your website just leave it alone for a little bit until you build up enough inventory of great images to really show outstanding work this is that old line about you never get a second chance to make a first impression they consent so far so let's start with landing pages I know there's a reason for I just can't figure out why sometimes and I'm going to pick on sherry first sherry handle has goes in two different directions I mean the page design everything else looks fine but there's no reason for now the other part there's no reason for it is that early on like almost everybody here you decided you didn't want to really keep your block up and we're going to talk specifically about blocks so it kind of becomes outdated so for a split second cheri gets the the battery pack but everybody gets it everybody that's watching now probably gets my old phone battery pack because he had an idea and it made seemed to make sense but your blawg as a photographer, unless you're using your blawg to express political opinions or something about your community or things that are just so far off track, it doesn't make sense. Then why not include your blawg with your regular sight? You're linked to your blawg. To me, your block is an opportunity to open your heart, it's an opportunity for you to show the community what you do, why you do it, what are you doing? You know, what's going on in the community, we're going to look at a page and jared site, where he actually has some events that he should talks about and things that are going on in the community. It's not just about his images that he photographed at the time. So right off the bat, okay, it takes me in two different directions, and I've got a landing page. I don't really need to have it, it's a good example, but you're just giving your you're holding them back. You've got a client, especially with your your wedding work. You've got a client that's excited that wants to go look at pictures here's, that studio that I heard about here's, that photographer I heard about, I want to go see pictures, don't make them wait, don't make them click through one more gate they've got to go to so that's my feeling on landing pages I think it works you saw jonathan can bliss is page where he's taking people in two totally different directions I think that's ok although I still think if it's in totally different directions you ought to go into a separate website and promoted differently but as far as the landing page goes in most cases and left I'll bet you half of our listeners have landing pages and our watchers sorry listeners and watches so let's move on to the home page because you never get a second chance to make that first impression carlos my only comment would be and I'm going we're going to talk about your about section later because this is really this is your home page where the computer took me to write I want to make sure it's on the right page but yeah the about is actually okay, which is which is okay and then we talked about that but the issue that I have in this case your home page that's a really strong image if I were the mother of a bride looking for somebody soft sensitive is going to understand why I want a picture of grandma that's too strong that that to me is too strong an image for that client now you're in a position where you really haven't decided you haven't you haven't picked you're a free agent out there you haven't totally decided what you want unless you have in the two weeks since we did your website review okay, so you're still playing and that's okay? It's just that if you decide that you wanted to go into a wedding or if you wanted to go into children's photography, that picture isn't gonna fit. All right. And that's not a shot at you, it's just a shot at the way that dramatic oven image is going to be perceived. They make sense without you feeling like I'm picking on you, okay? And I just did it again. I went to point somewhere I don't know where I'm pointing towards the camera over there, I guess it's just instinct that we're all used to point in the remote at the tv. Michael and we talked about this just a couple days ago michael's background michael is a videographer who's got some great wedding work when you dig through a site, but in terms of a home landing page, he's got this funky little film, which is very well done. But depending on who you're target audiences of which right now and my right most your client base is typically business commercial documentary video. We need the mike I've only the mike occasionally crewing on film sets as a dp or sound person, but most of my work comes from business video right now. Okay, so the only thing that I that I'd question here just relates I mean, there are other things that we're going to talk about but it relates to what is it that michael wants to go to you know as buried one, two, three, four oh, I'm sorry in photography was photography if I clicked on that isn't that where that's where I found wedding and galleries yeah, so it's kind of buried in there you're about may even for video you're about me is buried way way down you've got video you've got crude day rates. The truth is that your video is a hook and who you are in your background especially in the commercial side becomes a hook and they ought to be up top and this is I'm gonna say it again michael's in great company with thousands of other photographers because in your mind this is what you wanted to get out there first you're holding the mike like you want to say something or you just well no, I get it it's hard to reach over if you ask me a question so I'm ready if you have a question that I have responded, oh, I don't have a question right now I'm going to get going that was very good uh bill great pet shot your background in the business you're trying to build right is pet photography, yes, but oh we lose any about section any other components down here on the bottom, you've got all these links to smugmug now that's fine, but your client, typically coming in isn't interested in how to get a site build or hosting, and those links in the middle. You're taking your most valuable piece of real estate, which is your home page, and you're giving it up to things that your client probably isn't interested in. So it's one of those things that I would move out of there and we're going to talk more about the site, all of you have some really good things you've done. The problem is that when you're doing a workshop like this, you really want to share with people I hear things that you want to think again about think about the links that air on your site and where they really go. I didn't find out until recently, every time I sent out an email there's a what's it called tiny you are all its tiny you earl there's. Ah, I didn't realize until recently that every time I send an email oh there's something of theirs because I use their software originally to reduce the size of my logo three years ago when I didn't know any better that will be changed next week when I'm back. But it's going out on every single email I do why am I I'm sorry and I'm giving them the exposure on on my email why does it just doesn't make sense and with technology now I don't need to do it anyway I can I can change the size and plug it in anywhere I want sherry's page I'm trying to remember if we go yeah sherry's home page great shot the only thing that I would do differently I would just pick a different image for your website and also I think I am I right I had clicked on the artist when I grab my screen shot so that doesn't normally come up but right off the bat make your guy would just move your galleries over your galleries are first and your artists and the people that are working for you all to be second it's your galleries that are going to hook everybody and I would pick a different image um maybe even put a couple of different images up there which yeah is it has a rotating image I immediately regret like ten different images that I'm sorry I forgot that but you also have a new site coming um jared's I really I like jared's a lot it's very clean out of fairness to everybody this most of this was done after we had our website review parts of it but but it but it clearly right off the bat you get his home page you know exactly who is what he does it's weddings it's creative poor traits it's seniors and family if you go to the bottom you get into weddings created for the same the same length then you get into the client area the blog's the only thing I would do is I'd move the about back over just so it's one of the first things that people can get to let's look at a couple of pages that I just like because they make sense tamara lackey who has done for my right to creative lives great great example of of what to do and how to how to build it out in terms of your site about if you look at across their top line her about section and galleries come up first um I'm embarrassed I don't remember what redefine is for photographers because she also does education for photographers is their press components that tie in her blawg contact and things that people could shop for now I love the wares tamarin crew component she does a lot of traveling she does a lot of on location work she does a lot of lecturing and teaching around the world certainly around the country um you've got to click to visit the blawg and you've got a simple tips and tricks that transform everyday snapshots into little works of art so you've got things that you can buy and welcome to the block and gallery and we've moved and that ties in I'm sorry it got cut off but it's just very it's very clean we're actually going do a skype call with matching matthew jordan smith now you have to remember matthew's business model matthew is a commercial fashion photographer he does editorial work I mean there's nothing that math you can't shoot but his real client would be an ad agency a product manager from a cosmetic company his clients are coming in two and we shortened it it's just look book and go they're not interested in music, they're not interested in anything any fancy graphics they want strong images they want to see what matthew khun do with with beauty shots with fashion with the cosmetic world they want a strong image and I mean it doesn't get any better than that and these these rotate out and when you go to each one of his sections which will go into his web site tomorrow during the call we'll talk about why he's chosen these particular shots because his client this totally appeals to his client. Yes, matthew can shoot anything and if you follow his blawg his blog's does go into, uh special projects that he does he had a piece of a year or two ago on tight and polar bears and models and he's got some similar styles in the way the shot was of the polar bear it's it's the it's the winter look it's the emphasis on the face the image is air stunning so matthew shoots a lot of other things but he uses his blawg to get that point across and his website is just very, very clean and very pure on this was built by smugmug pro and I just think they do a great job on customized web sites and then we've got creative live I do need to get authorization to use that though okay, I think every sign off I think we can go to the release site okay, we'll get a release sign, but same thing again when you come to creative live site you know exactly what it is you're able to find out live cans live what's going on right now, all right? So live you've got the upcoming calendar, you got the course catalog, you've got my courses in terms of things that you've said you've got the form you've got a block it's neat, clean it's easy to understand you've got popular courses, you got the most common and commented blood posts, everything is right there right up front, everybody knows exactly who you are, who they are, who you are no, you guys just sit here so to you are everybody knows exactly with pardon. I said, who are you? Who are you? I don't know, it's, it's, whatever, you, whatever you're looking for, if you've got two creative live, you got the right place. Here it is it's about education. There's, no question that it's, that it couldn't be cleaner and easy to understand.

Class Description

You know how to focus your camera, NOW focus your business. Professional photographers today have greater marketing capabilities and reach than at any time in the history of photography, but a winning strategy has to be aligned across all aspects of your business.

Skip Cohen will take you through a complete analysis of your business and give you tools for growth. Skip will focus on the art of a successful website, developing PR campaigns, planning your promotional calendar, networking, branding and time management, just to name a few.