I’m a photographer based in Houston, TX that specializes in sophisticated wedding and high school senior photography.
I’m Meghan Baskin, I’m a Philadelphia and Charleston based hybrid wedding photographer turned website designer. I’m the founder and lead designer of Baskin Co, a boutique website design company that specializes in helping photographers and creatives reach their potential and business goals through strategic, conversion-focused website design.
Today we’re diving in to what makes a website strategic, what you can do right now to elevate your website and convert more ideal clients. After all, your website is more than a portfolio- it allows you to control the impression your audience has when they’re introduced to your business.
Right off the bat, your audience should be able to clearly see your location, your elevator pitch, and your face. Your elevator pitch will immediately attract the client’s you’re targeting, and your face will create a human connection to the person behind the work. Wedding photography is a highly personal service, and your website should reflect that.
A sitemap is a blueprint for the website, and includes the pages the site will have and what sections of content each page will have (for example, a “wedding” page may have an introduction, process, portfolio, faq, and investment + next steps section). A sitemap is created based off of a journey you want each audience segment to take. For example, we’ll talk about Wisteria Photography, a fictional Charleston based family photographer who also offers education for other photographers.
Land on homepage -> navigate to family information page -> acquire the necessary information (example: process, portfolio, average investment information) to inquire -> fill out an inquiry form.
When you’re working with multiple audience segments and multiple actions, you can use the action technique to organize it all.
The Action Technique is a strategy I use when creating client sitemaps. This technique allows you to create a high converting website based off of your current goals by guiding each audience segment through a journey and to an end destination/ action. This strategy involves separating your website’s audience into segments and identifying the primary, secondary, and sometimes tertiary actions you want each segment to take, so that you can prioritize which call to actions to include within each page.
Wisteria Photography’s two main segments are families and photographers.
Primary: Fill out an inquiry form
Secondary: Connect on Instagram
Ideally, the potential clients will fill out an inquiry and book their session. Call to actions to “book now” will be prevalent throughout the website. Second to booking, Wisteria is growing an Instagram to keep potential clients engaged. There will be several callouts to follow on Instagram, and even a link redirecting clients after they fill out a form to follow on Instagram.
Primary: Opt-In to the email list
Secondary: Connect on instagram
Tertiary: Purchase a resource
The primary action was chosen based on Wisteria’s current goals of building their email list, because statistically, an email list subscriber will have a higher rate of return when it comes to converting followers/ subscribers to paying customers for future course or shop launches. Because of this, the prominent call to action to this segment will be opportunities to opt in to the email list, generally through a free, value-adding resource.
Opportunities to act on the secondary action, connecting on Instagram, will be prevalent through call to actions on the website and even after they opt in to the email list (i.e. a link blatantly requesting to connect on Instagram in the newsletter email they receive when they opt in).
These actions can be fluid and change depending on your business’s current goals. For example, Wisteria is launching a course. During the pre-launch and launch period, the primary action for photographers to take will be signing up for the course. Then, the most prevalent call to actions will be to a course sales page as opposed to a general email list opt-in.
All of this can be a little overwhelming- trust me, I know I just dumped a lot on you. While I could write a novel on the ins and outs of creating the perfectly designed, strategically organized website for your photography business, I’ll leave you with a checklist of the most important stuff so you can uplevel your website game in one afternoon.
You’ve got this, friend. If you’re ready for a custom website design (or just want to chat to see if it’s the right time), by all means reach out – we’re currently booking projects for Fall 2021. Tell me Reed sent ya for a bonus.
Reed Gallagher is a Houston photographer for the elegant bride + chic senior, an educator for the driven photographer, and queso obsessed biz owner.