These days, we all know how important it is to have a web-presence. If you have a business, then you need to be on the web. Period. Too often, though, websites are quickly created “just to get something up.” And while that may help your company - in that you can point people to a legitimate website - more often than not, if your website is not clean and precise, you're probably losing potential customers.
My business partner and I recently met with a photographer who had asked us to critique her website and make suggestions on how she could improve her web message. We looked at her what she had and realized that with a bit of formatting and regrouping, there was a lot we could do to help her get a stronger internet message. Here are some of the suggestions we made:
Make what you do easy to find – for goodness sake, it's your business, at the beginning put down what it is that you offer your clients. Right, there. Front and center. Don't make your audience click through several pages before they can figure out if you do animal photography or not.
Speaking of animal photography – if you don't like to do something but are willing to do it in order to pay the bills, that's fine. But don't give it the same billing as that which you plan to specialize in. What you love to do should be what you do. That's what you'll be best at and it's ultimately what will make you the money. Make sure people know where your excellence lies.
Group like with like – you've heard this before but there's a reason why people like organized closets. Its' because they can see everything at once. There are the belts and there are the purses. Keep like information with like information so that people don't walk away claiming there's nothing on your website for them to wear.
It's not about you – well actually it is, but you have to pretend it's not. Your website has to answer what it is you can do for your client and what problem it is they have that you can solve. You do this of course, by mentioning your skills and experience but this should always be done in support of helping your potential client solve a problem. It's always about them.
About your About Me – the About Me page should be (surprise) about you. It's where people go to find out about you and your expertise. Now is not the time to be coy. Don't just re-post your business card. Here is where you are allowed to have it be all about you. Toot your horn, list your awards, your classes, equipment, and your affiliations. List accomplishments and clients of distinction. Put down anything that sets you apart from the others and which proves to your clients that you are better equipped to work with them than one of your competitors. A note of caution, however, there's no need to gloat, give your readers some credit, if they can read that you've won several awards, they can probably figure out that you must have talent.
Be what you think you are – we asked our client to list 3 words that she thought described her and 3 words that she thought described her business. We then looked on her website and found that not one of those words was being used. Anywhere. If you want people to think of you in a certain way, then you need to act that way – and that includes creating your message around those elements. By the way, she liked this idea so much that her business cards now have her 3 key business words listed on them.
Our client had all of her information on her website (and then some), it's just that it was jumbled and difficult to find. By pulling like items together, turning the focus outward in an effort to acknowledge her clients, and by being a bit more bold about who she is and why she is clearly the better choice, our photographer is well on her way to getting her message out, loud and clear, for all to find.
About the Author: An e-copy and features writer, interviewer, and columnist, Wendy Thomas has been published in national magazines, newspapers, e-zines, and blogs. Her current project is to blog about life living with 6 kids and a flock of chickens.
Photo credit: Mike Baird