Your Website Isn’t Booking Clients? Three Fast Fixes You Can Finish Today.

square-bio-picWe are excited to introduce guest writer Jenika McDavitt from Psychology for Photographers

Quick: What is the purpose of your website?

Ask a group of photographers that question, and you usually get a long-ish answer about showcasing their portfolio and introducing people to their style to get them excited about their brand.

That’s great. But I don’t think that’s your website’s purpose. Allow me to rephrase the question:

 What is the one thing you want a viewer to do after they look at your website?

The answer is usually: Book a session. However that happens – sending an email, making a phone call, wafting smoke signals, whatever – you want them to take that step and go from being a browser to an actual paying client with a date scheduled on your calendar.

So in the most extreme, hardcore-business, Donald-Trump-esque terms, your website exists solely to get people take action and book you. Not just like your work, book you. And your website (or blogsite) should be designed to irresistibly pull people toward that one, single action.

It’s important to keep that end game in mind. Otherwise, it’s all too easy to just end up with a bunch of pretty pictures, a bio describing your childhood love of photography, a posse of fans who think your pictures are nice, and not nearly enough actual paying clients.

Do you have a lovely website that doesn’t seem to book enough clients? Let’s walk through three quick steps that will help induce a little more action in your viewers. Small tweaks can make a big difference:

#1: Make it kindergartenly easy to contact you.

Your main means of contact (email address, phone number, or contact form) should be clearly labeled, and placed either right on your homepage or within one click.

Too many photographers hide their contact info in a place that’s not entirely intuitive, like a bio section, or a page with a vague title like “Learn More.”

The more viewers have to fumble around to figure out how to get in touch with you, the fewer will bother to do it. Make it front-and-center obvious. As in, a kindergartner should be able to point to it in less than three seconds.

You might also consider putting your email or telephone number in the footer of your website, so that no matter what exact page they’re on, they see a repeated reminder that you’re just a phone call or email away. Also, make sure your Facebook page features the fastest way to get in touch. Such reminders also serve to build familiarity with your contact information, which may help lower inhibition to finally taking the plunge. When you place your contact info everywhere, it makes it all the clearer that you expect people to get in touch, not just eyeball your work and head on their merry way.

If you don’t have a clear means of contact within one click of your home page, I suggest you fix that within the next 24 hours. (If you’ve already got this covered, high fives!)


#2: Lead people right to that contact info.

Let’s step into the shoes of a potential client as they browse your site:

They click on your gallery, scroll through your images, and – yay! – begin to fall in love. They ooh and aah over the grins and giggles and breathless emotions that burst from each frame. They start imagining what their family would look like in your images, consider what they might wear, and dream of that old park where they used to play, thinking that would be the perfect spot to take some photos….

Then they reach the end of your gallery – now what?

Usually, they have to jerk their eyes away from your images, go back up to the navigation bar, and figure out what they want to do next. And in so doing, they’re distracted from that emotional connection they just made with your images.

Don’t throw off their groove. At the end of your gallery, put a little “Would you like images like these on your walls? Click here to drop me a note and we’ll chat!” Take advantage of that momentum and lead them right to where you want them to go.

The same might apply to your info page – after you’ve wowed them with a glowing description of your sessions in all their custom-made glory, don’t leave them hanging – add a simple “Click here to get started with your own session!” and pull them to the next step.

Not every single page needs to lead to your contact page, but the contact page shouldn’t hang out all by itself, either. Be sure that you link potential clients right to it, preferably more than once. The last thing you want them to do is poke around, say “well, that was nice,” and close your website. Make sure you direct them right to whatever action you want them to take next.


#3: Lower the commitment factor.

When was the last time you called someone up and said “Um hi, I saw your website and it looked neat….I’m thinking about having a session but I’m not sure yet if I should take the plunge…um, call me back?

Probably never. Or at least not often.

Yet that’s exactly where a lot of your viewers are. Many of them are probably hopping back and forth between looking at your site and consulting with their spouse. Or poking through your images and checking their budget. Whatever the case may be, they’re probably weighing this spending decision against many other things.

If someone feels like they’re making any kind of commitment by contacting you, they’re less likely to get in touch. They’ll wait until they feel sure – which may be never. They worry about wasting your time, or feeling awkward if they decide against it after they’ve already talked to you. They might also worry that you’ll put them in a “hard sell” situation when they’re still not sure.

So lower the stakes a little. If you can make them feel safe contacting you even before they’ve made a decision, you’ll have a chance to create a personal connection. And personal connections are often what convert people into actual clients.

While your end goal is to have people book you, give them an option to find out more information and ease into the idea. Something like:

“Need time to think before booking? I totally understand. Click here to drop me a note and let me know what’s on your mind. I’ll reply back with answers to any questions, plus an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek to help you see the experience up close.”

or perhaps:

“Want to have a real-deal, zero-pressure chat about whether or not birth photography is right for you? Call me at 555-555-5555 and we’ll figure out whether we’re a good fit for each other. I’m easiest to reach Mon-Fri, 8am-12pm.”

Openly acknowledging that it’s a big decision takes the pressure off. But you’re still inviting them to break the ice and get to know you. Not by sending them another marketing pitch, but showing you’re there to genuinely help them. You’re demonstrating that you’re on their team, and you’re not going to be upset and offended if they choose to walk away. It gives them an “out,” yet they’re still getting in touch – which is still a win for you, and a chance to connect beyond the computer screen. Woo-hoo!

You’ve probably already got interested people’s eyes on your website, it’s time to nudge them into action. By making your contact information prominent and prevalent, guiding visitors right to that info after they’ve engaged with your information, and lowering the level of commitment they feel by contacting you, you can often ease people out of the woodwork and onto your booking calendar. And the best part is, you can do all three things today. Why not get started?

When Jenika isn’t dancing in the kitchen, photographing her way through Baltimore, or raiding the local library, she’s offering photography business help over atPsychology for Photographers. Showing photographers how to understand and attract clients has turned out to be her favorite use for of her master’s degree in psychology.  Drop by the blog sometime and grab a free copy of her latest book, how-clients-make-decisions-about-money!{side note: we have, and LOVE, Jenika’s “From Portfolio To Profit Engine: How to Build an Absolutely Irresistible Photography Website“…our fall project involves using this guide to revamp our websites!}

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  1. Tabitha on February 1, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Great article – I’m redoing my site/blog soon and your info gives me a lot to consider and include. Thanks again!

  2. Catherine on February 2, 2013 at 4:13 am

    Thank you…lots to think about and work on!

  3. Cathy on February 8, 2013 at 6:28 am

    Thanks for the great advices!

  4. angela on February 9, 2013 at 1:15 am

    thank you! great advice…I made all the changes in about an hour.

  5. Emma on September 19, 2013 at 4:49 am

    This is a great article! Very insightful, thanks for the ideas!

    • Lisa on September 19, 2013 at 5:27 am

      Glad you enjoyed it!!

  6. Jeanine on September 19, 2013 at 11:14 am

    I just went live with a new site last week so this is great timing. I’m off to make a few changes! Thanks!

  7. Kristine on September 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks! Updated my site with your suggestions! Looking forward to booking more sessions! 😉

  8. Rachel on June 4, 2014 at 8:28 am

    I’m currently designing my website and found this really helpful. I really like the idea of sending an eclusive behind the scenes peek if they contact you. Thanks x

  9. Anna Alexander on April 17, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    So helpful! Love your resources!

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