Education for passionate photographers who want to grow their business to a full-time thriving career
When you are first starting your photography business, you will probably wonder how people will find you to book your services. You may begin by telling friends and family that you are offering sessions, perhaps even use your personal Facebook page to promote your business to people you know. Once you get your feet wet with a little experience and some positive feedback, you’ll soon realize that you need a more professional method of getting your name out there. You want to look truly legitimate so you can really start to make money. Today we are going through ways you can build your online presence beginning with the most affordable and going up all the way to custom design when your business branding is ready to move up to the top tier.
When you begin your business adventure, you have already invested in a good camera and a couple of lenses. At this time it can be hard to justify spending money on a website if you aren’t bringing in any money from client work. So let’s start with some free social media options. The easiest and quickest way to set up your online presence would be to create a few social media accounts – Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest, and Linked’in are a few we suggest.
While there are others such as Twitter and the newly popular TikTok, it’s often good to find the platforms that your ideal clients will most likely be present on the most. If you are hoping to photograph weddings, Instagram and Pintrest are two areas you may want to start on. Targeting parents and families – give Facebook a try. Looking for high school senior portraits, we would suggest TikTock.
Be sure your social profile is set up with all the pertinent information necessary to contact you. This includes your email address and phone number. Speaking of email, be sure to set up an email address and voicemail specifically for your business. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org will look more professional than email@example.com. Again, since we promote starting and growing your business debt-free, this is a great place to begin.
While your social media presence isn’t going away anytime soon, you may be at the point of your business where you feel you want more of a brand, a logo, an online identity. Free websites are a great starting point. Platforms such as Wix, WordPress, Flickr, Smugmug, and Weebly are just a few options to get you started – we’ve used a couple of these ourselves when we were starting our business. These website farms allow for free accounts in exchange for advertising their own or other services on your site. Another reason these sites are often free is you will most likely have your business name listed as part of a larger domain name – for example: https://photosbymindyleigh.wixsite.com. This is a great first step in claiming your space on the world wide web.
Although having ads may not be ideal, it is a free option and you do have flexibility with design unlike the static design of social media platforms. With some pretty basic design tutorials or free templates, you can now have more control over user experience (navigation, displaying your logo and brand colors) when someone lands on your site. This also allows for more creative control when sharing pages such as your “About Me” page and your “Portfolio” page.
ShowIt, SquareSpace, and ProPhoto are a few of the most popular domain hosting and included website design options on the market for photographers. Platforms such as these give you complete control of your website design as well as allowing you to host your own domain name like www.marcandmindy.com. Not design savvy? No problem, along with hosting your domain, there are also free template options that will assist you getting started in creating your own unique site. Make it yours by switching out simple things such as logo, colors, text, and images. These options also have great support documents to help you navigate your way through the art of web design. The other thing we love about Paid Options is the ease of connecting your WordPress blog to your site. Allowing full use of showcasing your best work while reaping the SEO benefits of a blog. If you want something more unique – paid pre-designed options are also available from very talented web designers.
The final option is to hire a brand strategist, designer, and copywriter for a fully custom designed website. Sometimes you want to break away from the cookie cutter designs and hire someone to fully develop something unique to showcase who you are and your brand. By hiring professionals who understand and specifically market to your unique ideal client, you set yourself apart from the rest. With unique design also comes a higher price tag, this of course is the most expensive of the options listed. However, if you have achieved a level of success and now have the means to move to the next tier, this is a great option. Often this option is coupled with having to use a Paid Hosting site such as those listed above. This is perhaps the most flexible option, allowing for custom design while allowing you the control to update the site and design after the initial launch.
Education for Creatives is a membership community for passion photographers who are ready to begin or grow their business to a full-time thriving career.