[Editors Note: This week is "Marketing Your Photography" here on DPE with Rosh Sillars. Rosh will be bringing you a new article every day this week, make to sure to check them all out!]
Envision your digital marketing plan as a solar system. Sitting in the center of this is your Web site – or the sun. Your Web site is where you sell your products and services.
Don’t be bashful. Your Web site is your brochure and it’s where you must close the sale. Display your very best work here and list your qualifications.
Don’t make it tough to do business. I find it amazing how many hoops some photographers will make their visitors jump through to find their portfolio. Some sites are poorly designed, which make them difficult to navigate. Even worse, I’ve found sites that crash my computer every time I attempt to view the photographer’s images.
Keep your site simple and clean. Make sure you test your Web site on multiple browsers. Yes, most people seem to be using Firefox these days, but your best prospect may be using Google Chrome or Internet Explorer. Browsers are getting better, but they still display every site differently. If a prospect’s browser doesn’t view your site properly, this could leave a bad first impression.
Navigation must be simple. Every page must be only a couple clicks away. Images must load quickly. People don’t want to work to find your portfolio. In most cases, your portfolio should be no more than one click away from your main page. Your navigation should contain five to nine options and should be easy to find.
Make your Web site a resource. Your portfolio is the No. 1 element on your Web site and should not be overshadowed. Beyond the portfolio, your goal is to entice people to return to your site. You could offer unique information related to what you photograph, location resources, pricing, featured information and images. Be creative. Help people find reasons to link to you.
Links are gold on the Web. Every link to your Web site is a vote of confidence. Make sure you show your visitors that you also link to quality sites and resources. A good list of links will add value to your site in the minds of your visitors.
The more quality links you have to your site, the more search engines will value your Web site. Search engines play an important role in digital marketing success. It has been said that Google’s opinion about your Web site is the only opinion that counts.
Make sure visitors know how to contact you. Every page on your Web site should have your phone number and e-mail address. No matter how obvious you think it is to find your contact page, do not risk losing an opportunity.
In the same vein, make sure your social media connections are easily found. People will connect to you if they like your work. Social media connections give you an opportunity to passively update your fans with your current work.
Tomorrow I will answer the question: Where is your personality found on the Web?