This article continues the list of 5 common mistakes photographers make when creating their own website. To read Part 1, click here.
3) Using a Personal Email Address
Nothing screams unprofessionalism more than doing business with a personal email address. Using a Gmail or Yahoo email address with clients just looks bad. You might as well say that you’re running your business from a garage!
Your web hosting package should include setting up professional email addresses using your domain. For example, my domain name is www.PaxtonPortraits.com
and my email address is stevepaxton [at] paxtonportraits.com. I am always careful to use this email address when I communicate with clients. It sends a clear message to my customers that I am a professional. Domain name email accounts are easy to setup and manage. Ask your web host if you need help!
4) Displaying Less than Stellar Images
We all have average photographs in our collections. Becoming a skilled photographer takes a great deal of practice. Over time you’re going to collect quite a few less-than-stellar images, but your business website shouldn’t be the place to share them. It should be a portfolio of your best work.
I recommend holding off on launching a business website until you have a fair number of high quality images to display. For example, if you’re going into business as a portrait photographer, you should have a solid collection of portraits to display online.
Remember that your reputation as a photographer and professional begins as soon as you set up your website. Save your average shots and family photos for your blog or your personal Facebook page.
5 ) Failing to Use Social Networking
There are over 1 billion active users on Facebook. Over half of them access Facebook with a mobile device or tablet. The average Facebook user is connected to 130 other people. It used to be that marketing your business on Facebook (and other social networking sites) gave you a leg-up. Nowadays it’s just expected. Ignoring social networking in today’s hyper-connected world can doom your business to failure.
Most professional photographers utilize Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to communicate with customers and other professionals. Social networking sites are a great place to share a bit of your personality and connect with potential clients. Be sure to extend your marketing brand throughout all of the social networking pages you set up for your business.
Put Your Best Foot Forward!
With all of the competition, it is increasingly difficult to start a successful photography business. Prospective customers quickly notice when a website looks sloppy or poorly maintained. Paying attention to the little details can make all the difference and set you apart from the other photographers in your area. Take the time to build a website that represents your personality in a professional way. You’ll be glad you did!
Read the rest of this Benchmark Blog series on our Marketing in Focus page.