“Let the work speak for itself.”
Heard that one before?
Me too, and I get it…in some contexts.
The problem is when you’re a creative trying to build a freelance business where you actually book clients and don’t work for, well, free. We all need to do a better job of building our own brands as creatives, and not just brands for our clients. If you haven’t thought about this, it could be the thing that’s holding you back.
One of the big things that freelancer photographers miss out on is building up their brand on their website. SO often I see image galleries of work and nothing else (except maybe a phone number.) But in a world where literally everyone is starting to call themselves as “brand strategist” or “visual storytelling guru,” or whatever, you need to show how your process is different. You need to TALK to your ideal client directly through your copy.
You need a BUSINESS site, not just a portfolio.
Here are three things I see many photographers doing wrong.
1. Not adding details to portfolio items.
Your portfolio items should have details about your process in them–not just galleries of images. All of my website and design portfolio items have a clear description of the problem, the design or photography solution, and the process we took to make it all happen. My photography albums talk about the client’s branding and the goal for the shoot.
The work can speak for itself, but when you speak to your inspiration and process, you help the reader to build trust in you as a service provider and make a connection with the customer experience that only you can deliver.
2. Not having professional pictures of yourself on the site.
One of the first things people will look for on your site is a picture of you–will they find one that leaves a good impression? Try to have multiple high-quality photos of yourself on your site–especially on your about page. It is definitely worth the investment to get a good amount of personal brand photos done to use across your marketing in general.
3. Not having a clear Call To Action
What do you want the viewer to do after seeing the site and your work? Do you want them to book with you? Schedule a call? If you haven’t given them the invitation to go deeper and take the next steps with you, it isn’t likely that they will. People need you to give them marching orders. Place a logical CTA at the end of all appropriate pages–I have one on nearly every page of my site that directs the visitor to their next steps in the process of learning about my services and booking with me.