Not that long ago it seemed like every other marketing article said you had to have a website. It was so obvious, soon everyone assumed that every business had a website, and nobody wrote the articles any more.
What a mistake.
Having a high quality website is one of the most cost-effective marketing decisions you can make. It is your online catalog, your storefront, and your 24/7 sales staff. Yet three out of four professional photographers still do not have a current website, professional e-mail address, or an online marketing presence.
“Our website is critical to our success,” says Chelsea Mills, marketing coordinator for Gerych’s Florist in Michigan. “Google the word “gerych” and we’re there. Go to our website and you see gorgeous photographs of all the products and services we offer. How else could we have grown from a local florist to a nationwide one without a website?” she added.
Ms. Mills is not alone. According to most e-commerce professionals, 80% of consumers begin their search for a product or service online. Yet the majority of photographers continue to cling to the mistaken believe that they get business by “word of mouth”, and that a website isn’t important.
“My website is my business card,” says Sam Sarkis (www.samsarkisphotography.com). “When people are from out of town or cannot meet me at the studio, I depend on my website to show them examples of work I’ve done in the past, or what they can order. It is also important for my customers to see my specials.”
If you are a professional photographer, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I own my own (or my studio) website name?
- Can you see great examples of my artwork on my website?
- Is my e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org?
- Am I proud of my website? Do I tell others about it?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no”, you are leaving money on the table every day that you delay.