i, CloudSpot Community! I’m Octavia Elease, a photographer, Disney-loving mom of 3, true Atlanta native, and website and brand designer for entrepreneurs. I specialize in helping others craft their brands and design their website(s) with a modern and timeless design approach. I have an eye for a minimalistic design that captivates, connects, and converts entrepreneurs’ audiences. From crafting and designing the details of a brand to walking users through maintaining their website, I do it all as a one-woman show! One of my favorite parts of being a brand designer is becoming a cheerleader for my clients— there’s truly nothing better than watching entrepreneurs’ dreams become reality!
I’ve worked with countless photographers, helping them hone in on designs that are unique to them and speak directly to their ideal client(s). However, there are a few items that are often missed or left out to have a successful website. I wanted to share some of my top tips to help YOU make an impact with your online presence including a photography website and portfolio must have checklist.
You have less than 10 seconds from the moment someone lands on your site for them to decide to stay! As the leader of Atlanta’s Tuesday’s Together Chapter, I’m a huge believer in community over competition, so I’m holding nothing back as we chat through the essential elements of your photography website! I hope this helps as you work to craft a website that speaks to your ideal audience (And, if you need a little extra help… drop a note in my inbox! 😉 I would happily provide a quote for a custom brand or website design!)
Let’s Talk Clarity
Before you sit down to start dreaming about your website, it’s important to determine your site’s purpose and goal, your why as a business owner, who your ideal client is, and how your site will encompass all of these items. It sounds like a daunting task, but having all of these elements in check will help level up your website, overall brand experience, and rate of conversion. What a win!
Look for ways that you can allow potential clients to see the value in what you offer. Brainstorm ways to tangibly show how you can help them solve their problems. Focus more on what is in their hearts and less on what is in their pockets— speaking to their needs will get you so much farther than speaking to their budget.
A Note on Consistency
Consistency is key when it comes to building a brand. As you build out your website, your colors, logo, fonts, imagery styles, and overall messaging must be cohesive, consistent, and speak to your ideal client. When it comes to your logo, think beyond a basic camera icon! Your camera may be an important part of your job, but using one in your logo certainly won’t help you stand out from the crowd.
Your Photography Website Checklist
Your website serves as your handshake and the first conversation with most potential clients— make it count! Your site must allow your clients to easily acquire the information they are looking for. For a website builder recommendation, I personally love Showit. Use code octavia10 for 10% off your Showit purchase.
Below, you’ll find a quick website checklist before you launch to ensure your site is ready to impress and help you book more clients! These our my personal photography website and portfolio must haves.
✅ Site Navigation
Your Site Navigation should be easy to find on all of your main pages and should contain links to your main pages, your logo linked to your homepage, and a call-to-action!
✅ Hero Slider with Messaging
Show off your best work in a hero slider filled with your most captivating and emotive imagery. Include the same call-to-action you have in your Navigation Bar with a message that speaks directly to what people are looking for when they land on your site.
✅ Service Offerings
Make your service offerings clear. Create service offerings pages OR display these on a services page, within your portfolio pages, or on your blog.
✅ Your Process
Anyone who lands on your site wants to know and understand what it’s like to work with you as a photographer! Sell yourself, baby! Include a process section that shares 3-5 steps of your client process with a call to action. This could be everything from booking to delivering their final gallery! Make this section clear and make this section work for you.
✅ Social Proof is KEY
In addition to hearing about your processes from you as a photographer, potential clients also want to hear from those who have worked with you! Include social proof from your clients through testimonials with pictures of those who shared the kind words! This will go a long way in building trust with potential clients.
Pro-Tip: Add a Call-to-Action at the end of your CloudSpot galleries to link clients to a place where they can share testimonials with you. Once clients have shared a testimonial or review, use this content on your site! Add an image from your client’s session or event, and BOOM… social proof!
✅ Your Pricing
There are countless ideas out there about how and if you should display pricing on your photography site. As a designer, I recommend listing, at a minimum, your starting price, or even all of your prices. This ensures that clients have a baseline expectation of pricing before contacting you. Wherever you are listing pricing, be sure to include a call-to-action to encourage clients to contact you.
✅ Your Portfolio
Your clients are on your photography site to see your photography work! Your portfolio is an essential element of your website. Consider embedding your CloudSpot portfolio page so clients can check out your work in one place! By embedding your CloudSpot portfolio, you’ll be able to easily update your portfolio with your current work without swapping images out in your website design platform! (Saving you SO much time!) Click here to learn more about embedding your CloudSpot’s Portfolio!
✅ About Page
Real talk: no one cares about your love for lattes or pets here. How can you help your clients? Keep your about page client-focused for more conversions! Once you’ve shared how you can help your client, then you can get into more of the “relatability” categories like lattes and pets! 😉
Give your clients a reason to stay in touch through freebies and downloadable giveaways. Get potential clients’ emails so you can nurture them through newsletters, affiliate links, and other helpful resources. Keeping your business top-of-mind is a surefire way to guarantee future bookings.
Your footer should contain a clear call-to-action encouraging clients to work with you plus links to your main website pages and social media. Your footer should be displayed consistently throughout your site, so make this section count! Pro-Tip: social links should open in a NEW tab to keep potential clients on your site for longer.
Follow these tips and your website is sure to impress and convert. I’m cheering you on!
MANY CHEERS + DISNEY EARS!
Tap the links below to connect with Octavia!