Today’s question is from Aaron who asks:
Table of Contents
Is a website for my photography business necessary?
I’ve just started out in photography and have a following on Facebook where I have been getting some work.
What’s the point if I’m already getting work from Facebook?
In today’s episode: I Have Facebook page, Do I need a Business website?
I answer Aaron’s question and discus –
- Somewhere to send prospective clients.
- You control what your customers see.
- A website is the modern day shop front.
- Less distractions to your customers
- WordPress.com v WordPress.org
- 99c domains
- What pages you should make if you have a website.
- About, portfolio, contact page, faq, services
Somewhere to send prospective clients
Look, the thing is … I believe you do need a website. Certainly in the past, when I have received work from … Just a little bit of a back story, I used to do editorial sports photography.
You know, the little byline would have my name and my website. Most of the time, it actually just had my website. People would actually find me through the newspaper, and you know, purchased images, or even inquiry for work.
The thing is, is that it wasn’t consistent, and I couldn’t track it. Now, Facebook is one of those things where, you know people can share a lot of information. That’s great. You know, you can share your blog posts. You can share photo’s, you know keep your follows up-to-date. That’s great.
You control what your customers see
The thing is, is that you don’t own that social media. You know, same thing applies with Instagram, and Twitter, and Snapchat. They could, in effect, change the way, how they display your photo’s. They … I mean, lately, Facebook has been restricting how much of business page has reached, to its users.
This is actually quite annoying, because, you know, in the past, we were quite fortunate to get a lot of reach. You know, you post a photo, and hundreds of people would actually see the photo.
Now, it is a lot less than that, so … I mean, it obviously depends on how many people you have following you, but … What I’m trying to say is that … Look, yes you can get work from elsewhere. You know, social media is one of those avenues, and I think we all should have social media accounts. As to which accounts we should have, that comes down to where your customers are.
Having platforms such as Facebook, which, you know when people like, they basically … It’s kind of, when they like, and also tag friends, family, they kind of … It’s kind of like a referral, not quite. They’re basically saying, “Hey. I like this photo.” Then they tag someone and, “Hey. Take a look at this.” It’s kind of digital referral, without, you know saying too much, I guess.
A website is the modern day shop front
Now, with a website, it’s one of those things that, back in the old days when you used to sell a physical product, you would have a storefront. You’d have a shop. People would come in. You know you’d have your products displayed. Now, it’s a little bit different if your selling digital products, or now with everybody online, it’s the equivalent of a storefront really. I believe you really do need a website.
You know, I’ve had lots of people contact me, through my websites, because I’ve done a Google search for a particular search term, and it could have been a type of photography.
I’ve got three to four websites for different photography businesses that I run. I do get people searching for that particular photography in my area. I am getting people contacting me through that.
Now, the good thing is, that I know where they’re coming from, cause I have Google analytics. I can see if they’re coming from Facebook, or if they’re coming from anywhere, if they’re just doing a direct search. Unfortunately, you can’t always see what search term, but you do have the control of what information they see.
That’s one thing that the social media platforms have their set formats, and the way they have their display photo’s, and the way how, you know, how much information you can put on a page, and how it looks. You’re restricted with their rules, and whereas with a website, you can control all of that. You can see how much information perspective clients would have.
I think it’s definitely a thing that you should consider. Now, you shouldn’t have all your eggs in one basket. Having said that, you shouldn’t just rely social media, just to get all your clients.
You shouldn’t rely on a website to get you clients. You need to do … If your new a little bit of advertising may not be such a bad thing, so … That’s my view on that.
How to get a 99c domain with godaddy
Now, if you’re new to, actually, I guess, the online world, in the sense of a website, I would highly recommend that you get a website from, wordpress.com. With wordpress.com, fairly simple to set up.
One thing I should point out, is that you should do a couple things.
One, you should buy a domain.
If you type into Google, and you type in 99 cent domains, you should come up with a listing for godaddy. The first year is 99 cents, which is a absolute bargain.
You should redirect it to your website. Well, you should direct it to your website. The instructions there at wordpress.com.
Now, one thing I should point out is that, with wordpress.com, since it is a free service, they do put some ads at the bottom of your page. To remove them, you do pay a small fee.
I think that’s definitely worth it. It is a yearly fee. If really, all your doing now is buying your domain, and then paying a small, nominal fee to remove those ads, at the bottom of your page, and that’s all your outlay, then that’s fantastic.
What pages you should make if you have a website
Now, will your website look similar to other people’s? Yeah. It can. Depending on how many people have chosen that particular theme, or way to display your website. Just remember what you need to do, is just get your content out there, your information out there.
It’s important that you post on a regular basis, by putting a portfolio page. You know, creating blog posts for all your different sessions.
It’s mandatory that you have, an about page with a photo of yourself. I mean, people want to see what you look like. I mean, I know it sounds strange, but just so, I guess we don’t come across as creepy. Or to be faceless. We’re not a big corporation. We’re people buying us, for our services, as well as our personality.
Having, an about page, and a portfolio page, contact page obviously, and a services page, so the type of pages, sorry, type of services that you provide.
That’s mandatory. And also, frequently asked questions. You know, when people contact you, and they’re gonna ask you, “How much? What do I get? What’s in this package? What’s in that package?” That’s the place where you’ll be listing all that information.
That would be my plan of attack, would be, first of all, to go through wordpress.com, and set up a simple website that you update regularly via blog posts. In conjunction with Facebook, I think you’ll see a bit more traction.
Now, if you outgrow that, or you feel that you want a bit more customization, you can go to, what is called is a self hosting version of WordPress.
Now, just remember that when you’re going through wordpress.com, they’re doing all the security for you. They’re doing all the backups for you. Yes, you are restricting some things, but for the most part, you’ve got a lot of customization.
That’s just something to keep in mind, before you move into a self hosted environment, which you know, means that you have to go pay for hosting, and you have to update your webpage.
You know, if all you want to be is a creative, and do your photography and not have to worry about your website, then getting somebody else to host it is definitely a bonus. Aaron, that’s what I would do, and I hope that helps. Thanks for your question.