Are you creating a website for your photography business by yourself? Are you waiting to ‘finish’ it before publishing it to the world? Have you been waiting to ‘finish’ it for quite some time? This video is for you. It’s time to go live!
In my last video I talked about how vital it is that you have an up-to-date website for your photography business. If you missed that you can catch it right here. But knowing how important it is and actually getting that site of yours ‘live’ are two different things and if your website has been a work in progress for months and months then you’ll know exactly what I mean!
Every day that you don’t have a website (or every day that you have an out of date website that doesn’t represent your business anymore at all) is damaging your credibility and your earning potential. Every single day.
I’m asking but I already know the answer. You want it to be complete and you want it to be perfect before you release it to the world. But this is a very, very poor business decision.
And whilst it sits there unpublished, you have no real motivation to work on it. It’s just sitting there on your ‘to do’ list and every now and then you’ll spend another day dodging away at it.
But those days turn into weeks and those weeks turn into months and those months turn into years. You know this as well as I do.
The only way to get this website of yours out there is to make it live and then develop it and improve it . . . whilst it’s live!
If you were opening a shop you’d open it to the public as soon as you could, right? You wouldn’t worry about whether you had everything exactly the way you wanted it. You’d open. Because every day your shop is not open to the public is another day you could have been earning money from it. So you would open and then continue to work on the shop whilst it was open. You’d rearrange the stock, add some signage and accessories, purchase more stock, decorate . You’d continuously improve your shop and let it evolve.
Because every day that it sits there unpublished is another day it could be making you money.
Here are the excuses I hear on a weekly basis from photographers who don’t have a live, up-to-date website. Let’s start with the number one reason:
What, all of them?? Why? Why do you need to write the copy for all of your pages before your website can go live?
Think about it, what are the pages you absolutely need to have before you can publish your site?
A homepage. It can be the simplest homepage in the world to start with. Just one fabulous image and a short piece of text will do to start with. Make sure you have a way for visitors to contact you but this can be as simple as an email hyperlink. Then optimise this one page so that you can be found in search results for your most important keyword or phrase.
Don’t overthink it. Why torture yourself? All of this can be changed and added to! Not only can it be changed, it can be changed quickly and easily any time you like.
All you need to say on that homepage is that the rest of the website is under construction and the next page is coming tomorrow or the next day or the next week. But put a date on it. Maybe even a countdown. You don’t have a boss breathing down your neck so going public with a deadline is a great way of holding yourself accountable.
Once your website is live but incomplete you will feel so much more motivation to finish it. It’s not unprofessional to have an incomplete website when you’re clearly communicating to your visitors that it’s under construction. It’s unprofessional not to have a website. Or to have a stagnant website full of ancient, out of date information.
The next day or the next week should probably be your ‘contact’ page which can be as simple as a contact form a nice bit of copy warmly inviting them to get in touch and your phone number. You can add more to this once it’s live. Just optimise it for search and press that publish button!
The next day or the next week might be your gallery of images.
The next day or the next week might be your ‘about’ page.
Then your info pages.
Writing the copy for your website pages is the biggest barrier to getting it published so just keep it simple and brief to start with. Add as much personality as you can but again, don’t overthink it. A great photography business owner will be tweaking this copy all the time as their business evolves. You’ll think of stuff in the shower probably (that’s where I seem to think of everything!) and you can jump into your website and make a 2 minute addition or tweak straight away. Again, better to have simple copy than none at all.
You’ll also make a much better job of each page when you do this. Also, dealing with your SEO one page at a time is less painful, right?
So just go live with that homepage and set yourself a public deadline for each additional page. Depending on your schedule all your pages could be there after a week or at least after a month. As long as you keep them simple.
But then there’s this next excuse…
I tend to only hear this excuse from photographers who are trying to use a platform with a slightly steeper learning curve. For example, WordPress.
Yes, a self-hosted wordpress site is by far the best option for your photography site. Without a doubt. Some photographers hear this and go straight to this option from the get-go. Better to do this than have to move platforms down the line, right?
And yes that makes sense. But only if you’re going to throw yourself into learning how to use wordpress or pay someone else to do this for you. If you’re struggling horrendously with it and can’t afford to pay anyone to take it on then this doesn’t make sense at all.
If this is you then maybe WordPress can wait? You can move onto that down the line a bit. There are MUCH quicker and easier platforms that you can use for now that will be more than good enough. You should check out SquareSpace for example. You’ll be up and running with them in no time and then you’ll have no excuses left
Unless it’s this one...
Well join the club! Of course it isn’t right yet. Your website will never be ‘right’ in your eyes and nor should it be. Your business should be evolving and improving every month so it stands to reason that your website should be too. Overthinking the content that is there is stupid because the likelihood is that content is going to change very soon anyway!
Your website is not one of these tasks that can be ‘finished’ and then left for a couple of years. Working on your website should be one of your weekly tasks. Every week you should be tweaking a bit of copy, adding a new, better image to your homepage, adding more great information about the experience you give.
Done is better than perfect. Because perfect doesn’t exist. Isn’t that kind of liberating. So if you have a site that’s been on your to-do list forever - just publish that imperfect site and get this ball rolling!
And if you’ve been thinking about joining us inside the Togs in Business membership you might be interested to know that we have an entire course in there to help you create a website that your dream client will find totally irresistible. Membership is by application only and you can check that out right here…