Alright, business owners- I’m looking at you, here. If I ask where to find examples of your work and you tell me not to look at your website because it’s been way too long since you’ve updated it, NOW is the time to make those updates! We’re trying everything we can to find opportunities growth in the midst of this Covid crisis, and finding the time to complete those “important but not urgent” tasks that have been on your business’ back burner for months (years?) is one of the best ways you can continue to grow your business while it feels like the world is at a standstill!
Matt keeps telling me to look for places to sow seeds- areas to pour into ourselves and others NOW that will probably only later result in a harvest. That’s the perfect metaphor for website updates. It’s crucial sowing, but because there’s not often an immediate rush of new business, it can sometimes feel hard to justify spending the time. Website updates aren’t as sexy as learning to better utilize hastags and seeing a spike in engagement on your next IG post, or going to a networking event and forging new friendships, or buying a new, fun piece of gear.
However, those important-but-not-urgent tasks are often what form the backbone of long-term growth in your business! And we can either choose to view this time of lockdown and quarantine as a curse, or we can find opportunity amidst the frustration- what a gift, to be handed the chance to get to all those things you’ve been meaning to do, but have never made the time for!
So here we go- three quick and easy ways to update your website that won’t require a complete overhaul of your website!
1) Update your site with any new products, team members, or offerings! You guys know I photograph weddings, but in addition to that, last May we officially launched my branding portraits. I published a blog post, put up an Instagram to announce things, and threw up a few IG stories… and then never updated my website. Right up until now, my website ONLY offered information on wedding photography- how confusing would that be if a dream client like Jenna Kutcher or Jon Acuff were to head to my website after being referred by a past client… only to be TOTALLY confused by the fact that I don’t even MENTION branding photography??
We’ve been working really hard over the last couple of weeks to get that fixed with a page devoted to branding, and a clear option on the home page directing viewers to either weddings OR branding!
*Something to make sure you tweak if it’s changed since your last website update- STARTING RATES. That’s an important one for newly-inquiring minds, especially if you’ve jumped pricing brackets!
2) Upload new material to your online galleries! As a photographer, this one is SO EASY to do- it’s just a matter of going through last year’s weddings, engagements, and brand shoots to pull favorites, and then popping them into a preexisting gallery. Even if you only have 10 photos you feel are worthwhile adding to your online gallery, DO IT.
I suggest 25-50 total photos per scrollable gallery (depending on your industry), with a diverse assortment of photographs to give viewers a thorough picture of what you’re capable of. I.e. wedding photographers- don’t JUST show bride & groom portraits. Viewers also want to see ceremonies, bridal party, details, etc.
3) Refresh your “About Me” photo and add in a few working shots (if applicable). Did someone take a kicka** photo of you on the job last year that you just love posting to the ‘gram? Did you go to a conference and have new headshots taken? Do you have team portraits sitting on your hard drive that you’ve never bothered to share? Add. them. to. your. website.
I’ll caveat #3 with this: the photos of you throughout your site should match the rest of the work present. That doesn’t mean an exact match, they just need to match the overall vibe! So if your brand and work heavily influenced by your rural, farm-loving lifestyle, it may not make sense for you to include iPhone portraits your friend took on the Vegas Strip. No matter how on point your makeup might have been.
And for anyone who’s looking to take this time to do some major overhauling on your site, I cannot recommend Tonic Site Shop templates enough- Jeff (one of the two geniuses behind Tonic) is the brain behind my gorgeous custom website (and has been since 2013!), and their templates are absolutely BEAUTIFUL, easy to update, and best part: easy for your CLIENTS to navigate. Yep, I’m an affiliate for them, but trust that I would sing their praises even if I never received a thank you for it- they’re THAT good!!