So, you’ve done it.
You’ve built a beautiful website, with gorgeous galleries, fantastic information, and an interesting blog. You’re clear both how and why people should contact you. You’ve also done your job of narrowing in and speaking directly to your ideal client, showing them how you’re going to fulfill some pressing needs and desires. (Hooray!)
So, along comes a target client to look at your site. She browses. She ooohs. She aaaahs. She smiles. She reads your blog posts. And then….she closes her browser. Without booking.
Your first thought might be “oh, she thought I was too expensive.”
That is one possibility, sure. But that’s probably not the whole story.
There are lots of things that I haven’t bought because they were “too expensive.” A plane ticket to Fiji, for example. I’d love to have one. That would be awesome. And if you asked me why I’ve never bought one, I’d probably say “because I don’t have $2200.”
But I have paid for things that were just as expensive as that plane ticket: Trips other places, business education, furniture, camera gear, etc. In fact, I’m nowhere near rich, but I’ll probably spend at least $2200 on nonessential things in the next 18-24 months – why am I not saving it for a trip to Fiji instead?
Because money isn’t the real issue.
Money can be a real issue. But money can also be used as an excuse to avoid thinking through the real issues.
So what is the real issue between me and a nonstop flight to Nadi International Airport?
If you were selling plane tickets to Fiji, it’d be your job to find out.
It’s your job to figure out what makes people hesitate to buy your services. Don’t settle for assuming it’s just “money,” and fret over your pricing. Most people have resistance to hiring photographers that has nothing to do with pricing.
I once saw a photographer ask on Facebook what prevents her fans from booking a session with her. Most people said something along the lines of “I’m self-conscious.”
If your fans send you this message, then the job of your website is not to say “Hey look, I can take nice pictures.” It’s to say “Hey guess what – I can take nice pictures of you. Yes, YOU. Right now, just as you are. Bring all the self-consciousness you want – but you’re going to leave feeling like a goddess.”
The jibbery sales-speak for this is “overcoming objections.” I prefer to think of it as “emotionally taking people’s fears by the hand and showing them that actually, just the opposite is true.”
In this case, you’d have to find a way to dive in deep and show them look, this isn’t just for ‘other’ people. You don’t have to wait for after you’ve lost weight/dyed your hair/whitened your teeth/become some overly-idealized version of yourself. You can come as you are, and leave looking and feeling amazing.
If you can do that, price becomes much less of an issue.
Incidentally: This marketing approach is why I am saving up for an iPad and not a trip to Fiji. Because Apple has done their research, overcome my hesitancy, and convinced me that an iPad will make my life and daily lifestyle both tangibly and intangibly better – and Fiji hasn’t. (Sorry, Fiji.) You need to do the same for your clients.
Find out what (besides “money”) prevents people from hiring you. Then address it on your website. Start TODAY.
Don’t just ask on Facebook. It’s a good place to start, but you’re less likely to get a full picture of the answer. A casual sit-down in your favorite coffee shop may yield better results.
What’s really getting in the way?
What is their fear?
What haven’t you convinced them of yet?
What other priorities are coming first?
Look for common themes across people.
Maybe their spouse thinks its not worth the money. Maybe they’re afraid their kids will hate it and scream the entire session and nothing good will come of it. Maybe they didn’t hire a newborn photographer for their first child and feel like they’d be playing favorites if they did for their second. Maybe they don’t see how custom images are going to make their day-to-day life better than a new washer and dryer would. Maybe they’re stuck in good old-fashioned “I’ll get around to it later”-ville.
You need to find out what the common hesitations in your target client group are. And your website needs to show them why these fears are not going to come true.
Show, don’t tell.
If self-image is the concern, simply telling them “oh don’t worry, you’ll feel beautiful” won’t work. Self-consciousness runs too sharply and too deeply for a simple slogan to wash away. Perhaps create a 90-second video of a beginning-to-end shoot with a woman they can relate to – then show the gorgeous photo results. This can happen for anyone.
If your target client is concerned about her kids behaving, you just saying “I’m good with kids” may not reassure her. She may think: Well, you’ve never met my kids. But what if you had an “Outtakes” gallery, showing all the sad-but-funny moments during photoshoots (tears, grumpy faces, kids spilling lemonade all down their fronts, etc). Moms not only relate to that and will giggle at it (and I’d bet money she’ll share it with a friend), but they see the evidence that you deal with this all the time – and still get great images like the ones in your gallery.
Use their concerns to create great web content that overcomes their objections before they can even default to them.
And can I tell you a secret?
You owe this to your dream clients.
Because if you really, truly believe that what you do is of value, that it will make people’s lives better, that their hearts will be lighter and minds will be happier, that they will wake up each morning and see your images on their walls while their kids are spilling Cheerios all over the floor and pause and remember deep within themselves how blessed they are to have this life –
Then you need to help them see past the obstacles that prevent them from getting to that glorious, joyful outcome.
That’s not being pushy. That’s not “getting people to pay you.” That’s using your life to make others’ better.
Are you ready to dive that deeply into the mind and heart of your target client?
How To Build An Absolutely Irresistible Photography Website springs onto the scene Wednesday September 5th.
UPDATE: It’s here! Head on over to check it out, see what people are saying, and download a sample section.
This workshop-in-an-ebook will guide you through the process of discovering and delighting your target client.
We’ll discover who you want to work with,
and then tailor your site until it fits that ideal client like a glove. We’ll also walk through the psychology of web browsing, write swoonworthy web copy, eliminate the stuff that drives clients away, and brainstorm fresh content ideas that will help you make your site stand apart from everyone else’s.
This e-book was written because there is no reason why your website should be a source of frustration or confusion. It’s an amazing chance to thrill your dream client and get them to take action to hire you.
I’m not going to lie – this will require work on your part, too.
Thoughtful, soul-stretching work. No one can tell you who your dream client is. No one can peer into their soul for you. They will be a custom fit for your business, and only you can discover how your artwork will make their heart melt.
But this e-book will walk you through the whole process, offering support and suggestions for leaping over any obstacles you may encounter.
This is work that relatively few people take the time to do – which is exactly why your website will shine if you do it, and you’ll have guidance every step of the way.
Beginning to end, it will empower you to create the website that books and sells on your behalf. Cool, huh?
If you’re ready to take your website from so-so to sells like crazy, you’ll want to check this out.