We, creatives, like to believe that websites are a wonderful place to express your true personality, showcase your best work and unleash your creativity. And this is all true! However, looking at it from a more business-oriented perspective - the main goal of your website is to convert visitors into clients, and make you money. This is the only online space you have complete control over. You decide your narrative, how you present your brand, how people perceive you and what actions they take on your site. And with a bit of practice, you can transform your website into your number one sales tool.
Need a few proven ways to monetize your website? Keep reading for 7 tactics that work great for for any photographer and creative entrepreneur.
1. Set up a shop
An online shop is the most efficient way to make money on your website. As a photographer, there are plenty of things you can sell through an online shop, from guides, ebooks, courses and presets, to gift cards, prints, albums, etc. Take some compelling product images, add an engaging description and you’re ready to go.
Not sure how to set up a shop on your site? Ideally you’d want to use a website platform that has online e-commerce integrations built in, for example Squarespace. Here’s a helpful tutorial on how to set up a shop inside your Squarespace 7.1 website.
2. Create a seamless journey for your visitors
Not all users who land on your website are determined to make a purchase. Sometime you need to guide them. Create strategic sections on your site that lead visitors to where YOU want them to go. Do you have a shop? Add a snippet with your best selling products on the homepage. Got a separate page or section that describes the benefits of your products, and how they’ve impacted the life of your previous clients? Link those, too. Or, let’s say someone is reading your about page. What would be the most logical next step? They probably want to see some of your best works, a testimonial from people who already used your services, and only then - invite them to check out your investment packages or contact page.
If this all seems a bit too overwhelming, you can opt to build your website on a ready-made template, like the ones from Squaremuse. Their team did the homework for you, and created beautiful (but also strategical) page layouts, that highlight all important content on your website, link to your essential pages, and help you guide your site visitors in a seamless and fun way, up till the moment they’re ready to take action. Some of Squaremuse’s design kits even come with a pre-made shop layout, making your site building task a pice of cake!
If you’re intrigued, we asked Squaremuse for a 25% discount on all their designs, exclusive for our Narrative users. Get 25% off their Squarespace 7.0 and 7.1 designs, by applying the code NARRATIVE at checkout.
3. Use Promotional Popups and Announcement Bars
Everyone needs kind reminders from time to time. Your website visitors are no exception. If you’re running a discount or special offer - create a discreet announcement bar or a popup to grab your users’ attention. With most popup tools, you can control their time and frequency of display, so they don’t appear too pushy. The main benefit is that you get to announce your news or limited offer to everyone, including users who never planned to make a purchase, yet are now considering it. Bonus tip: create a sense of urgency with your popups or announcement bars, ie. this sale ends soon, last 2 spots left in my course, accepting last bookings for summer 2021. This will motivate more people to take action asap.
4. Offer Lead Magnets
Lead Magnets are valuable resources that you offer your site visitors for free, in exchange for their email address. You may be asking - how do I make money out of something that I would give away for free? Growing an email list is a guaranteed way to turn new visitors into paying customers. Once they download the resource on your website, set up an email automation sequence, to nurture a relationship and allow them to get to know you better. Send several emails over a period of time, presenting your brand, sharing some testimonials, offering a special discount or inviting to connect over a call. Need some ideas for lead magnets to offer your site visitors? We have a whole list for photographers here.
5. Add a Pricing Page
Do you still use pdf files to share pricing information with your clients? If so, you’ll probably want to move it all to your website after reading this. Here’s why:
- PDF files aren’t mobile friendly, and most of your prospects and clients check their messages and communication on their phone. Do you think they’ll enjoy scrolling through your pdf on a tiny screen? Probably not. Create a hidden page on your website, available only through a direct link, and share that with your prospects. Their experience will be much better.
- PDF files are not helping your SEO, but a pricing page on your site, where users spend quite some time browsing through it, will surely add karma points to your Google ranking.
- PDFs take longer to update, while your website page can be tweaked in a jiffy.
Ready to move your pricing details to your website? Great! Here are some additional tips on how to build a powerful pricing page. You can also consider these beautiful ready-made templates by Squaremuse. They include everything you need to intrigue your potential clients and convince them to send you an inquiry. Pricing Kits are available for all Squarespace 7.0 users - check them out, and save 25% off when you use the code NARRATIVE.
6. Use Affiliate and Referral Links
Do you collaborate with different brands or fellow peers in the industry? Ask if they have an affiliate program (they probably do!). Here is how it works: you get a unique referral link from your partner, link it somewhere on your website or social media, and earn a commission from purchases that you referred through that link.
If you want to make money off your affiliate links, you need to put in some effort and promote them. Simply linking it on a banner won’t do the trick. Create 1-2 articles or pages, through which you share your honest and helpful opinion about a product, tool, brand. List out the benefits and how it impacted your life, then share a special discount code if you have one. All links inside this article or page, should be your unique referral links, that can be tracked to purchases. That’s it, promote this article or page through your channels, and track results and collect affiliate $$$.
7. Optimize your Contact Page
Did you know that you lose most of your prospects on the Contact Page? If you check your website stats and compare how many people visited your contact page last month versus how many submitted the contact form - you’ll be surprised by the difference in numbers.
Here are a few reasons why you may be losing leads via your contact page:
- Your contact form may be too long. Filling out a difficult form is yet another task added to your visitors’ already busy schedule - they’ll most likely give up on it.
- You ask about budgets in your contact form. Not everybody is instantly ready to share how much they want to spend on your services.
- You don’t include your contact details. Some people would rather hop on a call or shoot your an email instead of filling out a boring form. Give them that opportunity.
Make your contact page exciting! Add an impactful image, write an engaging headline and tell them what to expect after they fill out the form. Unless you can afford to have fewer but better-qualified leads - try to keep the contact form short. 5-6 simple questions should be enough for you to get the absolutely necessary information at this point. You can find out more details over a meetup or call.
If you want more tips on how to sell through your contact page - we highly recommend this podcast episode by FloInsider, with Sam Jacobson, the guru of sales, pricing and copywriting for wedding pros.
That’s all, folks! If you implement at least one thing on this list, you’ll already start noticing growth in your business. Be patient, be flexible and be ready to change your tactics if something doesn’t work. You’ve got it!