They say there are 3 responses you can receive from website design – Yes, No and Wow! Obviously we’re big fans and promoters of good website design, therefore, we always aim for a WOW impact. But what does “good design” even mean, especially when it’s for photography websites, and why is it so important?
In this article we’ll be unveiling the powerful effects design can have over your website traffic, potential clients as well as unique brand positioning within a crowded industry. Also, we’ll show you what’s the difference between a Traditional Growth Model and an Iteration Growth Model, and why the second one will help your business grow faster. Finally, you’ll get to learn how design works and peek at a few custom website design projects that we did for our clients.
How Design Influences Your Website Traffic & Potential Clients
Truth be told, website design is so much more than just pretty colors, some well matched fonts and solid visual content (your photography, videography portfolio) to support and compliment it. Not many realize that colors, typography, animations, icons, even empty spaces are all elements of a strategic game, designed to masterfully support as a framework for your craft while guiding users through a website page towards a Call to Action (CTA). You do want them to contact you, and book your photography / filmmaking services.
Here’s how it works, take a look at the graphic from the design our agency did for David Beahm:
You probably looked first at the handsome bearded man in the photo on the left, then “Meet Team BEAHM”, then “Our Family”, afterwards the quote in Italic, then the two CTAs in bold, and only after – the last paragraph of text. How do we know that? Because that’s how, good design is meant to work. Each element is “positioned” in a certain way, to create a visual hierarchy and road map for your eyes.
Here’s another example, a project we did for Fer Juaristi, this time focusing on ways a graphic visual design can sell your values and manifesto, through an authentic and clear narrative of your brand and who you are. See the full page here: www.ferjuaristi.com
As you can see, just through typography, powerful imagery and a strong message from Fer, we managed to captivate your attention and got you curiously scrolling and reading through each section. Consequently, at the bottom of the page the “From the Blog” section appeared, alluring you to continue browsing through Fer Juaristi’s portfolio, then About and Contact pages.
Now you know. Imagine how much control and power this puts into your hands?!
A well established brand, with a strong visual design, strategically placed CTAs and high quality products (photography/videography work in your case). Do it right, and new clients will be inquiring on a daily basis. All it takes is building a platform (website) that conveys the mood and feel of your brand, of your personality and the experience clients will get while working with you. Mesmerize them with your best images/videos, make them want to work with you – then place a call to action exactly there, when they are ready to take the next step. Elementary my dear Watson :]
Apart from good website traffic, and users converting into leads, then clients – a good website design can also help your photography brand stand out. We all know how crowded the creative industry is, therefore, being remarkable and memorable is paramount. This is where the idea of getting a Custom Website Design should start making more sense to you. Why? Because it means that you’ve evolved as a business, accumulated experience, refined your style and voice, and now you are ready to leverage that growth and transition your brand into a new maturity level.
Branding, Rebranding & Redesigning Your Photography Website
The desire and need to invest into branding, rebranding and a more sophisticated, custom website design usually arrises once you get a deeper understanding of the type of clients and projects you want to work with. At Flothemes, clients usually approach us for a Personalized Website Design for several reasons:
>> they feel that their current website does not define and reflect their character and brand, therefore attracting the wrong type of clients.
>> they want to refine and narrow down their client market as they are currently too broad in terms of style and location (region, area of work).
>> they have built a successful business overtime and would like to work with a creative team that understands the photography market, and can lead them through the transition process, rather than being lead and told what to do.
>> and finally, they believe that their clients deserve a unique experience. Their manifesto is couture, but their current approach and message is not tailored to that specific clientele that they focus and aim to attract. Therefore, they may be missing their perfect client and fail at detracting the wrong leads.
Each one of these clients, feels that a website theme (even as flexible and customizable as Flothemes) cannot fully embrace and empower their branding and photography business anymore. Our team helps them reposition themselves within the creative community and transition into a new business stage, by building a platform (website) that helps them promote and sell their work, grow and evolve their aesthetics.
When you work with a creative design company, such as Flothemes, you get more than just a beautiful photography website design. You are consulted on your brand image, brand and business positioning. We’ll help you figure out where you want to be in 3-5 years and how to get there. We’ll also create a Stylekit or Full Brand Kit (with package #3) for your business, and teach you how to use your branding elements (fonts, colors, logo variations, icons, etc) to weave your brand voice into everything you do.
By now, you are probably eager to see some real examples of Custom Websites from our clients, right? Here you go:
We will be sharing a case study for each of these clients in the following weeks, describing the objectives, process as well as the impact the website redesign had on their business. Stick around, get inspired and ask questions. After all, our ultimate goal is not to put you in the spotlight for a few days during your website launch, so you’re showered with compliments and admiration from friends, fans and peers. Well, that too (*wink), but the fundamental purpose is to help you become more profitable and progress as a business. This is achieved through remarkable visual impression for your clientele and visitors, by creating a more engaging user experience on your website. It should include tactical call to actions placed throughout your pages, as well as your new learnings on how to position, present and sell your brand and your work.
Website Redesign Timing. Traditional vs Iteration Growth Model
One last thing worth mentioning is that it usually takes around 2 seasons to reposition your business and get the clients you really want, especially if you postpone your revamp, rebranding and price update for the low season. This is the Traditional Growth Model, used by most photographers. Here’s how it works:
By November – January, when you finally have time to redesign your site, you’re already 50-70% booked for next season. These clients booked you based on your previous work, old photography website and current prices. When you start revamping, updating galleries and adding new work to your site – hopefully you curate your work! You remove old galleries that are no longer aligned with your style and attract the wrong type of clients. And you carefully select only the best images from your latest shoots to feature on your homepage.
Don’t want to do family portraits anymore? don’t show them on your site, AT ALL. Dreaming of taking clients hiking up in the hills, trashing their dress? Feature that! Soon you’ll begin to notice how through curation your site automatically filters your leads. The clients you really want to work with will start inquiring more after you launch your new site. However, most of those bookings will be for the following summer. 2 years after you’ve decided to revamp.
This is exactly why we recommend updating your website during busy season and adopting the Iteration Growth Model. Which basically means having a few iteration points throughout the year, including one throughout your high season, where you make updates (brand, website, price, etc), and test them with clients. This will not only get you ahead of competition, but will also allow you to test ideas and price changes faster, attract the right type of clients sooner, and exponentially grow in a shorter period of time.
Once you understand the value you are getting, the idea of doing brand updates during your most hectic season isn’t that scary and daunting anymore. Truthfully, it’s a really easy process, when you work not only with the best team of designers and developers, but also a team that actually understands your business!