A graphic designer goes to art school and learns how to make things look nice. They know how to make something look pleasing to the eye and if you hire one, you will be very impressed with what they come up with. But you’re not looking for a marketing piece that will impress your prospective clients.
If that’s all you want, then by all means, hire a graphic design services. What you want instead is a marketing piece that gets people to take action, either to call you or to book a session. That’s it. The reality is that “pretty” marketing pieces are not what get people to take action. What does that is an effective message.
I tell you this so that you can stop worrying yourself that you don’t have the money to have beautiful, double-sided, full-color postcards designed and printed professionally, to send out to your mailing list and display at various businesses. All you really need is your computer, a printer and some card stock in different colors. Using a program such as Microsoft Word, print up some cards with a testimonial from one of your clients and send it out. You can also create a “mini-newsletter” with current happenings in your business.
Another idea you can do is to put a photography-related tip on the card. It could be something about how to choose a photographer for their child, how to get their children to smile when they take their pictures, or how to make their portrait session a success. Use your imagination and photographic knowledge and you can come up with almost unlimited ideas to put on these postcards. Then under the box with your testimonial, newsletter or tip, always include a little message from yourself that prompts them to contact you. As always, include all of your contact information and your logo.
All of the above applies to your website as well. You can create a website yourself through Yahoo using Yahoo! Sitebuilder. But I realize you may not be very internet savvy and may not want to take on the challenge of creating your own website. If this is the case, then you can hire someone to create your website for you, but don’t spend way more than you need to for a fancy flash website that simply displays your pretty pictures. Don’t get me wrong, people will admire your beautiful work, but in most cases this will not be enough to get them to call you. What will get them to call you is a “call to action.”
Start by advertising your current specials and prompt them to request more information about your services. Also, if you have a blog, have a form for them to fill out to receive an email when your blog is updated with a new post.
I’m not telling you not to include photos on your website. By all means, you should have your very best work displayed on every page. But don’t depend on that to sell people on your services. And don’t think that your website itself needs to be fancy. My website was completely designed by myself using Yahoo! Sitebuilder. It is very simple compared to a lot of photographers out there.
The truth is, a fancy website does not automatically equal a big paycheck. Keep things simple and remember that although your website is a great way to display your portfolio, the only purpose of your website is to get new clients, and anything that doesn’t help fulfill that purpose should not be there.
Feel free to visit my website at https://www.unicorngo.com/ to get ideas for what to include on your website.