Your website is your online storefront. This is important because it is often one of the first representations of your business that your potential clients encounter, so it needs to be accurate and up-to-date!
But what if you’re in the beginning stages of your business and you don’t even have a website yet? No problem–let’s get your online storefront set up!
Purchase a Domain
First, I encourage you to purchase a domain. A domain is the part that comes after the “www” part of the web address. This should be something that is directly related to your business. For example, The Photography Framework’s domain is www.photographyframework.com, not www.businessblueprint.com. Although they could still house the same resources, it doesn’t make sense if the domain name is not related to the business’s name that it represents.
Create a Site Map
A site map is basically a bird’s eye view of your website. It is broken down page-by-page and section-by-section to help organize the flow of your website.
This is particularly helpful when trying to track a potential client’s “journey” throughout your website, from time of arrival to time of departure. Your main goal is to get them to the contact page, so it’s important that they have easy access to take action.
Decide Whether to Blog
To blog or not to blog…that is the question. And the answer is really up to you.
When I first started I was overwhelmed by the thought of having to keep up regular content for a blog while I was juggling all the other start-up responsibilities, so I did not start with a blog initially. It was my opinion that if I had a blog and it had nothing on it, that it would imply I was out of business, rather than just not having a blog at all…
Often whether or not you have a blog will also affect the price that a website host charges you monthly or annually, so take that into consideration as well!
Select Images for Your Website
Needless to say, this is important, considering you are a photographer!
I once heard this analogy from Amy & Jordan, fellow photography educators. I am paraphrasing, so forgive any discrepancies. Amy described a museum–one that was perfectly curated, left some white space for spectators to digest the art work. But that museum only displays about 10% of the artwork they actually have to offer…the best 10%. The remaining 90% of the artwork is left downstairs in the museum’s basement archives. Why? Because if all the artwork was displayed, it would be overwhelming. But also, because it’s important to show your clients your best work when they visit your “museum”/website.
You want to show them the very best of what you have to offer–don’t clutter your site with images that are messy and overwhelming. That will be a turn-off to potential clients!
Now you have a starting point for your website. I understand it can be incredibly overwhelming to design and write copy for your site, but the most difficult part is starting.
Rest assured that your website will be an ever-changing piece to your business. As you grow as a photographer, you will update your images. As you grow as a business owner, you may update your pages or sections that reflect copy that appeals more directly to your ideal client. Regardless though…it’s important to just start.
To get started with your website, download the free Service-Based Website Checklist that includes all the pages and sections your service-based website should include.
If you would like more support to create your website, consider the Website Planning Resource from The Photography Framework shop! This resource goes more in-depth with how to purchase a domain, plan your website using a site map, determine whether to host a blog, and select the best images for your website.
Still want more resources for your website endeavor? Here are some related website blog posts:
One Quick Fix for Your Website
Squarespace: A Good Beginner Website Host
The Importance of a Contact Form
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