Howdy and welcome to EP 16 of the Photo Business Help podcast. If you’re new to the show, and the show is pretty new, here’s a little bit about me…
I’ve been shooting professionally since 2009 and teaching and mentoring hundreds of photographers since 2013…but I wanted to reach more people. I left my teaching career (high school English) and grew my four digit photo passion into my 6-figure business, and I have every intention of continuing to grow and learn and aim higher.
The lifestyle tips and business-building-know-how in this podcast applies to anyone wanting to grow in business and in life, not just photographers.
If you have been tuning in regularly these first few weeks, thank you! I hope you’re getting value and inspiration from these episodes. I appreciate you being here and taking time to listen.
I think I’m finally getting into a flow with this show, and have found better and better ways to make time for it in my schedule. As I record this episode, I’m in a temporary apartment in Austin while my partner and I look for a place to call home for a while. We decided to come down for a couple of weeks, and the place we’re staying is one of those boxy, trendy condo places that have been cropping up in every city I’ve visited in the past few years.
There is something a little weird about a brand new building vs the early 20th century style apartments and houses I’ve lived in in the past. They smell new. The landscaping is a little too perfect and the new trees teeny tiny. There’s a little bit of a too-clean vibe in the public spaces, like the gym. I feel bad sweating in there it’s so pristine. But then I remember to change my mindset and enjoy the good things…that there is a gym and it’s not gross. And the pool. And the kitchen with free Nescafe espresso and really bright workspaces for us itinerant people.
There’s always going to be a new trend, and as we saw with most of the cars and microwave foods of the 80s, they aren’t always the brightest ideas. But I’ve decided to embrace being in this modern apartment for this visit, even though a part of me longs of the grand wooden built-ins and stain glass windows of older spaces.
Speaking of space, today I’d like to talk about things to avoid in your online space. Aka, your website. I’ve put together the top five things I think are important to consider when updating or creating and online presence.
I’ve also added a bonus 6th thing that I think is THE MOST important of all that I thought of after this thing was put together, so stay tuned for that at the end.
If you’d like to skip listening and just get to it, I’ve also added this content in PDF format for you to keep. So if you’re that kind of learner, head to jennings.photo/fivetoavoid and get a free copy of this show to help you checklist your site. That’s jennings.photo/fivetoavoid for a free copy of stuff in this episode.
Along with things that are good, there are definitely some things to avoid when setting up your website. Here are a few that I think top the list:
Auto Play Music
Music is a fantastic addition to the mood and experience of viewing photos, but the option to listen is better than blasting your viewer from the get-go. People might be in a quiet place, at work, etc. and if your site launches into a rock ballad at full volume, your potential client is going leave, and fast.
Avoid slideshows that are SUPER long. Say, more than 15 images. You want to entice folks to seek out more of your work rather than have to wait through a timed slideshow for more than 30 seconds or so. Building momentum and excitement is an important part of walking your client through your site without them losing interest.
We already covered this, and it’s definitely a big one to avoid.
Important things that are hard to find
Make the things you want people to see EASY TO FIND. If you’re highlighting a particular product, make sure it’s front and center, not at the bottom of the second page or in tiny print somewhere.
Also covered above, avoid continuity errors with style, tone and the general feel of your site. One great way to do this is to pick one or two fonts ONLY and one or two colors and build from there. It’s easy to get too busy, or font-y, or colorful. Limiting yourself is a great way to dial things in and keep things simple. There’s a lot of variation you can achieve with just a couple of fonts, including side, lowercase, all caps, italic, bold, etc. and still remain on-brand.
Okay, that was the big five. As promised I thought of a HUGE one after this was all put together, so I’m adding it on as a bonus.
Number 6: Avoid doing all of your edits in destop or laptop mode!!
Every year the percentage of mobile usage increases, and that means more and more people are finding you from their phones or tablets. That’s why it’s imperative that you not only have a responsive site (this means that it automatically adjusts to whatever format the user is on, and don’t worry, most templates have this built in these days) but it’s super important that everything looks the way you want it to on your phone. So if you’re making adjustments to your website, be sure to check mobile and avoid doing everything on desktop only.
Okay, that’s it for this episode! Thanks, as always, for tuning in. If you’d like a copy of these items to revisit later, head to jennings.photo/fivetoavoid
Catch you next time. And remember, in all you want to achieve, consistence is key.