You may have years of experience and thousands of photos in your portfolio, but your photography business isn’t sustainable without customers and clients. Photographers, like all artists and craftspeople, need to promote their work in order to generate sales and earn clients.
Setting up a photography website allows you to jumpstart your career in multiple ways. At its most basic level, a purpose-built photography website acts as a digital business card. It shows your portfolio to interested clients who may then contact and hire you. But the best photography websites go much further than that.
The best photography websites act as marketing funnels. They don’t just passively wait for clients to decide to propose commissions. They actively encourage people to contribute to your photography career in many different ways.
We’re going to cover five of the main ways top-performing photography websites outdo the rest and show how you can create one of these websites for yourself – even if you don’t have a great deal of technical experience.
For the purpose of creating your first photography website, we’re going to assume you already have a portfolio of images you want to share with the world. You may have completed a few paid projects or commissions. Or you may be brand-new to the world of professional photography.
Following these 5 Best Practices for Creating a Career-Boosting Photography Website will ensure you get the results you’ve been hoping for.
Choose the Right Platform and Website Builder
The first decision you will have to make is the web platform you’ll use to create your photography website. There are lots of different options out there. From using a free website builder to hiring a professional development team.
Your photography website doesn’t need to be expensive. You can use a free, open-source platform like WordPress to manage your content and drive the value of your imagery. WordPress.org (not WordPress.com!) is the most popular web publishing solution on the Internet today.
It comes with a wide array of plugins, themes, and customizations, including free website builders like Elementor. These tools make it easy for beginners to create high-quality websites that generate revenue.
Monetize Your Images From the Start
Once you have your portfolio up, you’ll be ready to take on commissions from interested clients from around the world. However, there’s no reason to sit and wait for those commissions to start rolling in. You can actually monetize your portfolio images from the moment you publish your website.
To do this, you will need to incorporate e-commerce functionality into the site. If you chose WordPress as your content management system, this step is simple. WordPress e-commerce plugins like WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Shopify can transform your website into a marketplace of images with minimal setup and expertise.
From here, you can sell digital prints, physical prints, or any other creative works directly through your website. Adding an entirely new revenue stream to your photography career offers a significant advantage over waiting for new commissions.
Incorporate a Strong Instagram Feed
If you don’t have a strong social media presence, now is the time to start building it. Your WordPress website acts as a digital portfolio and an e-commerce storefront, which means you can sell your products to a potentially unlimited number of people – if you can reach them.
Instagram is by far the best social media platform for artists, creators, and photographers. It’s a highly visual platform, so take advantage of your photography skills. Create compelling, relatable content that shows people who you are and what you stand for.
Leverage Lead Capturing Tools to Expand Your Customer Base
Once you have website visitors funneling onto your portfolio page, seeing your photographs, and perhaps purchasing a few, it’s time to expand. Anyone who expresses even a little bit of interest in your work is a potential customer. And you could drive sales by reaching out to them more frequently.
Lead capture tools allow you to collect and analyze data from website visitors who sign up for your email list, purchase your products, or interact with your content. You can use your webpage builder to create engaging popups that request this information from visitors. Then you can use it to sell your products and services to them through personalized messaging.
This step is crucial because it allows you to sell your existing customers as well as new ones. On average, attracting a new customer costs five times more than selling to an existing customer.
Optimize Your Website for Mobile
In today’s mobile-first environment, mobile compatibility is a must-have. If you are working on Instagram to get customers interested in your photography work, the website you invite them to must be mobile-friendly. The reason is simple – Instagram is a 100% mobile platform. The vast majority of people who will visit your website will be using mobile phones and tablets to do so.
Fortunately, WordPress makes mobile optimization easy. Using the right webpage builder and formatting your images correctly will ensure your website is attractive and functional on every kind of device out there.
Start Your Digital Photography Business Today
Your photography website can be much more than a digital business card. It can be the foundation for an entire digital photography business that generates passive revenue well into the future.
None of this prevents you from taking on commissions and working as a project photographer. In fact, it will help you make a name for yourself and ensure the highest quality commissions come your way. Start building your career by creating a photography website on WordPress and using high-performance digital marketing tools.
About the author
Yoni Yampolsky is a marketing manager at Elementor. The most popular WordPress website builder, Elementor powers more than 6% of all the world’s websites.