Brett Maxwell took up the challenge and weighed in on last week’s “…about your website…” post. My assertion is that your website is an argument as to why someone should hire you. Brett chimed in with:
“The way I see it your website is an argument as to why someone should contact you.”
Let’s talk about all the ways Brett is wrong.
Just kidding, although you all know how much I hate being contradicted, especially when I’m trying to be clever. I can totally see this argument. After all, the standard photography-industry convention is that a client will see your work, decide they like you, and then there is a whole courtship ritual involving emails, phone calls, consultations, contracts, negotiation, diner and drinks, etc.
My idea in questioning this assertion is to challenge that whole convention that this contact train is necessary. When we work through the client-attraction/argument-building portion of our workshops photographers are always telling me that they’ll, “explain that when we meet with them.” That’s totally fine if you are getting every meeting that you want, but I’m sure there are perfect clients who aren’t sold enough without that additional meeting information that aren’t taking the next step. It is also entirely possible (probable?) that the client doesn’t understand the benefit to themselves to go through the meeting process.
Look, I know that some people are going to want to put all kinds of qualifiers and geting-to-know you stuff in the way of a booking. Totally fine, knock yourself out. But my question always comes back to the true benefit of putting those obstacles in the way of the right person hiring you. It has become so popular these days to talk about red-flags and how to pre-qualify out the wrong people, but I’m really convinced that there isn’t enough work being done to help the right people understand why they are the right people.
Sure, if your ultimate goal is to get someone to contact you then you can build a website to do that. I still don’t think the average home slideshow/galleries/info/contact website structure is a very directed way to accomplish that but I get it. I just think that’s leaving a pretty vital part of the getting-hired process out and requiring the client to jump through some hoops to pick you. My goal here is not to convince people not to have meetings or build relationships, but to step back and think about all the parts of the why-you-should-hire-me argument and think about whether or not you want all those elements of the argument at the client’s fingertips RIGHT NOW or whether it benefits you to chop them up and parcel them out. You might have a compelling reason for both, but I know which one I’m going with.