Not everyone knows this about us, but for more than 10 years, Ace & Whim photographed gorgeous weddings throughout AZ & CA. During that time, I started branching into web design. I had designed several of our websites and really loved having another creative outlet. It become a bit of an obsession, but I used it strictly as a side hustle for years. A very long story (for another post) short and I went all in on web design in 2019. I tell you all of this, because it gives you some context to why I approach web design from your clients perspective.
When Nathan Holritz from Photographer’s Edit and I connected about doing a podcast, a pretty website that actually books clients, I was very excited. Web design is a topic that can go many directions. There are a lot of opinions and strategies. Ultimately, I build websites that my clients can be proud of, but also websites that attract and convert their ideal client.
On the Bokeh Podcast, Nathan and I dive into common “pretty” mistakes we see on website design as well as strategies you can use to help you convert your potential clients. We also talk about marriage, kids and our life a little, so if you want to hear the full episode, you can check it out HERE.
Pretty Website Mistakes
Using pretty fonts that are difficult to read
Beautiful script fonts definitely have their place. Used in moderation, they are an accent to a website. Used to provide important text, they can be a huge mistake. You should never use script fonts for important messages in your site, as they are difficult to read. Use script fonts in these design savvy ways: As headers or intros, “Hey Friend, Hi there, What’s new”.
Too little copy (text)
You do not want to overwhelm your potential clients with a lot of text, but you do want to provide several sections of text by topic/subject that they will glance through. Your website needs text for SEO and for a good user experience. A website with too little text can feel sterile and unwelcoming. Break up text with headers, subheadings, short paragraphs and clear calls to action.
Designing a website your peers will love
Don’t get me wrong, we all want our peers to swoon over our website, but that should not prevent you from providing the best experience for your potential clients. Keep your design mobile friendly- statistically speaking, 70% of your potential clients are viewing from their phone. Try not to get hung up on how a website looks on a 27″ Mac, because your clients are viewing on a 13″ Macbook.
Effective Web Design Strategies
Create clear & creative CTA’s (call to action)
Your website CTA’s can make or break your conversion. Use phrases that are unique and eye catching. Instead of saying, “contact me”, you can say, “let’s talk” “get in touch” “say hey” “start the journey” “let’s do this”.
Be sure your CTA’s stand out, using boxes or buttons to frame them. Make sure they are a color that pops off the page from the rest of your color palette. Or create hover effects on your CTA’s so they grow in size or change color.
Include movement and transitions throughout the site
Sometimes movement can be distracting, but when used consistently throughout the site, it can keep the users attention. Have certain images slowly fade in as the user scrolls. Have a CTA slide in as an added incentive to click.
Have a clear and present brand statement
Don’t be shy about WHO your ideal client is and HOW you serve them. It is always good to qualify your potential clients right away. If you love shooting luxury vineyard weddings in CA, then say: “California Wedding Photographer, Specializing in Private Estate & Vineyard Luxury Weddings”.
Offer an incentive or freebie to capture email adresses
Give clients a reason to keep in touch. If you’re a wedding photographer, offer them a free wedding day checklist or timeline. If you are a family photographer, offer them a “what to wear” guide for family photos. This also gives you the ability to flex your knowledge and experience muscles-giving you credibility in your industry. People love free stuff and once you have their email, you can send them more freebies and potential sales info for booking.
These are the highlights from my podcast episode with Nathan and the Bokeh Podcast, “a pretty website that actually books clients”. If you want to hear the entire episode, you can find it here.
If you’d like to see the youtube interview, you can view that HERE.