Social media can be a great tool of any photographer at advertise and gain more customers; there is...
Social media can be a great tool of any photographer at advertise and gain more customers; there is endless material available on how to plan a social media strategy to gain more business. While gaining likes and followers on your social pages can generate new leads and clients, many photographers are now bypassing having a website. These photographers are purely relying on social media for their online presence. Yet, for as successful as a social media and other apps have been, there are still a number of reasons to continue to maintain a website.
A website acts as a business card for the Internet, as it gives any potential customer all the relevant information they need before purchasing a product of service. A Facebook page doesn't have the facilities to display this much information and so a customer would be eager to browse your website before making a decision.
Having a top-notch website can give you a edge on your competitors as you're displaying a professional starting point to your customers. A successful business needs a fully functioning website to draw in customers just as much as it needs a regularly update social network.
You might think that a website might seem like a bad headache - a thing you struggle to build in the days before smartphones and apps. Yet, as successful as the app ecosystem as been, there still are a number of reasons to continue maintaining a website. If you still need some convincing, here are a few points on why a website is still beneficial for your business.
Think about the web as a never ending catalogue of companies and businesses; a customer can search for a product or service by typing a few terms into a search engine. If you wish to be apart of this world wide catalogue you need to have a website were customers can find you. We still are incredibly reliant on web search (aka Google) to the tune of 3 billion searches per day. And Google's current algorithm simply doesn't serve up social media post in prominent sear result positions.
Thus if you want to be found online, you still need to build an online footprint through your website, blog, and other online mentions. Organic search is free and it only exist because you have a content filled website.
Developing Your Brand
Your business's brand is its identity and your website should be an extension of this. Many social media platforms are great marketing tools. But in using them, you are required to display your content in their branded environment.
the number of image, size, cropping, background color, etc are all constrained by a third party platform - and inevitably these parameters will conflict with how you want your photography to appear. Your personal website is largely free of these issues. Also a well designed website should reflect the promise of your brand and the quality of your products or services.
The ability to convert potential clients into paying customers is the holy grail of online conversion. Social Media platforms are simply not designed to sell products despite many apps and new integrations. But your personal website can support e-commerce sales. Fotomatter.net for example, allows sales of prints, products, and integrates with payments systems like PayPal.
Control Your Creativity
The terms and conditions of social media platforms have been constantly changing. However, it is unlikely Facebook will mutate into Getty Images and start selling your images. On the other hand, you grant most social media platforms a royalty-free license to any image you post. Given the rapid pace of change, an image you upload today could be subsumed into another app or spin-off platform that you find objectionable.
I haven't seen anything in industry reports that would lead me to believe the value of a website will be materially diminished in the next five years. You've worked hard to get where you are. Let the world see it. The internet isn't going anywhere and it will continue to dominant as a standard-based mechanism for information. Don't neglect that website you've had for awhile, it's time to get on it.