Dream websites should attract dream clients! Here’s how cleverly crafted contact forms help seal the deal. (Five genius examples included!)
From fully-customized websites to bare-bones template, focused photographers are developing one-of-a-kind brands using smart design, clever copy, and a whole lot of scrappy persistence. Look through ten photography websites, and you’ll find breathtaking home pages, stunning portfolios, and beautiful blogs. What doesn’t get much love?
Most contact forms showcase dreary white boxes floating in a sea of drab negative space, sporting equally uninspiring messaging.
Name. Email. Message.
Don’t make this mistake. Make your contact form count!
Contact Forms Are Premium Real Estate
Your contact page is the next stop for potential clients who’ve fallen in love with your work and want to give you money!
Your contact page should motivate visitors to contact you. It should make them want to connect.
This is why you need the CaRV Rule, a game-changing approach to contact and connection that will finally make your contact page the marketing tool it should be.
CaRV: Care, Reveal, Value
Your brand should carve a you-shaped niche in the photography marketplace. That inherent color, voice, and energy should flow throughout your website, including your contact page – where visitors come to connect.
Put CaRV Into Practice
The CaRV rules:
- enable you to actively Care for your visitor
- Reveal your brand personality to your visitor
- make your visitor feel Valued
Pro Tip: Your Words Should Feel Natural
Throughout your website, use words that are natural to you. Write conversationally, then read what you’ve written out loud. If it sounds awkward, rewrite until it flows naturally off your tongue. That’s when you know you’re communicating in an authentic, sustainable voice.
“Ca” = Care
Care content enables you to actively provide quality care for your visitor. The answers to Care questions tell you what your visitor needs from you.
Details about wedding photography packages? Pricing for a newborn portrait? Location options for an engagement session?
Ask the questions that will help you help them.
Don’t leave key details to chance. Be proactive. Show that you Care about your visitor’s needs, and ask!
Jules Photography gets the details she needs in a colorful space that flows seamlessly into the rest of her website’s design. Her contact form is energetic and fun, adding interest to even the most basic questions.
She screens for clients who understand her style and approach with one unexpected question:
“What is your favorite TV show EVER?”
“Recently, a bride answered, ‘Dr. Who!’ I was like, WE’RE KINDRED SPIRITS! Then I [also] learned she’d recently gone skydiving, and I knew we were meant to be. Weird questions can tell you a lot about someone!”
– Julie Vansant
Because Julie’s ideal clientele celebrates in eccentric ways, it’s important to her to understand what makes them unique from the moment they contact her. Their answers guide her in providing the best Care possible – from customizing coverage, to creating client gifts, to cultivating authentic relationships.
“R” = Reveal
Design team Braizen understands that Care is more than sentimentality. They invite visitors into their world in a cheeky, daring fashion. You’ll either connect with Braizen’s sarcastic humor – or you won’t. Either way, everyone will know if it’s a good match once the contact form is complete.
In boldly looking for uncommon ways to Care for potential clients, Braizen Reveals their hilarious brand-personality, and offers visitors a quirky connection experience.
The way a visitor completes Braizen’s contact form also Reveals a lot about the visitor – their sense of humor, their tolerance for sarcasm, or their desire to “just get the job done” and bypass pesky get-to-know-you chats.
Self-proclaimed “nerdtographer” Carrie Swails’s contact page Reveals her personality so completely, like-minded visitors won’t even consider hiring anyone else once they’ve reached Carrie’s contact page! Her brand-personality explodes off the screen, and visitors fall head-over-feet upon arrival.
This mad-lib, choose-your-own-adventure style of contact forms works brilliantly to communicate brand-personality and guide visitors through a story-experience.
Ash, from The Middle Finger Project, chooses the same approach, inviting visitors to join her brash, irreverent banter. The Middle Finger Project’s polarizing brand-personality thrives precisely because it isn’t trying to be everything to everyone.
If you’re worried that your personality may be too big for some people – or too silly, too sappy, too sarcastic, or too sensational – you’re right. It will be. That’s the point.
You can’t be friends with everyone; you can’t be everyone’s photographer, and not everyone can be your client. Embrace the opportunity to Reveal yourself clearly and attract your ideal client.
V Is for “Value”
Value questions are crafted to make your visitor feel seen, heard, and valued. When a client feels Valued, they sense no obligation on your part. They know you are genuinely interested in who they are and what they need.
Actor Erika Napoletano gathers information in a simple, creative way, including plenty of space for her visitors to deliver a personal message. Filling out her contact form feels like an interaction with Erika herself!
Erika also understands the appeal of a friendly face. Visitors like to know who they’re contacting. If you look like someone they’d like to work with, they’re much more likely to reach out to you.
If you have a great photograph of yourself, highlight it on your contact page. And if you don’t have any share-worthy photographs of yourself, remedy that ASAP. You’re a photographer, for crying out loud!
Pro Tip: Know What Your Clients Like
If your clients love bright, happy photos, don’t post a somber, artsy portrait of yourself. If you’re a fine artist making moody, epic portraits, a photograph of you should fit that theme. Make your personal portrait is as on-brand as the rest of your website’s visuals.
If Websites Are the Main Course, Contact Pages Are Dessert
Imagine you’ve just enjoyed a multi-course dinner at an incredible restaurant. You were served all your favorite foods, fresh and flavorful and beautifully plated. The meal will be expensive, but you don’t care. It’s been worth every penny!
You eagerly order dessert, ready to wrap up this occasion with one final course. The waiter emerges from the kitchen, approaches the table, and presents…
…a plate of stale store-bought cookies.
This is the letdown your potential clients experience when they devour your thoughtfully-crafted website and wonderfully-made photographs, only to end on a flavorless contact page.
Speak directly to your target market with every word and every photograph on every page. Care for, Reveal to, and Value your visitors with inspiration from some of the coolest contact forms ever made.