Booking Clients
Jun 2021

3 Copywriting Tips for the Clueless Photographer

10 min read

Ensure a great first impression! This person-centered approach to copywriting will help you build client relationships that matter. 


Wait, who said I needed to know how to write?

Oh, you didn’t get the memo when you picked up your camera?

You have to ALSO be an accountant, a lawyer, and a copywriter! Surprise! 

For reference, a copywriter is someone who writes material for an advertisement, website, any printed or online material.

Ok, now take a LONNNNNNG, deep breath. 

Writing copy is not easy, even for professionals. But please don’t let that stop you from owning your space in the photography world.

All you need is a basic outline, to know your ultimate goal, and a plan to sell yourself to future clients.

Here are just a few copywriting tips for you to get those clients booked and excited for your session!

woman in front of brick wall

Kate Cherry

Step #1: Do some research

Step one to great copywriting: talk to people.

I know all you introverts out there are experiencing heart palpitations as you read this, but hear me out.

You don’t have to call anyone necessarily, don’t worry.

What I would suggest is asking friends, past clients, and potential clients what they are looking for in a photographer and what their major hangups are when it comes to booking.

Sometimes we *think* we know what our clients want, but in reality, we are looking through our own (often very narrow) lens. This is where reaching out to people can lead to a wealth of knowledge.

Question for your clients: What keeps you from scheduling photo sessions?

laptop on table

Kate Cherry

Here are some responses to that very question when I posted it on my own personal Instagram account:

“We usually end up rushing to the photo shoot.”

“It just feels stressful to get us organized and be happy and ready for our photos.”

“I’m cheap!”

“My partner hates taking family photos.”

“Most photos don’t end up looking authentic and look more like cheesy portraits.” 

So now let’s take those responses and put them to work. You can use these “quotes” to formulate the writing on your website or social media. It can be a reassuring message to new clients, that they aren’t alone in how they feel, and how you can help them overcome these anxieties. 

woman at table

Kate Cherry

#ShootProofPRO Tip:

These quick responses can lead to DIRECT copy on your website.

Does the thought of a photo session kinda stress you out?

I bet their answer would be a resounding, “YES!”

branding photos

Kate Cherry

Step #2: Believe in what you are offering and find your voice

You need to know exactly what you’re offering and to explain that with your own personality! No one likes a vanilla photographer! 

WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT??

Maybe you love binge-watching every season of Below Deck, or you secretly collect old baseball cards. Be yourself, your clients will love you for it!

#ShootProofPRO Tip:

Take inspiration from brands that really embody what you want your brand to say. What do you want people to FEEL when they read your words? Come up with a list of adjectives that you want every single page of your website to cover.

For example:

When people land on my website, I want my potential clients to feel…

  • Like they belong.
  • I am relatable and personable (like they want to sit and have a coffee with me).
  • That I understand their problems and that I can solve them.
  • Happy!
woman on laptop

Kate Cherry

Step #3: Figure out who you want to serve and talk to them

Like, IN DETAIL. It’s ok to niche down and pretend you are talking to ONE person. This tends to feel really uncomfortable at first because we’re happy to work for anyone that will pay us.

As you get further along in this process, you’ll run across your dream client.

You’ll know them when you see them.

They appreciate what you do, they don’t ask for discounts, and they value your time. When you direct your copy at that dream client, they will rise to the surface because you are attracting them with your words. 

It’s ok to be polarizing. You can’t make everyone happy. 

That one person is actually hundreds of people in reality.

woman on phone

Kate Cherry

The goals of your photography website

Website copy is arguably MORE important than your beautifully curated photos (although we definitely need those, too).

Here are a few quick tips to make sure you cover when you’re writing the copy on your site.

  • Make sure each page has a “call to action.” A call to action is basically what you want them to do next. Things like, “Book a Session,” or “Get in Touch,” with a link to your contact page.
  • Keep the text short and relatable. PLEASE don’t write 17 paragraphs about how and when you fell in love with photography. While it’s probably a great story, people really just want to know if you’re fun, likable, etc.
  • Use different sizes and fonts for your text. The eye tends to scan. Make sure to bold the text that you want to stand out.
  • Every page should further your goal to sell yourself.
  • Solve their problems and tell them how YOU are different from the other photographers in their area.
woman with camera

Kate Cherry

Home Page

The Goal: Hooking your potential client, and getting them to stay on your site to explore more. This is where your personality can shine, but mostly, it’s about what you can offer them that is unique.

About Page

The Goal: The like, know, trust factor. You want people to get a snapshot of you that makes them say to themselves, “I could totally hang out with her ALL day! She sounds really fun to be around.” 

Contact Page

The Goal: Getting a potential client to connect with you! After they have fallen in love with your photos and YOU, you need an EASY way for them to contact you. You don’t want to create unnecessary roadblocks, so keep it short and to the point. 

woman in white shirt and jeans

Kate Cherry

What else you may want to include on your website…

  • Client testimonials
  • Fun facts about your life
  • A link to an entire photo gallery
  • A featured blog post
woman holding camera

Kate Cherry

Social media copy

Social media is another place where your words matter. You want to engage your followers in a genuine way that doesn’t sound sales-y. There’s really nothing worse than a really cheesy sales pitch at the end of a caption.

For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, you can ask your followers to tell you where they got engaged, and then to check out your blog all about the top 10 places to take engagement photos in your particular city!

#ShootProofPRO Tip:

The goal is to invest in your followers. Entertain them, teach them, tell stories, and repeatedly GIVE THEM VALUE. That’s what will build a relationship.

woman on computer

Kate Cherry

Common Mistakes Photographers Make

  • Copying other photographers. You can always pull inspiration from people we admire, but copying someone’s copy just doesn’t work for a few reasons. One, it’s plagiarism. Two, it’s not going to come off authentic.
  • Talking about yourself too much. Your clients are there to learn about your service, and get a feel for who you are…you don’t need to overdo it.
  • LONG copy. Keep it short and clear.

Don’t let words get in the way of your message. Be yourself and when all else fails, write like you talk to a friend. Literally. Sit down and write a paragraph and pretend you’re sending it to your best friend. 

We believe in you and what you offer to your clients! Happy writing! 

Check out the ShootProof Podcast about Cracking the Copywriting Code: How to Connect with Clients on Your Website with Rachel Greiman


Written by KELLY ACS | Photographs by KATE CHERRY via Two Bright Lights

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