Whether you’re rocking the website of your dreams or brandishing a bare-bones template, we’re confident you’re well on your way to developing an original brand with delicious design and witty writing.
From portfolio to bio, we photographers bust our behinds to make our websites one-of-a-kind. So where does it all fall apart?
The contact form.
Most contact pages 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 it count!
Photo by JULES PHOTOGRAPHY
Your contact page is premium real estate! It’s 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.
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 the contact page – where visitors come to connect.
The CaRV Rule drives questions and content that:
- enable you to actively Care for your visitor.
- Reveal your brand personality to your visitor.
- make your visitor feel Valued.
Photo by CARRIE SWAILS
Pro Tip: Throughout your website, use words that are natural to you. Don’t try to be someone you’re not! 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 authentically!
“Ca” Is For “Care”
Care content enables you to actively provide quality care for your visitor. The answers to these 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.
Contact form on JULES PHOTOGRAPHY‘s website, March 2017
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 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. The answer will guide her in providing the best Care possible for that potential client – from customizing coverage, to creating a client gift, to cultivating an authentic relationship.
Photo by JULES PHOTOGRAPHY
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 their sense of humor – or you won’t. Either way, everyone will know if it’s a good match once the contact form is complete.
R Is for “Reveal”
In boldly looking for uncommon ways to Care for potential clients, Braizen Reveals their hilarious brand-personality, and offers visitors a quirky connection experience.
Contact form on BRAIZEN‘s website, March 2017
The way a visitor chooses to complete Braizen’s contact form will also Reveal a lot about the visitor – their sense of humor, their tolerance for sarcasm, their desire to “just get the job done”… Every action on Braizen’s contact form Reveals a bit of their potential client’s psychology, opening doors for better Care and connection.
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.
Contact form on CARRIE SWAILS‘ website, March 2017
Harry Potter-style contact form on CARRIE SWAILS‘ website, March 2017
Lord of the Rings-style contact form on CARRIE SWAILS‘ website, March 2017
This mad-lib, choose-your-own-adventure form style works brilliantly at communicating brand-personality and guiding a visitor through a story experience.
Ash, from The Middle Finger Project, uses the same form style, 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.
Contact form on THE MIDDLE FINGER PROJECT‘s website, March 2017
If you worry that your personality may be too big for some people – or too silly, too sappy, too sarcastic, 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!
Contact form on ERIKA NAPOLETANO’s website, March 2017
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 your clientele! 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 sure your personal portrait is as on-brand as the rest of your website’s visuals.
Your Website Is the Main Course, & Your Contact Page Is 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. It’s bound to 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.
Photo by CARRIE SWAILS
This is the letdown your potential clients experience when they devour your thoughtfully-crafted website and wonderfully-made photographs, then nibble 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.
The people who don’t get you will move along. But the people who do get you? Your people? They’ll be loyal fans for life!
Now start connecting!
Join tens of thousands of photographers worldwide who are shaking up the status quo with ShootProof!