I can literally hear you groaning over there. I know as a photographer community, most of you are very visually oriented, and likely DREAD having to come up with original and compelling words to go with all of your amazingly crafted images.
BUT, as an online business owner in this day and age, I firmly believe every entrepreneur needs to learn “just enough to be dangerous” when it comes to writing copy and crafting a message for your business.
We all know your images are the real magic behind your business – but you literally can’t sell without words thrown in the mix.
In today’s post, I want to talk you through 5 quick action steps that will help you to improve your copy anywhere you need words. So, whether it’s your home page or services page on your website, an Instagram bio refresh or another dreaded caption, these tips will help you uplevel, no matter where you are right now.
1.Check your home page headline – does it attract and repel?
I’m sure you’ve heard this advice before. Your message should attract the right people and repel the wrong ones.
Okay, easier said than done, right?
Start by checking the copy above the fold on your website. “Above the fold” means before they start scrolling. Does the copy in that prime real estate tell them what you do, who you do it for, and how you do it differently?
Attract: Who do you want to attract? What do they value? What are they like? What do they want? What do they want to avoid?
Repel: Watch the words you’re using, and make sure they’re something someone (the wrong person!) could say “no” to.
For example, if you use a phrase like “photographing joyful couples,” chances are a newly engaged couple is joyful. At the very least, they would never admit to not being joyful, right?! So, sure, that casts a wide net – but speaking to everyone ultimately is speaking to no one. Instead of joyful or adventurous, one of my clients opted to use the word “rad” to describe her couples. This goes much further in attracting and repelling. “Rad” attracts couples with a funky, fun vibe. It incorporates adventure, but maybe more adventure in style or personality.
See the difference? Run a check on your home page headline, and see if it’s attracting and repelling.
2. Check your home page strategy – are you sending people to ALL THE PLACES? Don’t.
With our diverse business strategies, it’s easy to get overwhelmed at all the places to send your people.
I want them to join my list!
Read all my blog posts; they’re amazing!
Oh, look at this gallery – no, really, look at all 423 images. Please.
Learn about my favorite foods and stuff!
Your home page is a specific kind of beast, because you have all different temperatures of visitors landing there.
You’ve got cold leads: Maybe from Pinterest or Google, but they’ve got no clue who you are or what you specialize in.
You’ve got warm leads: Maybe these people found you on Instagram, or they got your name from a friend.
You’ve got hot leads: These are your beloved long-time followers – the people who’ve had you in their wedding vision book for 3 years, ya know?
That means, on a home page, it’s really hard to speak to ONE person. Right? So we’ve got to make sure and have something to meet each of these three visitors where they are – BUT, not more than that.
Be sure that your home page is all about them. Then, give them a chance to opt-in, go straight to your services page, or contact you right away.
I actually don’t recommend sending someone to a gallery page. Galleries, by nature, are conversion dead zones, because there’s typically no call to action. Instead, try incorporating curated, collapsible galleries onto your home page, and then prompt them to learn about the experience (a.k.a. Go to your services page).
3. Make sure your About Page is ABOUT THEM.
Yep, even your About Page is about them. Crazy, right? This online world is too nosy to spend pages waxing eloquently about our Bachelors in Fine Arts and 5 moves in 5 years. That is unless it directly pertains to how we serve our people in the best way, OR how we can relate with their story.
Action Step: Go through your About Page, and ask yourself…
Does this help my dream client think through their own story? Can they relate to this?
Does this help my dream client picture me doing what I do best?
If the answer is “no,” it probably doesn’t belong on your About Page.
4. Turn your “services page” into a “sales page.”
It’s time we trade listing what they’ll get for showing them you know what they need.
Try turning your services page into a hybrid sales page.
Remember, benefits over features – always and forever.
5. Decide your known-fors.
This goes back to what I mentioned on the About Page.
Do the details you’re sharing help your dream client picture you doing what you claim to do best?
I know we all want to nail down our Jenna Kutcher 5. What are those key things people will know you and your brand for? How are you supposed to decide between all the elements of your life, and focus in on a few things for brand recognizability?
Those are great questions, but my advice is to not overthink it. Go through some things that are integral to who you are in life and business. In fact, snag a bestie or your mom and start there. To filter, think: Is this memorable? Does it help people picture me serving them? Is it kind of contrary to the vibe I’m wanting to put off?
My primary known-for is iced coffee, and I am here for it. It’s the main thing everyone remembers me for, and that is intentional on my part. But, I didn’t just do it because it’s memorable. I literally drink iced coffee all the time. The love affair is so real, I’m even drinking some as I type (maybe cup number three, don’t judge).
But, I also love CrossFit. While I do share about workouts sometimes, I’ve found that most of my audience doesn’t really know what to do with CrossFit Jess. I haven’t chosen to eliminate it completely, but it’s just not one of my primary known-fors.
Use that filter to go through and figure out what pieces of you – whether it’s things you love, things you do, big pieces of your life – you want to be known for. Your audience will latch onto consistency and recognizability, no matter how small it seems to you.
So, which of these feels like the most actionable step for you? We’ve got a couple of months till the conference, and I want you all to check in and let me know what you’ve done! I can’t wait to see your progress and meet you in person!
Jess Jordana is a copywriter (a.k.a. heart translator) who helps creative business owners turn their passionate mumblings into words people actually “get.” She’s helped countless entrepreneurs up their word game, from super-talented solopreneurs to industry-strengthening organizations like The Rising Tide Society. Her most impressive accomplishment, however, is surviving teaching in the high school classroom and getting to meet her former students for coffee when they come back from college. Jess’s expertise was refined by her early audience of slightly unforgiving high school students and teachers. Now she is taking her passion for writing, psychology, and engagement to teach creatives the difference between information and attention—a distinction that just might make the difference in growing a business that actually feels like a dream. Her values are rooted in being saved by grace, drinking iced coffee all year round, and she firmly believes if date night isn’t tacos, you’re just doing it wrong. She couldn’t do a day in business without her cute hubs (Presley) and pup (Joey Tribbiani). Also, if she was ever caught needing to defend herself, she’d likely start throwing her library of over 1,000 books at her assailant. She’d throw the paperbacks first. You can follow her at JessicaJordana.com, Instagram, and Facebook.