Photographers are not all the same. There are professional wedding photographers, lifestyle photographers, family and event photographers, and so much more. Not only that, but they may also provide specialty services like videography, destination wedding photography services, and more. That alone is enough to make the average person’s head spin when trying to hire a photographer for any type of occasion or need.
Fortunately, the Internet makes it all a lot easier. If you’re a photographer without a strong online presence, now is the time to change that. People are increasingly demanding self-service options for the services they seek, and that includes learning as much as possible about their options for a photographer well in advance of an event or session. With the questions and tips below, you’ll have a much easier time helping them get what they need.
Did you know that 82% of all consumers in the U.S. expect your business to have a self-service portal of some type? Not to mention that the FAQ page is the most-used knowledge base-type resource online today. Some questions are more important than others for photographers to consider, but there’s no right or wrong here. If you think people would want to know the answer, offer them the question on your FAQ page.
Of course, what you ask is just as important as how you ask it. Presenting a well-designed and organized FAQ page or database is going to make all the difference. We say “or database” because if you’ve got a lot of FAQs, you might want to create multiple pages for better organization. With fewer questions, you could get away with dividing categories on a single page, but that’s not always possible.
Stop asking if you “need” self-service tools like this and start thinking about how you can deliver for your audience. That starts by having a solid strategy and structure for your photography FAQ page.
Putting up an FAQ page takes more than just posting some questions and answers. You have to treat this like any other part of your website and create a strategy that will make your Frequently Asked Questions as much a part of your marketing as they are a resource for your audience.
Structure and navigation are your primary concerns. People want easy access and instant answers. If you make it difficult, they will find somewhere else to get the help they need. Consider how many FAQs you want to offer and what types of categories they’ll cover. Do you need to separate your page into categories or sections? Perhaps you’ve got enough material that you want to create a dynamic FAQ database with multiple pages.
Either way, that’s something that you have to consider before you even get started. Then, you can make a list of all of the Q&A that you want to include and start dividing it up into organized groups. Cover things like:
The good news is that you don’t have to come up with the questions (or answers) on your own. Thanks to the Internet, you can do a quick search for FAQs that other photographers use and start there to create your own. Of course, you can also get a good start by checking out the list below.
Some photographers do a little of everything. Others specialize in one type of photography or another. The first thing that people are going to want to know is what kind of services you offer. If they’re looking for a family photographer or someone to do their son’s senior portraits, for example, they wouldn’t want to work with a wedding photographer.
Make sure that you list all the different types of sessions or services you can provide, as well as anything you’re willing to discuss on a case-by-case basis. This is your chance to educate people, but also encourage them to reach out to you to discuss what they need and how you can help.
This is the million-dollar question. People want to know exactly what it is that sets you apart and makes you worth their time. This is your place to make it known. Explain all the benefits of working with a professional, including the fact that you won’t have to worry about one of your family members or friends missing out on whatever event is being captured because they’re the one manning the camera. Explain that you have experience in producing high-quality images that will last a lifetime and create wonderful memories and take advantage of this opportunity to link to testimonials to seal the deal.
If you’re like most professional photographers, you take a deposit with each booking to provide a little security and peace of mind. This holds people accountable and shows them the value of your time. What happens, though, when there’s an emergency or something comes up that requires rescheduling or cancellation? Do you keep deposits? Perhaps you only keep part of them. People are going to want to know, regardless.
If you do keep deposits, make sure that you explain why. For example, a cancelation with less than 24 hours’ notice causes you to lose valuable time that you could be handling other sessions. It doesn’t give you enough time to re-book or find another client, so keeping the deposit would be understandable in this situation.
Here’s another common question that we see. People are impatient and they want their finished product as soon as possible. They often don’t understand the time-consuming process of editing and proofing photos before they can be delivered to the client. Make sure that you not only explain how long clients should expect to wait, but why the wait takes that much time so that they are aware of what they are paying for—your professional expertise. 6.
Today, people often want digital copies of photos along with or even instead of physical photos. Moreover, some photographers only work with certain mediums in the same regard, for one reason or another. Therefore, most people will ask if digital images are available if they want them. However, they may not always be an option. Be sure to advise as to whether you offer digital images with prints, instead of them, or in any other capacity. If you do not provide digital image copies for any reason, explain that here so that clients understand your reasoning.
This might seem like it’s too open-ended for an FAQ page, but that’s the genius of it—it allows you a little room to market your services and link to your pricing page so that you can convert more leads and generate more website traffic. In this answer, you should advise on how your rate structure works, whether you charge hourly, per session, or by the event, if packages are available, and so forth. Give people a condensed version of your pricing page, and then use the opportunity to link to that page for people who want more information.
No one likes a cancellation, but sometimes things happen. Therefore, you’ll need to make sure that you have contingency plans in place and that you can share them with your clients and potential clients. Be clear about what is expected, how much notice is required, and what the terms are for last-minute emergencies and other potential hiccups. If you allow rescheduling or accept last-minute cancellations with a fee, this is the place to spell that out. Make it clear what you require and expect from people so that there is no confusion. As a bonus, invite them to contact you to discuss their scheduling issues before making any decisions. It may not create any better solutions, but it shows your willingness to work with them.
People are always worried about time. They want to know you’re not going to take too much of it, but also that they’ll get every second that they pay for. It’s a balancing act, but again this is about providing information more than actually giving a specific timeline. If you have a time for certain sessions, list that here. For example, you might offer two hours for senior portrait sessions, while wedding photography sessions might be booked as all-day events. Reassure people that they’ll get the time and attention that they deserve, but that you won’t overstay your welcome or drag the process out longer than necessary. More than an actual time, that’s what they want to hear.
Today, digital photography has changed the game entirely. One way that it has created some concern is in the realm of backing up images or securing files against various events or problems. People want to know that they’re going to get the end product that they are paying for, despite what could happen along the way. Explain your backup process and how you secure images between shoots, editing, and delivery to keep them safe and guarantee that nothing goes wrong.
If you’re not in the habit of backing up images regularly, now would be a good time to start. Technology is great, but everyone knows it’s not always reliable. It’s better to be prepared and offer peace of mind to your clients as well as yourself.
Ownership is a big topic in the world of photography. You’ll want to make sure that you explain the process of delivering images, including who retains ownership, whether people have the right to copy or make additional prints, and so forth. If you keep the raw image files and don’t provide them, explain why. Make sure that you’re completely transparent about what your clients get when they work with you so that they can make an educated decision. You don’t necessarily have to give up the copyright; a proper explanation is sometimes all that people need.
You’re a photographer. You’re creative. You like to be out there in the world finding the next best angle or shot. It’s not your job to sit at the desk and answer the phones or spend all day fielding emails and live website chats from your phone. You’ve got work to do, but you can’t afford to hire someone to help you full-time—what can you do?
When you partner with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai, you’ll be able to do it all and then some. While you’re snapping pictures, we’ll be snatching up leads and fielding chats and calls so that your business never misses a beat. Plus, we’ll bundle it all for you into a winning strategy for communications and customer support like you’ve never seen before.
To learn more, schedule your consultation to discuss how the 24/7 virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can handle it all, from live website chat to lead intake, scheduling, after-hours answering, and so much more. You can also find us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (650) 727-6484.
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