When she walked into the studio with her brand new baby in one hand and a Diet Coke just for me in the other I knew two things: she had taken time to explore my blog and get to know me prior to the session and she had already created a real, tangible connection with me by doing so.
In an industry where photographers seem to be everywhere, making a great first impression is essential to developing a thriving business. Think about it–how many times has someone asked you what you do for a living only to hear them reply, “Oh! My best friend so-and-so is a photographer, too! Maybe you know her?” And my town is no different.
Our market is saturated with many great photographers. So I decided early on that in order to stand out among the competition I needed to really put myself out there. Literally — I needed to make my business not just about beautiful photos, but about me — my likes and dislikes, the things I love, the things that make me Megan.
“About Me” vs “About Every Photographer Out There”
Photography is my passion. When I had my son six years ago I bought my first DSLR and fell in love! He changed every day and the best way to document these changes was to capture them in a photograph. I haven’t put my camera down since and now I feel so honored to be photographing other families and helping them document their own memories.
How many of you are sitting there wondering if I copied and pasted this from your own “About Me” portion of your website? Before you start looking up copyright infringement, let me tell you that this text is very close to what I had on my own website when I started three years ago. So, what’s wrong with that? Well, nothing, except the fact that it really leaves you with… well, nothing.
From that short paragraph you only know that I have a six year old son and that I have a DSLR (that I like to take pictures with). Chances are many of you out there have those two things in common with me as well. Nothing about my “About Me” statement really sets me apart. From that description a potential client might look at that and think, “Hey, if she got to where she is now by taking pictures of her own kid, then I can do that, too!” And honestly they probably could if they really wanted to and put in the time, research, and practice; that is the route many of us have taken to get where we are.
Incoming Friend Request
So to make that client book with you, they need to feel like you have something to offer that they can’t do on their own. An “About Me” section needs to tell more than just your passion for photography — it should be used as a way to create a desire for your potential client to hire you. The biggest compliment I can get from a client is when they tell me that they wanted to be my friend after spending time on my website — that they wanted to get to know me more. The need that I am fulfilling for them is not just about creating beautiful images for their family, but about creating a relationship.
Trust and friendship is the foundation of my business. These wonderful clients are handing their brand new babies over to me and that is no small thing. Giving them the opportunity to get to know me before setting foot in my studio is the least I can do. By putting more of myself out there, I’m allowing them to start a relationship with me from the moment they enter my website.
Break It Down
So what are the Do’s and Don’ts of creating a great “About Me” page? Let me break things down a bit.
Do include your name (I know it seems obvious, but I’ve actually visited some pages where the name isn’t in the business title and have had to search and search to find out if the photographer even had a name or not).
Do talk about yourself. That’s the essence of an “About Me”. Talk about your likes, what gets you fired up, what makes you excited to wake up every morning. The more that you include about you and your own quirks, the more opportunity your client has to find that they have something in common with you and relate to you and that’s a good thing!
Do talk about your areas of focus. If you are strictly a senior photographer and are getting loads of wedding inquires, include that in your “About Me”. Let people know right off the bat if you will be a good fit with the type of photography you offer by telling them what you specialize in.
Do include a picture of yourself somewhere on your site (preferably some place easy to get to). Putting a face to a name is so important and your client won’t be lost asking random people at the park if they are their photographer.
Do continue to talk about yourself in your blog posts. It always feels a bit awkward weaving your own stories with pictures of other people, but I have to tell you, the photographers that I love to follow and get most excited when their post shows up in my Google reader are the ones that I feel like I know. And in a virtual world a great way to do that is by writing about yourself. Your “About Me” section is just the start.
So what are the don’ts? Here are just a few things to avoid:
Don’t be forgettable. When a client is comparing a number of potential photographers you want to stand out in the crowd. Don’t be generic. Don’t be someone that sounds like another version of someone else. Be your unforgettable self and make yourself known.
Don’t make it hard to find your “About Me” page. If your client has to search through archives or pages and tabs to get there, chances are they won’t see it and you might lose out on making that important online connection.
Don’t try to be someone else. This may seem like it goes without saying, but just be yourself. As photographers we are often inspired by one another, but an “About Me” page should be a reflection of who you truly are. You want your clients to hire you because they feel a real connection with you, not with an idea of someone you are trying to be.
Now go pull up your website, grab a cup of coffee and get to writing about yourself. And the best part? It should come quite naturally because you’re the expert when it comes to you.