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Importance of a web site?

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  • Importance of a web site?


    I'm curious what people think as to how important having a website is to attract work? Of those getting lots of projects per month, do you have a website? What are your primary modes of advertising? Which are most successful?

    Thanks very much,
    Over 100 customers have found me due to my site
    Over 50 customers have found me due to my site
    From 10-40 new customers from my web site
    Only one or less than a handful
    My web site is a bust; it's brought no business

  • #2
    Hi Dianne, I don't use a website for my business (yet) so I won't take the poll, but I wanted to remind you of the threads in the "Your Website" forum.

    If you're thinking of developing a website for your business, you can save yourself a lot of grief by readint through some of the threads there or starting a new one with your questions.

    Good luck, margaret


    • #3
      I have a website, and I also design websites. My own doesn't bring much in - I mostly work by word of mouth - local.

      But for my customers, websites bring in a substancial amount of business. One customer, it brings in about 10%, (they do tons of other advertizing as well) and for another, it brings in probably about 30% of their calls.



      • #4
        My site is a great source of new customers for me, though I don't do restorations. My company services portrait and commercial studios.

        Just last month I started a Pro Photography Forum to attract new photographers, and it has really taken off. I had a photographer call me from Hawaii last week.

        Here is a link with the current traffic at my site. I love looking at stats.


        • #5
          Hi Diane, My Web site has been up since February. I have not received any orders yet directly from my site. All of my business is comming from local word-of-mouth. I am not worried about the Web site not producing as I don't do any advertising and all of the search engines haven't picked me up yet. I'm also still organizing my business, in my spare time, and want to develop a couple of new products. I want to be able to handle the business when it comes in and I am not really ready yet.

          Aric, your site and the stats are very impressive. Do you do a lot of advertizing?


          • #6
            My rule of thumb is to spend 70% of my day marketing, and the other 30% retouching. I advertise, and I visit multiple professional phtography forums daily.

            I also hire companies to submit my site to search engines for me.


            • #7
              Re: websites

              Hi Kevin B!

              Thanks very much for responding to my post! I took a look at your website and think it is extremely professional and classy. I think the text is really wonderful! But just perhaps the site could be stronger with really good before and after restoration shots right away on page one and also on the pricing page as examples for each category. The photos on the gallery page did not look so interesting. Perhaps potential customers need to see really strong, interesting shots to be motivated enough to fork out the money for a restoration?

              I'm also curious how your pricing would be for a customer who wants 20-30 photos from an album restored, in varying condition? Let's say that he is not looking to spend a huge amount on this project.

              All the best,


              • #8
                Hi Diane, thank you for your observations. I am planning an update to the site soon and will take your comments seriously. I hope to incorporate some active thumbnails on the left margin. I have had many comments that visitors first impressions is that they wanted to click on those thumbnails. I am trying to work out the details.

                I am going to update the gallery also with different images. I haven't had time lately to take on the project of updating the site. I have been busy with locally obtained projects. Guess this is the down side to doing everything yourself. It takes time to do all these things and actual work gets in the way.

                The pricing is a thorn in my side right now. I have found it difficult to estimate some projects. I can't tell if I am not charging enough or I'm charging too much. The site states that I will give a more acurate price after I see the work. On your request I would agree in principal to a volume discount but would have to see the images before agreeing to an actual price.


                • #9
                  I find my web site very valuable. My biggest customer to date came in about a month ago sold because of the web site (I don't know if she found us on the web or went to look from seeing the web site listed on our advertising). Restoration is a visual medium - it is perfect for this - not just for before and after photos - but also to project the personality of your business.

                  When doing restoration work on a computer - it adds to the credability a lot to have a strong web site - just think, from the customers point of view if you are doing this full time and in a major way ... you are working in the digital realm daily - but you don't have a web site?

                  Whether you get new customers on your site or they go there from advertising or because you mention it's availability on the phone, it will stengthen your relationship with potential customers.



                  • #10
                    Hi Roger,

                    Thanks very much for your reply. I took a look at your website and it looks extremely sharp and professional. I did find the pricing page for restorations a bit confusing and unclear however. From the second box regarding the price for restorations, there does not seem to be a separate charge for scanning, but then what is the first box about scanning about?? It is also not clear what size print the customer gets with his restoration order. Most companies include one print up to 8x10 with a restoration order; do you charge separately for any prints??

                    Also, do you get a significant amount of business from customers just wanting you to scan pictures without doing a full restoration?

                    I've also been meaning to respond to your earlier post on the 'how much" thread and will post some more thoughts over there.

                    All the best,


                    • #11
                      Hi Diane,

                      THANK YOU

                      You are right, it is confusing. ... Scanning should be listed in that second box ... THANKS

                      We do not include a finished photo with the restoration, we charge seperately for scanning, art work, and the finished photos. On hand restorations the $60 materials charge replaces the copy negative charge. By charging for each step rather than packaging the restoration, each step is flexible (more or less art work, whatever photos they want), allows for quantity discounts for the scanning and printing steps, and each step has a value in the customers mind which makes it a lot easier to arrive at a total price that pays what we need it to pay.

                      We get a lot of business from customers having us scan and make prints (half with art work, half without), we have done no business for a scan only without prints.

                      Thanks again, Roger


                      • #12
                        I had one new customer who stumbled on my web site in a search engine. He became a repeat customer a couple of times. I've probably had dozens of calls out of the phone book who I referred to my website for a gallery and information. I see my website as a virtual gallery/resume/portfolio to help the customer understand how I may/or may not best serve them.

                        It also depends on your niche. Professional photographers (retouching) and consumers (restoration) are quite different. I find myself straddling the fence on this issue and have not solidified an appropriate plan to update my site.

                        There are so many ways to market your services. Try them all and keep working on the techniques that you find most enjoyable. From hiring folks to help put you in the search engines to full-fledged mass mailings or knocking on doors, there's a million ways to tell people about your web site.


                        • #13
                          Hi Photo Grafix,

                          Thanks very much for your last post. Just curious what other specific methods you'd recommend for marketing/attracting new clients?

                          Any thoughts on how effective ads are in small black and white magazine type publications where the print quality is not so sharp? How critical are strong pictures in an ad? Do you get responses from a straight text ad??

                          Thanks very much,


                          • #14
                            I'm beginning to learn that it is not IF you run an ad somewhere. It's really WHERE you run the ad. Generally, a weekly newspaper with a 2 x 3 ad got me 1 or 2 calls a month (not necessarily orders). The ad had a tight before and after restored image.

                            Although I never tried it, I would have rather tried advertising in history and genealogy-focused magazines.


                            • #15
                              I didn't have the best of luck in a newspaper either. Only one call from 6 runs and it was for someone whose child passed away 2 weeks before. I ended up doing it for free because I mean this lady had just lost her child and I couldn't charge her for something like this, I just couldn't and lucky for me karma was watching because the lady who took my ad forgot to put the ticket into billing so I got it for free. Thank goodness. I was just starting out and ever advertising cent was precious. Actually it still is because I'm really not all that established yet. I did some online advertising and that's where the business has come from. I can't do it often though and it's kind of pricey but 90% of my inquiries purchased. One lady is on her 15th photo with me now.


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