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As a professional in the food styling and photography industry, you probably have a website or are in the process of getting one made.  After all, these industries are highly visual!

Although writing for your website can feel about as appealing as jumping into an actual spider’s web, a good website can have a wonderful stickiness factor that can convince your prospective clients to “hang” around.  And that’s good.

One of the most important factors of any website is to know which tabs or pages are most important. Properly done websites, especially those that are custom made, can be quite an investment so knowing where your money is going to get the biggest ROI is useful. I’m going to share that with you today.

The first impression anyone is going to have about you from your website, is what is reflected on your home page. This is the first thing your future clients see and what immediately pops up when people search for you. Therefore, spending money to have an attractive home page with a message that resonates is critical. Sure, having photos of scrumptious food is important but what you say is also going to have a big impact…or not.

As a sales expert and trainer who teaches business owners how to, “Sell from the page, Sell while engaged and Sell from the stage”™, I’m going to focus on the message part of your home page; in other words, the copy.

From a copy standpoint, or selling from the page, your home page is a place to spend some time and money. After all, this is where people will learn more about you, your company and why they should work with you.

A solid home page should clearly articulate a few things quickly and easily: what problem your clients are experiencing, how working with you will improve their lives or businesses and the personality behind it all. Let’s break this down a bit.

Your prospective clients are looking for you but often don’t know how to express what they want or need. A good home page will do that for them. When landing on your web page, people should be able to self-diagnose, and fairly quickly, that you are the solution to their problems. They need to resonate with your message so they feel you understand what they are experiencing. You “get” them.  For example, if you’re a food photographer, your ideal clients, most likely food companies and advertising agencies, may be frustrated that their sales aren’t meeting expectations.  This can be attributed to the photos of the food looking lame and listless, rather than “melt in your mouth” delicious. Your home page should point out that problem so that prospective clients know you understand their biggest struggle. Verbiage such as, “Frustrated by weak sales?”  “Is your revenue less than rewarding?” would be an example.
Next, you want to be very clear that you are the answer to their problems. This isn’t about how you are going to solve things, it’s what’s going to happen as a result of working with you. Think of the difference between “food photos so scrumptious, they’ll be tempted to spend their mortgage money on a meal” vs. “beautiful photographs professionally done with the proper equipment and lighting”.  Notice the difference?

The last thing your home page should convey is the “tone” of your company’s voice or its personality. If your company is quirky, edgy and caters to a fun, hip crowd, verbiage such as, “Strive for efficiency and don’t settle for less” may not captivate the way, “Do it right the first time, yo!” might. On the flip side, that last particular phrase probably won’t convey a serious competency to the over fifty-five crowd who believes suits without ties are proper barbecue attire. Know who you are first, know who your clients are next and then craft a message with appropriate verbiage so that it resonates with your ideal client. There’s no right or wrong way of being and no right or wrong client type. You can only go wrong if you don’t embrace language that reflects your authentic voice and/or try to secure clients who really aren’t your ideal clients.

The next page or tab that’s worth some money is your “About” page. Although the Home page and About page both address who you are and what you provide, the About page should share more of your personal or company story. Items such as, why you do what you do and how the company got its start, are great things to address on an About page. Credentials and a mission statement are also good inclusions. Think of the About page as, “This is who we are”, and the home page as, “This is how we change or solve things for the better”.

The last page is the easiest and one you definitely don’t want to forget; your contact page.  Make it simple for people to know where they can reach you and the various ways in which they can reach you.  Nothing fancy here, although you may want to include a short paragraph to encourage people to reach out to you.  After that, your email, address, phone, Skype or other means of contact should be filled in.

Create a website with a clear message and one that pulls together both your verbiage and you graphic branding, and you’ll be letting people know you are open and ready for business.  You’ll have your very own “web” that attracts your ideal clients.  Spiders and trapping not necessary.

Written by Jane Garee, Our Sales Copy Strategist and Mentor at The Food Styling School.

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