That’s how many people are employed in the photography industry in the United States as of 2023.
You might be wondering what this information has to do with you…
If you’re a photographer, that number tells me one thing: being a photographer is not your superpower.
Now, I say that out of full love – truly. Photographers like you have my heart because you are literal memory-makers and legacy-keepers for sentimentals like me.
From proposal shoots, engagement sessions and wedding days to newborn pictures and family sessions, you capture some of the most important parts of our lives, and that is certainly superpower-worthy.
Without you, we’d all have fuzzy, low-quality iPhone pictures to hang on our walls. (And I don’t care how advanced AI or Apple technology is getting: nothing will ever replace YOU.) But…
Real Talk: What you do IS important, but it is NOT your superpower.
In an industry that is full of people who all are in the business of taking pictures, the need to stand out is more important now than ever…and your portfolio of beautiful (!!) images can no longer be the ONLY thing that helps you do it.
Out of the nearly 300,000 photographers, what makes YOU stand out?
I think it can come down to one thing (when done correctly): your website copy.
And I know what you might be thinking… “Sara, of course you’d say that – you’re a copywriter.”
True! But profession aside, here’s what I know as a consumer: The people that I choose to do business with know how to get my attention and speak to me specifically, so that I can’t say no.
As a professional in a saturated market, you have the chance to do the same!
3 Ways To Speak To Your Audience So They Choose You In a Saturated Market
1. Become a Storyteller
Storytelling is a hot topic in the online world right now, and for good reason – storytelling WORKS!
If you’re not a natural writer, you might see the word “storyteller” and think, “There’s NO WAY that I can tell stories to my people.”
I’ve heard that before, and I’ve got a decade of teaching experience, a vault full of copywriting templates, and three years of copywriting, ready to prove you wrong (with love). 💛
As a photographer, you have the unique ability to tell stories in your portfolio.
Anyone can post beautiful, fully-edited photos of their clients, but the photographer who will stand out the most is the person who can take that photo and also tell the STORY behind it.
For example, if you want to feature a client’s engagement session on your website, you *could* just load the photos into a grid, include their names, and a small blurb about how much fun the session was.
OR you could take your audience deeper and tell their story, like Amanda and Ben’s below. ⬇️
Amanda and Ben don’t simply work together – we do life together. We have five children between the two of us, and when we aren’t capturing imagery for your business or pouring coffee at Revolution Coffee Company, our coffee shop in North Texas, we are arms-deep in hugs, homeschool curriculum, and happy dance parties with our crew.
Can you see how sharing a simple story like that can change the feeling that you get when you’re reading? That’s the power of word-magic, friend!
2. Use Their Language
In addition to telling stories, you want to use your ideal client’s language throughout your website copy, so that when they’re reading it, they immediately say, “That’s so me!”
When you use their language, you get inside their head and quickly become the person that they absolutely want to work with!
On the flip side of this, you also want to consider words they would never use.
I know it’s tempting to use trendy language that might make people laugh or to use abbreviations that are popular among some generations, but the only time this makes sense is if your ideal audience actually uses this language, too.
For example, if your ideal audience is a newly engaged millennial couple, using TikTok references might make sense for you.
But if your ideal audience is a mom who is searching for a photographer for her family’s Christmas photos, using unfamiliar abbreviations might confuse the heck out of her.
Aside from trendy language and abbreviations, you also want to call out your ideal client’s pain points in their own words. The easiest way to do this? ASK them – ENGAGE with them!
When I write for my done-for-you VIP Day clients, I ask for all of their client reviews. I read and analyze these reviews closely because a client’s experience often becomes a powerful part of your website copy. Using this level of word-magic can help to attract ideal clients to you like never before!
3. Get Specific
Specificity in your copy makes you stand out in your industry because when you get specific, you are cutting through all of the other generic noise.
There’s a number of ways you can get specific in your copy, but to really help you see it in action, I want to show you another example. ⬇️
Meet my friend Jess at Five Fourteen Photography. When Jess and I connected at The Reset Conference in 2022, she was ready to level up her brand messaging to fit her evolving business. While one of her main services is wedding photography, Jess’s business now includes graduate photography, coaching and education, and brand photography.
Let’s peek at Jess’s home page and what we did to help her stand out:
First, pay attention to her menu. It clearly calls out who she works with and helps people immediately navigate to the one that resonates with them: Weddings, Branding, Seniors, or Education.
Next, let’s look at her headline. We used what I call a Positioning Statement here. While “Wedding, Brand and Graduate Photographer” may have worked, we added the word “luxury” to make it a bit more specific to her ideal clientele.
Her second headline does the same thing: “Fun-Loving Couples, Personal Brands and Lighthearted Graduates.” Each of those words speak to and attract her ideal client, and that’s exactly what you want your copy to do!
In addition to highlighting who she serves, the Positioning Statement also shares her specific location. She could have listed “Georgia,” but what’s more helpful is to point to Atlanta and the North Georgia region as her main target markets.
In just one section of her home page alone, Jess’s Positioning Statement helped her to prioritize what makes her unique – who she serves and where she serves them – and this specificity continues as you scroll and as you navigate through her entire website.
These changes might seem small, but they truly can be huge difference-makers for your business!
Ready to stand out among the rest in your industry? Put these three tips to work, friend, and if you need a little support along the way, reach out here.