Website Copywriting for Your Story, Branded — Portland Headshot & Branding Photographer
I love that my work allows me to connect with clients all over the world. But there’s still nothing better than sitting down at a local coffee shop and getting to know a fellow business owner face-to-face.
That’s just one of the reasons why I was so excited to work with Portland photographer Vera Gayazov on website copy for her new branding photography business: Your Story, Branded.
It just so happened that Vera was looking for a website copywriter at the same time I was looking for a branding photographer.
So, in addition to learning about Vera and her clients through my usual interview process, I also had the opportunity to experience her incredible work firsthand when she took my branding photos.
I’m thrilled to take you behind the scenes of this website copywriting project and show you how we strategically used interviews with Vera and her ideal clients to create a simple, heartfelt, and effective website message.
Before the Project
As a sought-after wedding photographer in Portland, Vera helps couples in love feel beautiful and comfortable in front of the camera. And recently, she started offering branding photography to help small businesses and creative entrepreneurs tell their stories and grow their brands with gorgeous, original images.
Vera wanted her new branding photography website to convey her warm, bubbly, professional, and fun personality — but she didn’t consider herself a writer and wasn’t sure how to capture everything she wanted to say.
So, we set out to create a clear website message that would:
Convey Vera’s commitment to telling her clients’ real stories in photos
Show photo-shy prospects how she’d make them feel comfortable and confident on camera
Drive website visitors to contact her and book a branding photo shoot
Step 1 | Clarify
Website Strategy Session
Our project started with a Strategy Session — a 2-hour deep-dive interview designed to help Vera and I get clarity on her ideal clients, her business’s story, and her brand voice and vibe.
We talked through her packages; her ideal clients’ desires, fears, and beliefs about branding photography; and why she’s so passionate about helping small businesses and creative entrepreneurs succeed.
Vera described her brand’s personality as warm, joyful, confident, fun, intentional, and meaningful, and I began scoping out ways to incorporate these words and ideas into her copy.
We also discussed potential competitors in her industry and brands whose voice and vibe she admires. And after our meeting, I conducted some simple keyword research on Ubersuggest to discover which search terms Vera’s competitors and prospective clients were using around the topic of branding photography.
Next, I reached out to a few of Vera’s clients for 20-to-30-minute interviews about their experience working with her.
These calls confirmed everything I’d learned about Vera up to this point, and they also showed me how much her clients value her natural ability to put them at ease during what could otherwise be an awkward or uncomfortable experience.
Here are a few excerpts from those interviews:
“Every time I post one of Vera’s pictures, I get more interaction because I’m actually in the photos and people can see who I am.”
“She took the time to make me feel comfortable, and the photos feel natural and true to me.”
“Vera makes the whole photo shoot experience so easy and comfortable. You feel you could tell her your whole life story.”
Her clients described her photos and the photo shoot experience as natural, authentic, genuine, happy, and real. And they raved about how she focuses on what’s best for each brand, pays attention to the details, brings music to every session, captures people unposed and in their element, and creates photos that feel true to each business or person.
Step 2 | Resonate
With all those gold nuggets straight from Vera and her ideal clients, I couldn’t wait to get to work on her copy.
Our goal was to describe her warm, holistic branding photography process in a way that would connect with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs and convey the value of her services.
Here’s how we did that on each page of her website.
On Vera’s Homepage, we wanted to introduce website visitors to her and her services and guide them to learn more on her Pricing page.
With Vera’s photography on display throughout the site, we kept the copy clear and concise from the start with a headline that clearly tells readers what she offers and who it’s for:
Headshot & Branding Photography for Small Businesses with Big Dreams
We included her keywords (“Branding Photography,” “Headshot” and “Portland, Oregon”) in her homepage headline and description to bolster her SEO and help prospective clients find her on Google.
To start conveying Vera’s unique voice and her passion for telling stories through photos, we introduced her with this line:
Hi friend, I’m Vera, an Oregon-based branding photographer who’s passionate about telling your whole beautiful, one-of-a-kind business story.
We included several calls to action to drive visitors to her Pricing page. And since I encourage my clients to include testimonials on every page of their website — especially at points of friction, like opt-ins or contact forms — we added a testimonial to her homepage to start building social trust right away.
Vera cares deeply about helping small business owners succeed and thrive, and she knows it’s possible because she went against the grain to build her photography business. So on her About page, we wanted to tell her story in a way that would communicate her passion and also resonate with her fellow entrepreneurs.
Our goal was to build trust with Vera’s prospective clients by showing them she truly understands and cares about them. We did this by using empathetic and encouraging statements such as:
I’m Vera Gayazov — a branding photographer who believes in you.
Just like you, I kept going because I was working for something bigger than myself.
...your dream is possible, too. And I’m here to help you make it happen.
We’re in this together, and I can’t wait to help you bring your vision to life.
We included a Bible verse on this page that connects to Vera’s mission for her clients, as well as a few of Vera’s “other sources of joy” to help website visitors get to know her as a real person and understand her values.
At the bottom of the page, we wrote out Vera’s promise to her clients to help website visitors feel confident about working with her and guide them toward her Pricing page to learn more about her services.
Our goal for Vera’s Pricing page was to educate her website visitors about not only the features of her packages, but the true benefits she offers.
We opened the page with a headline that focused on one benefit of her natural, honest style:
Let’s make people fall in love with the real you.
Then, we included her keywords in her next heading to continue supporting her SEO. We also addressed the challenges that Vera and her clients expressed around why businesses need professional photography, and we positioned Vera’s services as the solution.
We explained what a branding session includes and how these photos would ultimately benefit her clients. And we included calls to action throughout the page to encourage readers to reach out and book a session.
Further down the page, we reintroduced Vera and her mission, just in case website visitors jump straight to this page. And we outlined her branding process in three steps — from the initial client meeting to the day they receive the photos that will help them grow their business.
Then, we outlined each of her three packages, starting with her Full Branding Session and working toward her smaller Brand Refresh Session at the bottom of the page.
For each package, we included a sentence or two about the benefits for clients and then listed the features (the number of photos, photo shoot length, editing time, etc.) below.
We included two calls to action in each package description — one at the top and one at the bottom — to make it easy for website visitors to book as soon as they found the right package for them.
For many business owners, the contact page is an afterthought — they might throw on a generic contact form and then wonder why the leads aren’t flooding in.
We approached Vera’s Contact page with intention so her website visitors would feel fully confident and excited to work with her by the time they filled out her form. We also included Vera’s email address and phone number for people who might be contact-form-averse.
But we didn’t stop there. We added a testimonial to boost trust with visitors and created a list of frequently asked questions — based on Vera’s experience, client interviews, and keyword research — to address any lingering doubts that could be holding prospective clients back.
Step 3 | Launch & Grow
Vera’s new website copy guides visitors to book a branding photo shoot and positions her as a talented photographer who cares about helping small businesses and creative entrepreneurs grow.
By starting with clear, focused statements and making room for Vera’s warm, joy-filled voice to shine, we created a website message that answers website visitors’ key questions and allows them to get to know Vera as both a professional and a person.
By investing in professional website copy (and stunning website design from January Made Design) Vera’s new brand is ready to make a powerful and meaningful first impression online — just like she empowers her clients to do every day.