Your contact form is an extremely important page on your website. This is where potential clients show you that they are interested in hiring you for your services. Your goal with this form: Make it as easy as possible for them to say yes!
I just recently worked with an amazing branding and website designer on another business start-up venture. Heather at Heather Dodge Creative was incredibly insightful when it came to what I may want (or not want) to have on my contact form.
My Current Contact Form
The main piece of advice that she gave me is that many consumers do not like to answer more than 5-6 questions when submitting a contact form. I am going to put what is currently my own photography contact form, so we can critique it. So let’s break this down…what my form currently looks like:
- First & Last Name
- Fiancee’s Name
- Email Address
- Phone Number
- Wedding/Session Date
- Wedding Venue
- How did you hear about ARHP?
- Tell me a little bit about your love story.
What Could Change
So I have 2-3 more input boxes than I should have. At this point, let me separate what I need to know, versus what I want to know and determine whether how important each of those things are.
- I must have the client’s name in order to create a personal experience, which is important to me as a business owner.
- The fiancee’s name is necessary. I can still make it a personalized experience from the start by using the name of the one who contacted me; however, I have found that potential clients feel much more comfortable with me when I reference their fiancee by his/her first name because it feels like they’re talking to a friend, as opposed to a wedding vendor.
- Email address is necessary for appropriate and expected email correspondence.
- Phone number was a relatively recent addition once I realized that my emails sometimes went to spam. By shooting the client a quick text, it automatically makes them feel more comfortable with approaching you and starting a business relationship. I learned this trick from my friend, Kassie O’Driscoll. While it may be a concern that it could make you too available, you can always sign up for a Google Voice phone number, which is what I did to keep business and personal texts/calls separate!
- If they already have a wedding date solidified, I definitely need to know this so I can check my availability.
- Now looking at this form…wedding venue is a question that I want to know…not necessarily one I need to know.
- This piece of information is important to me because it helps me know where to continue my marketing efforts!
- Finally, I want to hear a little bit of the voice behind this contact form, which is why I allow my clients to add some personal details about their wedding day. I have seen essentially two different types of clients: those that barely type anything and those that type an entire book! This is a good indication as to whether or not we could be a good fit, but sometimes it is deceiving because people could be submitting multiple contact forms and just don’t want to re-type their story sixteen times.
My main takeaways from this exercise are:
- Remove fiancee’s name. While it is nice to have, it is not necessary at this point in the process.
- Remove the wedding venue input because it is not there to serve my clients–only me.
- Perhaps I should be more specific in the last input box that prompts potential clients to “Tell me more about your love story.”
I know some photographers inquire about budget for photography on their contact form. While I have not done this myself to test the outcome, I do feel like when couples are beginning to look for photographers, they have no idea what to expect. Yes, they may have a budget, but if they don’t realize the average cost for a photographer in their area, their budget may change as they get farther along in the wedding planning process.
It would so unfortunate to “disqualify” a potential client because of a miscommunication or misunderstanding about budget before they have even had a change to learn.
I encourage you to take a second look at your contact form to make sure you are asking the right questions that make it easy for your potential clients to say yes! This is something you can do quickly that can have a great return for your business!