Some information about Perceptual Set Theory!
In a nutshell, this means that the mind perceives things in specific ways. The mind looks at experiences, people, and things by using a combination of perceptive processes. These three processes will mold expectations – both their expectations of you, and yours of them, and will power motivation.
1. Selecting: the first part of this combination basically says that we aren’t actively thinking about everything happening at the moment that we’re doing something. So when someone is looking at your webpage, they’re not thinking about the weather outside, or their dog sleeping next to them on the floor. They’re actively viewing your webpage, and likely reading the text and looking at the photos. There may be TV on in the background, but the focus won’t be completely divided. (there’s a ton of science behind that too, but we’ll save that for another time)
2. Inferring: the second part says that we will compare what we are looking at and thinking about to our past experiences, to determine what we can infer about the current situation. So when someone looks at your website, they’re going to be thinking about other photographers – not just comparison, but a kind of what to expect. Are you going to be asking the same things of them that someone else asked? Are you going to offer them what they saw somewhere else, and what does that mean?
3. Interpreting: the third part says that the mind will combine what they’re seeing and thinking about right now with your site in front of them, and interpret. Basically, they see that you’re offering this, you have this experience, this is who you are, so they should do this.
So what does this mean for you? It means that when they are looking at a webpage for someone offering a service that they need, they will expect to be asked to do something. It fits with the psychology behind how the brain works.
It doesn’t mean they are GOING to do what you’ve asked them to do, but they expect it. And if you have done your job properly and they are a good fit and your ideal client, usually they will move forward with the call to action.
So let’s talk about three different ways you can encourage someone to take action when looking at your website. This is NOT an exhaustive list, as stated above there are SO MANY different ways that you can do this, but here are some amazing ways to start working on this and implement it as soon as possible.
1. Opt-in for your Lead Magnet and Email Marketing.
If you haven’t set up your opt-in yet, seriously – what are you waiting for? Click here to read why email marketing should be a top priority for you as a professional photographer, and then get ON IT. If you need help with marketing, this should be a top priority for you, set up links, pop ups, buttons, whatever – to encourage people to opt in, and tell them WHY they should.
2. Calls to action to read other helpful content.
Did you see what I just did in number 1? A link to click to read why email marketing should be a priority. Do you have links in your blog posts to other helpful information? Do you have links in your emails to things that will add more value to your clients’ lives? If you have a blog post on what a client should wear for their session, do you have a link at the bottom to other similar blog posts, so they can really get a ton of information on how to prepare? Or if you have a page that has a lifestyle gallery, is there a link below that encourages them to view another fabulous lifestyle gallery? Think about the different ways you can link to helpful content on your website, to encourage that call to action. And in the link, don’t just link it with “Lifestyle Gallery – Doe Family.” Use this as a CALL to action, not just a suggestion. “Click here to see another favorite lifestyle gallery, the Doe family.” Big difference, right?
3. Contact contact contact.
There should be a way for someone to contact you on EVERY SINGLE PAGE of your website. Yep, every blog post, every page, every gallery. The easiest way to do this is to put your contact information into the header or footer of your website, but there should also be calls to action to contact you on key pages of your site. At the bottom of your about page (if you haven’t read this yet, open it in a new tab and read it next!), it should have an option to contact you. They’ve just learned more about you, encourage them to get in touch. If they just learned more and didn’t like what they read – awesome, it frees your time to work with people who LOVE what they just read, and could potentially become raving clients! In your galleries, or at the bottom, have a call to action to encourage visitors to contact you. They’ve just seen your amazing photos that brought them to tears and want more information – ENCOURAGE them to get it!
I know that a lot of this sounds overwhelming, so here is my homework for you, to break it down and make it super simple and actionable:
Just one. You can do that, right?