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The Power of Copy with Erin Ollilia

Capture Crew November 9, 2022 32

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On this week’s Capture Crew podcast, Christora and Tom are chatting with SEO and Copy Extraordinaire Erin Ollila!

With a creative writing history that began in her first days of college and carried through to where she is now, Erin has built a world of words that helps businesses deliver clear messaging to their audiences.

She’s sharing key tips with us today that can help photographers grow their brand messaging, no matter where they are in their business.

What is the first thing photographers should know?

Photos are key, of course. Your copy (the words on your website, social media, emails, etc.) should match the photos you are choosing to accompany them.

If you are a fun and creative brand but your photos are dark and moody, for example, then your messaging is going to be off.

So make sure you really take the time to select photos that represent who and what your brand is. This is your time to shine and it really gives you a step up when it comes to marketing yourself since you can take the photos that will elevate your branding!

What’s the second thing photographers should know?

SEO ratio for copy to images is important.

In other words, make sure you have enough words on your website.

As photographers, it may feel counterintuitive to have pages that are heavy with copy, but it’s super important for analytics and ranking on Google to have a few pages with written content.

A mistake photographers often make when starting out is using their website as a portfolio.

Remember that your website is NOT your portfolio. It should showcase your greatest work while representing your brand and copy the best.

As an extension to your website and a place to send galleries from for clients, Tom suggests SmugMug and Pic-Time, which he uses.

If you’ve been listening for a little while you may have heard our podcast with Ben Hartley. In that episode he said something that has really stood out to us since, “If you can’t hook them with 30 photos, then you can’t hook them.”

You don’t need hundreds or thousands of photos on your website to show someone what you’re capable of. Keep it simple and let your work speak for itself.

What are some other important things to make sure you’re including on your website?


While there will forever be a debate on whether or not you should include pricing on your site, Erin argues that doing so will eliminate anyone who is very much out of your budget. This helps save you time up front with meeting potential clients and also helps protect you from the dreaded ghost meetings and followup emails.


Reviews act as social proof to others that what you’re doing is trustworthy. When they can see reviews from other people like themselves sharing their good experiences, it encourages them to also trust you.

Pro tip: Don’t wait until the very end of the process and when you’re gallery is delivered before you ask for the review. Ask for a review as soon as it seems the client is excited and happy.

If you find reviews on other sites such as Google, you can use those on your site as well. The best practice would be to contact your client and make sure they are okay with you using their review in that way. If it’s lengthy you can edit it for cohesiveness but do not add or change the content.

When asked what the reasons are that people neglect to ask for reviews, Erin shares that it’s usually one of three things, awkwardness, anxiety, or fear.

But maybe these stats will help encourage you to push past that:

  • 89% will give a testimonial when asked
  • 10% will forget to do it
  • 1% doesn’t want to

That’s it. Just 1% of people wouldn’t want to give a testimonial. And that’s okay!

How wonderful to know that 89% of the time you will receive a testimonial, simply because you asked!

What are some other things photographers can do to add value to the client experience?

Consider the life cycle of your client from before the start to the end.

What does the lead process look like? How is onboarding? What should a current client expect from you? Do you have an offboarding process? How do you communicate with past clients?

Having a clear understanding of what happens during each step of a client’s journey with you helps you make sure you’re delivering the best experience you can and helps the client feel cared for.

One example of how to do this would be to have a FAQ email that is automatically sent to a client when they fill out your contact sheet online. The FAQ could cover things like price ranges, availability, current booking dates, etc.

Automation gives you the ability to walk away and know income can still be coming in.

For a new client, automation might look like sending them a welcome guide that has guidelines and timelines letting them know what they can expect from you, which they receive after signing a contract or leaving a deposit.

Think about how there are already systems out there ready to support the work you’re doing.

With these few easy-to-implement tips, you can be sure you’re business is already on track to stand out from your competition. Your client will feel good knowing they can trust you and what they can expect.

More about Erin Ollila:

Conversion copywriter. Copy Coach.Wing Woman. Word slinger. No matter what you
call her, Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform—and
even transform—its intended audience.

When she’s not working with big brands and small businesses to marry strategy, storytelling, and SEO, you can find her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast or exploring southeastern MA with her family and friends. Erin graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and then co-founded Spry Literary Journal, which celebrates undiscovered and established writers’ concise, experimental, hybrid, modern, vintage or just-plain-vulnerable writing.

Reach out to her on Instagram @ErinOllila or learn more about her at

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