Hey there, Portfolio and Business photographers: We’ve heard that a lot of you didn’t know that you could make money selling digital files on SmugMug. And maybe there are those of you who did know, but still weren’t sure about how to get going.
Your photo clients may not always be looking for just traditional paper prints. So we’re here to show you that with just a few extra clicks, you can start selling digital photos and videos in addition to your usual physical print items.
Our latest pro article spotlights this commercial conundrum. We discuss why digital sales are essential to most any photographers’ businesses… and how you can get set up so that you’re not leaving money on the table.
Over the last few months, we’ve gotten so much feedback from our Pros about the $0.49 base cost for digital downloads. (Thanks!) So we put on our thinking caps, made a few espressos and dreamed up a better way to make this work.
How it Works, Now:
We’ve made the new base cost for individual digital downloads one penny. Why? More Pros than we expected loved this price point when offering many downloads to customers, so we took our cues from them. You can still add a reasonable markup, without bending your customers’ wallets out of shape. Gallery downloads still have a base cost of $0.99.
To cover our costs of processing and distributing your digital files, we’ll add a single $0.50 processing fee to the shopping cart when:
- The order’s subtotal (after Coupons) is less than $10
- The order contains at least one digital download
In English: More money for you. You get the most control over the pricing and still take home a sweet profit.
What’s not to love? Tell us. We’re listening.
P.S. If you’re a Pro who uses % markup, you may want to log in and give your Pricelists a quick review. Just sayin’.
Hey, Smuggers! Pros can now sell video downloads just like prints, cards and the whole shebang:
You’ve asked for this for a really long time and we were busting at the seams waiting to tell you about it. We hope you love this new feature (and all the cha-ching! it brings) as much as we loved building it for you.
While you’re soaking up the good news, let’s go over the basic deets about video on SmugMug.
How to Upload Your Videos
You probably already know that you can upload an unlimited number of HD video to every Power or Pro SmugMug account in addition to unlimited photos. Since most cameras have video functions baked right in, you’ve probably got quite a collection already.
Put your videos into your SmugMug galleries exactly the same way you already do with your photos. You can upload a slew of photos and videos at the same time if you’d like. We always recommend our easy-to-use browser based uploaders, but you can use whatever works best for your workflow.
There’s lots of different video formats out there and we accept a huge range of codecs to make it simple. In the rare case that we don’t recognize the format, write to our Support Heroes for help or try converting it to a different one.
How to Sell Video Downloads
Price them just like you would price any other digital download. If you’re not sure, look here for full details. Open up your pricing settings, click on the Downloads tab and go nuts.
You can offer up to 5 different sizes of video downloads in both Personal and Commercial licenses. Here’s what they are:
- Web: up to 320 x 240
- iPod/DVD: up to 640 x 480
- Mid-Def: up to 960 x 540
- Hi-Def: up to 1280 x 720
- Full HD: up to 1920 x 1080
Your fans can then add the video to their cart and check out. Video downloads are available immediately. Instant gratification!
A note about that “Save Movie” link: If you’ve not priced any videos, your visitors will continue to see that link in the lightbox header. It’ll disappear when you start pricing videos in that gallery, or when you enable Right-Click Protection in your Gallery Settings.
Similarly, your fans can’t download video sizes that are equal to or larger than the video sizes you’ve priced. So, for example if you’ve priced the Mid-Def size in a gallery, they can only save the Web and iPod sizes from the mouseover photo bar.
One last FYI: Video files will be included in your Gallery Downloads zip files, so make sure you price them accordingly.
Be on TV, Your Computer or Your Phone
Did you know that visitors using an iPhone or iPad, AppleTV, PlayStation (or any device that can play industry-standard h.264 videos) can also play SmugMug videos? Being tied to a computer is so 2006. Just give your fans a link to the video in your SmugMug gallery and they can watch it from virtually anywhere.
Or, try embedding videos instead. We provide easy embed codes that you can drop into your blog, forum posts or any other external site. To get it, click on the Share button in any gallery (or Owner Share if you’ve disabled it to your viewers) and choose Get a Link. Video embed codes are under the “Embeddable Links” tab. Copy and paste that code into your site and prepare to blow them away:
Tip: WordPress bloggers have it even easier. Just copy the URL for the video from the gallery and drop it into your blog editor, like this:
We’ll automatically fit the video to size:
Anyone Can (and Should) Make Movies
Even if you don’t dream of Hollywood, you can shoot and share all kinds of video that make you smile. At SmugMug, we see videos for everything like weddings, birthday parties, product reviews, music videos, demos, real estate tours to just fun, everyday clips.
But if “keyframes” and “transcoding” don’t mean much to you, we have two friends in the video biz who can get you gorgeous movies in minutes: Animoto and ProShow Web. Log in and find them in your gallery’s Buy button, then choose the “Create a Video” option. They’ll slurp in your SmugMug photos and create beautiful, engaging slideshows set to your favorite music. You can customize them, too.
The Nitty Gritty Details
As you enjoy creating, making and sharing moving pictures, keep these few bits in mind:
- Videos can be embedded into pages in two sizes: 425×240 and 640×360. If you want your fans to see the full HD version, include a direct link to the video so they can view it in your SmugMug gallery.
- Please keep your videos family-safe and don’t post any copyrighted material that you don’t have the rights to. This includes background music.
Links you’ll love:
Great news for Pro photographers! You’ve always asked us, “Can I sell web-sized photos that my clients can use for Facebook?”
We’ve recently added a few new options to your Digital Download catalog, so the answer is yes!
More Options for Selling Downloads
Open up your custom pricing and click on the Downloads tab. See all that new hotness?
There’s a total of four different download type and four different sizes for Personal and Commercial licenses. Before you had 12. Now you can offer (count ‘em up) 32 versatile download options.
The new stuff includes:
- Web Sized. Fun-sized! These are up to 640 x 480 pixels, ideal for sharing on blogs, forums and Facebook.
- Gallery Downloads. The new and more-accurate name for the feature formerly known as Album Downloads. Since we already use the term “galleries” to refer to your groups of photos on your site, we thought this would make more sense to you. Remember that you can set one price for a gallery’s worth of images and your client can purchase it easily. This gives you the ability to price bulk photos at a discount, making it a powerful marketing tool.
- Printmarked photos. Watermarks for your downloads. Lots of Pros want to add their logo, name or even an event date to their images but as a rule we don’t apply watermarks to digital downloads. Now you can do this by setting up Printmarks in your Control Panel, then apply it to whole galleries in the gallery settings.
Anything Else I Should Know?
Lots of you have given us great feedback about our zip file feature and the speed of which you can typically expect to receive the notification email. When your clients are buying single unmarked photo downloads or Originals they’ll have virtually instant gratification; keep in mind that applying Printmarks and resizing entire galleries requires more juice. This means that it may take just a little longer for your client to get the zip file for large purchases or Printmarked downloads.
Tip: Want Printmarks on your downloads but not your prints? Turn on Proof Delay and remove the Printmarks from print orders as they roll in.
If you have any feedback or questions about this feature, we’re listening. Till then, happy pricing and selling!
You’ve always been able to sell individual photos in three different sizes and two license formats. Your visitors were able to add all images from a gallery to the shopping cart, which was convenient, but the price for that order was a cumulative total that couldn’t be changed.
Now you can set one special price for the full set. This means that you can offer a “package” price to clients who buy the whole gallery.
How it Works
Open up your custom pricing and click the Downloads tab. You’ll see a brand new section under each license type called “Album Downloads”:
Price them just the way you’d price anything else and remember to save it. This price is the one that shows when your client hits the Buy button and chooses All Digital Downloads:
They pick the download type and size, and can then continue to check out.
Get all the details about digital downloads, licenses and how to offer them to clients here.
Earlier this week, USA Today talked to SmugMug CEO Don MacAskill at WPPI about the importance of digital downloads. Take a look at the article and watch the interview here:
If you haven’t yet discovered how digital downloads can rock your business, then keep reading. This blog’s for you.
Why Downloads are Awesome
Pros can sell up to 6 different digital download types and make bank on each one:
Offer three sizes for flexibility. The Low-Res 1 MP download is roughly 816×1224 pixels, about big enough to print as an 8×12 . The Hi-Res 4 MP version is twice the size, weighing in at around 1632×2448. It’s big enough to make a 30×40 print, or most of our largest catalog offerings. View our minimum requirements chart to see how we came up with those numbers.
Originals are just that: If you upload a 23 MB file, that’s what your customer will receive when they buy it. Note that we never upsize and just offer the resolutions that we can make.
Example: If your original file is 3 MP, we’ll only show the 1 MP and Original options for sale.
They’re quick and convenient. Downloads are a great way to offer easy, reusable, unwatermarked files to your clients. They can use them for Facebook, blogs, Craigslist ads, digital scrapbooks, Wanted Posters and tons of other creative places. No muss, no fuss and no stalking the mailman. They’re available immediately after checkout (and won’t expire if you forget).
Direct links for download are included in your order confirmation emails as well as on the online order page. Best of all, folks who buy four pics or more can retrieve them bundled in a zip file.
Sell them by the piece or by the pound. If all photos in a gallery are priced for downloads, your clients can add one of everything to their cart by hitting “All Digital Downloads” in the Buy button. Of course, they can just buy individuals by looking for the blue “Downloads” tab in the shopping cart.
Finally, remember that downloads are available immediately after purchase, so they don’t qualify for Proof Delay. Keep this in mind as you tweak your workflow.
We hope you Pros learned something new or picked up a couple of tidbits to perk your sales.
Vive la revolución digital!
The SmugMug Family