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Posts Tagged ‘pro sales’

Pro Tip: 7 Reasons You Just Lost a Sale

September 23, 2014 2 comments

While you’re here at SmugMug, we want you to succeed. It’s in our blood, as we’re photographers ourselves and everything at SmugMug was borne out of our very own needs to capture the world.

Our Support Heroes often get questions from pros wondering why customers aren’t buying their prints and downloads. So here are some top fixes we’ve found to help cure those lackluster sales.

1) Buying Isn’t Enabled

This is pretty key, but is buying enabled in your galleries? By default it’s on, but just in case you should always look to see if the button in your galleries says “Buy” or “Owner Buy.” If it says the latter (or if you log out and don’t see a Buy button at all), buying is disabled for guests. Owner Buy is useful for those of you who don’t want to sell, but still may want a buy a print for your own living room.

How to fix it: Open your gallery settings and look under the “Shopping” tab. The shopping cart toggle is right at the top of the list, so be sure that’s set to ON.

2) Your Pricing Isn’t Set Up

Maybe people are buying your photos at-cost, with no profit to you? This is the nightmare of some photographers, so be absolutely sure that you’re not sitting there accidentally giving away those photos. Fortunately at SmugMug, Portfolio and Business users can literally set it and forget it with Pricelists, so you can set your markup, sit back, and just let the money roll in.

How to fix it: Visit your Pricelists manager, found in your Account Settings > Business tab. Add in products to your default Pricelist, fill in a few numbers, then save it. All galleries on your site with buying enabled will now reflect those prices to your fans. Business account members can create multiple Pricelists and can apply them to different galleries. Find out more info on our help pages.

3) Nobody Knows You Exist

If you build it, will they come? On the internet, the answer is “No.” Even coding up the most beautiful site won’t make magic if no one on the web is talking about you. So take that first step and share the link, post photos to social media, and create buzz so that Google (and potential new clients) hears about you.

How to fix it: You can copy the link to your site, a gallery, or even a single image right from the address bar in your browser. Or use our handy Get a Link feature. Also, check your site-wide privacy settings and fill out your site metadata so that relevant, descriptive words show up when people search for you.

4) Your Clients Got Totally Lost

The architecture of your site is more important than you may think it is. We’ve covered this in the past, but we can’t stress enough that you should make the content you want surfaced as visible as possible. When in doubt, give your clients a direct link to the gallery containing their photos, so they don’t wander off and get lost.

How to fix it: You can Get a Link to share a gallery or a photo. Have multiple galleries to share? Try Sharegroups (which can also be protected with passwords), or Events & Favorites. The latter is worth its weight in gold for pros, because it lets clients tag the images they love best.

5) They Couldn’t Reach You

What happens when they have a question that only you can answer? How much do you charge? Are you available for a September session? Can they hire you? You’d want to be sure that your email address is available front and center. But we’re surprised at the number of websites we see where this info is hidden, buried, or just plain not included. It’s no wonder sales are slow!

How to fix it: Fill out your SmugMug Profile (found in the top right corner of your logged-in header) with your contact email, then be sure to add a contact link to your menu bar. We won’t expose your email address to spammers, but will send messages from the SmugMug contact form to you. Here’s more info about crafting an effective menu bar.

6) They’re Just Downloading the Photo

Why pay for a photo when you can get it for free? If this thought makes you cringe, then we rest our case. Because SmugMug users come from all walks of life, lots of family use the free download feature to share photos with friends and family. But as a pro, you’d probably prefer cash, so you should double-check that the pictures you’re selling aren’t open for the picking.

How to fix it: Check your image-protection settings to be sure that Originals aren’t enabled in your galleries, which allows any viewer to save a full-res copy to their computers. You can also flip on Right-Click Protection to foil them further.

7) They’re Scared of You

Even if you’re not particularly warm and fuzzy by nature, it pays to be friendly in your most public space. Practice good marketing mojo, and this will be reflected back in the quality of client that hires you. Imbue the text around your site with your own voice and personality, and be sure to guide them each step of the way towards browsing more, reaching out to you, and buying a print.

How to fix it: Our top three picks for warming up your site are (1) your Right-Click Protection message, (2) your gallery description field, and (3) your About page. We’ve always recommended making your Right-Click Protection message helpful, not threatening. The gallery description shows up over your photos and is the first thing they see when they open it, so be sure to greet guests and give them step-by-step instructions on how to buy photos. Combined with your own heroic story on a custom About page, you’ll get fans checking out in no time.

Good luck and happy selling! If you’ve found your own way to troubleshoot slow sales and aren’t afraid to share your tips with fellow pros, we’d love to hear it

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Link roundup:

 

Pros, Your Fans Are Gonna Love This

August 21, 2014 12 comments

While we’ve had tutorial videos and archived webinars forever, today we’re happy to show you the latest additions to our library: How to Buy Prints & Downloads.

Two New Videos for You to Share

Pros have often asked us for tools that will help sell more prints, gifts, and downloads, because occasionally your fans need a little extra push. So we’ve created a long-format tutorial (7:58) and a short-format tutorial (4:52) showing your fans how to add photos to the shopping cart, understand those framing and cropping options, and check out. Here’s the short version:

We hope that you’ll share these with your clients, or even embed them into your site so that they’re viewable at any time. Tip: Use Customize > Customize Site and drop a YouTube video Content Block onto the page. You can get the video link above.

Here’s to smoother sales at SmugMug!

P.S. Did you know that we have a 100% guarantee on all items ordered through your SmugMug galleries? If you or your customer are not happy for ANY reason, we’ll fix it or replace it for free. We mean it.

Links you’ll love:

Pro tip: Sell Downloads and Don’t Leave Money on the Table

February 25, 2014 4 comments

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.

Read the full article now on SmugMug Academy >>

The “Why Haven’t I Made Any Sales?” Checklist

June 18, 2013 38 comments

You’re a photographer who’s oh-so-ready to make money. We hear ya. But if you’ve gotten every hair in place and you’ve still not seen that “Cha-Ching!” email, here are a few possible reasons why you’ve not been getting bites.

1. No Buy Button

Missing Buy button on a pro website

Is it there? This is possibly one of the most dire but easiest flubs to fix. Maybe you disabled this or applied a Quick Setting that hid the Buy button from your galleries, but if you don’t switch it back on you’ll never sell a single print. So be sure to check your galleries and if it’s missing, enable printing in your Gallery Settings. Easy peasy!

Enable SmugMug's shopping cart

2. No Pricing

Set your SmugMug pricing

We hate asking this, but… you DID set up your pro pricing, right? With Pricelists it’s really easy to set a pro markup on just the products you want, then apply that pricing to any or all galleries across your site. But if you forget to do this, you won’t make a dime.

Tip: If you don’t want to think about this ever again, check the “Make this my default pricelist” at the top right and we’ll automagically apply this pricelist to all current and new galleries on your site.

Also, are you charging enough? It may seem counter-intuitive, but we can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your prices high and charging what you’re worth. In short: Don’t be cheap.

3. Nasty RCP Message

Great example of an effective RCP message.

We’re all about protecting your photos and making sure that you have peace of mind when putting your best work on the web. But there are ways to use them, and then there are better ways to use them. We’re here to show you the latter.

Like your Right-Click Protection message: It’s there to foil right-clickers looking for an easy download, but most photographers just put a boilerplate copyright message, or a threat. Instead of slapping your customers, try to guide them to your Buy button for a profit-making purchase. You’ll look competent AND helpful all at the same time. Fix it under the “Photos” line in your Easy Customizer.

4. Originals On

Disable free originals downloading in your gallery settings

So many SmugMug users use their galleries to share photos with friends and family. But as a Pro, being that generous may not be so good for business. Originals (and full-res downloads) are on by default, but it’s a quick fix to change this. Just remember to do it!

Open up your gallery settings and look for the Security & Privacy option. Set the radio button to anything smaller than Originals (like XLarge), and to check, log out and take a breeze through your galleries. You’ll always see a Save Photo option when you’re logged in as the owner, but you shouldn’t see it when you’re viewing your site as a guest.

5. Zero Marketing

Ah, the feeling of sweet success on the morning you unveil your website! But wait… did you share the link?

Share that gorgeous sunset!

Like relationships, you’ve got to put a little effort in to get something back. So be sure to enter in your keywords, captions, meta description and meta keywords to be sure you get picked up in search engines. Also share the link to your site with friends, Facebook and anywhere else you go online. After all, you can’t make sales if nobody knows you exist.

6. Password Foibles

Share your gallery password

Many clients want their event galleries locked down with a viewing password, and, yeah, we understand privacy. But our Support Heroes hear from more people than we’d expect that get hit with this one. We hear from confused clients, curious pros who expected instant sales, but the culprit is usually that the password never got shared! So if you’ve just put the finishing touches on your latest wedding gallery and your inbox is a ghost town, think back to whether or not you’ve completed this vital step.

The lesson? Don’t forget to share your viewing passwords with the people that matter most. Since passwords are cAsE sEnSiTiVe we recommend copying and pasting what you type in your gallery settings right into your emails.

7. You Launched Yesterday

Fill in your SEO settings to maximize your search engine results

It’s possible to find overnight success on the web, but patience is still a virtue. You can plug in every keyword and meta description properly, shared with your Facebook fans and distributed your business cards to shops across town, but you’ll still have to wait to see the effect. It takes time for Google to do its work, and for tongues to wag.

So instead of stressing out, grab your camera, keep on shooting and work on honing your craft. Your soon-to-be clients will only love you more.

Link roundup:

New Bay Photo Products to Buy and Sell

April 19, 2013 41 comments

Great news for people who love holding beautiful photos in their hands: We’re adding more print products to our catalogs, starting with Bay Photo.

On April 26, 2013, we’ll be adding loads of new stuff to your Bay Photo catalog and make some price changes that we hope you’ll love. We’re giving you seven days’ notice so that you have plenty of time to study the list and make any adjustments you’d like to your pro pricing.

So read on for all the details and be ready to sell more goodies!

So, What’s New?

ThinWraps and MetalPrints have long been some of your favorite ways to display your photos, but for the longest time SmugMug offered only one finish for each. So we’re thrilled to announce three new variations:

  • ThinWraps now available in Lustre Satin and Canvas Satin finishes, in addition to our existing Metallic Satin finish.
  • MetalPrints now available in Satin finish, in addition to the Glossy finish we already offer.

We’ve added a ton of new print sizes, 40 in all. The complete list is included at the end of this post.

And there are some important changes in the Bay Photo base print costs:

  • Pricing on 114 items are now a bit higher, BUT……
  • We’ve dropped the pricing on 386 different items.

For math lovers, that’s a mean price change of a $4.89 decrease. The median price change is a $2.47 decrease.

We hope to add lots more new Bay products to your SmugMug catalog soon, so let us know what items you’d love to see.

What do I need to do on April 26th?

Your Bay Photo Pricelists will automatically adjust to reflect the above changes, but remember that the new items won’t be visible to your clients until you add them to your Pricelists.

All price changes will depend on whether you price by profit, price or use rounding:

  • If you’re a pro who sets your Pricelists by the price displayed, we highly recommend that you give your pricing a once-over to be sure that you’re happy with the amount of profit you’ll earn.
  • If your pricing is set by Profit, you won’t see any impact to your take-home pay but the displayed price on your site may change especially if you don’t use rounding. You may want to update any printed materials that show your prices.

As always, if you use our Coupons feature, double check those to be sure that you won’t get any surprises to your profits on your next sale.

How do I check my prices?

Portfolio and Business Smuggers, open up your Account Settings and look under the “Business” tab. You’ll find your Pricelists manager under the Making Money section.

Click on each Pricelist and be sure that all of the numbers under the “Profit” column are to your taste, and add in any of the new print sizes that you’d like to offer.

Don’t forget to save your changes!

Will there be updates to EZ Prints, WHCC or Loxley Colour’s catalogs?

In due time, yes! As we stated above, we’re starting with Bay Photo first, but you’ll see new products from our other labs as we get the details worked out.

The ability to more easily add new print products to our catalogs was one of the biggest reasons why we urged pros like you to migrate your pricing over to Pricelists. We hope that you’ll agree that it was worth the change.

The List

Here’s the complete list of all the new print sizes you’ll be able to offer, sized in inches:

  • 13×19
  • 4×10
  • 15×30
  • 30×45
  • 40×40
  • 40×60
  • 15×20
  • 10×14
  • 10×28
  • 14×20
  • 30×50
  • 30×60
  • 30×90
  • 30×120
  • 5×15
  • 6×18
  • 8×24
  • 11×33
  • 16×48
  • 20×60
  • 5×20
  • 6×24
  • 8×32
  • 10×40
  • 12×48
  • 16×64
  • 20×80
  • 10×18
  • 15×27
  • 20×36
  • 6×6
  • 14×14
  • 36×36
  • 20×40
  • 12×16
  • 20×50
  • 40×50
  • 40×70
  • 40×80
  • 40×90
  • 43×96

Print Lab Love: Find Your Perfect Match in 2013

January 23, 2013 15 comments

It’s that time of year again: lab-shopping season. As the New Year rolls in, photographers focus on bettering their businesses and we know there’s nothing more exciting than delivering a beautiful print of a beautiful photo.*

You’ve probably noticed that SmugMug offers not one, not two, but FOUR fabulous print lab options, each offering a full array of great print products. So if you’re a seasoned pro who already has a favorite, we may already be friends with them.

Four labs means a ton of amazing print options, more than 600 different products in total. But before you start sweating, here’s a quick rundown on each one to help you narrow down and pick the best fit for your photos.

No matter what, rest assured that you get a single, cohesive online presence and a full business solution when you’re at SmugMug.

Your work is in good hands.

EZ Prints

EZ PrintsBased just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, these guys have been a true powerhouse print lab fulfilling orders for some of the nation’s biggest event companies. But they’re more than just brawn — they put all that experience to work getting your print orders out the door quickly and economically, whether you buy one print or one thousand. EZ Prints is available to every single SmugMug user, and they fulfill all 4×8 and 5×7 photo card orders, to boot.

Bay Photo

Bay PhotoOur friends at Bay Photo enjoy the sun and fresh sea air each day in Santa Cruz, California. The positive effects are evident in the pride they take to their work, attention to detail, and the approach to customer service. Business and Portfolio SmugMuggers tell us that Bay Photo’s hand color correction, meticulously strong packaging and innovative product lineup are essential to the satisfaction of their clients. Plus, did you know that using Bay Photo also offers delicious Photo Extras like mats, frames, mounted prints and more, so you save a trip to the framers?

Loxley Colour

Loxley ColourLast year we unveiled our first non-USA print lab, Loxley Colour. Situated in the outskirts of beautiful Glasgow, Scotland, they’re ready to fulfill all your highest-end print and display needs, right from your SmugMug gallery. They’re particularly popular with picky pros (and their picky customers) in the UK, but they’re happy to ship anywhere in Europe… and beyond.

White House Custom Colour

WHCCWe started hearing that SmugMug Pros wanted even more print lab options, so we put our ears to the ground. White House Custom Colour won by being a crowd favorite and by passing our rigorous print quality test with flying colors. We felt confident that they met our (and your) incredibly high standards for beautiful prints each and every time. They hail from the Twin Cities in Minnesota, and opened a second and third location in Dallas, Texas and Fresno, California, to bridge pros from all corners of the United States. They’re a family-grown business just like SmugMug, proving that we have a lot more in common than just a love for photography.

Three Quick Notes

1) EZ Prints is available at all SmugMug account levels.

2) Bay Photo, WHCC and Loxley Colour are only available if you have a Portfolio or a Business level account.

3) All labs ship their goodies everywhere on the planet. But for logistical reasons, you may choose to pick the lab that’s closest to you.

Here’s hoping that you fall lens-over-heels in love with your your perfect lab this year!

* We know that DPI really stands for “Delirious Pixel Infatuation.”

New for Pros: Photo Extras Help You Sell More Through Bay Photo

June 12, 2012 112 comments

One of your top requests over the years has been, “Can I offer my customers mat and frames when they buy from my site?” Which spurred us to come up with today’s catalog-busting release, Photo Extras.

What are Photo Extras?

They’re à la carte upgrades available for prints you sell through Bay Photo. Your customers can choose them through an ‘Add Photo Extras’ button under each item in the shopping cart, before they check out.

What are the options?

There’s tons! Frames, mats, contemporary mounting options and even paper surface textures are all available with a few mouse clicks. And they can be purchased in lots of different combinations to create something truly unique.

  • Mats. 3 professional picks: 1.5″ wide mats in White, Off-White and Black.
  • Frames. 14 tasteful types: Flat wood, box wood or aluminum in a variety of colors. All served with clear, shatterproof acrylic.
  • Mounting. 7 sturdy selections: 2mm Styrene, Bevel mount, Gatorfoam and 3/4″ Standouts.
  • Finishes. 5 awesome alternatives: Pebble, Canvas and Linen surface textures, Satin Laminate and scratch-resistent Protective Coating.

*Note that not all options are available for all print sizes.

Swing by our general catalog page to get more info about each choice.

How do I use them? Do I have to?

Photo Extras are on by default for all Pricelists set to Bay Photo. Open up your Pricelists manager and create a new Pricelist with Bay Photo as the print lab. Be sure the “Allow Photo Extras” box is checked at the bottom of the page. That’s it!

If you’re already using a Pricelist that sells through Bay Photo, you’re already offering your customers the full array of goodies because it’s on by default. You don’t have to do a thing.

But you don’t have to offer Photo Extras if you don’t want to. Disable them by opening up your Bay Photo Pricelist and uncheck “Allow Photo Extras” at the bottom.

 

Can I set my own price for Photo Extras?

Right now, Photo Extras are only available at the default price, but you’ll still earn a profit on the print portion of the order.

We’re pretty sure some Pros will want to set a markup on each Photo Extra upgrade (just like the other goodies in your catalog), but don’t worry — it’s on our radar!

Are they covered by Coupons and Packages?

At this time, no. Photo Extras aren’t yet available for prints purchased in Packages, and Coupons apply just to the print portion of each order. We didn’t want you, the Pro, to end up covering the unexpected cost of a ginormous mat and frame. That wouldn’t be fair, would it? More about Coupons and Packages.

Your customers will love Photo Extras because they get it all in one step: Ready-to-hang, beautifully finished prints without a trip to the framing shop.

Which means you’ll sell more and make more money.

We hope that you’ll tell your clients about them, give them a try and share your feedback with us. Our ears are perked.

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