Update March 27, 2012:
Dear Smuggers, we screwed up, big time.
In the original version of this Pro Tips blog post, we featured screen grabs of photographs from a customer whose work we admire and respect. We did not ask their permission before publishing the post, and the photos were displayed in an inaccurate context. This was dumb, and we are ashamed to have caused this photographer even a moment of grief.
Our editorial team has been working hard to help customers make the most of their SmugMug accounts. In this case, we wanted to spread the word about image protection. To our dismay, we made a really bad decision that hurt a customer we have nothing but respect for, and we are so sorry.
Our Editorial Policy going forward is to Ask First, Period. No image will ever be used in our blog posts, emails, or any other communication without your permission.
We messed up, have learned a hard lesson, and are always committed to doing right by our customers.
–The SmugMug Family
You spent all weekend at the local soccer match shooting thousands of photos. When you got home you made sure to download, edit and upload them all right away. Parents are expecting photos! So you immediately shared the link, anticipating a slew of gushing order emails. Finally you drift asleep, thinking about the hundreds of successful dollars you’ll see in the morning.
But you get nothing.
If this sounds familiar, today’s your lucky day. We’ll talk about four painful symptoms that may indicate that something’s seriously wrong with your business.
1) No Sales. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
Did you forget to enable buying in your gallery? If you’re hearing crickets from the peanut gallery, this could be the case. When it’s off, your viewers have no way to add items to the shopping cart, even though they’re still able to browse photos. They probably think that you don’t intend to sell your photos at all.
HOW TO FIX IT: Visit your Gallery Settings and be sure that you’ve got Printing enabled. (It’s towards the bottom.) To be extra sure you did it right, take a minute to log out of SmugMug and browse your site like a customer.
2) No Download Sales: You Can’t Sell What You Give Away
Are clients emailing you every 5 minutes for their photos, but once you share them you don’t hear a peep? This could mean you’ve enabled your Originals. Don’t do this if you’re trying to make money! With Originals on, any visitor can easily download a full-res version of the image for free. It’s fab for friends and family. Bad for business.
HOW TO FIX IT: Open up your Gallery Settings and scroll down to “Security & Privacy.” Make sure any size other than Originals are selected there. You can go as small as Medium if you’re feeling saucy, but remember people won’t be able to enjoy screen-filling photo goodness that way – but our data shows going too small will harm your sales. X3Large + Watermarking (see #4) is probably your best bet.
3) No Profits on Print Sales
You’ve received an order, yay! But there’s no profit. Uh oh. This means you haven’t properly set up your pricing and clients are buying your photos at-cost. If you’re reading this post, chances are that’s not exactly what you had in mind.
HOW TO FIX IT: Hit up this tutorial that guides you on setting up your pricing using Pricelists. You can set the amount of profit you earn (recommended) or set your final price that’s shown in the cart. Not sure how much to charge? Just don’t go too low. Here’s why.
4) Surprise! Your Pics Pop Up on Facebook
You’re browsing social sites and to your dismay, you find your photos in your stream being shared by your clients without your credit… or your permission. How did they get there?
HOW TO FIX IT: Make your (water)mark! Look here to see how to turn your logo or name into a transparent image and slap it on your display copies. Any legally-purchased downloads or prints will be clean and clear unless you set a Printmark, too. While you’re at it, enable Right-Click Protection and use the Easy Customizer to type easy buying instructions into the custom pop-up message.
Now we hope that you’re better-prepared to take on the next few gigs and start setting your sales on fire. Stay tuned for even more tips, tricks and best practices to help you have your best year in the biz.🙂