New for Portfolio Accounts: Price and Sell

Dear Pros,

This post is a result of the passionate feedback many of you gave us after our pricing change—and some incredibly moving stories we heard about your photography.

It’s been two months since we created two Pro accounts, Portfolio and Business, where once there was one. The main difference between them was the ability to price & sell.

Today we’re adding the ability to price & sell to Portfolio accounts. This account level is designed for up-and-coming photographers on a budget who don’t need the features higher-volume Pros use, but who want a gorgeous site, protected images, and the ability to earn profit through our Pro print labs.

Portfolio accounts include:

Business accounts include:

You can find a complete list of differences between the accounts on our updated features page.

As we mentioned two months ago, storage is one of the big drivers behind our decision to split Pro accounts.  When we dug into the data, it became clear that heavy storage usage was highly correlated with accounts using advanced Business features, including multiple Pricelists.  We also heard great feedback that you needed better visibility about how much storage you’re using, and what you can do about it.  We’ve taken that feedback to heart and will provide better tools in the future.

Two months ago we announced that renewals at the new rates would begin October 15th.  Many Pros have noticed, however, that we’re still renewing at the old rates.  That’s because we didn’t want anyone to renew at the Business rate if they would have been a better fit with Portfolio after this change.  With this change, renewals at the new rates will begin early Saturday morning.

Our price change was honestly scary and emotional. Two months later, we’re relieved that it’s providing us the ability to invest more in engineering because sales are up. We are gratified by the support we’ve received from so many of you and hope that this change will offer wonderful up-and-coming photographers a chance to pursue their passion.

We’ll continue to listen to your feedback and adjust our account levels accordingly, so keep it coming.

All the best,
Chris & Don MacAskill
Founders, photographers, regular guys

4 Signs That Your Clients Are Ripping You Off (and what to do about it)

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


Picture this:

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.🙂

World Domination: Foreign Currencies Are Here!

There’s no coy way to announce this, so we’ll just say it:

SmugMuggers can now offer pricing for prints, gifts and downloads in one of five international currencies.

That’s right! Your visitors now get to pick their own currency when they buy stuff from your site.

How does it work?

Run (don’t walk) to your galleries and click the Buy button to bring up the shopping cart. At the top you’ll see a fresh new drop-down menu that translates your pricing to the five following flavors:

  • USD – $
  • CAD – CA$
  • AUD – AU$
  • GBP – £
  • EUR – €

You can click through each one to see pricing in the shopping cart change. We’ll remember the currency that’s chosen and display it consistently when you view our catalog, as well as throughout shopping and checkout.

I’m a Pro. Will I make less money when the exchange rate changes?

No, your profits are safe. We talked about this when we debuted Pricelists, and this is one reason why SmugMug’s custom pricing is centered around profits, not the final price.

Market crash? No prob… you’ll still earn that $100 on those MetalPrints (as long as you’ve priced them that way).

What currency will I get paid in?

We’ve been paying international SmugMug Pros in various currencies since last May. Look here to see how it works so you can get paid in whichever moolah you love best.

Anything else I should know?

Here’s the quick list:

  • SmugMuggers of all account levels don’t have to do a thing to start showing the five currencies on your site. We do the conversion automatically for each and every visitor that buys from you.
  • The price your customers see on your site will adjust along with the exchange rate. This could happen daily if the market’s feeling feisty.
  • Pros: Your customers will see the currency they’ve chosen while shopping and during checkout, but for now you’ll still have to set your prices in USD. We’ll be adding currency support to features like Pro pricing, Coupons, Packages, etc., so please hang tight and we’ll tell you when those are ready.

Whoopee! Now, where can I sell?

In case you were just too shy to ask, you’ve always been able to sell to anyone, anywhere in the world. We hope the new currencies will help your fans get a better idea of how much things cost.

If you want to see the full list of countries we ship to, take a look at this page here and bookmark our handy shipping info page.

What if I have an order problem?

We stand loud and proud on our 100% guarantee on all orders, and, as you know, we’ll refund you – or your customer – if we can’t make it right.

But if your sale doesn’t work out and it was purchased in a foreign currency, please remember the refund may not be the same dollar amount due to the exchange rate differences at the time of checkout and return.

Now, it’s your turn to grade us.

Questions? Comments? Feedback? You’ve asked for this feature for such a long time, we wanna know how we did.

This addition is just Part 1 of this year’s international goodies. We know that SmugMug Pros are dying to set prices in other currencies, too, so stay tuned! We’re building that next.

WYSIWYG: SmugMug’s New Product Videos

At SmugMug, we have a 100% guarantee that covers ALL orders, no strings attached. If there’s a problem with your order for any reason whatsoever, we’ll fix it, replace it or refund it. We don’t care if it’s because you ordered the wrong size, printed a typo or if your dog ate the mailman.

But we know that shopping online gets scary when you can’t feel or touch the products that you (or your clients) are buying. To help you better visualize our goodies, we sprinkled some short, easy-to-digest product videos around our catalog, like this one:

See Before You Spree

You can poke around the different pages or take a look at specific examples like:

They’re great for showing your clients what to expect. So don’t be afraid to tell them about it, too.

Tip: View Everything We Sell

You can see everything we sell and the prices you pay as a pro, here:

Full catalog, with pricing:

When your customers or visitors need to see the catalog, the links in our footer will show them only the products, not the prices. Here they are:

Our full catalog with both labs:
Catalog with just EZ Prints:
Catalog with just Bay Photo:

Happy shopping (and selling) this holiday season!