Watch Us Maximize Your Event Marketing on SmugMug

Hungry to learn more? Lucky for you Smuggers, we’ve got two more great webinars on our schedule geared towards one of our most powerful Business account features: Events.

Backlit window bride with glow by Brandon Busa
Photo by Photography by Busa

1) SmugMug Feature Spotlight: Event Marketing

May 21, 2013
5:00 – 6:30 PM Pacific Time
Register for this event!

In our monthly pro webinar, we’ll deep dive into Events, Favorites and all the great things it can do for your. You’ll be guided through every nook and cranny by our very own Sean Rogan, so bring your questions and get ready to unleash the power you probably never knew you had.

Wedding dip with palm trees by Brandon Busa
Photo by Photography by Busa

2) Increasing Your Bottom Line with Brandon Busa

May 28, 2013
5:00 – 6:30 PM Pacific Time
Register for this event!

Join San Francisco Bay Area photographer Brandon Busa of Photography By Busa and SmugMug’s own Rocky Bowles to learn how to maximize your potential and get more clients. This free webinar will teach you essential techniques designed to get the most out of your wedding and portrait events. Brandon will share his own polished workflow and show the best ways to use the marketing and event features built in to every SmugMug Business account.

We’ll cover:

  • How to get clients, families and guests of events to interact on YOUR website
  • Getting print sales from all guests from a wedding or even a portrait shoot
  • The importance of offering outstanding service

This webinar is perfect for portrait and wedding photographers, as well as anyone who wants to learn new ways to make money through photography.

UPDATE 6/17/2013: Miss the webinar? We’ve uploaded the recording (in two parts) to our video channel so you can tune in at any time. Watch Part 1. Watch Part 2.

Register and learn

It’s our mission to make you an expert in all things Smug… and to be sure that you’re making the happiest clients in the biz. Keep your bookmarks on our Events Calendar for all the great new podcasts and webinars we’re adding all the the time.

See you soon!

Share the Love: Events, Favorites and Sharegroups

As you get ready for wedding season, we want to send a friendly reminder to any of you out there who may still be scared of one of our favorite Business features: Events.

Don’t be intimidated, because Events are just what the doctor ordered to keep your friends, fans and family sane. If you’ve never used this feature — or its little brother, Sharegroups, available to Basic, Power and Portfolio members — here are just a few reasons why you should dive in and give it a whirl.

1. Your friends will thank you.

Instead of sending a huge catalog of links to your wedding guests, send just one. Both Events and Sharegroups are “islands” that contain as many galleries as you wish, so there’s no need for guests to get off track. Mentally, it’s an easier and more friendly approach… especially since you get to pick the URL.

In short, you share just one link and your visitors don’t have to poke around your vacation pics looking for the bride.

2. You can exercise your OCD tendencies.

Events come bundled with lots of cool features, like a place to display a slideshow of favorites and details about the shoot, the ability to add in as many galleries as you wish and arrange them, email templates for sharing and lots more. Everything stays neat and tidy, and you can use all the options or just a few. Best of all, each client (we call them “Participants”) gets their own special view of the Event, and a unique gallery to hold their Favorites. So whether it’s the bride, her mom or a favorite aunt, their selections don’t get mixed up.

Sharegroups are the simplified version of the above: Bundle all the galleries you want under one Sharegroup and share the link. Like Events, you can enter a description and sort the included galleries in whatever order you wish. You’re still able to tweak ’til it squeaks.

3. You stay in control.

You’re the star; everyone’s waiting with bated breath to see your photos. When you’re ready, release all their galleries with one click, and (if you have a Business account) keep track of everyone who takes a look. The secret? Events’ registration feature. Just toggle the Registration setting to “Required” and anyone viewing your Event will be asked for their email address.

Both Events and Sharegroups can be locked down with viewing passwords, so images don’t fall into the wrong hands.

The 2-Minute Guide to Making Your First Event (or Sharegroup)

1. Make it.

To create an Event, open up your Account Settings and look under “Business.” Click on the “Making Money” tab and you can manage your Events on the right:

For Sharegroups, look under your Accounts Settings‘ “Discovery” tab and find Sharegroups under the “Sharing” tab:

2. Give the details.

Once you’ve opened the manager, click the “New” button at the top right and fill in your details.

3. Add the good stuff.

You can add galleries and Participants right away to Events. Don’t forget to click “Save” once you do!

For Sharegroups, you’ll have to save your new Sharegroup first, then go back to add the galleries to it.

If you want all the details about how these features work, check out our help pages for all the info. We’ve got a few other articles in our resource center for Pros on the endless benefits of Events, too.

Happy sharing!

Link roundup:

6 Essential SmugMug Tools for Celebrating a Sane, Organized (and Profitable) Holiday

Hectic holiday? It doesn’t have to be if you plan on uploading your photos (and videos) to your SmugMug galleries! You’ve already got your hands tied with hot chocolate, ribbons and last-minute gift planning, so here’s a few tips that will help make the picture sharing part of it refreshingly easy.

1) Show Off: Badges and Slideshows

This handy feature lets you build your own mini slideshow or photo mosaic to any size you wish, and gives you easy copy-and-paste code to embed it. You don’t have to know any nerd magic to get this going, and it automatically refreshes with new photos when you add more stuff to your gallery.

You’ll find this little feature a godsend for blogs, forums and websites. Anywhere that allows you to embed Flash objects. Here’s how to do it.

2) Guest Uploading for Party People

With all those folks at your house snapping away, you need a hub where guests can pool their photos and relive the glory of your massive decorating skills. SmugMug to the rescue!

Create a new gallery for your event and then open up the gallery settings. Set any word you wish into the “Upload key” box, like this:

The next time you fire up the uploader in that gallery, you’ll see a secret link at the bottom that you can copy and share. Your friends can visit that link and we’ll automagically pop up an uploader so they can easily drag and drop in their photos from the night.

Just remember that anyone who gets ahold of the link can upload to that gallery, so be aware when you share. More about guest uploads.

3) Make and Sell Photo Cards

We’ve been talking a lot about our holiday cards this year, but they’re so beautiful we just have to tell you again. And there is truly no better, easier way to take the best photos you’ve taken (or the best photos someone’s taken of you) and pair them up with custom, heartfelt season’s greetings.

Our catalog is bursting with new designs for everyone, whether your style is vintage, contemporary, minimalist or traditional. Or all of the above. Just look for the Buy button > Create a Card option in your favorite gallery and start building your 4×8 or 5×7 masterpiece!

Read all about cards, including how to price and sell them.

4) Custom Categories for Easy Navigation

Did you know that when our pre-loaded list of Categories (and sub-categories) don’t work for you, you can create your own? And that you can edit the URL that shows in the browser bar when you’re viewing your categories?

We make it breathtakingly easy to efficiently organize your site, share the URL verbally, and even get better Google juice. It’s like Christmas came early!

Take a closer look and bone up on the basics of Categories, then take it a step further and learn how to use Categories to your best advantage. This year, you’ll have your “I will be more tidy” New Year’s resolutions totally beat.

5) Picmonkey: Funky Photo Editing

Picmonkey may be our (unintentionally) best-kept secret. But if you haven’t already tried this smart, sassy tool to edit your SmugMug photos, run – don’t walk – to your nearest Tools button and find it now.

It’s built right into every SmugMug gallery and you can do everything from basic exposure correction and redeye fix to adding graphics, words, textures, frames and filters. And more. Tons, tons  more.

It’s totally free to use — even their premium features, since they’re still the new kid on the block.

Check it out now and don’t be afraid to have a little fun with your photos.🙂

6) Camera Awesome for iPhone and iPad

If you’ve got an iPhone or an iPad, you’ve got the perfect excuse to leave the DSLR in your office. You can shoot up to 9 fps with our free camera app, meaning you never miss a moment. And apply gorgeous effects and filters to make them shine.

Best of all, your shots won’t stay locked on your phone where no one will see them. Share direct to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Instagram and back them up safely to your SmugMug account so you can visit them year after year. Download it free right now.

Bonus! Business features for Pros

Since there’s a lot of pros out there, here are three additional features we snuck in to remind you Business SmugMuggers that there’s a lot more to your website than just photos.

A) Coupons A no-brainer for getting your customers a little extra nudge this holiday season! With a Business account, you can choose from 5 different types and create as many coupons as you wish.. which means you can tailor your discount codes to every client. Be sure to set an expiry date so they don’t sit on a good deal forever.

B) Events and Favorites Intimidated? Don’t be. Events let you corral galleries into groups, so your customers can easily view only the photos that matter to them most. Best of all, they can tag and save their Favorite photos to a special gallery only they can see. All which makes browsing and buying a breeze.

C) Order Branding -This feature actually consists of three separate (and awesome) tools: Cart Branding, Stickers and Thank You Prints. All of them ensure that you and your brand stay connected to your customers until the prints are sitting in their hands. And you can easily switch up your Order Branding designs from season to season, so you look super organized…  even if you’re not.

GIVEAWAY! What’s Your Lifesaver?

In the spirit of giving, we’re digging through Smuggy’s workshop and rounding up some of our best swag items.

To enter this giveaway, simply comment below and tell us which SmugMug feature you find helps most during your holiday rush.

We’ll pick a random winner and announce it in this space on Friday, December 7th, 2012.

From all of us at SmugMug, we wish you a picture-perfect holiday! And we can’t wait to hear what you can’t live without.

**UPDATE** The Magic SmugMug 8-ball chose Melissa Ponder as our winner. Congrats Melissa and we’ll be contacting you directly. Thanks to everyone and have a great weekend!

Link roundup:

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

Smug Tip of the Week: Events and Favorites

Is there a way to let my clients pick their favorite photos?

We hear this a lot from inquiring Pros and the answer is a hearty YES!

Here’s how:

1) Go to your Control Panel and set up an Event. You can customize it lots of ways and then add the gallery (or galleries) that you want to share with your fans.

2) Name your client as a Participant. This grants them a special access to view the event via a special link.

3) Ask them to view that link. When they see a pic they love, they can click the red “heart” icon to add it to a private Favorites gallery that only the two of you can see.

4) From there, they can share their Favorites gallery with friends and family and (best of all) buy prints and gifts.

If you want to get fancy, click the white envelope next to their name to open the email share feature and use our templates to spread the word about your Event. We make it easy to tailor your message to the event and save the wording for future shoots.

Get all the details on how to use Events and Favorites on our Event Marketing help page.

Tip: If you have Photo Ranking enabled, they may be tempted to click the green or red thumbs-up icon that appears on the mouseover bar. But keep in mind that it’s part of your Popular Photos feature and we don’t recommend this as a replacement for Favorites. You won’t be able to see the vote count, but check your Popular Photos box to see the best ones!

Enjoy and happy marketing!