2014 Photocrati Fund Update & Extension

Hi Everyone,

We wanted to give a quick update on the Photocrati Fund progress.

The submissions so far have been incredible. However, one of our judges has been unavailable and disconnected from communication while on a job.  So we decided to extend the deadline of the fund until Monday, April 28.

This gives our judges more time to review the projects and photographs in addition to you, the photographers, having more time as well.

So please spread the word and tell every photographer you know with a humanitarian project to get their submissions in. Click on any of the social sharing buttons, like Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.

We also hope to have our 2013 Photocrati Fund winner, Alex Masi’s update online soon.

Thank you!

The Photocrati Team

Sales In Photography – Boosting Your Business

Our friends at Preveal acquired an amazing sales product called Salesographer, and they just relaunched it with a new lower price.

Salesographer is a pricing and profit-boosting sales strategy for photographers lacking the cash flow drive and the sales mindset. You will learn pure, not-from-concentrate sales & pricing education that will take you step-by-step on how to price, present, and sell your photography, without feeling like a sales person.

sales-photography-salesographer

Salesographer teaches you:

  • How to really price for profit
  • How to package your products around their value
  • How to teach your clients to understand your value and your process
  • How to effectively sell your photography without becoming a sales person
  • How to maximize your client’s excitement without high pressure tactics
  • How to get the most out of an in-person presentation

They also threw in some goodies that will get you started by implementing what you learned. These goodies include a PSD and InDesign copy of the same Price Sheet, Pricing Guide and Contract Spencer demonstrates in the videos, and a $50 Gift Card for ProDPI.

Download a Sample Chapter

I spoke with Chris the prior to the relaunch to discuss the product, the future of it and more.  You can view that conversation below.

Sales In Photography

Sample Video

If this sounds interesting to you then please head over to Salesographer and to read more or to pick up your copy at the new discounted rate of $74 during the re-launch period.

Thanks for reading and good luck with your sales,

Scott

Make Something Worth Making

What matters, what makes it art, is that the person who made it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and made something worth making

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Recording of WordPress for Photogs Google Plus Hangout Talking Themes

On April 2nd I joined Peter Adams and our last minute guest, Rachel Brenke, for a chat about WordPress for photographers. The topic for the Hangout was themes, and it was a great first discussion. It’s also the first for many to come.

For those who have never heard of Peter Adams, please check out this eBook that he wrote about WordPress for photographers.

wp photog ebook

Before you view the video I want to mention that one of the things that sparked this discussion, and the idea of a monthly Hangout around WordPress specifically for photographers, is an article that Peter wrote. Soon after his article published I wanted to share my feedback from a very different perspective.

I highly recommend reading both of the articles, but you can do so before or aftering watching the video.

WordPress for Photogs Hangout #1

So there you go – if you have questions please feel free to comment and let me know. Please also join the Google Plus community for more conversations.

Oh, and did you enjoy the teaser of what’s coming up with the Photocrati theme?

Thanks for reading,
Scott

Inspiration Is Around Every Corner

Inspiration is around every corner, so go for a walk

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Creating & Using Custom Menus in WordPress & Photocrati

By default the Photocrati theme uses whatever pages you create in the main navigation menu.

If you only have a few pages that works perfectly fine. But once you start adding more and more pages it can become to cumbersome.

That is where custom menus come into play.

So now that you know about custom menus, go to your WordPress admin area, visit Appearance >> Menus and begin creating your menus.

Thanks for reading,
Scott

Growing Your Circles On Google Plus

While scouring the Internet for awesome questions to answer, I came across this question:

“Ok so I am new to Google + and loving that it is so full of art and article but users what do you feel is the best way to grow your circles?”

This is not an easy answer but I can definitely share one way to increase your circle count.

Google Plus has an amazing algorithm for recommendations. When signing up for a Google Plus account, you have the option to put in topics of interest for recommendations of who to follow. While using Google Plus on a regular basis, you will also be recommended people to follow.

The way Google Plus gathers its recommendations is by who has who in circles, and who is engaging, getting +1s and shares the most.

So a very simple answer to a difficult question is to engage with people whether they are your target market or not. If you can get a high-level person, someone with a lot of clout on Google Plus, to circle you then that means you’re more likely to be recommended to others.

Try that one on for size.

Have another tip? Please comment to share. Oh, and don’t forget to add us to your circles.

Scott

Social Referrals for Photographers

referrals for photographers

PhotogRefers is a unique approach to photography referrals. It combines the power of social media, galleries and a referral system to help photographers help each other out.

“Finally… A smarter referral network has arrived for professional photographers. “

At PhotogRefers you have the ability to create a portfolio illustrating your best work in different categories.  You can specify what locations you are available to work and a general price range for your services.

You can then state if you are available for hire as a second shooter.  Once you are running through the system you can share a lead, connect with friends and generate a referral list.

PhotogRefers makes it extremely easy to find other photographers anywhere in the world.  So next time you get an email asking to photograph weddings, when you do not offer wedding photography servers, head over to PhotogRefers and take adcantage of this amazing resource.  You can also check out BOWP for some of the best wedding photographers in the world.  But PhotogRefers is designed for photographers to connect with each other, so use it as a marketing and networking tool.

Referrals for Photographers

Here are some videos talking more about PhotogRefers, and referrals for photographers.

You can connect with me at PhotogRefers as well.  Click here to visit my profile.

Thanks for reading,

Scott

The Importance of In-Person Sales for Photographers

in-person-sales-photographers Back before I started doing in-person sales, I threw confetti, blew a noisemaker and did a celebratory dance both times that I sold more than $100 in prints. That’s right. Both. As in two (2) times. Now that I do in-person sales, my average client order is around $1,500.

Why the big difference? Let’s think about this. It’s time for you to buy a new car. What do you do? You go online and find the car you want, click ‘add to cart’ and wala!

in-person-sales-cart

That’s how everyone buys cars right? Of course not! If you were buying a new car you would go down to the dealership and test-drive that puppy. You would want to feel that new leather, crank up the stereo and see how it handles. Why do you think dealerships let you test-drive their cars? They know you are more likely to buy when you have driven the car.

The same is true for photography. In this digital society, people forget that there are amazing products available for photographic wall art. Do you think someone is going to buy a 20×30 canvas for their wall if they have never seen one before? Just like someone won’t purchase a car online before seeing it, most people won’t buy anything more than an 8×10 print if you don’t have other products to show them. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you have to sell like a used car salesman. Doing in-person sales (IPS) doesn’t mean up-selling and pushing products on people. If you have done your job well and have beautiful product samples ready, the pictures will sell themselves.

So why is doing IPS so important? IPS lets your clients take your work/products for a test drive. They get to see and feel that awesome leather-bound album. You get to show them that a 16×20 canvas isn’t really all that big on the wall. And most importantly, you get to use your professional knowledge to guide them in their purchase. After all, they hired you because they loved your work and considered you to be a professional.

What sounds more professional to you?

“Your session has been uploaded into the online gallery. The gallery will be open for 2 weeks. If you have any questions let me know.”

OR

“Your session is ready for viewing. We can meet in my studio or wherever is convenient for you. I will have product samples and pricing information for you to review. We will proof your images together so you can narrow down your favorites. The sales session usually only takes an hour and I will deliver your products to you when they are ready.”

I believe that in-person sales sessions are a portrait photographer’s best tool for increasing profit. But it’s not just about profit; it’s about giving your clients professional guidance and professional products that they will cherish forever.

I’m not saying that you should never use online galleries. I think that online galleries can be very beneficial in certain circumstances. For example:

  • Wedding clients (for friends and guests)
  • Commercial clients
  • Events
  • Sports

I won’t speak much on commercial, event and sports clients because it is outside my scope of expertise. But I’d imagine that online galleries would be very beneficial for these busy clients who often need to exclusively purchase digital images.

For wedding clients, I recommend doing in-person sales before you ever post an online gallery as well as having a minimum order requirement that must be met before the gallery will be posted (or just built into your package). This will insure that the client places the bulk of their order in-person with you there to guide them. This also gives the clients an opportunity to see their photos before their guests. Online galleries are great for family, friends & guests to place orders.

I’m strictly a portrait photographer, so I don’t do online galleries at all. Personally, I think the risks outweigh the benefits. You see, when a client shows up for an in-person sales session with me, they know that it is their one big opportunity to view their photos and order products and they want to make sure they get everything they want. If my clients knew that there would be a gallery online for them later, they may hesitate and second-guess their decision and chose to wait. When this happens, they rarely end up ordering much (if anything). But if you really want to offer online galleries to portrait clients, I highly recommend having an order minimum that must be met before the gallery is posted.

I believe that the reason my business is surviving and thriving today is because of in-person sales. I’m so passionate about it that this year I created an in-person proofing app for the iPad to make IPS easy, portable and affordable for all photographers. If you have an iPad, check out YouProof in the app store.

But if you don’t have an iPad, you can always use printed proofs from your professional photo lab. Be sure and get individual proofs and not a proof book (you’ll see why soon). I don’t recommend this in the long run as it is time consuming and expensive, but it’s great for the first few sessions until you’ve made enough to purchase an iPad. Whatever you use, make sure it’s professional. I don’t recommend using a computer or iPad program that isn’t designed for photo proofing. You’re running a top-notch photo business and you don’t want to look cheap!

I hope that helps you! Do you do in-person sales, online galleries or both? I’d love for you to share your experience in the comments!

Editors note: Ann recently answered this question on the YouProof Blog, so we wanted to share her awesome video as well.

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anna-bennettAnn Bennett is a high-school senior portrait photographer serving northeast Oklahoma. She is also the founder of the YouProof app for in-person proofing.

Ann married her high school sweetheart just out of college and they live on a farm with their son, two dogs and two horses. She’s passionate about her faith, her family, photography, and helping photographers profit.

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3 Reasons to NOT Buy Trending Top Level Photography Domains

Recently GoDaddy, Hover and other domain registrars haven started selling the new TLDs available for photographers. For example, at Hover you can purchase:

.camera
.equipment
.gallery
.graphics
.lighting
.photography

While these domain styles can look really cool for your photography business, I want to talk about 3 very important reasons why you should pass on using them.

Why not all Top Level Domains (TLD) are worth it

To get the point across I will be using John Doe Photography as the example.

Bad For Branding

You have a business already called John Doe Photography and you made business cards up, your marketing, doing Facebook ads and so on.  People now know your brand, identify with the logo, the colors, your photography and services.  They have been to your website, johndoephotography.com many times in consideration for purcashing it.

Now all of a sudden you switch your website to johndoe.photography.

At that point in time you are very likely to be questioned about what happened to your .com website.  Why your branding is different.  Are you legitimate for not having a .com?

Which leads me to number 2.

Bad for people knowing what to type

I do not care whether your TLD is .net, .org or .camera.  It does not matter.  People will type .com because that is the most common domain. Heck even hyphens catch people off guard.  In fact, the one thing we wish the Photographer’s SEO Community had different was no hyphen but the domain was taken.

So forget about what you think looks cool and go with what your customers and audience will type easiest and most naturally.

Which leads me to number 3.

Don’t think people are as knowledgeable or smart as you

That might sound cruel but it is true.  People do not stay on top of the TLD technology.  Your wedding photography clients do not care if you have a .photography domain.  They care that they can find you, see your photography, and know you are a legit business. So go with what they know, what they type in.  Ok, so this one kind of similar to number two, but whatever.  It gets my point across.

Basically, do not assume that because you are using johndoe.photography that people will type it.  You are much better off assuming you wil be using johndoe.photography and people will be typing johndoephotography.com

In Summary

Would it be cool for Strobist to be Strobist.lighting?  Sure!  Or Nikon.camera?  Sure!  Although that might happen – people will type .com majority of the time.

So if you plan on getting one of these TLDs, get it for a project or fun security or for fun.  But do not get it with the intention of using it for your business.