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.
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,
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,
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!
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.”
“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
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.
Ann 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.
Recently GoDaddy, Hover and other domain registrars haven started selling the new TLDs available for photographers. For example, at Hover you can purchase:
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
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.
I am so excited to share a new website for photographers to learn photography online. The website is called fotoclasses and there are already a variety of amazing courses for you to learn from.
For some time now we have been offering online courses through Udemy, but we now have it on the roadmap to change education platforms and move our courses over to fotoclasses.
Here is a trailer for a recent course available at fotoclasses from my friend Rob Knight.
I am also working on updating my long exposure photography course for teaching at fotoclasses. Until that is done, some other educators you can learn from at fotoclasses include David Nightingale, Neil Creek, Kenneth Schultz, Joe Lange, Dan Bailey, Andrew Gibson and Angela Heidt.
Learning Photography Online
Classes range from $100 – $200 and do not end with the video content. The instructors offer projects, quizzes and more. The educators care deeply about your learning process and want to make sure that they can help you in any way.
So with that, I encourage you to head over to fotoclasses and check out the currently available classes.
Of course, If you want to become an educator and have a video course ready or in the process then get in touch with the team over at fotoclasses and tell them all about your course. It can be a great way for for you to add additional revenue for your photography business.
Now that I’ve shared all of that info. I’m curious about what type of courses Photocrati customers and readers would want to learn about? I can promise you that the fotoclasses team will be reading this article and checking comments. So if you have a class you would like to learn about then comment so they know.
Thanks you, and now go continue learning photography online in a fantastic new environment.
Today I want to talk about the KISS Principle, which is an abbreviate for Keep It Simple, Stupid.
The Kiss Principle was termed by the Navy back in the 60′s and it has since evolved into Keep It Stupid Simple in addition to Keep It Simple, Stupid. Although the term is now stated different, the principle is the same.
The idea of KISS is to find ways to simplify whatever you are trying to get across.
This works for your business marketing and advertising, the content your write for pages and blog articles, and even the design of your website.
Although you want your website to have that personal flare that illustrates you, the photographer, you also want to make sure it’s Stupid Simple so that your customers have as little confusion as possible.
You want them to know what you do, how to find you and how to navigate your website. The last thing you want is for a potential customers to visit your website, not know what type of photography you offer and not find your portfolio.
So please keep KISS in mind with everything you do for your photography business and website.
Before I wrap up this post I want to share one tip related to the KISS principle. I’m referring to the 2 second memory test. Check out this video to learn more about how to perform this test on your website.
Thanks for reading,