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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 10 Dec 2010 (Friday) 22:08
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Anyone sell online?

 
kaitlyn2004
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Dec 10, 2010 22:08 |  #1

I was just wondering if anyone uses a personal website as their main point of selling their images.

Do you direct people to it in person, or is it an entirely online venture?

Have you had much luck in bringing in revenue? Do you print the paid prints yourself, or have it done + mailed by someone else?


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Hikin ­ Mike
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Dec 10, 2010 22:49 |  #2

As I mentioned on you're other thread, that's all I do. I'm a landscape, wildlife, nature photographer; so besides the Arts and Craft shows, I rely on sales from my website. I have a custom-designed website, which I did, using MySQL/PHP, CSS, HTML and a Javascript slideshow.

I'm not getting rich, but I do get sales from my website. SEO is a must! I use Mpix to print them, I make sure they're right, sign them, and ship them to the client.

I also have a Smugmug account and I'm going to have a "mirror" site to hopefully bring in more traffic/sales....but it's not set up yet.


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kaitlyn2004
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Dec 10, 2010 23:14 as a reply to  @ Hikin Mike's post |  #3

It's weird, I guess... I can't seem to wrap my head around total strangers searching on the net for a photo, and buying a photo off your (not YOU specifically) website...


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Hikin ­ Mike
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Dec 10, 2010 23:33 |  #4

kaitlyn2004 wrote in post #11431856 (external link)
It's weird, I guess... I can't seem to wrap my head around total strangers searching on the net for a photo, and buying a photo off your (not YOU specifically) website...

You'd be surprised. A lot of my sales are from my 'Inspiration" gallery. Also, I get sales from locals that want local nature photographers....if that makes sense. Last year, I sold 5 pieces from a young couple that recently moved back to the area. They were looking for nature/landscape photos from the area. :cool:


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HastyPhoto
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Dec 11, 2010 10:10 |  #5

Have a look at etsy.com I just started myself there, very cool. My sig link will take you there, the first link.


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TGrundvig
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Dec 11, 2010 10:32 |  #6

I have spoken to a lot of photographers about this. The ones that do the best have both an online store and a physical store. John Fielder has a gallery in Denver as well as his online store. There's a lesser known but very successful landscape photographer here in Colorado Springs that told me the same thing. His online store does well, but he makes more money off prints in physical stores. He doesn't have a gallery, he teams up with a few different stores and they sell his work. He has images in restaurants, picture stores, frame stores, coffee shops, etc.

There's a high end photog in Telluride that sells his Fine Art pints on canvas in the $2k to $4k range....higher than John Fielder's prices and he said 90% of his sales are purchased in the gallery. I was able to pick his brain for about 45 minutes one day and he said the most successful way to sell prints is to have a gallery...but....it is also the most difficult. There is more overhead, more upfront expenses, etc. His suggestion to me was to make sure I shot a lot of local stuff, find another photog or two and go in together. He then told me about two very successful nature/wildlife guys in Denver. They went in together on their gallery. They actually have two galleries in one. The front room has all the photos everybody wants like Maroon Bells. The back room is more for them and buyers that want something different than everyone else has. By going in together they were able to combine portfolios and split costs.

I'm still building my nature/landscape portfolio but my plan is to make sure I have prints hung for display. I know a guy that owns a few coffee shops and so I can get in there, but the real sales are going to come when I can get my prints in a walk-in gallery somewhere. Not sure what that will look like or where it will be, but that's the long term plan.


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TheReal7
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Dec 11, 2010 12:27 |  #7

I am still developing a new site for myself that will have an eShop. Where people can place an order with out any interaction with myself. For now...I've sold pretty much all my prints through facebook and we deal through emails and paypal. Once I have my new site up and running I will simply direct people through FB to my site. FB is literally and unlimited market place.


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kaitlyn2004
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Dec 11, 2010 12:32 |  #8

TheReal7 wrote in post #11434045 (external link)
I am still developing a new site for myself that will have an eShop. Where people can place an order with out any interaction with myself. For now...I've sold pretty much all my prints through facebook and we deal through emails and paypal. Once I have my new site up and running I will simply direct people through FB to my site. FB is literally and unlimited market place.

How do you market yourself through facebook?


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TheReal7
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Dec 11, 2010 13:02 |  #9

kaitlyn2004 wrote in post #11434061 (external link)
How do you market yourself through facebook?

Right now I don't. I simply set up a page for my photography and added some friends. From there, their friends would see my photos through their news feeds and start joining my page as well. It just kind of snowballs from there. I still only have about 700+ fans(or likes) however they call it now but as it grows your potential market place multiplies drastically.


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tracknut
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Dec 11, 2010 14:50 |  #10

Let me answer the question you didn't ask, or perhaps did but not most obviously:

"Does anyone have luck putting photos for sale on a web site, with no marketing at all?"

I think that's what you mean, right?

In my case, no. 99.98% of my sales are to customers who know that I've shot something they may be interested, hear from me or from someone else that photos are available, and go to my site to find them. I sell "event photos" and it's absolutely critical that I get the message out that my photos are available at this url. If I miss that message, sales plummet.

I feel for, but respect immensely, folks that shoot without a pre-defined customer, and manage to sell photos at all, let alone make a living off it.

Dave


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The ­ Stig
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Dec 11, 2010 17:27 |  #11

I have a site that links to an Etsy shop where prints are offered for sale. Honestly, almost every sale I've ever had is someone who knew me already or a referral from one of said people. I've had some unexpected business come from my Facebook page. What I found to work on FB was posting related content to address concerns of my target market. It keeps them reading my stuff and can open dialogue.

But as said above, just hoping someone stumbles into you site with no work on your part and actually buys? Not likely to happen.


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daclozer
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Jun 22, 2011 17:01 |  #12

Just like any other business you have to market your product. Great thing about the web is that there are many ways to market that are free: facebook, twitter, blogs, etc.. I have an Etsy shop, but there are like a million other photographers on there also. Some are amazing and some are not so amazing. The strange thing is that some of the not so amazing sellers are selling the crap out of prints and some of the really great ones are not. I have spent the last 2 months digging in and learning everything I can find about SEO and online marketing and it is very intimidating to say the least. Thank god for google analytics, I can track day to day activity to see what is orking for me and what is not. SEO is so ridiculous that something as simple as what time you post a listing will have an impact on who and how many people see it. I am working on an e commerce site along with my FB, Etsy and a couple of other online venues. It is by no means a get rich quick plan, but I can see progress every week. I am doubling views weekly..


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