So, you are thinking of making your portfolio available on the internet for sharing and selling your artwork in a secure e-commerce-ready environment. Here is how to start the easy way…
low risk business ideas...
As someone that spends a lot of time building content and website pages I have long come to realize that, today, building a website is lot easier to accomplish on your own than ever before.
This is not just because of the ease of building a website blog, but because there are so many platforms and options available.
The content management system, WordPress is perhaps the most popular and flexible platform for both beginners and advanced users alike. You can build a custom WordPress website right down to the finest detail, and to look exactly as you imagined, or previously designed. And all with very little, to no, coding skills required.
Additionally, what I have also discovered about managing an image oriented website, is that managing images efficiently can be a real chore, especially during those hectic, or “being in the zone,” moments when files tend to go astray, or naming conventions are ignored.
And then there is the question of storage and secure sharing. You definitely need a decent amount of storage space for your photos, especially if you work with large RAW files.
Now, here’s the good news. If like many creative photographers and photo artists, you long for a quick, simple, but solid solutions for preparing and showcasing your artwork, right through to receiving payments from happy customers and clients,
Many photographers use their actual name for their business, however this is not a compulsory requirement. Especially as you may find that there are existing businesses already using your name or something very similar.
Now, assuming you have registered your business as a company through your local .gov or equivalent. Your next step will be to focus on building a website. For this you will need to register a domain name, normally the same as your business name.
For the absolute beginner, your domain name is simply the www.address people will use to access your website. Once you have registered your domain name you will be able to assign (or map) it to your website hosting account.
As a photography business, you will most definitely need to ensure that your website has sufficient storage and secure sharing configured. So go for a photography dedicated website building service, like the all-in-one service we will suggest later one.
The following is an itinerary of quick tips to help prepare you for the different stages you will go through towards building your low-risk photography business.
You will need to come up with a business name and have it registered at your countries .gov or equivalent
Register your domain name and start building the perfect website and e-commerce platform for your audience
There’s nothing worse than browsing photos on a slow and sluggish website, which is why it is important that you choose a suitable hosting service, preferably one that is dedicated to providing services for your type of business.
If you are concerned with handling packages and deliveries to you customers.
Don’t worry, our recommended services will handle your customer fulfilment
Add a blog or other pages to your store. In this way you can continuously provide updates and news about your business.
This may help with building customer trust and loyalty
Shopify supports an array of different software that will allow you to add and extend the functionality of your site
Once you have decided on a business name, register your business with your Countries equivalent of Companies House UK, typically this will be a website with the .gov top level domain.
Do not confuse registering your company, with registering a domain name (I have know this to happen in the past). These are 2 completely different things;
1. Register your Business refers to the registration of your actual business as a Limited Company, or Sole Proprietor…
2. Register you domain name refers to registering your website address e.g. www.yourname.com
Most hosting services include registering your domain as part of the process of starting a website hosting account.
However, for securing your domain name ahead of time, hover provides a very useful service that allows users to manage and configure a number of domain names from a a single dashboard.
For a low-risk and affordable photography dedicated website solution Smug Mug have been providing solutions for the photography niche since 2002.
What better way to manage all the photos on your computer than with an intelligent assistant.
With AI powered photo management software you can find exactly what you are searching for, right through to the identity of your photography subjects.
Marketing you website is the part of the process which you may find to be the most complicated, especially if you do not already have an audience following or mailing list. However, to start building your own audience from scratch you may need to fist invest in advertising, which can be fairly expensive…
With no data cap and industry-leading security, Smug Mug gives you access to your files from anywhere with true end-to-end management for your RAW files.
From your store you’ll be able to sell prints, provide downloads and create products that incorporate your photos like a pro. And all without having to implement any coding yourself.
Another reason for choosing Smug Mug as a noteworthy software is their turnkey billing and payment feature. An essential component for your store to handle customer transactions.
Now, this is the part which you may find to be the most complicated, especially if you do not already have an audience following or mailing list.
With your own mailing list you can reach-out to your audience at will. This is the ideal situation for any business.
However, starting from scratch and just to get things rolling, you may need to have several bouts of paid adverting in order to reach potential customers in the first place.
Unfortunately, but expected you will always have competition for website visitors, so getting your business under the radar of potential customer will be a very important aspect of running your photography business.
You may well have heard marketers saying that;
“The money is in the list.”
What is usually meant by this, is that your existing list of customers or subscribers are most likely to spend with you. Especially as they have already shown an active interest in what your business has to offer.
This is why email marketing is considered one on the most essential strategies for most business. It allows you access to your own personal audience.
Whereas, advertising can be very expensive and still yield unsatisfactory results.
Ecommerce ready website builder with unlimited photo storage
*subject to availability
Disclosure: Please bear in mind that some of the links on this site may be sponsored links and if you make a purchase I may earn a commission. Please also keep in mind that the companies and the products I mention are ones that I use myself, or have tried. And are mentioned for their quality or usefulness I have experienced myself