You've built a strong catalog of marketable images; now what? Launching your web store requires a bit more effort than uploading your pictures to a microstock site, but is well worth the additional effort. When you're selling your photos in a web store powered by the right tools and services, you'll reap all the benefits of managed sales. Before you launch, though, you'll need to develop a thorough business plan. Knowing how and where each of your systems, tools and promotional blueprints work is the key to success. A strong launch can set the tone for your entire career, so take the time to examine everything.
Selling Your Photos While Keeping Costs Low
The more you spend to get your web store off the ground, the more product you'll have to sell before you reach profitability. A large up-front investment can make it difficult to break even in a timely manner, let alone turn a profit. No matter how much funding you have access to, it's wise to spend your money carefully.
One of the areas where many new photographers and other digital content providers tend to splurge is a professional, custom-built website. Working in all the latest and most advanced bells and whistles can be appealing, but it's also likely to be expensive and complicated to maintain. Remember, your time is just as valuable as your money; using both efficiently is crucial. Systems which allow you to turn low-cost, do-it-yourself template sites and even free blog sites into sales portals are valuable for a number of reasons. In addition to helping you shave hundreds or even thousands of dollars off your startup costs, you'll be able to avoid expensive maintenance while boosting efficiency and functionality.
Marketing: the Key to Selling Your Photos
While you're focusing on keeping costs low, don't forget to take marketing into account. Reaching your target audience is vital to your success, but it's another area where you can easily over-invest. Spending a substantial amount of money on sponsored social media posts or prepaid banner ads does not guarantee you'll see strong results, either. These can be very valuable tools for established merchants looking to expand reach, but aren't often the ideal fit for those just getting started. For many digital content creators, working with established affiliate networks are a better way to reach new clients. These risk-free systems give you access to marketing partners who essentially work on commission, which means you only pay for promotion when it results in a sale. There's no need to invest in prepaid ads with no guarantees, especially when you're just starting your business.
Start working on your business plan, including how you want to market your brand. Focus on the image you'd like to project, start seller accounts with worldwide payment processing systems like PayPal and Google Wallet, and explore eCommerce tools.