Getting your photography business off the ground is no easy feat, especially with the large financial hurdles that can often seem to stand between you and success. To help you reach new levels with your photography, we’ve outlined three ways to turn a $100 investment into $1000 income.
We’ll note here that what can’t be invested financially has to be compensated with time. There’s no quick cheat to growing your business or making a thousand dollars overnight. Dedicate yourself to improving your craft, learning, and connecting with your photography community – the reward will follow. Let the three strategies below inform and inspire the way you invest in your business; Financial barriers undoubtedly exist, but we aim to make sure they never feel larger or more intimidating than they actually are.
Upfront cost: $27
The model: Squarespace is an approachable way to create a professional, functional, and profitable website. For $27, you can access all of the incredible features in Squarespace’s commerce plan; This plan allows you to sell unlimited products, avoid transaction fees, sell digital downloads, and – our favorite part – integrate with Printique!
The Squarespace/Printique integration allows you to sell highly profitable products to clients with no upfront cost. For example, if you feature an acrylic print of your photograph on your site, you will only pay the production cost of that acrylic when a customer makes a purchase. This gives you the ability to establish massive profit margins with zero financial risk. The order will then be shipped directly to your customer, meaning there’s no need to worry about investing in packing supplies either!
With an initial $100, you can either invest in three months of your subscription, invest in paid advertising on social media, or purchase samples of your products – which we’ll get into below!
Linking to your website on social media.
The great part about creating a Squarespace account is having an easy-to-link-to landing page. As you post on social media, incorporate links to your website into your content. Feature your link in your bio, in your Instagram stories, and in your Facebook posts. Write blog content on hot topics to drive additional traffic to your site. Explore Twitter and Facebook for users asking questions that your link can supply the answer to (“I need a unique gift for my Dad’s birthday…”). The more publicity you’re able to gain for your domain, the more sales you’re going to make; And when starting with a limited investment, it helps to really commit yourself to grassroots approaches! See our guide to growing your photography business on Instagram here.
Ordering samples to create strong product photos.
Squarespace allows you to upload photos you’ve taken of the products listed in your store. While you can definitely get away with simply listing the image you’re selling in your store, it can be immensely helpful to have tangible examples of the product customers are able to purchase. Ordering a few samples of your listed products will enable you to stock up on product photos, share images of your product on social media, and give clients a clearer understanding of what they’ll be receiving. This can result in a large bump in sales, especially on higher-priced products.
Putting time into your page’s search engine optimization.
As we mentioned, building publicity around your domain is critical in growing your sales; One of the best ways to do exactly that is by improving your page’s search engine optimization. Search engine optimization can seem quite complicated, but for the sake of your page just know this: Writing content around the Google search terms you want to rank for (small business photo prints, local photo printers, best photography art prints) can help you drive massive amounts of Google users to your website.
Your SEO rank will be improved by a number of things: The amount of time users spend on your page, indicating they found what they were looking for; The amount of times people link to your page from their site or social media pages; The ALT text used on images, and so on. When your page is first starting out, ranking in the first few pages of Google will not be easy; But the only way to grow your page’s rank is to start!
Upfront cost: $0
The model: Printique offers the use of a free white label gallery store to all of our Pro Service members – and a free, 30-day Pro Service trial just so happens to be available right now (as of 5/18)! That means you can start selling Printique products featuring your artwork at no down payment.
With our white label gallery, you’re able to set profit margins on each of the products customers will be able to purchase. Printique will handle all shipping and handling, and you’ll receive the profit of your sale once production costs are removed.
With an initial $100, you can either purchase samples of your products, invest in paid advertising on social media, or purchase courses or packages regarding either photography or digital marketing.
Promoting your products on social media.
Since your Printique gallery store does not contain the same SEO and blogging capabilities as a Squarespace store, sharing your link directly with customers is essential. Put your link in your Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook bio. Share daily Instagram stories that link to your products. Hang up flyers (in legal areas) with QR codes that link to your page. Partner with artists in your niche to cross-feature products or links on your pages. Share your link in relevant Facebook groups. Share your link in relevant Reddit threads. The list goes on and on, but the moral of the story is: push that link!
Selling prints to specific clients.
Printique’s gallery feature allows you to create private, password protected galleries. This makes it incredibly simple to sell photo prints directly to specific clients. Whether you do a shoot with a friend, family member, or paying client, always follow up with a link to a customized gallery store. If clients loved the photos you took, they’re sure to love the opportunity to print them (in just a few clicks) even more.
Creating content that informs your buyer’s decision.
While Printique galleries may not include blogging capabilities, that doesn’t mean you can’t inform the way a potential buyer views your product. Sharing photo printing ideas in social media captions or tying your products to articles about art and décor can spark your audience to feel a need for what your selling. Connect with clients following their purchase as a way to source product assets of your prints in final form!
Upfront cost: $75+ on 30+ 8×10 prints.
The model: Purchase prints of your photography and sell them in-person to customers. Tip: Save 10% on your order for free by enrolling in a 30-day trial of Printique’s Pro Service.
Partnering with a relevant crafter.
To sell prints for a minimal investment, you will want to sell classic prints that cost very little to create. This means that your customers will be left to figure out how to display your photo. Sometimes, this lack of applicability can lose you a sale; Customers like being able to see how your product will function in their space.
What if there was a way to not only avoid losing a sale, but to attract additional sales as well? Partnering with crafters who make photo display products, such as frames, photo hangers, or photo stands, is an incredible way to improve the sale of your photos, make customers happy, and increase the credibility of your shop.
Search for crafters on platforms like Etsy and find someone who’s interested in having you distribute their product. They can keep 100% of their sales, you can keep 100% of yours, and both of your products will sell better in the presence of the other! You will be doing additional labor as the person running the stand, but remember: You can always ask for a change in the agreement when you have the numbers to reflect the success of the partnership. Until then, focus on landing a partner with a deal that’s as simple and appealing as possible – and costs you nothing upfront!
Building anticipation around your sale.
Hosting your sale in person doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use social media to promote it! Creating a Facebook event is an incredible way to get the word out about the details and purpose of your event. Ask your closest friends and family members to mark themselves as “Going” whether or not they can; This will help build excitement and legitimacy around your pop up. People love to feel like they’re part of the group!
Beyond social media invitations, it helps to invite people personally! Rather than bulk sending an email or card in the mail, visit your most frequented local spots. Invite the people you talk to by name and make sure they know you invited them in particular.
Hang up signs day-of that point nearby traffic toward your shop. People, especially those who live in close-knit rural or suburban communities, love to be in-the-know about small things happening in the neighborhood on any given day. A sign that wasn’t there yesterday? Jackpot! That’s bound to catch some eyes and pique the curiosity of passersby. Keeping their attention when they reach your table is all up to you!
Doing market research to optimize your stock.
Since this approach requires the largest initial investment, it’s wise to do some research around your photos to decide which ones are in the highest demand. This can be done by talking to friends and family, posting your work in community groups like Facebook or Reddit, or letting your followers vote between multiple prints.
Not only will this help you inform your purchase, and place your order with more confidence, but having people share that they would purchase one print over another makes them more likely to purchase the print they voted for. When they share with you which print they would buy, they are entering a (very) unofficial agreement to make a purchase if you go with the print they selected. Unofficial or not, don’t ignore the way that human psychology can help land you some committed buyers!