I have a friend that’s a professional photographer, and she spends a lot of time at art fairs, expos, and other events setting up her booth, displaying her prints and canvases, and interacting with people that come by to look at her images.
And that’s great…
However, she struggles to make as many sales as she’d like.
And if you ask me, it’s because she needs to diversify the way she promotes her work.
In other words, instead of spending so much time driving from one art fair to the next, she needs to add a few digital sales strategies to capitalize on the power of the internet.
If you find that you’re like my friend and aren’t selling as many photos as you’d like, give these options a try.
Get a Website Domain That Makes Sense
First and foremost, if you want to sell more images, that means prospective clients need to be able to find you easily.
That starts and ends with a solid web presence with a domain name that makes sense.
I have a friend (a different one) that’s a graphic designer. But his website name doesn’t include any reference whatsoever to graphic design.
And guess what? He gets very little business from his website because people don’t associate it with graphic design services.
That’s why if you’re a photographer, there’s no better domain name than one that ends in .photo or .pics.
Talk about making it easy for people to find you!
Not only does it say right within the name that you’re a photographer, but it’s easy to remember too.
And because you no longer need “photography” in your domain name, your website URL can be much shorter, which comes in handy for putting it on business cards and in those impossibly small input boxes on your social media profiles.
Additionally, a .photo or .pics domain name shows professionalism and gives you instant credibility.
It’s easier to get the name you want, too. These domains are new and with .com domains a dime a dozen these days, you can really help your business stand out.
These domains are easy to set up as well, thanks to Uniregistry, which provides dead simple solutions for managing your domain.
So, if you want to sell more photos, get more people to your website by having a domain name that actually makes sense!
Give Stock Photography a Try
I’ll be the first to say that stock photography isn’t what it used to be.
A decade ago, photographers could make a healthy living simply on the royalties they got from stock images.
However, with the rise of more and more microstock websites, the market has become flooded. With all that competition, photographers aren’t as apt to make as much money on stock photos as they once were.
Having said that, stock photography is still extremely popular, and it’s hard to beat a worldwide audience of consumers that need photos.
Sites like iStockPhoto, Shutterstock, and Fotolia are extremely popular, and offer photographers a range of earnings from about 15% per download up to more than 60%.
But what’s even better is that once you have your account set up and your images uploaded to the stock site’s servers, it acts as passive income – you don’t have to do a thing but watch as the royalties from your images are deposited into your bank account.
Now, this isn’t to say that simply by virtue of uploading images to a stock site that you’ll immediately have thousands of your images bought and downloaded.
But even just having your work out there for people to see is helpful because it’s great advertising.
Perhaps in a search for a specific type of image, one of yours shows up in the search, intrigues the buyer, and they click on your profile to learn a little more about you.
Then, the next time they need an image, they might very well go straight to your profile to see what other images you have that they might be able to use.
Talk about making it easy to sell more photos!
Open an Online Shop
Another online option for selling more of your photos is to open a shop on a site like Etsy.
This enables you to do a couple of very important things.
First, an online shop helps promote your work, get your name and face out there, and can lead to additional sales both in person and online.
Second, an online shop gives you a little more flexibility regarding the income that you make than if you opt for the stock photography option.
For example, where you’re at the mercy of the stock site in terms of the percentage you make on each image, places like Etsy typically charge a flat rate like a monthly or yearly fee or a percentage commission on each sale.
What’s more, you determine the prices of your images so there’s perhaps a better chance of earning more income than there is with stock photography.
Of course, for the maximum flexibility regarding pricing and earnings, just have a killer website (with a .photo or .pics domain, of course) that has e-commerce capabilities.
That way you can sell prints, offer digital downloads, and whatever else you like and keep all the proceeds for yourself!
Wrapping It Up
No one ever said that selling photos was going to be easy…
However, you can make it much easier on yourself by diversifying the methods you use to advertise and market your work.
Yes, you need to do those in-person things like art fairs. But you also need to have a solid online marketing plan that includes a great website, a domain name that makes sense, and perhaps some stock photography or an online shop thrown in for good measure.