I spent Day 4 of my photography business progress, making small steps. Uploading photos to my own new website, processing new photos and trying to understand how the website I chose to host my domain operates. For those of you interested I went with smugmug and my experience with it was plenty disappointing.
First, they aren’t clear in their description of plans and what features you are going to get. It looks clear at first, but there is a lot that they don’t tell. For example for Power plan it stated that prints can be ordered from their lab, it is not untrue they can be! Only by the owner of the site, not everyone else. To be able to give the access to my customers or sell my images, I had to upgrade, which was way more than I was wanting to spend for a year, but now that my money was tied up in the “power” plan which was not going to cut it, we upgraded to portfolio package. Here customers can order their prints in different sizes with tons of different options, here I can sell images in digital format etc, and get 85%. Sounded like a deal, but not really.
Now the pricing, yes I can customize my own pricing, that is if I want to charge on top of the prices they already set and let me tell you, they set them high enough. After I mark them up, only then I get 85% of the MARKUP! Otherwise I don’t get anything. As a starting out, new business and not knowing how well anything will sell, I was not even remotely interested in paying $150.00 for the domain per year, not fora plan like this one anyways, where the cost of prints is overpriced and for me to make any money I have to mark up very low and get next to nothing or mark up high and risk not selling anything.
Oh well. What’s done is done. A word of caution to anyone who is looking for a domain, read all the plans’ descriptions carefully and don’t assume anything. If i had an option to go with different host, I would.
So the website is progressing one day at a time, logos are made, feel free to click on the link and vote on my logos. The business phone number and email with domain name is set. I am still working on the business card design and as soon as it is ready, I will be very excited to share with you.
As the most difficult part of it all approaches, I am starting to break out in cold sweat. The advertising and gaining clients!!! I am not sure where to begin except Facebook, twitter and giving out business cards. I am thinking, I will need to give away some photoshoots for free, to get a better, more up to date portfolio. All day long I was sweating it, worrying, since I was going to gradually transition from free, hobby photographer to a paid one, very gradually. Now I feel that with the money invested into site, email domain, small studio kit and additional canvas prints for the gallery, I have to move faster, more aggressively and I was not at all prepared.
Then, I paused and watched my 8 months old, holding onto the couch making baby steps towards my husband’s unattended laptop, that he so clearly wanted to get his hands on and sure enough, one baby step at at time he got closer, some steps were more confident then others, his little legs a bit shaky. A few times he landed on his butt, he slowly got up, he then moved towards the window, made more steps holding onto to the window and there he was, right next to the laptop not even pausing he started slapping the keys and getting all sorts of things on the screen.He was happy! It wasn’t his advanced walking skills or very sturdy legs that got him there, it is the determination, the goal and the strong desire to achieve it and no intention of giving up. It’s the small baby steps and a couple of tough landings that did not deter him, that got him there. I was so proud of him and let him have his few minutes of triumph, before I gently guide him to something different.
I felt a relief in my chest, I knew I am going to get there. My 8 month old son just taught me a valuable lesson without even knowing it. He has the determination that I believe he inherited in part from me.
Now on to the next step….