Aug 272010
 

[Listen to my interview on the new media photographer podcast this coming Monday, as Rosh and I talk about the basic building blocks of your photography website(s) that you should have – stay tuned to this blog on how to save some money!]

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You have to be online. No one questions that. But how do you go about building a website? Now before I go any further, I have to remind you that I am a photographer first and foremost, not a coder, not an HTML pro, not a webdesigner, … but my business (in one form or another) has been online  since 2004 and the majority of my clients find me on the first page of their search results on Google.

Sure you can hire someone to do the work for you. This post will talk about a do-it-yourself approach. It will require you to be willing to hack a few things, to find work arounds to what people say is not possible and do be willing to learn, but it will also show you a few short cuts, save you some money over the custom website design or the high end services.

1. A stake in the ground – hosting your photography website

First you need a place where you’re website can live, an internet service provider. Once you have that (and registered your domain name of course), you’ll need to build your site and I’m gonna assume that your not a proficient HTML or CSS coder, so you’ll need some help. Oh and don’t forget to set up your email @yourbusiness.com with your web hosting service – the one I’ll recommend here will give you 1,200 2 GB email accounts – that should last you for a while. I’ll also show you how to get up to a year of hosting for free.

2. Constructing a place online – building your commercial website(s)

I’ll introduce you to an awesome Photoshop plugin that will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. So now you have a server that hosts your website at  your URL  you have the website up, people are finding you and visiting your site.

3. Minding the store – fulfilling your clients orders

Once you’ve gotten your first client through your website and photographed the assignment, you need to get the photos to them and get paid. I’ll introduce you to a service build by photographers that does an amazing job at this. I will also show you how to save $40.- on your subscription.

4. Knowing who you’re dealing with – managing your customer relationships

Now you need a place to keep track of them, their contact info, discussions you’ve had  with them, leads that have been converted into sales – You’ll see how you can use the same company that Google, Dell, Satchi & Satchi and Starbucks use to manage their customers. I’ll show you how you can do it at a fraction of what they pay.  I’ll also show you how to get 30 days of free CRM.

Read about the first service you’ll need to claim your place on line (will be posted on Monday, 08/30). Over the next four days I’ll be looking at four must-have products that will help you build a strong, flexible website.


What do you think?