You may have noticed that this post was written over a decade ago - and much has changed online in that time.
Surprisingly enough 3 out of the 4 must have products listed here are still the ones I use; and although SiteGrinder (the second tool I speak about here) still exists, I do not use it anymore.
[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!]
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 web designer, … 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 workarounds to what people say is not possible and do be willing to learn, but it will also show you a few shortcuts, save you some money over the custom website design or the high-end services.
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.
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.
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 do an amazing job at this. I will also show you how to save $40.- on your subscription.
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 online (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.