An online store is a powerful way to make money, even from home. Are you using yours? You can use the PhotoBiz online store to sell your products, services, and a whole lot more. Your online store can be a great source of both passive and active income. Active income is money you make directly from your services. Passive income is money you make from assets you have already created (e.g., ebooks, Photoshop presets). In this blog, we'll review five ways you can earn money with your online store, including some that you might not have thought about.
1. Pre-Sell Mini Sessions
Mini sessions are a great way to engage a large number of clients in a short period of time. They are quick photography sessions that allow you to shoot multiple clients in a single location. Sessions average 10-30 minutes. You can plan mini sessions throughout the year with different themes and sell the sessions through your online store. In the ecommerce section of your PhotoBiz control panel, you can set up mini sessions as products and use the stock tracking feature so that only a set number of sessions can be sold. Setting up your mini sessions in advance is also a smart way to make your events visible.
Now is a great time to plan ahead for summer, fall, and even winter, or other special event mini sessions. You can even go ahead and set them up for people to purchase.
Once you've sold out of a mini session or hit the booking deadline, you can send your customers a registration form (also built in your PhotoBiz account) to let them pick the time for the mini session. You can set up the form to accept down payments or collect payment in full.
Preselling mini sessions is a great way to keep your customers engaged.
2. Sell Archival Packages
After you photograph a client and sell packages and prints through your proofing galleries, you can sell peace of mind with archival packages. Many photographers store their files on hard drives or back up systems but only for a limited time. You can sell archival packages to keep files from a session for a longer time. You can position it as insurance for your clients.
Clients will be thrilled that you have back ups of their photos available. It may also encourage them to return to make a purchase or have friends and loved ones buy their own digital files or prints. An archival package can be a lifesaver for clients who experience loss, such as a home fire or water damage. If a loved one has passed away, being able to access photographs can mean a lot to a client. With archival packages, you’ll be ready to give them relief and happiness when they may need it the most.
Selling archival packages is best after the initial purchases are made. It's also something you want to do during a personal conversation with your clients. You can talk about the reasons why they should consider it and then follow up with a link so they can review their options.
On a personal note, I wish I had purchased an archival package of my wedding. It would have allowed me to print more photos and turn some shots into wall art. Instead all I have is what I originally purchased and the memories.
3. Create Gift Cards
Gift cards are great because your customers can apply them to purchasing virtually anything in your store or proofing galleries. They also allow customers (and their friends and family) to make a purchase in advance for themselves or a loved one.
Gift cards can also lead you to new clients without marketing directly to them. If a client has a really great session they might want to pay it forward and purchase future sessions for friends and family.
Here are some examples:
After you shoot a group family photo,the grandparents send $50 gift cards to each child to purchase their own prints.
Your client has a newborn session in the spring and their parents purchase a gift card for a future holiday session.
Current clients purchase a gift card for a friend to have a mini session.
You run a special for clients to purchase a $350 gift card for $250 to be used at a later date.
You award referral credits as gift cards.
4. Sell Bulk Download Packages
Earlier this month, we reviewed three ways to sell bulk downloads. Another way to sell bulk downloads is using your online store. You can sell digital files directly from your online store as a standalone product or as part of a digital package. Once the digital files are purchased, you can enable digital downloads in their proofing gallery, and clients can download their images. You can allow full gallery downloads, or a certain amount, it's up to you.
5. Selling Tools and Resources to Other Photographers
Your online store is also a great tool to sell educational resources and events to other photographers. Some photographers get into education after they've found their own success. You can sell your knowledge, through e-books, sell tools you use, as well as webinars or in-person consultations and seminars. Do you have presets you use to make your photos look stellar? There’s an opportunity for people looking for your secret sauce. It's entirely up to you, and what you are comfortable selling.
As a leader in your industry, you can transform your experience into sales. Online courses are also very popular, and people are willing to invest in education so they can improve their own business.