Selling Photographs Online – Create And Profit From A Simple Digital Product
Selling photographs online is a challenging goal for any photographer, no matter what unique level of talent or ability. But, if you do have a small folio of images already and you want to ‘look at’ the options available to you, read on…
One option might be to upload a selection of your better images to stock photo libraries and micro stock image agencies. Indeed, this is a solid, long term, asset-building solution, but you may not see photo sales for some time. It could take weeks, or even months.
And, there’s no real guarantee that you’ll make sales either. Micro-stock agency images have very low returns per image, and that means making it worth your while, you really need to see high numbers of downloads (sales). However this option holds great potential.
The thing is that when we start thinking about the whole selling photographs online ‘photo business’ approach, we find that, at any given moment, we’re faced with a bewildering number of methods to promote our work. Everything from printable postcards, to calendars, down-loadable prints, e-cards, screen-savers, eBay, scrap-booking, original prints, and whole lots more…
And you could work any of these successfully to bring an income in. But, at the end of the day, a photographer still needs some ‘marketing savvy’ and understanding to really make a dent in the marketplace. Hiding your head in the sand and refusing to learn to market will not really help your ‘photo business’ income to magically appear.
So, with all these options out there, where does one start?
Well… one of the simplest ways to start off building your unique ‘brand of one’ is by creating a simple digital product. Maybe you’re thinking “what’s this got to do with photography?” The answer is a great deal. But firstly, let’s define what a digital product is:
A digital file basic definition is… “a computer file or special information that you can access online or have delivered electronically.” Examples of digital items are software, an image taken with a digital camera, a word processor file, an ebook, an MP3 audio file, an original recipe, etc. The amazing thing about digital products is that they can have unlimited inventory, no shipping costs and extremely high profit margins.
Digital products are a terrific, and powerful, ‘modern day’ solution for any photographer, no matter what skill level. A quick ‘digital product’ example might be to interview a very successful photographer, or write about your own unique photography talents, and turn this into an electronic book (ebook).
You could then either sell this book, or give it away to people who sign up to your web site’s newsletter. Either way, it builds your ‘expert status’ as well as making you an income. This digital photo book not only promotes the other photographer’s work but yours too. You quickly are on your way to becoming known as an expert.
You can also add affiliate links inside this digital photo book, so that people reading this click through and potentially make you extra sales, down the track. Sure, this is just one solution, but don’t you think it holds great potential? Even better if your book taps into one area or niche that many photographers are keen to learn more about.
And, by the way, after the initial hard work is done and apart from marketing your product, your costs are really quite low, and your time spent minimal. If your book provides valuable material you’ll find visitors will go onto your website in search of more helpful, relevant information.
Just imagine what you might be able to turn into a digital product… What about the same interview as an MP3 audio product, podcast, or turned into a down-loadable online video?
Are you beginning to see the potential here?
Creating a digital product is possibly one of the fastest ways to become known as an expert and to get your selling photographs online journey started. You can do it without difficulty and with little experience. Now all you really need to do, is just do it!
Copyright Martin Hurley 2007