Season 1. Blog 4.
Welcome back Friend,
Have you ever wondered, “How do I take my photography to the next level, so more people can see that I am a professional?” I did.
The best way to get your work out there, is to put it out. I believe having a website is the best way to do this, and draw the majority of your viewers in. This helps create trust in your company and in your prospective clients, as well as showing off what you do, as well as how it will benefit them in the long run. Also, if you have multiple talents, like I do; Photography, Graphic Design, & Social Media Marketing - it helps showcase different aspects of your talents all in one concise outlet.
I love the quote, “ It doesn’t have to be perfect, just start.” I think that is perfect and when deciding if getting a website is perfect for you. I always thought websites would be no benefit to my growth as a photographer, but yes, I was wrong.
I have had a photography business since 2011. It originally started out as ‘Christina Signor Photography’, shooting professional portraits, and later, re-branded to ‘Killer Mile Motorsports’, as my subject matter had evolved to something with more of a consistent focus; the Motorsports Industry. I bet most of you are surprised to hear that, as I’m only 24 years old. However, I had taken multiple classes to prepare myself for my future as a photographer and graphic designer in high school. I guess you could say, I knew this is the field I wanted to go into, at a relatively young age.
I had always said that websites were pointless and not that many people would actually direct their attention to a website, knowing I could just use Facebook page for free. I did this for the past 7 years, and learned a lot. Facebook is helpful, but I do not believe it creates a professional feel or showcases everything I do. It more or less just showcases my photography.
2 MONTHS AGO
So, things changed. I broke down going on 2 months ago, and created a website to showcase and promote what I do, exactly. I have always had a platform that was ‘free’, and still use my facebook page, but not as much. Slowing down to only posting my absolute favorite photos, to help direct fans to my website, and online gallery to view what photos I take on a weekly basis.
WEBSITE PROGRAMS I USE
Photo Display/Proofing, Photo Gallery, & Photo Print Studio
I use Smugmug as my gallery host, and how you view all of my photos taken from each photo shoot or race night. You can control who has permissions to view your photos or if you would like each album to be password protected as well. It’s pretty versatile, and I have enjoyed using it so far, once I figured out some of it’s quirks. This site also works very nicely for watermarking your photos, right on the site, no extra saving out of Lightroom or Photoshop.
Think you would like to give Smugmug a try for your photography business? At the end of this blog post, there is a 20% off your subscription price.
(DISCLAIMER: No, I am not sponsored by smugmug.com - all opinions are my own based on experience)
Web Hosting & Web Site Development
Let me start off by saying, I love Squarespace. This site has allowed me to set up a 100% custom website directly geared to my profession, as a graphic designer, photographer, and social media director. They have custom templates to help you, especially if you have no prior CSS or HTML knowledge or background, perfect for every beginner to look like a Pro! If coding isn’t your thing, this website developer is right up your alley! I can also change around my information and layout, fast, and am never locked into a template if I’d want to change it. Squarespace has award winning customer service who are there to help you along the way! Do you have custom logos, custom graphics/photos, text, videos, etc - Get your website going now, with Squarespace! Most of us focus on the finished product, but end up lacking or forgetting to focus on the professional part of business. And that is the most rewarding in building trust with your clients, and prospective clients.
(DISCLAIMER: No, I am not sponsored by squarespace.com - all opinions are my own based on experience)
SQUARESPACE & SMUGMUG BENEFIT YOU:
So you may be asking what am I trying to get you to take away from these two products that I use in hosting my website & photos…Here’s my top 5 reasons why Squarespace & Smugmug are ideal in starting a online presence in the photography industry.
PROFESSIONAL & RELIABLE
CREATIVE LAYOUTS FOR EVERY PROFESSIONAL
HELPFUL CUSTOMER SERVICE
ONE STOP & USER FRIENDLY
PROOF IS IN THE NUMBERS
I was beyond shocked at the reach of having a website has been to my photography, design, and social media company. There were 200K reach in less than 2 months of having a hosted site. I have been absolutely shocked at the reach in less than 2 months. That blew my mind. I still use the Facebook page, as a way to post quick photos throughout the week, and on Instagram, and Twitter. I mainly use my website, to post galleries from the race nights!
So, I’ll leave you with, my website link: www.killermilemotorsports.com
Stop by, and check it out. If you like what you see, please drop a comment below. If you think we should change some things, please, also, drop a comment. Accepting constructive criticism is a good way to grow as a professional. Can’t wait to hear some thoughts & remember to stop back for another Tip Tuesday, next week!