Written by Laura Tillinghast
As a professional photographer working in the digital age, one of the most important tools for your business is your website. This is where Zenfolio comes in. This affordable hosting company provides photographers with stunning websites and profitable sales tools.
Zenfolio serves as an online portfolio and as an online marketplace, giving photographers everything they need to drive their business and boost sales.
Make an Impression
Your website is often the first part of your business that a prospective client will see and your chance to make a favorable impression. Zenfolio makes it easy to impress by offering an elegant way to display your photos. Unlike other services, Zenfolio allows you to control the look and feel of your site. From the size of your photos you display to the way your gallery is presented everything is easily customizable. With Zenfolio, it is simple to set security measures like password protection and watermarks so you can rest assured that your work is secure. Updating your site with new images or changing your display is also a simple task with the many upload tools available.
Be Smart about Your Photos
It is worth mentioning that Zenfolio offers an extensive amount of space for online storage. Redundant back-ups insure that your photos are safe and in case of an emergency, this can be a lifesaver. Backing up your image library can save you money – and time – since you will no longer need to use a separate service from your website to store your photos online. With the two account levels used by professionals, Premium and Premium Business, there is no storage limit so you can upload as many images as you want in order to give yourself peace of mind. With the professional photo solution starting at $100 a year your Zenfolio website will be one of your lower business expenses.
Join the Online Marketplace
Zenfolio has many features that will aid you in making sales and increasing your profits. A coupon feature enables photographers to drive sales as well as ‘expiring’ galleries to give clients a sense of urgency. You can also offer gift certificates for print credit, making pre-paid client orders a breeze.
Photographers use the Zenfolio shopping cart for a variety of needs. Images can be sold as stock or downloadable files with license agreements assigned. Sitting fees can be collected through the online shopping cart and items not offered by Zenfolio partner labs can be offered directly from the photographer.
Sales tax functionality is available if you need it and reports and order information are always accessible. This can really make a difference when it comes time to do your taxes.
Spread the Word
Marketing is imperative to a growing business and Zenfolio understands this – which is why they have a variety of marketing tools available to help your business grow and thrive. Besides ensuring that your website is optimized for search engines, Zenfolio offers several features such as invitations, contact lists, embeddable slideshows and social media integration.
An invitation feature allows you to send a beautiful email invite to your existing and potential clients. Invitations match the look and style of your web pages and feature images of your choosing.
A contact list, email scheduling system and the ability to collect visitor info all come together to make marketing more manageable.
Integration with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter help you to take advantage of viral marketing. Embeddable slideshows can be used to feature new work or drive traffic to your site.
Sell Your Photos
Zenfolio meets the needs of wedding, portrait and landscape photographers alike. No matter what you shoot, Zenfolio helps make the entire process easy – even when it comes to selling. Through Zenfolio, photographers are able to sell a variety of prints, products and services. Orders can be fulfilled by the Zenfolio partner labs and drop-shipped directly to clients. If you do not want to use the Zenfolio vendors you can choose to have orders sent to you, the photographer, to be processed. In this case, Zenfolio facilitates the order including cropping and paper choices, collecting payment, and the order is then sent to you to fulfill with the lab of your choice.
Many photographers have found that using an online tool for orders such as Zenfolio, has boosted their sales numbers significantly as the ease of online ordering makes sales possible from a variety of clients. For example, a gallery of portraits is sent to the client; however, the grandparents, friends and various family members of the client have the opportunity to order directly through Zenfolio. Eliminating the need for manual order management simplifies fulfillment so you can focus on the best part of your job: shooting.
Zenfolio and Tether Tools
Whether you need an online portfolio or you are looking for a way to sell through your website, Zenfolio is worth a close look. Customer support is top notch and they add new features and enhancements on a regular basis. And now that Zenfolio and Tether Tools have partnered up you get an exclusive discount – 15% off your Zenfolio subscription using the code TOOLS15. With so many tools in one place at such an affordable price, Zenfolio comes highly recommended.