What company do you suggest I use to host my unique web address?
I have found the most happiness with bluehost because they have LIVE customer help! Yes, that means you can immediately chat online with someone who will help you with your issue, if you have one. They do not require you to put in a ticket as I have found with other hosting companies. They also are VERY reasonable, I pay under $90 for the entire year to host all 3 of my websites.
What should I use for a client gallery?
I absolutely LOVE smugmug.com. I feel it is very convenient to provide my clients with their photos, allow them to download the files at a restricted size and give them the opportunity to share the link with their friends and family so they too can place orders. A very convenient feature is the “watermark”, it automatically watermarks the online photos so that if they download them and use on social networking, they are protected BUT the purchased photos come without it.
I need help with business cards (design layout & printing). Who should I use?
My absolute favorite business card company is MOO. They have so many fantastic layouts to choose from or you can design it yourself. They provide the ability for every business card to have a different image on it without a separate price! Did I mention that their card stock is out of this world. It has a texture and substance to it that you just can’t find with other online business card companies.
What company should I use to print my photographs and products?
I am a true believer in WHCC. They supply a very high-end quality print. Their client interface (ROES) makes selecting prints and products quick and simple. There are so many other great companies, this just happens to be our favorite.
Where should I start with creating a blog?
Blog’s are an awesome way to get your name out there on search engines and allow your potential clients to see your portfolio. You can start with a FREE blog using wordpress or blogspot. These sites will allow you to register and make a blog for free and not to mention they have AMAZING themes and layouts to choose from!
If you are willing to invest a little you can purchase your own domain name using a site such as godaddy.com and then purchase a wordpress theme (layout) to make your site a little more unique. I always suggest purchasing themes at http://themeforest.net/category/wordpress because they are approximately $39! So for under $100 you can get your site up and running with a unique web address, hosting and layout! I also go there for all my wordpress plugins, absolutely incredible web shopping going on there!
Where can I purchase a unique web address such as www.mycompanyname.com?
I have been using godaddy.com for over 13 years. They are amazing and the price to have your own company url is cheap!!! Of course you will also need to host your website. Godaddy also hosts sites, though I do not use them for this. However, I have had clients use them and were happy.
Where can I find business templates, actions and presets?
Well of course Envi Actions :) We have a very large store with many great tools such as questionnaires, client communication documents, business tools and amazing Photoshop ACTIONS to make your images beautiful and shorten your editing time!
What companies provide unique cd/sleeve packaging?
I have always loved the simplicity of Kraft and Jute. The prices are low and they provide your client with a feeling of natural beauty to keep their memories safe.
How can I take credit card payments for my session fees?
Allowing customers to purchase their session fees with a credit card is very convenient. These days everyone wants to use plastic. There are many merchant sites that will allow you to do this such as Paypal or Square. Note: any of these options will cost you about 3% or less. There is no way around this. Any store that offers the ability for their clientele to use credit has to pay a merchant fee.
Where can I go to meet other photographers who are willing to share and inspire?
Envi Actions has a couple amazing places to unite with other photographers. These groups are unlike others. You will not find judgement or clicks! If you would like to meet others like you just visit our Facebook support group and Facebook Fan Page!
Where is a great place to advertise my company?
Google Adwords is a great place to add your website link so that you guarantee a top listing on the google search engine. It’s a fantastic way to advertise because many of your clients are going to search for a photographer in your area using google. You can also choose how much money you are willing to spend each day and how long you want to run the ad.
Facebook Adverts are also a wonderful way of targeting your clients. You will be able to select the geographical area you want your ad ran in as well as age, families etc.
Find local businesses that pertain to your type of photography. If you are a wedding photographer go to a boutique or a cake store and ask to swap business. You photograph their products for free and they allow you to put some business cards in their store! Its a great way to get your name out there in the proper location. If you are a baby photographer go to a local baby stores, these are very popular these days! As if they need some photos of their store for marketing and provide them this free service in exchange for allowing you to leave your business cards around.
Bathrooms – ewwwww? NO! These are great places to leave your business card! Don’t be shy, leave a card at a family restaurant … someone will grab it. Yes, you have the chance of it being thrown away by an employee but usually they will keep these lying around. Your local gym is a great place to leave a little advertising in the bathroom. You can even ask restaurant managers if you can swap photography for advertising. They may need new photos taken for their menu. Photograph it for them for free if they will allow you to leave some business cards!
What types of social networking sites other than Facebook can help me?
Google Plus is becoming very popular now that Facebook has started to limit our ability to reach clients. Of course Twitter and Pinterest are also a great way to get your name out there. The nightmare of the web is that being socially popular is a necessity in our workforce. The more you are tagged, linked, talked about the better you do on search engines. The better you do on search engines the more potential clients will find you!
How do I make my business legal?
As a business owner it is necessary to do a bit of leg work in making it official with your state. It will actually be easier to do than you think. (Click here to go to a fantastic article by Kate on how to get your business legit!)
Where can I go to learn how to use Photoshop & Elements without paying a huge cost?
Envi Actions has developed a large list of FREE video tutorials. If you would like to learn how to use these editing programs or how to use actions and templates go to our youtube channel. You can also visit our webinars page to watch past shows and register for upcoming dates.
Colorvale Photoshop Actions For Photographers - Speed up your editing time and create amazing photographs with these digital tools