How You Can Start Selling Online With Visual Society in 3 Steps
by Thad Allender
Dec 30, 2020
4 min read
Photography gigs can come in waves, with busy and slow periods. Of course, this might put a strain on your finances, and increase your stress levels to boot. As such, diversifying your photography business is a sound idea – made possible by selling online.
Selling your photography online can become your primary income stream because it offers a stable and consistent flow of revenue. However, getting your online store up and running is sometimes easier said than done. This is where Visual Society comes in making it easy to sell your photography.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of selling online as a photographer. We’ll then detail the three steps to take to start selling online.
Why Selling Online Is Right For Your Business
All photographers should consider selling online. It is estimated that over 230 million Americans will be shopping online by 2021. While not all of these are looking for photography, many might be. Your photography could also appeal to website owners, developers, and designers.
Selling your photography online can diversify your business and ‘future proof’ it to an extent. The current climate has shown that unexpected global events can shut down your business rapidly. As such, when you can’t book sessions, you can still sell your picture catalogue online. Should anything happen to one area of your business, your online sales may help keep you afloat.
You might (rightly) be concerned about making your e-commerce store stand out. However, there are many different ways to sell photography online. For example, you could create a stock photography website or add a store to your portfolio website. Many of these methods require work, but there is an easier way. Enter Visual Society.
How You Can Start Selling Online With Visual Society in 3 Steps
Creating an online photography store with Visual Society is straightforward, and you don’t have to worry about hosting, coding, or marketing platforms. There are three steps you can follow to set up, populate, launch, and promote your store. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Set Up Your Visual Society Account
To create your online store, you first need to create an account with Visual Society. There’s a three-month free trial period, accessed by opening an account with your email address, Google account, or Facebook account:
If you use your email address to create an account, you’ll need to provide a username and password. To finalize your account, verify your email address by clicking the link Visual Society sends to you.
Once your account is verified, you’ll be redirected to the Visual Society dashboard. From here, using the Complete Your Profile prompt at the top of the page, fill in your profile:
On the Profile page, you can fill in the basic details of your name, username, and provide a profile picture:
The Personal Details section lets you provide more information about your business. This includes your address, phone number, a biography, and links to your Facebook and Instagram accounts. You can also choose to receive weekly emails from Visual Society:
Once you’re finished, click Update to save the changes in your profile. You can now return to the dashboard to continue setting up your store.
2. Populate Your Store
Once your profile is set, you’re ready to populate your store by adding photographs. To add images, either click on the Photos section of the Complete Your Profile wizard, or Photos in the left-hand navigation menu.
Click New Photo Gallery to start adding photos. On the next page, give the gallery a title and description, and select a Gallery Type. There are three options here: E-Commerce indicating the images are for sale, Portfolio for images not for sale, and Free Downloads:
To add photographs, you can drag-and-drop them into the gallery. You can also select individual files from your computer. When you are done, click Save and the gallery will be created.
You can then create price lists under Store > Pricing. Price lists for certain products are automatically created, although you can click on each to edit the pricing:
The Profit Margin on the primary screen is applied to all pricing. You can also set the currency you want your store to use and the rounding.
3. Promote and Launch Your Store
Once your store has been populated and your prices set, you can set up your marketing. Navigate to the Marketing page via the Complete Your Profile banner (or again via the menu.) There are seven steps on the Marketing Roadmap to complete:
The first is to enable marketplace integration, which is just a toggle. The second step enables Artificial intelligence (AI) technology that automatically generates keywords for your images. Next is Content where the information provided helps the system generate a content marketing strategy for you.
The SEO section sets the Search Engine Optimization for your new online store. If you have Mailchimp, you can integrate this with your store in Email. If you filled in your Facebook and Instagram accounts in your profile, you can ignore the Social step. Finally, Engagement integrates live chat using third-party tools.
The last step you need to take is to launch your website by clicking Launch on the Complete Your Profile banner. You’ll need to purchase a suitable plan before your store is launched.
Finally, a tip. Before launching your store, preview it by clicking on your profile picture. If the store is to your requirements, it’s ready for launch. If not, make some further tweaks, preview your changes, and stick with it until you’re ready.
If your business relies a lot on bookings, you could face uncertain times as the current climate has shown. Selling online using Visual Society can create a new primary income stream that’s more stable. When you are ready, you can easily and quickly set up your own online store.
To start selling your photography online, you should take these three steps:
Set up an account.
Populate your store.
Promote and launch your store.
Do you have any questions about starting to sell online with Visual Society? Let us know in the comments section below!
Thad Allender is the founder of Visual Society. He leads a team of passionate designers and developers working to revolutionize the way photographers and artists sell online. He lives north of New York City in the Catskills.