SmugMug, Advantages of a good online portfolio
“Why It’s Important to Have a GOOD Online Portfolio”
Ask yourself, when was the last time you checked your online portfolio. Sometimes you get caught up in your work, upcoming shoots or just with life in general. If you haven’t checked, updated or modified your portfolio in a while, you may want to go and look at it, I try to update my portfolio at least once a week, but my website is updated almost daily with new images, stories and reviews. You have to make sure people come back and back and back… especially in a time where there is so much competition online it’s important to keep people engaged and willing to check out your site.
Together with SmugMug we created this blogpost for you to try to help you out to create a better online presence.
Having a great portfolio is more than just a few shots you love. It’s how potential collectors can find your art, clients can determine if you have the right aesthetic to portray their brand, and how you can build a following. In my opinion a good portfolio is also not a “garbage” place where you “dump” all your shots, only post the once you REALLY love, or better the ones everyone loves and keep the rest for social media or your blog. You don’t want bad images on your portfolio.
Here is a basic checklist to help optimize your portfolio and ensure your best foot is forward.
- Contact – Can visitors contact you with information on it or within 1 click?
- Navigation to galleries – Do you have an easy and clearly labeled ways to find your work?
- Looks great on multiple devices – Try looking at your site and portfolio from a desktop computer, mobile phone and a tablet. Does everything display nicely?
- Bio – Is there a bio or about us page to walk through your services and help visitors learn more about you and your studio?
If the answer to any of these is no, you may want to use a different template or see how you can add these navigation features to your website.
(side note: If you’re on a mobile device, make sure the phone number on your contact page is click to call.)
- Ease of use – Can people scroll through your galleries and go back to the main gallery page to look at another one?
- Variety – Are the main types of work you focus on represented and in properly labeled galleries?
- Level of work – If you sell prints and exclusives for collectors, are these labeled?
- Updated – Do you have your newest and bestselling shots available and have you removed ones that get little to no engagement?
- Shopping – If you allow photos to be purchased, can they shop from the photo or from the gallery? Can they add shots to their cart from it?
- Social sharing – Can visitors share your work on social sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter?
- Ease of purchase – Is it easy to find a shot, select what to print on, add it to their cart?
- Multiple devices – Can you shop easily from multiple devices like a phone, desktop or tablet?
- Upsells and cross sells – If you know people normally buy a print on metal and also on a coffee mug, is there a way for you to cross promote the other product? Can you send a follow up email saying it’s also available on XY items since you know they normally sell together?
Make sure your contact page has the right information. If you have separate contact information for clients, corporate customers or shoppers, label them differently. All contact pages should have the following.
- Phone number – So potential clients and customers can call.
- Email – Do you check this regularly and is it up to date?
- Location – Your studio or where they can reach you for a shoot or visit.
- Map – If you have subjects, models or clients, include an interactive map so they can find you.
- Form – If they don’t want to email, include a contact form.
- Social Media – If you’re active on social media, build a following from people who want to contact you from this page.
A good and easy to use portfolio can be the difference between new customers, more clients and gaining exposure. That’s why we prefer and recommend SmugMug. SmugMug websites are built for and by photographers. Their designs are designed to quickly and clearly display your work. You have full ecommerce solutions with partnerships to let visitors buy prints on more than 1,000 products (no need to stock inventory) including wall art on canvas or metal. Now don’t get me wrong, there are many other solutions out there that also work and offer similar options, but for me personally SmugMug just worked the best and gave me the best performance and design options, plus I LOVE their storage option, you can backup a LOT of material online via them all within your plan.
Also important for some companies is that SmugMug gallery options also enable you to share privately with clients, sell exclusives to collectors and let your fans pick their favorite shots and purchase them on items like coffee mugs. The best part about using SmugMug for your portfolio is that everything is drag and drop so you do not have to code to have a great looking website and portfolio, especially if you need something fast and easy…. well it just saves time and makes the difference between “I still have to do this but I don’t have the time”, and “Ok let’s do this quickly and get it over with”.
Now I know you guys love deals, so we tried to get something cool for you.
Because of our relationship, they’ve offered us a 15% discount for our website visitors to save on any SmugMug package. Click here to save 15% on any package.
Your online portfolio is how others will see you. It determines if you get bookings, make sales and land a dream client. That’s why you need to have it optimized. Use the checklist above and also try out SmugMug. It doesn’t take long and can make a world of difference for your business.