A PHOTOGRAPHERS JOURNEY-MY NEW WEBSITE AND HOW I STARTED TO LOOK LIKE A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER


 Last week I was not sure what I would write about this week, But I have spend a lot of time this week on my new web site I though I would write a review of Slickpick.com.  

  For the first half of  2020, I spent time on getting my Etsy store up and running.  Once I had that to a point where it was generating some income, I switched my focus to my Web Site.  The old web site was up for renewal in June for a cost of $250+ dollars.  Over the course of the 9 years I had this site it generated about $100 total, so switching was a no brainer. Additionally, a few years ago they had servers problems and I was out of business for a few day. Before my account expired I set up a new site at Adobe Portofilo, a free service that came with my Photography package. Additionally one of it best features was that I could create a catalog in Lightroom Classic, connect that catalog my web Lightroom album which then transfers to my Adobe page. This meant that when I wanted to add a new photo to a web page I just moved it to a catalog and then on the web page do a refresh to the cloud and the picture is there.   While the site was easy to set up and I could have up to 5 different sites, it had it limitations.  For one I could not sell from it, so it made having the Etsy store even more important. The second issue was that I could not easily link each picture to it corresponding site on Etsy, so I had to use a link to the section and the customer had to search for the picture they wanted. Finally I was not able to setup a Slide Show so it was not possible to preview more than one photo in a gallery. Unlike my old site, it did drive some sales but it was not an easy experience. 

Then I learned about Slickpik.  I first heard of them during a Kelbyone virtual conference where they were offering an amazing deal.  For 50% off the yearly price for their portfolio plan, you not only got a web site, the services of a developer to build your initial site but also the price would stay the same as long as you are a member. Could not pass this up. So I started the process of switching my site from Adobe Portfolio to Slickpik.  Once I completed my enrollment, I received an email with direction on what information a developer needed to get started.  Now I have to mention that if you do not a developer then you can create the site yourself, but hay they know what they are doing so what not take advantage of them.  They have a group of templates to pick from as well as plenty of examples of how they look.  I picked a very simple template and submitted my forms.  Within 24 hours I was contacted by a designer with additional question and directions on how to upload my picture first to my Gallery albums, then the album I picked, linked to the website.  Within the 2 weeks not only did I have an up and running web site, but it was linked to my URL and I started to dismantle my Adobe site. 

 For the past 6 months I have continue to improve my site, including having the developer embed (link) each photo to the photo in Etsy. This way my customer can click on the picture and be taken directly to the Etsy location to order a print.  They now have the ability to embed Google Forms into a page so that you can have customized forms.  This is coming in handy for my Pet Portrait business as the customer can come to one site to fill out the form without having to click a link.   

 I have started working on my form so that a Customer can place a Custom Order.  My current process is that they have to select a photo they see on the web on the Etsy store and then send me a request for Customer processing. I then have to respond with a quote and hope they continue with the process.  Once I have the form in place, The Customer just enter the print number, selects the option they want (each option has the price) and then send the form to me.  I then can respond.  Still not the best process, but I have eliminated the Etsy portion (as well as the Esty commissions). Once I have this process working, I then plan on starting to set up a store (New Feature). I plan on setting this up over the next few months once I have everything organized to create the store. 

Now for the review.  Slickpik has by far the BEST!!! Customer service I have ever seen.  With each question and issue they have responded with 36 hours during the week.  They are very patient, explained what changes I can make, as well as why I should send changes to them to do.  After my site was set up, they continued to make modification, like SEO keyword that I never had on any of my old sites. In fact they are not called Customer Service Reps, but they are members of the Customer Happiness Team.  Clearly this company is putting Customer satisfaction #1 priority and it show. So far I am very happy with the switch to Slickpik and I would recommend them to any photographer that wants a professional website.  If you are a member of KelbyOne or attending one of their Virtual Conferences this year you may be able to get the discount code.  If you want to do your own design then I believe they have cheaper yearly rates.  

If you would like more information on my experience with Slickpik, please feel free to contact me either through the comments or email.