If you think that everybody and their mothers are selling photos online, you're completely right. But I have a proven strategy to differentiate yourself and get a leg up on all that competition. 

So some of the benefits of creating prints and not just selling your images are for example, you have a lot less copyright issues with selling the actual print. You're also reaching new markets, people that actually want the print for their home or for their decor business or something else that's not just the image. 

You also have a higher perceived value for the price of your items. Anything printed just looks a little bit richer, and people are willing to pay a little bit more for it. Also, you are creating a different strategy and reaching new markets. That's very important for your differentiation strategy. 

While everybody's selling prints, or everybody's selling images for stock or things of that nature, you're creating a final product that people want to buy. 

Here are three ways that you can start selling your prints. 

First, you can open your own shop. You can go into a partnership with established shop and just sell your actual prints through them. You can also go into full licensing deal where you just provide the image and they take care of everything else. All of those have pros and cons, and today I'm talking about opening your own shop. 

The process of opening your online shop is very similar to what I showed in the previous blog post about Squarespace and also the Calligrapher shop. 

Now the issue here is to know what people wanna buy, what photos they wanna buy, and also a little bit about the logistics that you as the photographer may not really know. 

Step One: Curate Your First Collection

So the idea here is to check if the market is ready for your photos and if you're picking the right product to start. So I suggest you select your favorite photos. After all, you wanna be making more of what you already love and know of, so pick your favorite photos, make a little collection, and post on social media. Any outlet that you have a little bit of an audience works. 

The point here is not for them to buy, but to give you feedback. So make note of any comments, any likes, any hearts that you get, or even pre-orders if that's what happens. 

I also recommend you create a mock-up of your prints or some lifestyle photo of how you envision people actually using your prints in their home, in their office, so you give a full lifestyle experience. Post those on social media. Don't be shy. And look for those comments and those hints that people are really loving it. 

Step Two: Open Your Online Store With A Small Collection

If you've seen my videos before, you know that opening a store and loading it with products is not that hard. But you wanna know exactly how many of what you're selling people are gonna buy, so start with a really small collection of items you know they're interested and that you're gonna sell out. Also make it a limited quantity or capsule edition to let your customers really get into the new launches and be eager to buy as soon as the new collection hits your website. Again, the point is not to have a few more sales today, but to make a longevity goal to have profits and customers that are always looking at your website for new things. 

Step Three: Find A Paper And A Printer

Find a paper and a printer that you really love and create this magical experience for your customers. Again, you are not in the business of just quantity, so make sure you look around and find the right partners for you and the right items for your photo prints. One of my favorite places is Artifact Uprising. They ship everywhere in the U.S. I'm not really sure internationally. I love how the different designs that they have really match and look really rich with the paper selection that they offer. So check them out. 

If you need ideas for places, where to source your paper, and also where to print it, go on online forums like wedding photography Facebook groups or even Etsy shops, because those groups are so used to having their work printed in wedding albums for example and also to sell on Etsy. I'm sure they will have great recommendations for you. Just make sure you trade some information and share some knowledge with them. 

Step Four: Sell and Ship Your Items

On my next blog post, I'm gonna cover how to automate with ShipStation and also selling strategies for shops. So make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel, so you get notified.

Now, you're gonna need the proper shipping materials for your prints. Here are a few ideas. For large prints, I would recommend you go with the tube mailers because they protect better and is an easier way to ship than just pack a really large print. Now for smaller ones, a hard envelope is probably the most cost-effective. 

You wanna try and really focus on decreasing the cost of your shipping. Shipping is the number one reason why people abandon their carts and never come back to your shop. So make sure that you have the cheapest possible, also secure. Try it out before you start selling. 

So send a few items to your customers, to family, make sure they give you feedback on how it came up. Make sure the experience is great and also that you know exactly what the cost of shipping is. If you can make it a flat rate, even better. You don't let your customer guessing how much it's gonna cost at the end. 

So follow along because those are the strategies to really get your shipping material and your shipping rates down to a science. 

Now that we talked quite a bit about how to set up your photo print business, I want you to grab my free launch freebie it will show you every step to actually launch your store and create those profits right away.