Make Money With Digital Photographs Creating And Selling Greetings Cards and Postcards
An excellent way to make money from digital photography is to create your own beautiful cards or postcards and sell them.
Take photographs of flowers, wildlife, local attractions, breathtaking scenery, significant landmarks etc. and mount or print the images onto a good quality card stock. Print your name and web site address and a little promotional information on the back of the card, or on a corner of the photograph itself using your digital photo editing software. That way you can encourage prospective clients to contact you direct with orders or enquire about a custom digital photography assignment.
To sell cards or postcards, you will need a printing service to print your products. For small numbers of cards or postcards, you could print and assemble them at home, but this can quickly become impractical if you are looking at large numbers.
Find Your Ideal Market
You might think there is no market for your cards or postcards, given the prevalence of cards widely available at card shops, department stores, chain stores and even supermarkets.
You would be correct, these are not good places for you to sell your products. For one thing, you can't hope to compete with the prices they are prepared to pay for stock. For another, there are simply too many choices at these stores. Your cards would be lost in the crowd.
But don't let that put you off. There are places you sell your cards and postcards. Think in terms of being a big fish in a small pond.
Let me explain.
Have you ever visited one of those huge markets where you see seemingly endless mile after mile of shops and vendor stalls - the unlimited shopping choices, novelties and all those miscellaneous goodies looking for an owner.
You can quickly go into "overload" until all the items on display all begin to look alike. Customers can become glassy eyed very quickly as they wander through, rarely stopping at any particular stall for more than a few seconds.
All these shops and vendor stalls are small fishes in a very large pond.
Now let's take a look the alternative. If you look at smaller shops away from the big pond that sell relatively few items, you'll find that everything you see stands out more clearly and is more likely to capture the interest of shoppers.
Less overload = Easier buying decisions.
That's what I mean by being a big fish in a small pond. When you think in terms of using your digital photography skills to sell greeting cards and postcards this is where you want to be.
Sell your products at craft shows, which are especially popular prior to the Christmas season and village fairs during the summer. Enquire about a booth or stall at a marketplace or farmer's market. Contact boutiques and small specialty shops and ask if they will carry your products. Visit the local tourist attractions and ask vendors at those locations about displaying your work. Tourists will appreciate your cards and postcards as a souvenir of their visit.
It's best to sell cards individually, rather than boxed. Other than Christmas cards, people rarely purchase cards by the box. To be sure which way to sell your cards you'll need to test out the two options.
Talking Of Christmas Cards, Some friends of ours used to have a family portrait taken each year, when their children were growing up, which was then printed onto a custom made Christmas card which they sent to all their friends and family.
Is This Something You Could dDo?
If you are already set up to produce cards and postcards this could be a lucrative money earner for you in the lead up to the Christmas season. You could even offer a home portrait service where you visit your client's home and take a range of photographs, let the clients choose the one they would like for their cards and then produce the cards for them. You could take along some props with a Christmas theme to give the photographs the right atmosphere.
The best time to offer the service would be from September to early November so that you have time to deliver the finished cards in time for your clients to send them out.
Don't Forget the Internet
Lastly, don't forget the Internet and a web site as a means of promoting your unique card service and other products created with your digital photography.
Suggested Equipment and Supplies
In addition to your DSLR Camera (which should be capable of fast, continuous shooting so you don't miss any of the action), suitable Lens(es) for your shoot, a plentiful supply of Duplicate Order Forms (One copy for you and one for your customer) and Business Cards to hand out, you should also consider having:
- A little Promotional Information with your name and web site address printed on the back of the card or on a corner of the photograph itself, using your Photo Editing Software.
- A suitable Photo Printer for small print runs.
- Printing Service to print your products if you're going to be producing your cards and postcards in volume.
- A Web Site to promote your business.
The easiest way to get a web site set up is to use Wordpress. For this you will need:
- A Domain Name (Try NameCheap or GoDaddy)
- A Hosting Account (get one that offers cPanel which makes it very easy to set Wordpress up automatically)
- A Payment Provider - PayPal offers an excellent service and it's free to set up (you will need to set up either a business or premium account with them)
- A suitable Wordpress Plugin to password protect your download area before you receive payment. (There are number of plugins available - some free, some you have to pay for)
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