Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Get the Job Done: Digital Downloads are Big Sellers

Over the weekend, I got an email from Smug Mug alerting me that a customer had purchased prints from my website. But it turns out that instead of actual prints, a customer purchased four digital downloads from the wedding engagement party I shot in the fall! I think the downloadable digital photo file is a convenient and easy way for today's savvy computer client to purchase photos and a quick way for you to generate more sales. If you aren't already offering this service on your website, then you should be.

Given the current state of the newspaper industry and the folding of my daytime's competitor, the Rocky Mountain News, I think we are all afraid than ever that we could be witnessing the days leading up to the Death of the Print. I'm praying that that won't ever be the least not in total, but I can't deny that the digital downloads offered on my business site have been increasing while additional print sales are down, especially for those agreeing to a purchase with a personal use licence.

When a client buys a digital downloan from my website, he/she gets limited use of the images right away instead of having to wait for prints to arrive. Plus, the pricing is based on the size and resolution of the download, as well as its use -- either for personal (uploading onto Facebook, Myspace, desktop wallpapers and in emails, etc) or commercial (buying all the rights to the usage of an image). Smug Mug offers both.

Personal images can be protected by the legal license that a photographer offers to the buyer. For example, in my agreement contracts, I always stipulate that both I and the client have dual ownership of the images and that I am allowed to sell and use them on my for promotional purposes on my website. What's cool about this license too is that if an infringement occurs, I can have a basis for suing.

Here's a screen shot of one of my digital download purchase pages from my website.

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