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I’m a firm believer in the importance of building a brand. If you see the Coca Cola logo (I bet you can picture it in your head right now) you can almost taste the soda on your tongue. Maybe you start singing the jingle in your head, or remember the last commercial you saw. Maybe you even start craving a nice cold soda all of a sudden. If you’re building a business as an artist, you want your brand to stand out in the minds of your clients in the same way that the CocaCola brand does. Maybe you want it to stand for high quality work, your own artistic style, your excellent educational resources… all the things that you want your customers to associate with your business.
We brand our work in a thousand little ways – from giving out business cards when we speak for a group, to displaying our logo in the header on our websites. That logo appears on the cover of our eBooks, at the beginning and end of our educational videos… even at the top of each invoice. So, you get the picture. I think branding is pretty important to building a business. In this post, I want to show you how I make sure my brand is visible when someone orders prints from my online store.
Maybe you already know that we use SmugMug for our print sales. They offer some really great branding options for artists – letting you keep your brand visible to your clients. This is how I’m using these services for my own business.
If you have a SmugMug Pro Business Account, SmugMug will display your branding in the shopping cart, include a 4×6 “thank you print” with orders, and place a sticker on the packages that contain your prints. That means that people are seeing your brand again and again… which is great marketing. It costs a dollar for the Thank You print and/or sticker. The branding banner on your shopping cart is free. (If you don’t have a SmugMug Pro account, you can use this 20% discount code to get one: SMUGMUGPATEL)
I started by designing my branding images in Photoshop. Make sure you check the size recommendations on the SmugMug website – click on Account Settings > Branding > Manage. You can upload the finished images from that page as well.
Here’s the image I created for my 4×6 “Thank You Print”. I always include a Certificate of Authenticity with my prints, and this is a great way to do that.
I also created a simpler image for the sticker that will be placed on each shipment.
And, I made a simple graphic for the shopping cart banner.
Once the images are ready, the next step is easy. Go to your Account Settings, and click on the Business icon, and then choose Branding from the menu. You can see that I already have branding set up on my site. If you are ready to set it up, just click on the Manage button under Branding.
The Pro Branding page will let you upload the files you’ve created. Just click the Choose File button and navigate to the files you’ve created. Once the images are uploaded, you’re done.
SmugMug will show the Shopping Cart banner during checkout – like this:
Nice, eh? They’ll place the sticker you created on the outside of the box for each order – and inside, your client will find the nice thank-you card.
Now, I did have one minor issue when I was setting all this up. My first attempt at creating a shopping cart banner ended up looking like the image below. (I was using a different image at the time, but it was sized correctly according to the suggestion on the upload page.) You can see that part of the logo is cut off, and the displayed area is square. Weird. Support got me a solution right away. If this happens to you, go to your Gallery page, and click on the Settings button under your “My SmugMug Site Files” gallery. (This gallery is not visible to the public unless you make it so.) Scroll down on the Gallery Settings Page to the Look and Feel section, and make sure that the Thumbnail option for this gallery is set to Original. That should solve the problem. Of course, if you run into any problems, you can always contact support. They’re great about getting back to me quickly every single time.
SmugMug Pro account 20% Discount Code: SMUGMUGPATEL
There is nothing more remarkable to me than the power of nature. It is both cataclysmic and subtle. Slow and continuous erosion by water and wind can create landscapes every bit as astonishing as those shaped by catastrophic events – and minuscule details can be as breathtaking as grand vistas that stretch from one horizon to the other. Nature is incredibly diverse. Burning desert sands and mossy riverbanks… Brilliant sunbeams and fading alpenglow… Silent snowfall and raging summer storms… Each offers a unique opportunity. I am irresistibly drawn to the challenge of finding my next photograph, and mastering the skills required to capture it effectively.