Photo Seller’s Foundations: Putting it all together.

Photos by Anders Jilden, Red Charlie, Nellia Kurme, Karsten Wuerth, Nicholas Beel, Luca Bravo.

You made it! After learning about products and pricelistscoupons and discounts, and connecting with customers, you’re ready to put it all together into a marketing strategy that will help you drive more sales for the holiday season and all year round. 

Today’s post is all about managing the moving parts of your promotion ahead of time. Think of it as planning now, so your future self can relax and rake in the sales. 

(If you really want to get ahead, we recommend reading through the Marketing for Photographers ebook as well. We can’t offer extra credit, but hopefully you get some extra cash!)

The story so far.

Here’s a quick checklist of the activities you can do (or might have already done) to prepare for your sales push:

1. Choose your products.

  • Update your pricelists and tweak as needed.
  • Add seasonal items to pricelists.
  • Make a gallery of new or best-selling photos.
  • Create visual assets for items you want to promote.
  • Pro option: Build product packages to boost bulk sales.

2. Pro option: Build a promotion to excite your customers.

  • Create a coupon or coupons for your sales push.
  • Create visual assets for email and social outlets.

3. Lay the groundwork for outreach.

  • Update your email list with your most recent customers.
  • Update your website with SEO-friendly terms in your titles and image descriptions.
  • Pro option: Add your coupon(s) to a banner on relevant pages, galleries, or your whole site.

You’ve done a lot of work to get here, and you’re almost ready for showtime. All this potential needs a plan, though. It’s time for a content calendar.

What’s a content calendar? How does it help sell more photos?

A content calendar gives you a bird’s-eye view of all the ways you can interact with your customers over time. It shows your communication channels (like your website, email list, and social media outlets) on one axis, and the date on the other, letting you plan and visualize where and when you want particular messages to connect with your future customers.

Content calendars are especially useful for creative businesses who need to spread the word about their work. Why? Because they’re efficient: You can create a single asset—like a blog post, a video, or a gallery—and build a whole raft of communications to promote it across your channels, where you’ll catch the attention of different audiences on each channel.

This means more eyes on your photos, more traffic to your site, and more chances to make the sale.

How to make a content calendar work for your photography.

Picture this: you make a gallery of your best-selling photos for the holidays (we told you it’d come in handy). 

Then you make a coupon for those photos. 

You promote that gallery and discount with a simple shout-out to your email list.

Then you tweet about it on Twitter/X one day. Post a teaser image on Instagram the next. Poll your followers for their favorite photo on Facebook. 

Maybe you throw one last reminder to your email list as the promotion is about to expire.

And all of a sudden, presto, you’ve got a marketing campaign. 

Follow this approach for other galleries, new products, or upcoming holiday promotions, and you can start to see how a content calendar will help you keep everything organized on your end, and keep your customers coming back for more.

Content calendar essentials: Framework.

Building a content calendar is easy. You can start with something as simple as a spreadsheet— in fact, most fancy content calendar tools are based on just that. 

To make things even easier, we built you a template you can use to get started for the upcoming selling season. Just click the image below to download the file, then open it in your favorite spreadsheet app.

Click to download.

Some businesses use content calendars to plan a full year in advance. Others may only use them for specific campaigns or particularly complex projects. For our purposes, a few months will do nicely. 

Content calendar essentials: Channels.

With the “calendar” part taken care of, let’s look at content. For each channel, it’s important to consider what kind of content you want to put out there, and how to play to the strengths of each. For example:

  • Instagram is likely to be at the top of your list as a photographer, and for good reason. The ability to share photos, galleries, and videos makes it a natural fit for photographers looking to grow their business, and stories provide a fun way to engage with followers in a low-stakes, casual way.
  • Facebook can be used to engage with your followers while they’re scrolling through their news feed. Its flexible tools can help you craft just the right kind of eye-catching post, and fun options like polls and surveys give you extra insight into what your audience engages with the most. Facebook’s paid marketing capabilities also let you target an audience much more specifically, getting just the right eyes on your photos. 
  • Twitter/X is excellent for engaging with your followers because they have direct access to you. By setting up notifications and monitoring your account activity, you can be quick to answer questions, address feedback, and turn interactions into business opportunities.
  • YouTube is your home for all things video and a great place to try out some non-photo content. Your videos don’t need to be polished, big-budget productions—you can craft a personal hello to your followers, a preview of things to come, or show off your latest print unboxing with a simple smartphone. 
  • LinkedIn is often overlooked, but it’s a great asset for professional development and business growth. Building your brand, sharing your business wins, and networking with other photographers are all easily accomplished here.

Feel free to add any communication channels you like to the document (Pinterest? TikTok? Go wild), and let’s dig into scheduling.

Content calendar essentials: Scheduling.

Scheduling is the most personal part of your content calendar creation process, and it will be wholly unique to you and the type of campaigns you want to run. To get you started, though, here are a few important dates to keep in mind this season:

  • Thanksgiving—November 25
  • Black Friday—November 26
  • Small Business Saturday—November 27
  • Cyber Monday—November 29
  • #GivingTuesday—November 30
  • Hanukkah—November 28–December 6
  • Christmas Eve—December 24
  • Christmas—December 25
  • Kwanzaa—December 26–January 1
  • Boxing Day—December 26

Upcoming holidays are called out in the content-calendar template, and we’ve gone ahead and populated the first week with a sampling of emails, posts, and assets to get you started. You’ll also want to keep an eye on shipping deadlines so you can let your customers know to order in time for the holidays!

Just like emails, you can draft and schedule your social media posts ahead of time using tools like Facebook’s native scheduler, or try an all-encompassing tool like HootSuite.

Whichever tools you use, a little up-front planning can make your selling season a breeze, so get out there and get posting.

You’ve got a solid foundation. Time to build.

Thank you for joining our Photo Seller’s Foundations series. We hope these tools are helpful for you this selling season, and, as always, our sales specialists are here to answer any lingering questions you have. We can’t wait to see your photos out in the world.