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DPChallenge Forums >> Administrator Announcements >> DPCPrints: Call for Prints + Marketing
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03/25/2003 12:16:07 AM · #1
First, thank you to everyone who's already started uploading their prints. We've got 550 prints up and counting! Our latest poll, "Will you be selling prints on DPCPrints.com?" has a collective 138 people who are or will be selling prints, and that's wonderful. We're very excited to have so many of you participating! So...

Send in those prints!

If you haven't already, start getting those prints in. We're going to submit to Yahoo this week, and that should give us a good spike in traffic -- you definitely want your prints on the site for that. By the same token, we want the potential buyers coming in to have a huge selection so that they will enjoy the site and hopefully purchase and/or return.

Second, once we get enough prints in (1000 maybe?), we're going to pursue advertising in some sort of traditional media, though we have not determined exactly what yet. We are certainly considering magazine advertisements, though we haven't priced them yet. So...

If you've got any marketing ideas, share them!

There's bound to be several of you out there who know more about this than we do. We're fairly intelligent guys, but we both love the programming more than the business side! We'd appreciate any or all of your suggestions -- from what to advertise to where to do it and everything inbetween. Which leads to...

Hook us up!?

Do you work somewhere or know someone that could help get us the exposure we need to really get this rolling? Could this be your opportunity to call in a favor? Feel free to contact us or to post here about it. And last but not least...

Tell your friends!

The best thing you can do to help get DPCPrints off its feet is to tell your friends and family about it. My sister and her boyfriend came over last night, and they're decorating a new apartment, so I had them check out the site -- they loved it. Send a quick e-mail to those in your address book to tell them about the site and/or your prints.

We thank you all for the great support and participation we've already seen getting this new site up, and we're really excited about its future. Let us know if we can do anything to better your experience in any way related to the site.

Drew
03/25/2003 01:22:32 AM · #2
Try contacting Dave Ross at Chiptalk.com or DaveRoss.com -- it is the kind of "quirky" site which might appeal to him if he hasn't covered something like it already. Could get you a plug on CBS radio...

You might send an update to Brian Briggs at BBspot.com -- I think that's where I originally found you, and I know he's sponsoring contests at Worth1000.com.
03/25/2003 11:22:46 AM · #3
I have been passing links to my friends and family via email... this link:

//www.dpcprints.com/profile.php?USER_ID=772

I would like to put a note on my bulletin board where I work but I would really like to be able to pass this link instead:

//www.dpcprints.com/jmsetzler - or some other similar link that is a bit more user friendly...

I may have some business cards printed up soon, or I may print some myself and I would love to be able to use a link like that on my cards...

I'm still thinking about advertising possibilities... I haven't come up with anything outstanding yet...

03/25/2003 03:22:13 PM · #4
*bump*
03/25/2003 03:38:21 PM · #5
Thinking out loud here...

Let's take a look at WHO buys art and photographic prints....

I would guess that women would be a good target audience. I believe that women do make a lot of decisions in home interior decoration. Not to say that men don't, but I believe that targeting the female species would be a good place to start.

How do we get in touch with women who are looking to decorate their walls?

Home interior shops, websites, magazines, etc.

bullet item: research websites that give how-to and what-not information on home interior decoration rather than looking for point of sale sites...

Magazine advertising could be expensive... I just looked at Southern Living's rates and i don't make enuff money in a year to buy an ad in that magazine...

bullet item: locate some local home interior decoration shops that would allow flyers to be distributed...

bullet item: find out what it would cost to run an ad in my local newspaper or local trade papers...

bullet item: find out how other photographers are marketing online and what advertising methods they use...

******************

Form a group of DPC members who are interested in helping market the DPCPrints site in their local areas? Start small... generate some revenue that could be used to increase advertising in the future...

Let this group brainstorm some ideas and then create task lists and execute those tasks....

more ideas later...

03/25/2003 03:45:47 PM · #6
I think another big market would be college students. They typically are interested in expressing their independence and uniqueness when they first move out of the house. At least I know I was when I moved into my own place. However, I'm not sure how many prints here would have held my interest when I was younger.

I have no idea how to market to them tho...

-Matt
03/25/2003 05:22:02 PM · #7
Here in Idaho, we have a thing called "Art in the Park" every July. Basically hundreds of photographers and artists bring their prints, and people go there to buy them. I will be there this year, and I have the link to the prints page on my business card.

I also think new businesses and hotels would be a great place to advertise artwork. They are always looking for cost-effective ways to spruce up their new business, and there are so many unique prints here, they are bound to find something creative.
03/25/2003 05:47:47 PM · #8
I am really trying hard to get my images available for sale and printing and I am having a very difficult time. Aside from continuously getting bounced back to the dpchallenge portion of the site, I can't figure out how to make my prints available. Just how large of an image am I supposed to post? Also, where do I go to set my prices? Maybe I can't set prices until I have my prints accepted. My images range between 3 and 5mp and I wasn't expecting to have to post images larger than that. I'm trying to avoid having to interpolate any of my images. I just figured there would be a warning posted stating that certain images may not be ideal past a specific size but that any sizes under that would be just fine. I'm just getting a little frustrated. it seems about 3 times more complicated than I am used to with other sites. Sorry Drew and Langdon. Maybe it is just me and everyone else is skating along. I'll just keep on trying.

T
03/25/2003 06:02:44 PM · #9
Tim,

I had the same frustration over at DA PRINTS. Let me see if I can run through the steps quickly. (Bullet characte =ALT-0149).

Select image in portfolio. If not a previous entry, upload a low-res version.

At the bottom of the edit details page should be a button/link to "upload a printable file" -- do it. You need a minimum of 150dpi at the finished print size -- 300 dpi is optimum.

After the file is uploaded, the bottom of that same page should be updated to indicate that you have uploaded a printable image, and will include a link to "get started" selling your prints. That link will take you to a page showing a preview of the printable file, and a list of print sizes for which it will be reviewed. Submit it.

A "few hours" later, the same page should indicate that the printable file has been approved, and you will be given a new link to the page where you set the public prices and activate the print sizes you want.

Hope that helps...after you go through it a couple of times it will flow pretty logically.

Paul

Message edited by author 2003-03-25 18:04:52.
03/25/2003 06:02:58 PM · #10
I know I am being a pain but.... It appears to me that I can't go any further with the process of making my images availabe for sale unless I meet the 18x24 size @ 150dpi requirement. Is there a request for approval that I am missing? I just wish I didn't have to post several different sizes of an image, not that I am even sure how to do that so that they both are connected to the same thumbnail (did that make sense?). Ho hum. I'm just wondering if this much work is even worth it. Must keep trying.

T
03/25/2003 06:07:48 PM · #11
Tim, it sounds like you're uploading at 1:1.33 ratio which only has one print size available.
If you re-crop or add a border to make your shot 1:1.25 or 1:1.5 you will get more options (including smaller sizes) for a single file upload.

Edit: Check the table near the bottom of this page for a list of available sizes & aspect ratios.

Message edited by author 2003-03-25 18:09:59.
03/25/2003 06:08:20 PM · #12
You can only have one printable file for each portfolio image. Upload the largest size you want to sell. If the file is less than 150 dpi at 18x24 you will simply not be approved to sell the larger prints. The only reason to have multiple versions is to fit different aspect ratios -- I've only done that for one image -- or if you have different iterations (I have one image with three different color manipulations).

And bod has pointed out the special problem with that particular aspect ratio...

Message edited by author 2003-03-25 18:09:37.
03/25/2003 06:17:34 PM · #13
Ok, it looks like I need to go back to PS and interpolate most of the images up to 18x24 @ 150 dpi. I do not wish to change the aspect ratios of my images by cropping or other means because those ratios are how I feel the images looks best. I generall crop pretty tightly to maximize detail and composition so I don't feel that it is trivial. I figured that the purchasers can either accept the given ratio or change it when they order a print. Other aspect ratios can be selected for a given print, right? thanks for your help, guys. Now I have a bunch of interpolating to do. : /

T

Message edited by author 2003-03-25 18:18:22.
03/25/2003 06:23:45 PM · #14
The breast cancer site gets a lot of female visitors, because there are letters going around talking about when you visit the site, the org. gets more help for free mammograms for women.

When I had my own business, I offered benefit drives for non-profits to help my business get known, as I had a service business with lots of repeat customers.

Maybe we could donate a certain percentage of prints sold on certain dates to this org. and they might advertise it for us. Strategies like this worked very well, then maybe follow up with an offer of a discount on further prints ordered, to bring them back at least once.

Also interior decorators might be another target market if someone has not mentioned them yet.


03/25/2003 06:24:58 PM · #15
Originally posted by timj351:

Other aspect ratios can be selected for a given print, right?

No, for the same reason I explained before the site went live -- it is entirely up to us to ensure that the buyer gets exactly what he sees on the screen. A buyer who did not understand for whatever reason that his print was going to be cropped (even if shown a preview) will be dissatisfied with his print. And again, I'd much rather put the burden on the seller than the buyer.

For what it's worth, cropping a 1.33 aspect to a 1.25 aspect is very often successful -- taking little to nothing away from the print. Of course, this is entirely dependent on the image itself, but it's worth a shot anyway.

If you're going to upload multiple versions of a print to allow for different aspects of prints, my suggestion would be to upload the one with the most available sizes as the one 'connected' to your challenge entries.

Drew
03/25/2003 06:27:38 PM · #16
Originally posted by timj351:

Ok, it looks like I need to go back to PS and interpolate most of the images up to 18x24 @ 150 dpi. I do not wish to change the aspect ratios of my images by cropping or other means because those ratios are how I feel the images looks best. I generall crop pretty tightly to maximize detail and composition so I don't feel that it is trivial. I figured that the purchasers can either accept the given ratio or change it when they order a print. Other aspect ratios can be selected for a given print, right? thanks for your help, guys. Now I have a bunch of interpolating to do. : /

T

Prints to the public will only be made available at sizes/ratios which exactly match the file. For example, my 2000x3000 pixel file will be available at 4x6, 8x12, 10x15. At 18x24 it would only be 125 dpi, and not approved.

You can put a white border on there to fill out an image to a desired size. That shouldn't change the look. Customer can mat or trim the print as desired anyway.

For your own, private printing, you can send any image to any size paper you want...

Message edited by author 2003-03-25 18:29:11.
03/25/2003 06:47:26 PM · #17
There is going to be an ART FESTIVAL here in Celebration, FL ... next weekend .. April 4th-5th .. I'll check it out and see if there are any magazines or print collections or any kind of info that could apply :)

also definitly local colleges and schools are a great target audience :)

I'd also agree with John Setzler .. about the more friendly user webpage addy ...

I can then make vinyl decals saying the website and stick it on my car window for all to see :)
(if anyone else wants one made .. (figure letters are about half inch high - block lettering type and i have all colors) let me know :) - drop me an email and we can get creative!
03/25/2003 07:03:46 PM · #18
Submit an announcement to the Art Deadlines List and check out other possible ways to get noticed there...he seems to have a lot of art-related links.

How about working out a cross-advertising deal with pBase? We drive traffic there (for additional storage and easy linking) and they can drive folks here (contests and printing capability). Maybe no cash need change hands...
03/25/2003 07:17:22 PM · #19
Ok, I completely understand now and I will have to comply if I want to sell anything. While I understand the reasoning to have things the way they are I don't agree with it because in the effort to make the process easier for them it limits the purchasers options. We, as sellers can certainly have all sizes of prints available and that certainly is not a bad idea because we have complete control over what the image will look like in print but I just think that the purchaser should still be able to order any print at any aspect ratio. I don't think it is very difficult to provide information on what an image will look like at the size selected and have it understood. This kind of process would need to be considered if someone wanted an 8x10 enlargement from traditional film or when choosing mats and frames. I hope this doesn't come across as a rant. It's just that I have dealt with this issue for quite a while now with my images on other sites and I have finally concluded that I prefer to post one hi res image at the 1:1.33 aspect ratio or other aspect ratio that fits a specific image the best and let the purchaser decide if he likes that or not.

T
03/25/2003 07:22:51 PM · #20
Originally posted by mbardeen:

I think another big market would be college students. They typically are interested in expressing their independence and uniqueness when they first move out of the house. At least I know I was when I moved into my own place. However, I'm not sure how many prints here would have held my interest when I was younger.

I have no idea how to market to them tho...

-Matt


As a college freshmen I think you're exactly right... sorta. I think a lot of college students would love to have photo prints to post around their rooms and stuff. I happen to have 5 8x10s of my own shots up on my wall right now. However, the thing is, those 5 8x10s cost me $2 each and they are all in $2 walmart frames. I, along with most college students, can't realistically afford to shell out $15-30 each for some 8x10s to put up. I'd personally love to rack up a bunch of dpc prints.. but my personal budget just doesn't allow for it. I would guess that would be the primary impediment to a strong market of college students.
03/25/2003 07:26:41 PM · #21
Find the cheapest frames you're willing to use. Order up a few of your prints.

Using the wallet-size prints would be an easy way to print up a few full-color "business cards" or photo labels which include the DPC Prints URL.

Find someplace which would appreciate art of your style(s) but can't afford it -- nursing homes, schools/day care centers, cafes, medical clinics, etc. Offer to hang the stuff there for a month in exchange for having the contact info posted with the photos.

Some libraries have art available to check out. You can donate a print and take a tax deduction for the retail value.
03/25/2003 07:29:44 PM · #22
Originally posted by wingy:

I, along with most college students, can't realistically afford to shell out $15-30 each for some 8x10s to put up. I'd personally love to rack up a bunch of dpc prints.. but my personal budget just doesn't allow for it. I would guess that would be the primary impediment to a strong market of college students.

I have my 4x6 prints at $2.00 right now for just that reason. You can get decent frames at most thrift stores; I often find a 5x7 or 8x10 wooden frame for $1-2.
03/25/2003 07:34:56 PM · #23
I just posted a suggestion to the thread "what do I do know" but perhaps here would be more appropriate for it...

I think a potential market is friends and family of each person who submits to this site. Surely a challenge topic of "Family Portrait" would create images likely to be sold to multiple people. The challenge can still be creative (you could photograph a family of dogs at the local pound, or birds sitting on a powerline) but it is likely to include faces.

I think this might bring in the family and friends to check the site out, and perhaps they'll even purchase something else while they are there. Of course pricing is important - prices should be aimed at volume sales not profit, unless you have a truly stunning image.

Perhaps there are some other challenge topics which are pre-disposed to sales, but I think one's involving family and friends are the easiest to market - each photographer knows their potential market and can email them personally.
03/25/2003 07:54:28 PM · #24
Link exchanges on certain websites could be a possibility for some easy/cheap/free advertising. I located the following websites that specialize in home decor how-to information that could be good places to start this process:

//www.decoratorsecrets.com/
//www.free-interior-decorating-ideas.com/
//www.home-decorating-directory.com/
//www.rentaldecorating.com/
//www.1st-in-home-decor.com/
//www.101homeresources.com/

Maybe we could offer a partner system or a special link page on the print site to offer link exchanges with these sites and other sites like them to generate some extra traffic to the site?


03/25/2003 08:41:11 PM · #25
I hope the links would not be pop up ads or blinking banners on this site. I like it because it so clean and uncommercialized... hope we can sell prints without it changing dramatically because of marketing needs.
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