Finally – a web solution to working with your clients after the shoot is over!
More than ever, as photographers, we could use a place online where just our clients can see the gallery of photos taken from the shoot–a place where our clients can download contracts and model release forms as well. A place where they can pay you online instead of writing a check. A place that is intended for just them.
The Client Area
We call this place the Client Area and they will find it on your website (I mean, you’ll have to create it before they can find it…). It creates a way for them to log in and access content that is meant for just them. It is all protected behind a username and password. Of course you can have standardized content that is shared between all user accounts (such as release forms, etc).
You can make it as simple – or complex – as you’d like. But now we have a place that works for just them. They can access it from the comfort of their home, allow mom and dad access too, and even communicate back quickly to you which photos are their favorites.
Then once you have them edited – you can upload them to their client area for download. No more snail mail and burning DVDs to realize you forgot to add something to it.
At this point, you’re probably saying, “Sounds great! But I don’t have the slightest clue as to even do that!”
Allow me to introduce to you, WP-Client for WordPress. It’s $40 for one site and it is FEATURE PACKED! I will admit that it might take some WordPress confidence to navigate around this plugin and set it up to meet your needs. But it has all you’ll need to create a seamless client area where they can log in and see pages of content that is just for them! Some of my favorite features about this plugin that have really made life easy are:
1. Once I create a page – or update a page – I can tell it to email the client(s) that is associated with it and notify them that changes have been made. Which means, you don’t have to copy and paste the link to the new page and email your client every time you change or update something. It will do it for you and only when you tell it to.
2. I can create galleries that support client feedback. A great way to have them immediately indicate which photos are their favorites.
3. They have the option to upload files to you. Whether it’s a signed release form or a series of poses they like – it’s all stored right on the site. No more loosing emails and files.
4. And it’s completely expandable for larger businesses.
WP-Client isn’t just for photographers – but anyone needing a client area. You will find a lot of features you won’t use because they don’t apply to you – but you’ll come to love interacting with your clients in a whole new way! 🙂 If you would like to start a WordPress site: Click here to learn how.
Unfortunately – there aren’t a whole lot of options out there to create a client area that didn’t involve a lot of work-arounds. A lot of photographers who have already tried to put together something similar use WP-Member and NextGEN Gallery. They are two different plugins working together to deliver content, but restrict it from the general public.
What you want is for clients to be able to create a free account on your site and then pay you later for services. Some plugins can create a client area for you – but to gain access you have to pay for it and you cannot specify which client can see what content.