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Smugmug Singles Out 12 People and Promotes Their Work

JillLangJillLang Registered Users Posts: 42 Big grins
edited November 30, 2016 in SmugMug Pro Sales Support
Yesterday, I got this email....
Just in time for the holidays, we wanted to put a SmugMug spin on the hectic shopping weekend that comes on the heels of Thanksgiving. This year we’ve partnered with 12 incredible photographers to bring you specially priced, limited time print galleries. Whether you’re looking for a new piece of wall art, a small print to give to friends or family, or maybe a new phone case for yourself, you’ll be able to find the perfect print right here on SmugMug.

I've been with Smumug for 8 years and pay $250 annually and I've NEVER received any kind of FREE promotion.

HOW CAN SMUGMUG SINGLE OUT 12 PHOTOGRAPHERS AND GIVE THEM FREE PROMOTIONS FOR CHRISTMAS????!!!!! Did they pay for the promotion?? I doubt it. If they didn't pay extra for the exposure, NOT FAIR!

Needs answering.... did these 12 photographers pay any extra for this or did they pay the Business Plan of $250 like all the other photographers??

P.S. I wrote the Help Desk and their response to me....


Hi Jill
Thanks for contacting SmugMug Support.
SmugMug has hundreds of thousands of users, and it’s definitely hard to decide who to highlight! It’s not something we take lightly.
Be sure to get active in our user community at dgrin, as that’s a great way to gain visibility to other users, and SmugMug employees:

Let me know if you have any other questions. I’m here to help!
Jill

My SmugMug Site

My African Grey Video

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    BenBen Vanilla Admin Posts: 513 SmugMug Employee
    edited November 26, 2016
    Hey Jill,

    I'm sorry you are so upset about our Small Business Saturday promotion. I do want to clear a few things up, first among them who we promote and when.

    We actually promote our customers, across all account levels, super regularly. We very routinely use our social channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) to share the work of the amazing photographers who use SmugMug. We'd love to share and promote every photographer, but we only have so many channels and so many days.

    We also very routinely blog about customers, both highlighting their work and also giving them the opportunity to talk about how they take photos, process photos or run their business. We also include similar content in our email newsletters. We've always tried to feature customers on our homepage, and various marketing pages as well. Right now we have links to sites or stories for 6 different customers right on our homepage. We also spend a lot of money and effort in telling the stories of our customers in the amazing SmugMug Films project.

    https://www.smugmug.com/films

    I point all of that out to hopefully show how much we care about sharing the work of our amazing customers. It's important to us. As far as I know, we've never taken a penny for any of those promotions... including the films that we do at significant cost out of our own pocket.

    For today's Small Business Saturday, I am not aware of the exact details as I wasn't involved in that project in any way. I could be wrong, but my understanding is that we worked with some great photographers (and small businesses) that we knew would help us give back to a good cause.

    I hope to continue to be able to promote the amazing work of all the awesome small businesses that call SmugMug home. I hope we can also continue to promote their efforts with great charities and other opportunities. We've always had a strong love of non profits, and donate free accounts to charitable organizations almost daily. This was a different way to give back, but I'm very proud of our efforts there.

    I hope that clears it up some. There's no funny business here. There's no backroom deals for money. There's only good intentions and hopefully donations to good causes.

    -Ben
    Smug since 2003
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    denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Administrators Posts: 14,268 moderator
    edited November 27, 2016
    Ben wrote: »
    For today's Small Business Saturday, I am not aware of the exact details as I wasn't involved in that project in any way. I could be wrong, but my understanding is that we worked with some great photographers (and small businesses) that we knew would help us give back to a good cause.
    Hey Ben!
    I just took a look at the galleries highlighted for Small Business Saturday - what a wonderful set of photos! Please pass my thanks on to the folks at SmugMug who pulled together this group of photographers; their work is simply amazing.

    Thanks!

    --- Denise
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    BenBen Vanilla Admin Posts: 513 SmugMug Employee
    edited November 27, 2016
    Hey Ben!
    I just took a look at the galleries highlighted for Small Business Saturday - what a wonderful set of photos! Please pass my thanks onto the folks at SmugMug who pulled together this group of photographers; their work is simply amazing.

    Thanks!

    --- Denise

    Thanks Denise! I'll definitely pass along the compliments, and I totally agree. Amazing photos! iloveyou.gif
    Smug since 2003
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    JillLangJillLang Registered Users Posts: 42 Big grins
    edited November 28, 2016
    Ben,

    Still not happy about 12 photographers being promoted FREE! I pay the same amount of annual fee as they do and Smugmug has not promoted my work.

    When will my work be promoted free?? Maybe you could promote Denise's too since she is so excited about the event.

    Jill
    Jill

    My SmugMug Site

    My African Grey Video
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    Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Registered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins
    edited November 28, 2016
    Personally I think that it is cool that Smugmug promotes some of their customers occasionally.
    Steve

    Website
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    photoclickphotoclick Registered Users Posts: 278 Major grins
    edited November 28, 2016
    Everyone is being so carefully diplomatic here:) Jill - do you really not see the difference between your images and the 12 images that were picked for that promo??? Seriously?
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    David_S85David_S85 Administrators Posts: 13,209 moderator
    edited November 29, 2016
    Smugmug has been promoting excellent, and yes, selected photographers for just about as long as Smugmug has been a company. Promoting great photographic (and video) artists is a no-brainer as they are also promoting their own company. This is a sound and perfectly normal thing for a company to do, and basic marketing 101. The SM blog has focused on so many over the years that it might be difficult to count them all. I, for one, have absolutely no problem that they do this frequently, and am proud to be associated with a company that promotes in such a way.

    One example is this guy. I could list about 50 others...
    My Smugmug
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky
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    JillLangJillLang Registered Users Posts: 42 Big grins
    edited November 29, 2016
    photoclick wrote: »
    Everyone is being so carefully diplomatic here:) Jill - do you really not see the difference between your images and the 12 images that were picked for that promo??? Seriously?

    Michael,

    Thanks for the insult! Just took a look at your boring work....seriously??
    Jill

    My SmugMug Site

    My African Grey Video
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    photoclickphotoclick Registered Users Posts: 278 Major grins
    edited November 29, 2016
    You are very welcome, Jill! I think, however, you insulted yourself being upset these 12 photographers were promoted and you were not:) Just try to operate with facts instead of emotions:

    Your contract with Smugmug does not include any explicit or implied promise of free advertisement
    Smugmug is a private company and makes their own marketing decisions
    Your images would not look comparable to the theme of images and photographers you are referring in your original post
    Mine would not look comparable either... but I am not the one complaining about it here:)
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    JillLangJillLang Registered Users Posts: 42 Big grins
    edited November 29, 2016
    photoclick wrote: »
    You are very welcome, Jill! I think, however, you insulted yourself being upset these 12 photographers were promoted and you were not:) Just try to operate with facts instead of emotions:

    Your contract with Smugmug does not include any explicit or implied promise of free advertisement
    Smugmug is a private company and makes their own marketing decisions
    Your images would not look comparable to the theme of images and photographers you are referring in your original post
    Mine would not look comparable either... but I am not the one complaining about it here:)

    I apologize for insulting your work. That's not like me. I work hard and take great pride in collecting scenes around North Carolina.

    Again, my main point is, we all pay the same amount annually but we're not all receiving the same from Smugmug.

    I'm obviously out numbered by all the cheerleaders....
    Jill

    My SmugMug Site

    My African Grey Video
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    photoclickphotoclick Registered Users Posts: 278 Major grins
    edited November 29, 2016
    You absolutely did not insult my work since you simply failed to even see my work in the first place:) Photography is just a glorified hobby of mine. Software/website design is what I do. I am here for technical, smugmug-platform related knowledge and exchange of ideas, not to compare my photography to yours.

    I must confess - I did not browse ALL of your images, however I did cover a considerable portion of them. Can you point me to just one that, in your own opinion, can be on the same level as the 12 presented in the promo page?
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    BenBen Vanilla Admin Posts: 513 SmugMug Employee
    edited November 30, 2016
    JillLang wrote: »
    Ben,

    Still not happy about 12 photographers being promoted FREE! I pay the same amount of annual fee as they do and Smugmug has not promoted my work.

    When will my work be promoted free?? Maybe you could promote Denise's too since she is so excited about the event.

    Jill

    Hey Jill,

    I can understand the frustration from your point of view, but take a moment to put yourself in our shoes. There are two options we have:

    1) Feature who we can, when we can. Put real photographers in the center of our messaging. Put them on every channel we can, including our own homepage right at the very top, front and center.

    or

    2) Feature nobody, because we simply can't feature everybody. Use only photographers working directly for SmugMug, and don't feature or promote any customers.

    We can't feature hundreds of thousands of photographers. Even if we featured a set like these 12 every day, we'd get through 4400ish a year. That's barely scratching the surface. It really boils down to feature some, or feature none. I'd rather work for the company that celebrates the photographers we can, rather than doing none.

    I suppose there is a third option that involves us charging money for being featured, and allowing photographers to bid their way into our homepages and blog posts. That honestly feels icky to me though, and I personally wouldn't want to go that direction even though it might make a lot of money.

    You're right, you pay the same they do. Their contract with SmugMug doesn't include promotion any more than yours does. We do it because we love to do it, not because of some business obligation. I hope we continue to be able to celebrate as many photographers as we can.

    -Ben
    Smug since 2003
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    Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Registered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins
    edited November 30, 2016
    JillLang wrote: »
    Again, my main point is, we all pay the same amount annually but we're not all receiving the same from Smugmug.

    I get that some feel that they deserve a "participation" acknowledgement for everything, but actually we all do get the same for what we "pay" for.

    Nowhere does Smugmug offer to "promote" for the price that we pay.

    Most of us (even if we are not selected) appreciate the fact that smugmug does go out of their way to promote a few of their many customers. If that makes me a cheerleader, so be it.
    Steve

    Website
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    TMcEwenTMcEwen Registered Users Posts: 107 Major grins

    I too would love for Smugmug to promote me and my work as I am sure most of us would. However, I am not upset at them for not picking me as it is my job to promote my work. Getting upset for them not picking you as their top 12 is like saying I am taking my ball and going home.

    - Thomas McEwen - (Nashville, TN)
    http://www.tmcewenphotography.com/
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