Why Kajabi as the new DSP website platform?Mar 08, 2022
Kajabi?!?!? What the heck is Kajabi?
While most photographers choose to use WordPress for their website design or, perhaps, one of the many template-driven platforms that are now available (e.g., Zenfolio, SmugMug, etc.), I have chosen to take a different path -- one that fits in with my longer-term plans for DSP. The days of having a somewhat basic "portfolio" website are over for DSP. It's time for a fresh approach, and to differentiate.
It's also time to throw my hat into the on-line course arena.
After having my fair share of frustrations with my (previous) Zenfolio website, I decided to consider a new platform and, subsequently, a new direction for DSP. For over a year, I used the free Adobe Portfolio platform (that comes with Adobe's Creative Cloud subscription) to fill in the gap between my Zenfolio site and the Kajabi site that you are now on. The Adobe site served its purpose, but in my eyes, it was a weak representation of what DSP has to offer. This is why the new Kajabi site looks vastly different than what you may be familiar with over the past year or so or, even, the past two decades.
Early on in the process of developing a new DSP website, after a fair share of research, I made the executive decision to use Kajabi as my website platform of choice. So, what is Kajabi, you ask?
I often refer to Kajabi as the "Rolls Royce" of on-line course platforms. Since one of my main objectives with the new direction of DSP is to offer a variety of on-line photography courses, Kajabi was one of three or four platforms that I considered. After watching countless YouTube "review" and "comparison" videos, and attending an equal amount of webinars, Kajabi won the day, despite it being on the higher end of subscription costs.
Part of this decision was to go with a "self-hosting" platform for my courses, as opposed to something like Udemy or Teachable, where there are commissions to go with the sales of courses. Kajabi as a host is a paid subscription service, but Kajabi users have total control of their course proceeds, their website design (within the Kajabi plug-and-play templates), as well as their marketing. There are also countless other advantages that I see.
I actually took out my trial period in early 2021. And, here I am in early 2022, a full year later, finally enjoying the fruits of my labor. Make no mistake, as the Rolls Royce of such platforms, Kajabi can be a beast, and because of its customizability and power, has some inherent complexity. It's not that it's difficult to learn the back end; it's that there is so much to learn if you want to exploit all that Kajabi has to offer. Sure, you can make things very simple and crank out a website and a course or two in a few weeks or less. But, in the case of DSP, I'm actually using Kajabi for two distinct business services, namely, shooting and teaching. (My photo art is being offered on a separate satellite site.)
As I couldn't find a model site out in the interwebs to see how other photogs were tackling this challenge with Kajabi, I was left to blaze my own path and figure it all out for myself, while integrating my somewhat unique "storytelling" marketing strategy into a comprehensive website, all the while not making the site overly complex. I believe I succeeded, but my visitors and prospective clients will be the judge of that. Time will tell.
One thing I am sure of is that free educational and informational eBooks that are offered on the site can only benefit those who read them. Setting up the landing pages for these give-aways was a breeze, and it's all done within the Kajabi infrastructure. There is no need for a third party service for any of this, nor for much of anything with Kajabi. For me, apart from using the Calendly scheduler for my private instruction, and another platform for "drop-ship" prints, it has all I need and more.
Kajabi even includes a built-in contact management system, and can even be used as a CRM given the extensive ability to "tag" data. In short, Kajabi is more than just a template-driven website platform. It's a one-stop shop for all of my marketing needs. Good-bye MailChimp!
I guess the one thing Kajabi is lacking, and it wasn't a deal-breaker for me, is e-commerce capability for selling my art. Yes, there are work-arounds, and the capability to link the likes of Shopify, but these workarounds just don't fit in with what I want to do. So, in time, I will be launching a separate site for print ordering, and for displaying client galleries for my photo shoots. I will also use the site as a "stock image library" for the licensing of my work. At the time of this writing, I have not chosen a platform, but I do have three under consideration (Pixieset; ShootProof; and, Pic-Time).
If you like what you see on this DSP website, and you think that you may be interested in using Kajabi, please have a look via this link for a free trial.
Full disclosure, as a Kajabi member, I'm also an affiliate partner.
If you have questions about my Kajabi experience, please leave them below. Thanks!