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Author Topic: Exciting News! We've launched FocalPool  (Read 9970 times)

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« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2015, 03:52 »
+4
Hi NorArt,

it's nice to see something new in stock world and I like your idea but you can't tell there's no middle man when you take any % of sale. As Sean said, this IS making you middle man! :)

And as it's said before, clients and photographers can contact directly with almost all agencies and often do, not a problem, just using fast click "send private message to author". I do it all the time using my symbiostock site, Alamy, personal gallery and other sites... So it's not so new thing in stock world :) Or I'm missing something here?  ???

I'm worry about self marketing here. We already have free site Picfair where we can set up our pricing, photoshelter (pretty cheap), symbiostock (almost free), etc and I never heard it gave mass sales to people. I mean it's a lot of work to advertise own gallery and hit and win with thousands other photographers in "small" internet.
How do you want to help us, authors in getting sales (if it's in plans)?



Semmick Photo

« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2015, 03:52 »
+4
Semmick Photo

Quote
Envato, iStock, Shutterstock, Fotolia, Canstockphoto, Symbiostock, Fine Art America, Zazzle etc etc all have a forum where buyers and photographers can talk to each other.

On FocalPool direct connection to photographers is a lot more than just providing a forum where buyers and photographer can chat with each other. As I mentioned above, not being the licensor of the content sold in the marketplace gives us a lot more freedom to allow buyers and sellers to directly interact with each other.

I can give a buyer my email address in the forum and do the same. My Shutterstock profile has links to my Twitter, Facebook, Website and Email. Any buyer can contact me directly and we work on a project. That is exactly what happened and I got a 7 book-cover deal out of it. Its not a USP. Sorry.

« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2015, 04:10 »
+2
First, photographers have complete control over their work. They self-represent their own content by remain the copyright holder and the licensor. Each photographer decides which images to upload...

Guess what I do. I decide by myself, which images i upload! Everywhere!

« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2015, 04:30 »
+3
How will the VAT to EU customers be handled? Zenfolio said it doesn't know what it's going to do. Etsy said its sellers have to collect and pay the countries (the sellers are not happy).

What about FocalPool?

« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2015, 04:48 »
-12
Heh. FecalPool.

« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2015, 05:25 »
+7
@NorArt - does FocalPool handle the administration of VAT ? This has become a big issue for independent suppliers - since anyone doing business with EU clients is now required to charge and administer VAT at the various different rates on electronic goods and services. And the customers need to be able to show the accounting.

« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2015, 12:52 »
+1
Hi NorArt,

We already have free site Picfair where we can set up our pricing, photoshelter (pretty cheap), symbiostock (almost free), etc and I never heard it gave mass sales to people.

Sorry but how is photoshelter pretty cheap ? Personally I don't consider 49,99$ a month cheap at all, even their 29,99$ with 60 GB of space and 4 gb that their cheapest 9,99 a month plan offer with only 4gb of cloud space its pretty much useless for anyone with decent size portfolio.

Next I was checking similar platform offers last few days and if I'm not wrong I saw they charge processing credit cards at the limit that you get about 85% of your digital sale and if you round the numbers it gets even way lower. The fact is you get to sell prints but another fact is that shipping of same is incredibly expensive sometimes more expensive than the print itself and all sales depend only on your own promotion.

I don't see anything bad in healthy competition and getting 80% - 90% is just that. If they get to market stuff on site and get buyers on site would be a huge plus

« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2015, 12:58 »
0
Hi Ariene,

Quote
it's nice to see something new in stock world and I like your idea but you can't tell there's no middle man when you take any % of sale. As Sean said, this IS making you middle man!

I see how no middle man can be interpreted differently so let me clarify. When we say no middle man we mean were not taking your image and becoming the licensor so we can then license it out to the client. Were providing a self service platform where each photographer is in charge of their work and makes all the decisions for her/him self. And just like all the other services/platforms out there, we take a % as a service fee to pay our own bill and keep FocalPool operational.  Keep in mind that part of the % goes straight to other services that we use as a marketplace, such as the online payment system which also charges by a % from each transaction. I hope this clarifies it more.

Quote
And as it's said before, clients and photographers can contact directly with almost all agencies and often do, not a problem, just using fast click "send private message to author". I do it all the time using my symbiostock site, Alamy, personal gallery and other sites... So it's not so new thing in stock world  Or I'm missing something here? 

I know some of the sites have forums where people can talk to each other and few offer a way to contact the seller. Frankly, I think thats just the bare minimum that all the sites should offer. We have developed FocalPool having in mind whole lot more than that. We think there is a lot of other ways that both clients and photographers can benefit from each other by offering a platform where besides just buying/selling they can also collaborate on both public and private projects, network, showcase their work, etc.

Quote
I'm worry about self marketing here. We already have free site Picfair where we can set up our pricing, photoshelter (pretty cheap), symbiostock (almost free), etc and I never heard it gave mass sales to people. I mean it's a lot of work to advertise own gallery and hit and win with thousands other photographers in "small" internet.
How do you want to help us, authors in getting sales (if it's in plans)?

I really hope the takeaway here is not that you should use FocalPool because its free. We think there is a better way for photographers to make money besides just selling. And at the same time provide a better way for clients to find what they're looking for. One thing I dont think I mentioned before is that I have a lot of professional experience first as a photographer and than as a seller. I feel the pain points on both sides and I got involved with FocalPool because there isnt a better solution out there and I know FocalPool can definitely be one.

Semmick Photo

« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2015, 13:12 »
+5
The two questions that remain open are how are you going to market the platform and how do you handle EU VAT?

« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2015, 13:22 »
+6
Ok, I finally got a chance to poke at it.  As a buyer, I'm not sure what it does.  I searched from the front page on a couple terms.  One didn't return anything, but asked me something about requesting it directly from photographers.  I can already do that on imageBrief and snapWire if I want to do spec work.  When I found a search that returned something, it took me a bit to figure out what to do.  First I have to click on an image.  Then I have to click on the icon in the lower left.  Then the image page that comes up gives me no option to license.  So, I'm done wasting my time and I leave.

Ok, I'm still interested, so I click on the guy's name from the image.  I get an empty portfolio page with nothing but his image.  No idea what to do now so I leave.

« Reply #35 on: February 05, 2015, 13:36 »
+7
Please inform me when the FTP Upload is ready then I will give you a try. no FTP no upload .-)

« Reply #36 on: February 05, 2015, 13:41 »
+1
roede-orm

Quote
Guess what I do. I decide by myself, which images i upload! Everywhere!

Thats true, you do decide which images you upload everywhere, but from that point on, your decision making abilities are very limited or just non-existent. You dont have a lot of saying in how your uploaded images are handled.

On focalpool after you upload you are not sitting and waiting to see if its approve or rejected, you price/license the way you want, publish/unpublish when you want and in the case of RM you even have control over who should buy or not buy your images if you dont want to be associated with certain companies. Youre running your business the way you want and at the same time benefit from being on a centralized marketplace where you dont have to run around to find clients to come to your own site.

Me


« Reply #37 on: February 05, 2015, 14:06 »
0
Hi,
I understand your "no middle man" role but will/can you provide standard license templates for us to use? In principle it sounds good and has piqued my interest but dealing with the licensing could be very time consuming, at least if there is a standard to start negotiating from it would help? Similarly some guidance regarding pricing would be helpful. Whilst being able to set your own prices in appealing, massively over or under pricing your images will do no good to anyone.

« Reply #38 on: February 05, 2015, 14:48 »
+5
"Exciting News!". Here we go again!

2 words and they lost me.

« Reply #39 on: February 05, 2015, 14:49 »
0
Hey Sean, thanks for checking it out.

Quote
Quote
Ok, I finally got a chance to poke at it.  As a buyer, I'm not sure what it does.  I searched from the front page on a couple terms.  One didn't return anything, but asked me something about requesting it directly from photographers.  I can already do that on imageBrief and snapWire if I want to do spec work.  When I found a search that returned something, it took me a bit to figure out what to do.  First I have to click on an image.  Then I have to click on the icon in the lower left.  Then the image page that comes up gives me no option to license.  So, I'm done wasting my time and I leave.

The search is a new concept that we came up with working closely with image buyers to make sure this will be beneficial to them since theyre the ones doing all the searching. Its a lot of trial and error to see what works and what doesnt. If it doesnt work we always have the option of going back to a regular search. And, the licensing system is relatively new so photographers who uploaded before will go back and license their images.

I know that some of our individual features look somewhat similar to other sites. But we have a different approach, goal, vision and mission to what we want to accomplish with FocalPool. I noticed from your site that you use 7 different agencies to sell your work. Obviously you see a unique benefit from each one or else you would just use one. I hope people will look at FocalPool with an open mind so they can see the unique benefit that were offering to them.

Quote
Ok, I'm still interested, so I click on the guy's name from the image. I get an empty portfolio page with nothing but his image.  No idea what to do now so I leave.

All the information is visible to logged in users and were still in the process of opening the rest of the site for logged off users. we'll soon have the full profile with peoples info and their portfolio visible publicly.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2015, 14:52 by NorArt »

Semmick Photo

« Reply #40 on: February 05, 2015, 14:54 »
+5
But we have a different approach, goal, vision and mission to what we want to accomplish with FocalPool.
So far I havent heard anything unique to be honest.

What is your plan for marketing the platform and dealing with EU VAT?

« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2015, 15:01 »
+4
What is your plan for marketing the platform and dealing with EU VAT?

You are asking for this third time (or more) and I start to see chasing rabbit just to never catch it  ;D
I'm waiting for reply too of course.


NorArt, I hope you'll hit the success in this market and we can be part of this and celebrate great deals together but so far nothing extremly new we got. This broken market needs really NEW thing.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2015, 15:05 by Ariene »


« Reply #42 on: February 05, 2015, 15:12 »
+7
Unless the VAT issue is addressed (or unless EU clients are specifically blocked) this is not a viable platform for anyone.

« Reply #43 on: February 05, 2015, 15:15 »
0
you guys have a great question regarding VAT.

Until this point most of our focus has been to work closely with photographers and other creative professionals to develop our platform. To be honest, we still need to do a lot of research to see what is the best approach when it comes to handling VAT. As someone who deals with this in Europe with different marketplaces, can you give me some examples of companies that handle it the correct way?

« Reply #44 on: February 05, 2015, 15:31 »
+1

Quote
Quote
how will you attract buyers in the first place?  Do you have an advertising budget?
We dont have the advertising budget of Shuterstock or istock. However our goal is to get the buyers to FocalPool by offering something that giant agencies cant: collaborative tools to work directly with photographers to find the right images for their projects. Also, you dont have to attract every buyer yourself, since your photos are easily discoverable through the media marketplace.

Besides using all the typical marketing channels. For example, social media, advertisements, word of mouth, industry blogs and publications, we are also working with some of the advertising and marketing companies in Los Angeles to get them on board.

« Reply #45 on: February 05, 2015, 15:33 »
+1
« Last Edit: February 05, 2015, 16:32 by KnowYourOnions »

« Reply #46 on: February 05, 2015, 15:36 »
+1
Thanks KnowYourOnions  :)

« Reply #47 on: February 05, 2015, 16:16 »
+1
NorArt, thanks for invitation but this is what I get after email registration:

"Sorry, but the server encountered an error while processing your request."

After that I do backspace and I'm logged in, tadamm! I don't know if it's a bug but you may want check it out ;)


Edit,
first thing that I really miss here is bulk edit in selected parts, like set up license and pricing (default for all new uploads)...
« Last Edit: February 05, 2015, 16:42 by Ariene »

« Reply #48 on: February 05, 2015, 16:20 »
0
Ariene, thanks for letting us know :). We're looking into it right now.

« Reply #49 on: February 05, 2015, 16:47 »
+1
Ariene,

We fixed the login issue error you encountered. Also, you're right about batch editing. We're working on it and will be available soon.

Thanks for your feedback!


 

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