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Author Topic: New strategy for 2017 - submitting intelligently to different agencies  (Read 3213 times)

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Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« on: January 06, 2017, 08:48 »
+6
Hey all - happy new year!

So, I've decided to streamline my uploading strategy in a more intelligent manner. Basically, I'm just a bit fed up to be undervaluing myself and not happy with premium pics being licensed as RF for pennies - i'm sure many share the same frustration.

I would appreciate your comments on its feasibility and whether there are any gaps in my logic.

A little background:

2450 images on SS
1300 images on Alamy
880 images Istock - I've stopped uploading to them altogether.
380 images Arcangel
110 images DT - I've stopped uploading to them altogether.
12 images Robert Harding - Signed up recently

----------------------------------------------------------------

Here's my logic to maximise sales:

1. Robert Harding to get my premium commercial travel stuff + model released (RM exclusively)
2. Arcangel to get my premium artsy book cover stuff + model released (RM exclusively)
3. Alamy to get my editorial news stuff (RM only, even if they are coming out with RF editorial shortly)*
4. SS to get the leftovers which would be non-premium generic travel & bland stock stuff (RF)

*One assumption:

- Should Alamy new content not sell for 6 months, to convert to RF editorial and also upload on SS.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Anybody have any thoughts on focusing on Robert Harding? They seem like a good outfit but to be honest I'm not thrilled about 30% commission on exclusive content, it should be more like 50%. I'm trying to apply with other midstock boutique but not getting accepted. Same with boutique editorial.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

Alex
www.arotenberg.photoshelter.com








SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2017, 09:08 »
+2
The way I see it, people have their go-to agencies, and it's pretty unlikely they're not going to be able to find what they're looking for at said agency... seeing as they all have a whole bunch of images.

So... unless there's a lack of sales reason going on, which might influence who you upload to... I really can't see uploading less stuff, to less agencies, resulting in more sales. I mean, it's not like deleting all your stuff on one site is going to double your sales at another site. 

I could be wrong.

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2017, 09:13 »
+3
Quote
The way I see it, people have their go-to agencies, and it's pretty unlikely they're not going to be able to find what they're looking for at said agency... seeing as they all have a whole bunch of images.

So... unless there's a lack of sales reason going on, which might influence who you upload to... I really can't see uploading less stuff, to less agencies, resulting in more sales. I mean, it's not like deleting all your stuff on one site is going to double your sales at another site. 

I could be wrong.

Ah, I should have been more clear - my bad. I don't intend to delete any images.

This new strategy applies only to new content.

I am getting regular downloads but I feel like for the quality of images that i'm uploading, they deserve more and I'm undervaluing my premium content.

Yes, I agree that it's risky going exclusive with one agency especially if it's a 3 year contract...

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2017, 09:26 »
+1
I see what you're saying, but the math was just easier in my example. My point is, yes, you may get more per image, and a higher commission per image, but... at best you're going to make the same. More likely, you're going to earn less.





« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2017, 09:43 »
+2
I say go for it. Others have had success with similar strategies and you never really know until you try. The market fluctuates a lot though, so what works today may not work in the future. All you can really do is evaluate your numbers and move in the directions that look the most promising.

« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2017, 11:20 »
0
I can see the sense and so long as you are completely honest with yourself about the images at the top end i.e are they really as good or better than the competition then I'd say try it. I feel I have very few images in that class...its a very competitive world

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2017, 11:29 »
+2
Quote
I can see the sense and so long as you are completely honest with yourself about the images at the top end i.e are they really as good or better than the competition then I'd say try it. I feel I have very few images in that class...its a very competitive world

That's a great point. I'm guilty of sometimes being so in love with an image (either because it was difficult to capture or for any other reason), but it doesn't mean it necessarily has any commercial value. I use 500px sometimes but I don't find it that helpful.

« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2017, 12:34 »
+1
I have some images I'm proud of and seem to me to tick all the boxes that never sell and some of my best sellers I find pretty average. I think developing an eye for what sells is a real skill as is being able to step back and judge a picture as if you hadn't taken it.

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2017, 10:58 »
+1
Should this be RF? I don't think so! :)

This whole RF v RM argument sometimes feels like that famous Stanford marshmallow experiment about delayed gratification. 

In other words, I may either have many low-value (RF) sales now or be patient and get some huge RM later.   

« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2017, 12:22 »
0
Should this be RF? I don't think so! :)

This whole RF v RM argument sometimes feels like that famous Stanford marshmallow experiment about delayed gratification. 

In other words, I may either have many low-value (RF) sales now or be patient and get some huge RM later.

Or instead maybe just a couple tiny RM sales. While it's true that there is a possibility to make a large RM sale, it's also true that many/most RM sales are for small amounts. While it's true that the largest sales I've ever had we're RM it's also true that the smallest stock sales I've ever had were RM. No guarantees either way.

« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2017, 13:05 »
+1
Everyone should be doing this. Even amongst the micros you shouldn't be uploading your newest or best work to the sites with lower RPDs.

Everyone I know that is successful long term, say in the game over 6 years and still successful, works like this.

« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2017, 16:08 »
+4
Should this be RF? I don't think so! :)

Sure, I'd say RF.  Or were you kidding?

« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2017, 04:59 »
+1
Sounds like a good plan to me, i have been thinking in a similar way. Im waiting to test editorial RF on Alamy and Fotolia (is about to come if i am right) and see how they are doing.

Has anyone experience with Robert Harding, is it worth to send best travel/nature images to them?

« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2017, 05:19 »
+1
Sounds like a good plan to me, i have been thinking in a similar way. Im waiting to test editorial RF on Alamy and Fotolia (is about to come if i am right) and see how they are doing.

Has anyone experience with Robert Harding, is it worth to send best travel/nature images to them?
Don't think Fotolia have any plans for editorial pity :-(

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2017, 09:41 »
0
Quote
Sure, I'd say RF.  Or were you kidding?

Sean, I value your opinion as you produce some outstanding work.

I struggle with: at what point does an image become so valuable / unique that it "should" be licensed as RM to obtain the best returns and guarantee some control of the copyright? I shoot mainly travel but in other niches it's also an interesting question.

My best earner is the following which happens to be an editorial sold at SS. If I were to offer it at Alamy as RM I wonder if it would have done better.

Quote
Has anyone experience with Robert Harding, is it worth to send best travel/nature images to them?

I'm going to give them a try and can tell you in 6 months or so how I'm doing.

« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2017, 10:48 »
+4
I struggle with: at what point does an image become so valuable / unique that it "should" be licensed as RM to obtain the best returns and guarantee some control of the copyright? I shoot mainly travel but in other niches it's also an interesting question.

I hope this won't sound harsh, but what is it about that road photo that you think is remotely valuable or unique and worth considering for RM?  Anyone could have taken that shot at that location, or at millions of other locations around the world.  Is there something you see that I don't that makes it worth more than a typical RF fee?  I have dozens of similar photos in my portfolio, and can't see anything about them that would justify a high fee.

Not to question the merits of your shot; you didn't ask for a critique so I wouldn't offer one.  I am just curious as to why you picked this one as special.  (On the other hand, I can see the uniqueness of the refugee photo and its possible value as RM.)

« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2017, 11:55 »
+3
It just seems like a fairly unremarkable, while attractive, image of a road.  When I upload that to google image search and look at similar images, I can scroll and scroll, and scroll, and not find an end to images similar to it.  I would expect an RM image to be at least slightly unique, or hard to acquire or have considerable expense put into it.


« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2017, 12:28 »
+1
The "my work is too valuable to sell for pennies" mindset is understandable but doesn't really apply in microstock. This is a volume business. A pic that sells only once for .38 cents seems not worth doing but one that sells 2000 times for .38 cents has more than pulled it's weight.

For me the difference between 1 sale for $200 profit and 200 sales for $1 each is no difference at all with the exception that with so many quality images available for so little money, 200 sales for a buck each seems easier to achieve.

That being said, you are free to follow any strategy you think will work for you. My only advice is with Alamy. Pulling the plug on Alamy after only 6 months is too soon. It's easy for a photo on Alamy to go twice that time before it starts to sell.

« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2017, 12:47 »
0
The "my work is too valuable to sell for pennies" mindset is understandable but doesn't really apply in microstock. This is a volume business. A pic that sells only once for .38 cents seems not worth doing but one that sells 2000 times for .38 cents has more than pulled it's weight.

For me the difference between 1 sale for $200 profit and 200 sales for $1 each is no difference at all with the exception that with so many quality images available for so little money, 200 sales for a buck each seems easier to achieve.

That being said, you are free to follow any strategy you think will work for you. My only advice is with Alamy. Pulling the plug on Alamy after only 6 months is too soon. It's easy for a photo on Alamy to go twice that time before it starts to sell.
If though its a more "niche"  image you might sell it only once but for good money. Determining which is which is the tough part. More of a gamble going RM I think

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2017, 09:18 »
0
Quote
I am just curious as to why you picked this one as special.

You're right, it's not that special although it should be licensed regularly assuming it's keyworded properly. Having said that I decided to stick it in the RM shortlist, perhaps a gamble but no big deal as I have some similar that I can go with RF. I don't mind the image critique, we are all here to learn.

Quote
Everyone should be doing this. Even amongst the micros you shouldn't be uploading your newest or best work to the sites with lower RPDs.

Everyone I know that is successful long term, say in the game over 6 years and still successful, works like this.

Perhaps this thread should be moved to newbie as some concepts would be more helpful there. My early work wasn't good enough to be considered at boutique travel agencies so that's why I was sticking all my work as RF at micros, now I have more options. Still trying to figure out which image goes where and why but after a few downloads it becomes more clear...

From my recent trip to Ecuador, I've selected the following two image to be RM - do you agree? Also image critique is fine.




Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2017, 09:18 »
0
Renaissance style

« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2017, 10:02 »
0
well i don't see nothing particuylary interesting. two nice snapshots nothing more.,
i suggest you go to the best rm agency and see what they have in portfolio.
in my opinion rm is not for photo you consider good, but for photos that have a unique character.

« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2017, 10:35 »
0
Should this be RF? I don't think so! :)

This whole RF v RM argument sometimes feels like that famous Stanford marshmallow experiment about delayed gratification. 

In other words, I may either have many low-value (RF) sales now or be patient and get some huge RM later.

for my standard it shouldn't even be a rf. distortion of horizon, poor composition, shot like work if you shot from the middle of the street with a diminishing perspective towards horizon, lot of pp and clarity who already show artifacts.
personally even looking your website u think rm is a lot of pp and black and white and some shadow.
no. it's not.

angelawaye

  • Eat, Sleep, Keyword. Repeat

« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2017, 11:17 »
0
How is arcangel for you? I'm thinking about submitting an application.

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2017, 11:23 »
0
Quote
How is arcangel for you? I'm thinking about submitting an application.

Go for it! It all depends on whether your style matches theirs and from the pics you have on fb it appears so.

I have 400 images there and a whopping $0 earnings... :)


 

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