pancakes

MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: We need buyers... so here is the plan!  (Read 16132 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: August 15, 2008, 03:36 »
0
Hi all,

I have been looking for a "set your own price" MicroStock alternative for a long time now. I think I am going to settle for cutcaster..... Mainly cause I am impressed with how involved John Griffin (the owner) is with everything and how he makes quick changes and gives quick responses here.

Great going John. You are the reason I joint Cutcaster so keep it up.

My concern is that, even though Cutcaster is great for photographers, it's not really that great for buyers. And in a competitive environment, like microstock, you just GOT TO offer buyers something really special and different or they are not going to come to you. Why should they? I mean, they got so many many alternatives. So many of them are cheaper and have huge databases of images!

So, cutcaster needs to have images that nobody else has. You need exclusivity to be there John.

But that itself is also not going to do much. If some images are exclusive to cutcaster; there will be others that are available elsewhere, maybe better and surely cheaper.

So my solution is, you need to have exclusive and niche images on cutcaster. Cutcaster needs to become the place where buyers get really rare images that they don't get anywhere else. Then you at least have your foot in the door. Once you have buyers taking you seriously, you can have all the usual stuff that everyone also has so that you become a "one stop shop".

I am sure that there is nothing new to what I have said. But here is my contribution and my plan...

I started a small blog today... http://ms-niche.blogspot.com/

The idea is simple, 3 times a week I post 10 "niche photo ideas". People shoot those photos and sell it on a place like cutcaster or snapvillage by setting your own pice. Make the images exclusive there.

This will help the photographers. This will help cutcaster. In the long run, hopefully it will help to sell all your images at a higher price.

Wooha! Huge post,
Thanks for reading!

Looking forward to your opinions.


« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2008, 03:41 »
0
well i think you have a good idea, and if you keep your blog going and find image holes for photographers it could be a valuable resouce for photographers... but....

why would I upload a niche photo to cutcaster where there is no traffic (and no sales) when i could upload this valuable niche photo to shutterstock, dreamstime, and fotolia and earn a good amount of $$?

I am all for cutcaster, but it is just a catch 22, where it goes in a vicious cycle.  Photographers don't upload because there are no sales, there are no sales because they don't have photos and on and on...

« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2008, 04:32 »
0
@leaf- Well thats the hard part.

If you create niche photos, and you de-value them by selling them to buyers at $0.25 on shutter stock or even 1$ on some other site, you loose in the long and medium run.

You could take those photos and put them on some place like snapvillage or mostphotos or any other place that is paying well and your confident will give sales. Even if it sells less frequently, it will sell for a higher cost.

Buyers will have to buy your photos because you will have something niche. Better for you. You sell your photos at a much better price. You get much more.

We keep talking about the big sites devaluing our work. But we are devaluing our own work. By allowing sales though subscriptions. By having quality niche photos, that buyers want and need, and still choosing to sell them for 0.25$.

Nobody is doing it to us in this case. We are doing it to our-selves.

This is our way of getting some control back.

Hypothetically, in the real world: If you had an awesome photo that were sure would really sell.... would you give it away to people for a dollar or 2 dollars or even 5 dollars? You have something that others want, you can charge a large amount for it. People will have to pay. Basic business sense.

So, why do that here? Let us take control, and let us make this drift to better stock prices possible.

The way i suggest above does not require the support of the whole community of microstock photographers. Each photographer can do it for themselves. If it works more will join in. Prices will have to rise.

In conclusion, shoot niche. But don't de-value it. Sell it for a high price...if not on cutcaster, then somewhere else. But sell it at a high price.

« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2008, 04:47 »
0
well hmm. yeah.. this is the continual argument and there is a balance.  I agree we should be selling our work for a high enough fair price...  which why, by the way, I like fotolia and dreamstime models where individual images can be increased in price after a certain amount of sales.

But this is the real world and I am selling on microstock.  Your argument is the same argument that macrostock users.. if you have photos - don't sell them on micro, they can be sold on macro and you'll make more.. but in the end, it is the amount of $$ in my pocket I am concerned about, not how many people got to use my image.  I am not saying that microstock prices are where they should be or that I don't agree with you, because i DO think that microstock has quite a bit of room to expand in their pricing model and that we should support the sites that allow us to price our images at a decent amount (what that is an endless debate) .....

so i dunno what i am saying.  I guess I stand somewhere in the middle, but nonetheless support the efforts of cutcaster and snapvillage etc. where we can price our images... but still sell my images on the big 6 and set my prices max where I can and am happy with microstock in general and hope the sites continue to increase prices...

if that made sense :)

« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2008, 05:07 »
0
So my solution is, you need to have exclusive and niche images on cutcaster.

The problem is that niche and micro/midstock or RF doesn't quite fit together.
When an image is a niche image, that means the photographer has often gone trough much work to produce the image, and still it will sell only a couple of times (if at all).

I think niche images should be sold at "macrostock" agencies as RM. It's the only way to get compensated for the efforts you need producing niche images.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2008, 05:10 by Perry »

« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2008, 05:11 »
0
@Leaf-

It's not like I don't get your point. But I guess a large number of photographers will stand in the middle too. That wont really be a "revolution".

So, that will just be sad, since everything will be where it is or will move slowly towards higher prices. Or even lower prices. I donno. But I do know that its not good.

In any case would love to hear what others have to say. We need more people, to not be worried about loosing some money to try this idea and move their portfolios "exclusively" to Cutcaster or snapVillage or something. If only for a small time period.. just to test how things would go.

I would also like to know what John (owner of cutcaster, has to say).

John, I can identify niches for you. If you can make some sort of incentive for photographers to shoot that and make it exclusive with catcuster, we can get something going.

Anyways, whats the general view, should I keep the blog open? Or should I shut it and use the niche ideas by myself.. because keeping it open will might just fill up those niches and further ruin things? Any opinion John?

« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2008, 05:18 »
0
@Perry - When I said "niche".. i meant in demand niche.

"Photo of muscular naked guy with a bucket of hair... drinking coke" would also be niche. But it would not be in demand.

When I talk about niche, I mean those photos that the market needs but does not have enough of. So the photos that are there get downloaded many times. Those are the qualities of a niche image. These are not usually very costly to make. As costly as any other micrstock shot.

Check out my newly started blog for examples...  http://www.ms-niche.blogspot.com/

Actually, "what exactly is niche" is not the topic of discussion. I would love your opinion on the issue posted in the first thread.

michealo

« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2008, 05:53 »
0
khoj

you go right ahead and go exclusive with snapvillage or cutcaster

I'm sticking with the survivors ...

« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2008, 06:45 »
0
khoj

you go right ahead and go exclusive with snapvillage or cutcaster

I'm sticking with the survivors ...

Yeah, most of the sheep are with you.

ironarrow

« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2008, 06:58 »
0
khoj

you go right ahead and go exclusive with snapvillage or cutcaster

I'm sticking with the survivors ...

Yeah, most of the sheep are with you.

LOL!!! I am starting to think you are working for cutcaster..

What's behind your love for cutcaster? Is john griffin your brother? going to cutcaster is equally sheepy if you need my opinion.. so john griffin is nice, what does that make? at least I make enough money to pay all my bills on other sites and sometime next year I might be writing to this forum from caribbean..

and what, cutcaster's owner is nice?!! lol! no, he is not nice, he is clever! he is here to get his own sheeps.. maybe you are one of them?

« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2008, 07:12 »
0
@ironarrow -

I am not sure I go what you ment... Do you think that I am with cutaster or dnavarrojr?

If you do then thats just cool. But i'm 100% NOT AFFILIATED WITH cutcaster.

Let's just forget cutcater, if need be. Lets only take snap village. But my problem with snap village is that they are slow and painful and all sorts of bad things. But, hey, i'm cool with people going anywhere. I personally would also go to snapvillage until cutcaster picks up some more. Mainly cause there is more reported sales activity there.

michealo

« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2008, 07:22 »
0
Yeah, most of the sheep are with you.

If by sheep you mean successful high earning micro stock photographers, I'm happy to be a sheep ..

:-)

ironarrow

« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2008, 07:36 »
0
@ironarrow -

I am not sure I go what you ment... Do you think that I am with cutaster or dnavarrojr?

If you do then thats just cool. But i'm 100% NOT AFFILIATED WITH cutcaster.

Let's just forget cutcater, if need be. Lets only take snap village. But my problem with snap village is that they are slow and painful and all sorts of bad things. But, hey, i'm cool with people going anywhere. I personally would also go to snapvillage until cutcaster picks up some more. Mainly cause there is more reported sales activity there.

no mate it is not you.. i would have quoted your post if it was you..

« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2008, 07:46 »
0
Yeah, most of the sheep are with you.

If by sheep you mean successful high earning micro stock photographers, I'm happy to be a sheep ..

And I am very happy for you and wish you all the best.

I just think passing judgment  on a site where you're not a member and haven't tried it is as stupid as me calling you sheep.

You like sites that devalue your work because they pay you to treat you like crud.  I can understand that, money talks. 

I'm one of those bizarre idealist people with an ego problem because I think that my actions effect the world around me and I can make my own world better by the method in which I participate.  (BTW, I am also a hypocrite because I too am on the same sites for which I am chastising you.)

I don't work for Cutcaster, I just like it when a site works with the people it supports and isn't overtly out to screw me.  I have a number of problems with CC which I've pointed out to John. I just like the fact that he responded and actually made some changes based on my suggestions.  As opposed to being ignored and having my threads locked on the sites you covet so much.

And I just hate the whole "if it aint one of the big 6, don't even bother" mentality which I think is a crock.  I could easily turn that around and say to customers "if you aren't buying your images from the top 6 photographers in the world, don't even bother because if someone isn't good enough to be in the top 6, they aren't good".

« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2008, 08:41 »
0
Generally speaking, subscriptions is something good  for buyers not for us....
Agencies are struggling for costumers, finally that is race between them but over us...

If somebody need picture, he will buy even for 1,2,3 or300 $, every sales outside of that (through subs) isn't serious for our revenue...

What we can in this case!?

1. Who and when will buy photo for 20-30 $ (bid/ask) , if he can buy same  via subscription plan for .025!?
2. How to attract customers to this model and how to save earnings through classic microstock...

We need to think like every good seller, agencies are just a device!

Here is the plan!

1.At first ,cutcaster offer must be big replacement for Els, (you saw problem with Els on StockXpert)...
2.Then all  is on us, first YOU have try to get YOUR price at Cutcaster BID/ASK service, also EXLUSIVE. Newest is the best ( see SS)!!
3.After some time of selling ONLY on CUTCASTER ( your judgement for time), you need to OPT-OUT exclusive and begin to upload to other classic microstock agenices...

This is control for your photos, price and earnings.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2008, 08:57 by borg »

johngriffin

« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2008, 08:44 »
0
@khoj.badami
I would love it if you started a blog like what you are talking about and I can help you if need be.  I can also link to it from our blog at Cutcaster and we can talk about it in the forums to get ideas for niche content.  i think it is a great idea.

@ironarrow.  no need for all of us to get mad at one another here.  we are all in this together to make some money and your concerns are definitely a reality for which I appreciate and Cutcaster may not be right for you. 

i saw this quote you said of me which is fair to have your opinion but I want to clarify something,

"and what, cutcaster's owner is nice?!! lol! no, he is not nice, he is clever! he is here to get his own sheeps..  maybe you are one of them?"

I'm not nice or clever or here to get my own sheeps.  I am just trying to build a site that helps everyone and is as open as possible so everyone is included.  If you go on my blog you will see I talk about potential investors I meet with directly to my users.  I ask them for feedback on how I can do things better and then I try to make those changes.  I tell them when I am going to pitch Cutcaster to investors and ask them for help in pitching it.  Cutcaster is completely open and transparent bc I want others to feel like they are a part of something other then just another microstock site which we are not.

Just because there are six sites today doesn't mean that there are going to be the exact 6 sites in a year.  That is like saying just because Lycos, AOL and Excite were at the top of the game in search that there was no room for Google and they were going to dominate search forever.  It never works like that.  Other companies come and innovate and win market share. I'm asking for your guys help bc we have a chance to build something unique and better for the entire market. 

I understand that I am nothing without good contributors or unique, quality content that they upload to our site. Do other sites say that to you?  Let me go to work for you guys and prove that we can do it.  I'm not asking for your whole port but just a chance to prove ourselves with a few of your unique and interesting images to get us going in the right direction.

@khoj.badami and dnavarrojr  keep up the good ideas and criticism.  its the only way we will get better and compete.  I think having unique and exclusive images is a great way to attract buyers who are frustrated by seeing the same results in the shallow pool of stock that is always out there. Lets see what ideas we can come up with together.


johngriffin

« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2008, 09:19 »
0
@ khoj  http://cutcaster.blogspot.com/2008/08/check-out-this-new-blog-on-niche.html   here we go.  lets see how it works.  And let me know if I can help out anymore at all. I am all ears to good ideas and helping.

michealo

« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2008, 09:35 »
0
I just think passing judgment  on a site where you're not a member and haven't tried it is as stupid as me calling you sheep.

>>> You don't know whether I have tried it or not

You like sites that devalue your work because they pay you to treat you like crud.  I can understand that, money talks. 

>>> RPI for the larger microstock sites is as high as for macro - its just more evenly distributed through an artists portfolio

I'm one of those bizarre idealist people with an ego problem because I think that my actions effect the world around me and I can make my own world better by the method in which I participate.  (BTW, I am also a hypocrite because I too am on the same sites for which I am chastising you.)

>>> you say you have an ego problem and are a hypocrite, I don't have to add to that.

And I just hate the whole "if it aint one of the big 6, don't even bother"

>>> again you have no idea which sites I contribute to - just because I haven't provided links doesn't mean I don't contribute

you miss the point that the top 6 sites provide 90 plus percent of the sales
and best of luck with your work on the sows ear ...

« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2008, 09:40 »
0
What I want to know is who would call a business "Cutcaster" that sells images?


« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2008, 10:07 »
0
@John-

I was waiting for you to say something.

Good to know that you like the idea. I will continue to put 10 new ideas on the blog 3 times a week.

However, that means that those ideas will be public. That means that people can just shoot those ideas and fill the gaps on sites like istock and shutterstock etc. So, is there a way to make that information available to the photographers (or only the exclusive photographers) of cutcaster? That would really help you.

Basically, if you can come up with any good way of having these niche photos EXCLUSIVE to your site... or give some incentive to photographers to shoot for you... you will have some coveted unique content.

Okay, here is another issue...

John, hypothetically, lets say that many people are willing to give you valuable niche photos that are exclusive to you and nobody else. (That means that, those photos would stop making money on the other sites. These people will be loosing money.) The important question is, "Are you in a position currently to deliver sales?"

If you are not in position to deliver sales right now, will you be in a month from now, or 2 months from now? Can you give us some confidence about that...

If we trust you, take off all our photos from sites like SS and IS and the big six and give them to you for a month or two EXCLUSIVELY, can you give us sales?


Lastly, have you looked at all the stuff that "Photoshelter" is doing?

Have you seen their "Shoot the day!" campaign? They found a way to incentivise creation of unique stock for them. You could try something like that.

Also, the shutterstock "school of stock" is a very good resource. Those guys did a lot of analysis of the gaps in the market and what kind of shots are needed to fill the gap. And, what the current buyers are unhappy with. So, maybe you need to take a look at that info and find a way to get that content.

I am very interested in Cutcuter succeeding, so that I can concentrate on quality and not quantity. So let me know....

« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2008, 10:38 »
0
There have been times when I have felt like dumping most of the current top 6 sites.  SS twice raised their prices a lot and gave us a poor raise, istock favor exclusives too much and pay a measly 20% to non-exclusives, StockXpert have messed up with photos.com, DT and FT forced subscriptions on us.

There is room for improvement and I can see in 10 years time there could be another 6 sites at the top of the list.  Like people have said before, these sites are selling our work and are nothing without us.  We might as well all have our own sites if they don't treat us right.

So far, John has been a breath of fresh air and I have uploaded a large chunk of my portfolio to give him a chance. 
« Last Edit: August 15, 2008, 10:41 by sharpshot »


ironarrow

« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2008, 10:45 »
0
There have been times when I have felt like dumping most of the current top 6 sites.  SS twice raised their prices a lot and gave us a poor raise, istock favor exclusives too much and pay a measly 20% to non-exclusives, StockXpert have messed up with photos.com, DT and FT forced subscriptions on us.

There is room for improvement and I can see in 10 years time there could be another 6 sites at the top of the list.  Like people have said before, these sites are selling our work and are nothing without us.  We might as well all have our own sites if they don't treat us right.

So far, John has been a breath of fresh air and I have uploaded a large chunk of my portfolio to give him a chance. 

I do think we will play a more effective role on the future of the industry in the next 10 years..

The better we are organized and the more we move together we will become the decision maker..

Internet gave artists more freedom in the last 10 years.. And will give us even more freedom in the next 10 years.. so who can foresee this will win the game..

@ john griffin,

if you are sincere, it sounds very good.. I will be watching closely..



 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
16 Replies
8960 Views
Last post September 12, 2006, 10:28
by leaf
13 Replies
5047 Views
Last post October 12, 2010, 00:47
by mtkang
11 Replies
4562 Views
Last post April 07, 2011, 04:46
by dirkr
28 Replies
9270 Views
Last post December 01, 2012, 17:53
by qwerty
167 Replies
25547 Views
Last post February 12, 2014, 16:06
by leaf

Sponsors

Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors

3100 Posing Cards Bundle