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Author Topic: The sweet thing about Featurepics...  (Read 9482 times)

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« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2008, 03:28 »
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I totally agree. There is no sense in selling on FP at the same price than on other sites. Their business model can work only if the pictures provided are different from the ones found on microsites and with a price allowing FP to make a decent margin.

The microsite economy is doomed to fail someday because of the ever decreasing prices and the everdecreasing share microsites offer the photographers to keep their margin. Sooner or later, the best photographers will try to find better paying markets. And better paying markets mean market who sell with higher prices.

FP is a model which should work well in this environment, and it will get better when they'll have reached a large portfolio. Right now they have reached the 500 000 pictures. That means they are beginning to offer something for everybody. That also means they still have some gaps to fill. Why not try to fill these, and so attract more potential customers, with pictures offered for a decent price ?

I think that 10$ is a minimum for a photo (well, according to Dan Heller, I put mine at 9.99).
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 03:33 by ParisEye »


« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2008, 06:09 »
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I totally agree. There is no sense in selling on FP at the same price than on other sites.


I put mine at 6$ and allow resizing, so the minimum is 1.40$. Except for bestsellers that have 10$.

In principle, the idea is great: photogs can determine price and license type. As such, it is all-in-1 and unlike any other agency. BUT I have the feeling we are thinking too much as photogs (supply) and not as customers (demand). FP is a photog-centered site.
Yes, we are working 50% of our time on the big 6 for advertising. Apparently sites only grow big with big advertising, such seems to be the law of capitalism.

A year or so ago, Rinder played around with the idee of a best of stock site that would only be on invitation and there would be no reviewers. Actually setting up a site like that technically is a piece of cake (unless for Snapvillage). But he discarded the idea later since he realized that he needed marketing, support, follow-up and it would just be another beginning stock site.

Actually a site like that would exactly be in the position of FP. Maximal yield for the photog, minimal overhead. So why make another FP? Let's face it, I love FP but for me it still sells only 8% of SS. Apparently, we think too much as photogs and not enough as designers.

You can even see it on all the great personal sites that are posted here. Photogs show off,  post tutorials and blogs and links for other photogs. That's great, but we aren't each others customers. So it won't translate in sales.

-----------------------
I have been a designer for a while 2 years ago in a couple of projects and at one point I subscribed to CanStockPhoto to get my shots fast. I really didn't care about the photog, I was just looking in a rush at usable shots, et voila.
If you need hugs and aaahs and wows, go to Flickr. You'll get plenty for free. [that's imho the basic flaw behind the LO and MP commenting game - hugs are free].

For a designer, photos are a commodity and he isn't in the least interested in the wonderful personality of the photog. Just no time for that. Sorry gals & guys, we are just like the anonymous slave-artists that built the cathedrals in the Middle Ages: great carved stones and statues with no name on it.

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

I'm revamping my site now slowly towards a designer-centered site with a fast and direct path to sales. Iofoto is my guide: a great designer-centered site.
Your own marketing can only be a funnel to existing ms agency sites. Existing sites are successfully run businesses with clever business minds like Serban and Jon, and those don't come cheap. They dominate the ms market and any newcomer will have to put up a giant sum in advertising to get settled in that market. The first guy that sold sand to the Sahara got rich. The original founder of iStock got rich. No way you can sell sand now in the Sahara.

There are just no shortcuts to significant sales than massive advertising and brand building, and the Matthew effect plays around: those who have will be given more, and those that have little will haven taken away the little they have. The first mice got the cheese. Coca-Cola is just another brown sweet drink. Why do they sell? Because 50% of their budget goes to advertising. You can buy cola-clones at local brandless markets at 1/3 of the price.

Where do we go from here? It's all about the customers. Think designer. For instance, at FP I have all my shots, also my favs rejected as "non commercial" by some of the big 6. And guess what? What I sell at FP is not those favs, but exactly the same top sellers as at the big 6.

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

Summary:

- The first mice got the cheese already. Any new site is bound to fail since they will need super-advertising to overcome the established position of the big 6. There is no cheese left.

- Personal advertising only works if you think designer.

- FP will stay an exotic mini-market player unless they adverise.

- Just my 2 cents, but I want Eurocents!
(sorry for the long post)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 06:17 by FlemishDreams »

« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2008, 07:10 »
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If I understand your post, I think you are saying two things :

1) the first one gets all

2) the only issue is in advertising.

If I agree with the second one (and now that FP has reached a certain level they should soon be able to advertise), I can't agree with the first, otherwise everybody would drive in a Ford car and wear Levi's Jeans.

I think there is room for a lot of different offers, and I think also that Microstock will soon reach its limits. Right now, Microstock is an amateur field. Anybody with a P&S can sell pictures. And these pictures are sold for less and less through subscription, which drives the market down without anybody profiting it except buyers.

It's a spiral which will end in excluding pro photographers who won't find enough return for their work (we already saw Yuri lament about the trend and saying that he can't cover his expenses, and he isn't a pro -even though he could be-).

At the same time there is still a demand for upper stock because there are some markets where people are costing so much that they have to find quickly what they want and can't loose time on sites with low quality pictures they have to browse for hours before finding the good one.

I think there is room somewhere in the middle where good standing pictures done by professionals who want to earn a living and not only see their images in print somewhere for the thrill of it will find their place.

Which means perhaps a change in policy from midstock sites where quality will become their main asset.

Which, of course, goes through some advertising about the change.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 07:44 by ParisEye »

« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2008, 07:36 »
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While I agree that heavy marketing is needed for fast growth, not all agencies have the money needed for that. Some never take off, some take off, only to crash later, but with FP, I've seen a slow but steady positive development over time. There's no guarantee that they will survive, but since they represent a positive element within the stock photo market, I'll continue uploading there until I see that it's clearly going the wrong way.

Their biggest strength is probably the fact that they accept a much wider variety of photos than most agencies. For IS and SS, it's not a big problem that they reject half of what they are offered, since they have such a large number of photos on file anyway. FP's strength in the competition against giants like that, is to offer photos that are not available elsewhere.

I too sell photos at FP that have sold well at other agencies, but I also sell photos there that have not been accepted anywhere but FP, not for technical reasons, but for the "we don't think this is a good stock photo" reason.

Buyers have very varied needs, and surprisingly often, I (when I'm a buyer) can't find what I'm looking for anywhere. That obviously makes FP an interesting option. If I know about it. So, I send my customers to FP if they ask where to find photos. They don't always find it there, but it's better than finding the same photos that they don't need, at 5 different agencies.

The customers need alternatives. Although McDonald's dominate the hamburger market, there are others making a healthy living from selling hamburgers as well, only on a smaller scale.

« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2008, 07:50 »
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Well said. FP is a niche-player. Moreover, since they accept _all_, I use them as my online backup and by hotlinking to the thumbs as an engine for my portfolio on my own site. I'd better point occasional buyers to FP which gives 70% of 6$ than to SS. And it's as easy to upload as to MostPhotos. I just would never link to MostPhotos since any customer can see then that his 25 Euro shot can be bought for 3 Euro at other sites. I don't even mention my site at MostPhotos.

« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2008, 04:08 »
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xxx put it in another tread....
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 04:10 by ason »

« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2008, 17:31 »
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Right now I'm finding with sales so far apart, it's hard to sustain interest at FP.

« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2008, 17:50 »
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I still find their "pro-photog" business model a "good thing" and will continue to upload religiously.

« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2008, 17:55 »
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I still find their "pro-photog" business model a "good thing" and will continue to upload religiously.

I too. The effort is minimal... and who knows the future?

« Reply #34 on: February 29, 2008, 03:30 »
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I often hear folks justify sticking with a site, because of it's "easy upload" process.

When I multiplied all the time I spent in two years of processing my photos after I uploaded them to FP (5 minutes twice a week for two years) by the bare minimum hourly wage I expect to earn from selling my photos ($10 an hour), I actually ended up in the red.  I earned just under $60 for my time, when I expected to earn at the very least $200.

Five minutes here and there don't seem like much, but they add up really fast.  I can't afford to stay in the red until a site decides it's time to start pulling its weight and market my photos.  At the rate my sales were going, it would have taken a total of 5 1/2 years before I earned the money equal the time I spent uploading to FP for the first two years.  Who knows how much longer it would have taken to earn enough to help cover their small portion of the rest of my time creating the photos and associated expenses. 

I'm at the point where if I don't earn at least $100 from a site per year, which covers the minimum cost of my time to process photos on their site, they are history.  No more goofing around by supplying new and unproven or long-time duds with my work.  Those 9 hours per year would be better spent creating one fabulous photo that will earn several hundred dollars in a year.         
« Last Edit: February 29, 2008, 14:48 by Karimala »

« Reply #35 on: February 29, 2008, 16:56 »
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Hey,

One month at FP = 1.75 years at LO  ;D

vonkara

« Reply #36 on: February 29, 2008, 17:31 »
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I often hear folks justify sticking with a site, because of it's "easy upload" process.

When I multiplied all the time I spent in two years of processing my photos after I uploaded them to FP (5 minutes twice a week for two years) by the bare minimum hourly wage I expect to earn from selling my photos ($10 an hour), I actually ended up in the red.  I earned just under $60 for my time, when I expected to earn at the very least $200.

Five minutes here and there don't seem like much, but they add up really fast.  I can't afford to stay in the red until a site decides it's time to start pulling its weight and market my photos.  At the rate my sales were going, it would have taken a total of 5 1/2 years before I earned the money equal the time I spent uploading to FP for the first two years.  Who knows how much longer it would have taken to earn enough to help cover their small portion of the rest of my time creating the photos and associated expenses. 

I'm at the point where if I don't earn at least $100 from a site per year, which covers the minimum cost of my time to process photos on their site, they are history.  No more goofing around by supplying new and unproven or long-time duds with my work.  Those 9 hours per year would be better spent creating one fabulous photo that will earn several hundred dollars in a year.         
I agree whit that. When I'm going to be very old and taking a camera in my hand would be too hard, I will start upload to low earner micros. But now time have to pay a little much that what I can expect at FP and others.

I still have a portfolio to build and the sad gray and dirty winter don't help my inspiration at this time. I must admit that I need more to entertain my lost time and wait for the first rains to wash the sand and salt of the streets :(

« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2008, 14:40 »
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Another sale at FP! Worth the wait  $15.75 for me ;D

« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2008, 20:09 »
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One sale only this month (not as nice as jorge's!!) got me more than the nine sales I had in 123RF.  Mind you, I appreciate that single sale much more...  Overall FP and 123RF are about the same in earnings, and much better than many other sites (2xCSP, 6xCS, just to mention two).

Of course, different people have different experiences in the sites.  I'm happy with FP.

Regards,
Adelaide


 

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