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Author Topic: Don't think we can make a difference?  (Read 6483 times)

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EmberMike

« on: March 26, 2013, 11:49 »
+22

I just had an email exchange with a buyer. This person did a Google search for a type of image that they were looking for, found an image of mine at istock, looked at my istock profile, clicked over to my website where I link to Stockfresh, and bought the vector image there, along with 2 other vectors.

That was a slam-dunk sale for istock. It was a Google image search that brought the buyer in to istock, but this buyer knew something that made them keep clicking. From the email I just received:

Quote
...I looked around on the stock sites linked to the images and found your website through your profile on iStockPhoto. I figured that I would go with the vendor linked to your work on your website. So much drama in the stock world! Photographers are going nuts right now with the Getty/Google flap.

How about that... Word about the Google deal has spread far beyond the contributor community. Buyers know about it, and it is influencing sales.

There are a couple of components to making things like this happen, and it all starts with the contributor. Having my website link in my istock portfolio gives me the opportunity to start influencing buyer behavior. This particular buyer didn't want to support istock/Getty, so they clicked through to my website to see if there was another option. From my website, I provided that alternative option. Obviously it would be preferable to have made the sale at my own site, but currently my site isn't equipped for that. Yet.

So the next best thing for me would be to refer someone to Stockfresh. I do that from my own website and also from flickr. In this particular case, the buyer was happy to support the company that I recommended.

The other component to this is the news of the Google/Getty deal. Contributors also made that happen. We spread the word, and that word has travelled far enough that buyers are hearing about it. 

It is often said in this forum that it doesn't matter which companies we give our work to, ultimately it's the buyers who will decide which companies succeed. And to some extent, that's true. But we still have a great deal of influence in deciding where buyers end up, or shifting buyers from one company to another.

This isn't the first time this has happened to me, and it won't be the last. To date, I've referred 26 buyers to Stockfresh, earning $72.04 in affiliate sales and an unknown amount of money in direct image sales. I do know that often the referred buyers sign up and immediately buy my images. Probably not all of them, some might sign up and then go off and find other stuff to buy.

I just referred a new buyer to Stockfresh today as well. They signed up early this morning, bought 100 credits (giving me $8 in referral earnings) and then promptly spent 81 of those credits on my images, earning me $40.50. Not bad for one day at SF, and that buyer still has 19 credits to use, maybe on my stuff, maybe someone else's, and maybe they've already used those credits elsewhere. So my referral is putting money in someone else's pocket, too.

Still don't think we can make a difference? We can, if we try. Contributors broke the story about the Google/Getty deal. We spread the word on the forums and in blogs, some news sites picked it up, and it got as far as some buyers' attention. And if we put an alternative option in front of buyers, many times they'll take it, as was the case with the buyer I emailed with today.

What if each one of us were able to refer 20+ buyers to SF or GL or some other worthy company? What if we each were able to interrupt a few sales that could have gone to istock but instead went to someplace better?


« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2013, 12:40 »
+7
That is awesome news! It's really good to hear stories like that. This industry can be very healthy for everyone involved. Let's hope the pendulum is swinging back towards some balance for contributors and good service for buyers. (A fair share for fair companies too!)

Just last week, my wife was looking for an image for her industry blog. They often shopped at IS but were getting more frustrated with the prices and having trouble finding images there. I said to check GL Stock Images. Long story short, she found the perfect image quickly, about 1/3 the price, purchase was easy, and she felt good about the contributor getting a bigger commission. Guessing they will make GL their first stop for their regular blog image needs.

Pinocchio

« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2013, 12:43 »
0
@EmberMike: very good, hope this continues to happen... 

Regards

Poncke

« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2013, 13:01 »
0
That is awesome news! It's really good to hear stories like that. This industry can be very healthy for everyone involved. Let's hope the pendulum is swinging back towards some balance for contributors and good service for buyers. (A fair share for fair companies too!)

Just last week, my wife was looking for an image for her industry blog. They often shopped at IS but were getting more frustrated with the prices and having trouble finding images there. I said to check GL Stock Images. Long story short, she found the perfect image quickly, about 1/3 the price, purchase was easy, and she felt good about the contributor getting a bigger commission. Guessing they will make GL their first stop for their regular blog image needs.
Was the bigger commission actually bigger then the $$ cut he would have gotten at IS?

« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2013, 13:19 »
+2

Was the bigger commission actually bigger then the $$ cut he would have gotten at IS?

Bigger cut, and about the same income, in dollars, for the contributor, and only 1/3 the price for the buyer! That's assuming it's a non-ex contributor, which is the majority of iStock's content. What do most indy's make? 17% or so? At GL they make 52%!

On top of all that, GL makes 48% which seems pretty well sustainable in the absence of share holders screaming for ever growing quarterly profits.

« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2013, 13:19 »
0
I think it is great you were able to make this happen.  Just hope there is no retaliation against you for highlighting this loophole/trick/idea. 

« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2013, 13:22 »
+2
Good story. I've been pretty happy with transitioning to more fair paying sites. The process has been slow, and it is nowhere near complete. But, the results have been good. I'm definitely a believer that one person can make a difference. Even if that difference is small in the grand scheme, it has been huge to me.

« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2013, 13:24 »
+1
Why not try Symbiostock?

EmberMike

« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2013, 13:28 »
0
I think it is great you were able to make this happen.  Just hope there is no retaliation against you for highlighting this loophole/trick/idea.

I don't think I'd call it a loophole or a trick. I didn't actively interrupt a sale at istock. They gave us the option to put a link to our own websites in our profiles, and what I say and do on my website is my business. I don't mention istock anywhere on my website.


EmberMike

« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2013, 13:29 »
+1
Why not try Symbiostock?

Already installed it earlier today. I'm waiting for a more stable release before I go ahead with it, but I will definitely be using it soon.

« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2013, 13:45 »
+5
That's great.  Perhaps Getty/istock have made their own business unsustainable?  They destroyed their relationship with a lot of suppliers that have other places to license their images.  They've acted like they're the only agent we can use and haven't realised that every time they send a contributor somewhere else, the buyers can follow them.

lisafx

« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2013, 15:59 »
0
I think it is great you were able to make this happen.  Just hope there is no retaliation against you for highlighting this loophole/trick/idea.

I don't think I'd call it a loophole or a trick. I didn't actively interrupt a sale at istock. They gave us the option to put a link to our own websites in our profiles, and what I say and do on my website is my business. I don't mention istock anywhere on my website.

Congrats on directing buyers to fair trade sites Mike.  I've been doing the same thing for a couple of years, since the introduction of the RC system.  I think a lot of contributors have.  Looking at the Alexa and Compete stats for Istock and the stats threads on Istock leaves no doubt that buyers are deserting in droves. 

I must admit, when I read your post here, though, I had the same worry as Sadstock.   I wonder how long they will continue to let us have a link to our websites in our Istock profiles once they realize that it may be costing them sales...

« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2013, 17:38 »
+3
Thank you so much for sharing!

I think if we all use our websites to direct buyers to fair trade sites, we can give them a lot of support.

THP Creative

  • THP Creative

« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2013, 23:05 »
+1
Great going Mike! Whenever anyone asks about buying images I think we really need to think carefully about where we send them. We can make a big difference by doing this small thing.

« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2013, 02:50 »
0
am i the only one feeling frustrated at the idea that potential buyers first look on google images rather than in the agencies sites ?

how many other buyers instead of clicking further just stop at google images and steal hi-res photos right away ?

« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2013, 03:37 »
+2
I had 432 social shares on the first post I wrote on the "Getty/Google flap" and 173 social shares on the 2nd post, and there were plenty of others writing. I think collectively we have made a difference.  :)

« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2013, 08:43 »
+3
It's posts like this that will have Istock removing the facility to promote your website. Most of the other sites that give next to no information about the artist.


EmberMike

« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2013, 09:03 »
0
It's posts like this that will have Istock removing the facility to promote your website...

Does it matter? Maybe they'll pull our website links, but before they do, if my link leads a few buyers over to other sites, that's still a good thing. By the time they ever decide to prevent linking offsite, the damage will already have been done. It already is done to a large extent.

...Most of the other sites that give next to no information about the artist.

Really?

Shutterstock and Veer publicly list my bio, website link, and social network links.

Dreamstime, Bigstock, Stockfresh list my bio and website link.

GraphicRiver lists my bio and social network links.


EmberMike

« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2013, 09:07 »
+2
am i the only one feeling frustrated at the idea that potential buyers first look on google images rather than in the agencies sites ?

how many other buyers instead of clicking further just stop at google images and steal hi-res photos right away ?

If it leads them to a stock site, it's not a problem.

If someone is grabbing high-res images via Google and using them commercially, that's a behavior that we can't influence, but hopefully that person will find out soon enough that there are legal implications to using unlicensed art in commercial works.

Pinocchio

« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2013, 09:13 »
+1
am i the only one feeling frustrated at the idea that potential buyers first look on google images rather than in the agencies sites ?

.....

I am sure you use Google and/or other search engines to find stuff on the internet.  That is what search engines are for, and I don't understand why you are upset about the fact that the search engines are effective - that seems a little like complaining that your medication works.

The search engines provide a single mechanism to find almost anything, a great convenience.  If you don't want the search engines finding images, how do you want potential buyers to find your images?  How would you find your images in use - licensed and otherwise?

Now you know how well the search engines work, why don't you just put them to work helping your buyers find your images?  Wouldn't that soothe some of your frustration?  Why get angry when you can get even?

Regards

« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2013, 09:25 »
0
It's posts like this that will have Istock removing the facility to promote your website. Most of the other sites that give next to no information about the artist.

Actually most of them have links now. I only promote my portfolio site or blog on them, but there are links to my stock site from those. I suppose you could take all that off, but my name with a Google search will still lead back to all that as well.

Pinocchio

« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2013, 09:30 »
+1
It's posts like this that will have Istock removing the facility to promote your website. Most of the other sites that give next to no information about the artist.

Actually most of them have links now. I only promote my portfolio site or blog on them, but there are links to my stock site from those. I suppose you could take all that off, but my name with a Google search will still lead back to all that as well.

I agree - removing the links at this stage is not going to change anything for the stock sites; they would benefit more by a change in their own behaviour...

Regards

« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2013, 09:33 »
+1
am i the only one feeling frustrated at the idea that potential buyers first look on google images rather than in the agencies sites ?

.....

I am sure you use Google and/or other search engines to find stuff on the internet.  That is what search engines are for, and I don't understand why you are upset about the fact that the search engines are effective - that seems a little like complaining that your medication works.

The search engines provide a single mechanism to find almost anything, a great convenience.  If you don't want the search engines finding images, how do you want potential buyers to find your images?  How would you find your images in use - licensed and otherwise?

Now you know how well the search engines work, why don't you just put them to work helping your buyers find your images?  Wouldn't that soothe some of your frustration?  Why get angry when you can get even?

Regards

Count me as one person that is glad that Google works that way. They go out and index everybody (even the small sites like me), then let the people decide what they are looking for. I can't say the same thing for Bing. They have only indexed a small fraction of my site.


 

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