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Author Topic: Strategies for Self-Marketing in Microstock  (Read 24739 times)

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« Reply #75 on: August 25, 2010, 20:14 »
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lol It makes no difference to me if I have credibility at microstockgroup.com or anywhere relating to microstock.  I'm not after credibility.
Oh my, do we have a little attitude problem here? Just some good advice. Try to do some work instead of infesting forums here and at DT (where I sadly can't block you) with incomprehensible BS. Sweet dreams, and PLOINK.  :P


youralleffingnuts

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« Reply #76 on: August 25, 2010, 20:18 »
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Again, do your own homework.  Hint look for the "it's my business" post.

Why would you think I have a personal issue with you?  You're the OP who started this thread.  I replied to post, someone mentioned you and I responded to that post.  

And do you really think I take you seriously?  You've been at this game for years and you haven't even got yourself a website or at least a blog yet because you prefer to waste your time on here.  If you lose revenue, you can blame yourself for sheer laziness.  Your OP is ridiculous.  You expect people with the skills, the drive and the enthusiam that you lack to step up and help you out promoting your work?   10 years ago it would have been a lot more complicated setting up webstie, but today, anyone can do it.



You typically got offended earlier when I mentioned branching out in other areas other than 'people'.  I was talking about your subject matter.  I didn't mean do weddings.  I was talking about creating images that you can sell as microstock and otherways but instead of considering the advice of a 'newbie' you went with the "who the fk are you to tell me what to do" when all I was trying to do was help you.

Sorry, can you tell me where I said the above?  This sounds like you have some sort of personal issue with me.  Since I don't know you at all I can't begin to imagine what triggered that.  Feel free to post whatever opinions you want, but don't expect me to take them seriously.  
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 20:31 by sunnymars »

youralleffingnuts

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« Reply #77 on: August 25, 2010, 20:21 »
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Figure out what drives the search engines at each agent, it's not that hard.
It's great that you found out the well-kept secrets of the best match at iStock. Without any doubt, your large and successful portfolio on iStock was a great help in finding that grale.  ::)  8)
I think I'll turn my noise reduction engine on again here, and reduce this thread from 3 to 1.5 pages without loss of signal. ;)

What's iStock have to do with me?  I'm not with iStock because iStock is the most idiotic microstock agent out there.  They've gone from the best to the worst making stupid decisions that will lead to their collapse.  Their reviewers aren't all there, managment has increased their pricing in the worst possible time in economic history.  At this rate, I doubt iStock will be around much longer.  This is the reason why you're all panicking.  Your biggest earner is about to fall and it should.


lol It makes no difference to me if I have credibility at microstockgroup.com or anywhere relating to microstock.  I'm not after credibility.
Oh my, do we have a little attitude problem here? Just some good advice. Try to do some work instead of infesting forums here and at DT (where I sadly can't block you) with incomprehensible BS. Sweet dreams, and PLOINK.  :P

lol I couldn't care less if someone who thinks he's an IT expert who talks * all day in a forum ignores me.  I'd love it if you can find incomprehensibe BS on DT from me.  It's full of it from YOU though.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 06:25 by sunnymars »

lisafx

« Reply #78 on: August 25, 2010, 20:30 »
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lol It makes no difference to me if I have credibility at microstockgroup.com or anywhere relating to microstock.  I'm not after credibility.
Oh my, do we have a little attitude problem here? Just some good advice. Try to do some work instead of infesting forums here and at DT (where I sadly can't block you) with incomprehensible BS. Sweet dreams, and PLOINK.  :P

Did you notice that the number of her postings at DT exceeds her total number of images?  And equals her total number of sales?!  And this is someone who is lecturing us "old timers" on wasting time with useless forum postings?  Best laugh I have had in weeks!  Maybe I should Un-ignore her after all.  You can't pay to get entertainment this good ;D

youralleffingnuts

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« Reply #79 on: August 25, 2010, 20:38 »
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lol what are you, 12?

Should I be as pathetic as you and count all your posts in EVERY forum you type on?  There's over 3000 in just here.  I really can't be arsed tallying it all up.  I only type on DT, the occassional one at FT when something is really wrong and lately in here.  It doesn't really matter if I waste time on a forum anyway.  Microstock is a hobby, not my occupation. 

« Reply #80 on: August 25, 2010, 21:15 »
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Ahh, all love peace and harmony here again  ;D
Been catching up with this thread and i think there are some great ideas floating here! Still so much questionmarks... how to maintain quality, which is crucial imho (no clue..we all love our pics like they're our children and all would be hurt to be left out); would it be a website (costy + time intensive for the victims maintaining it), or a public lightbox (coming from which site, and where and how to host?)
ETA *snip*
(meh, my english is ditching me; cant get my point across, will try again at a more decent hour )
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 21:31 by Artemis »

« Reply #81 on: August 25, 2010, 21:22 »
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Do you really think their first point of contact will be some website with a group of desperate photographers listing a handful of their best photography.  Designers don't give a * who they buy from. 
Take out the acrimony and this is a valid criticism. Our images are now a commodity. Just about the only way to compete when selling a commodity is to lower prices. So we have the fears of a 'race to the bottom' and .01 images, and these fears are well founded. Commodity sellers have to compete by lowering prices, it's Economics 101.

The alternative to selling images as a commodity is a 'franchise' or a brand. If "Designers don't give a * who they buy from" it is hard to establish any kind of franchise, but not necessarily impossible.

This thread is about the possibility of establishing a franchise or franchises for some imagists by competing with search, by using some kind of lightbox publishing idea. As christophertvarne and FD pointed out, buyers really do use lightboxes, of at least two different kinds. And Alias suggested ways to use social media and recommendations (with google SEO coming along as a result) to make the lightboxes highly visible.

Can somebody use lightboxes to put his or her images ahead of the pack, create a franchise in a sea of commodity-images? If so I am interested in participating. The real question is can it be done? If so, how?

youralleffingnuts

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« Reply #82 on: August 25, 2010, 21:28 »
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Thanks for the Economics 101 lesson.  I'm a Management Accountant/CPA :)

Do you really think their first point of contact will be some website with a group of desperate photographers listing a handful of their best photography.  Designers don't give a * who they buy from.
Take out the acrimony and this is a valid criticism. Our images are now a commodity. Just about the only way to compete when selling a commodity is to lower prices. So we have the fears of a 'race to the bottom' and .01 images, and these fears are well founded. Commodity sellers have to compete by lowering prices, it's Economics 101.

The alternative to selling images as a commodity is a 'franchise' or a brand. If "Designers don't give a * who they buy from" it is hard to establish any kind of franchise, but not necessarily impossible.

This thread is about the possibility of establishing a franchise or franchises for some imagists by competing with search, by using some kind of lightbox publishing idea. As christophertvarne and FD pointed out, buyers really do use lightboxes, of at least two different kinds. And Alias suggested ways to use social media and recommendations (with google SEO coming along as a result) to make the lightboxes highly visible.

Can somebody use lightboxes to put his or her images ahead of the pack, create a franchise in a sea of commodity-images? If so I am interested in participating. The real question is can it be done? If so, how?
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 21:30 by sunnymars »

lagereek

« Reply #83 on: August 26, 2010, 01:11 »
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Theres one truth in all this verbal beefing though which needs to be taken seriously. Picture buyers, designers, Ad-people, etc,  they really dont give a crap where or from whom they buy as long as they get their stuff.

youralleffingnuts

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« Reply #84 on: August 26, 2010, 01:36 »
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Exactly right and if anyone doesn't believe that, they should go do some occasional design work for a few months.  I did and still am doing it from time to time.  I've picked up a few tips from it:

1.  I now understand the micro industry from top to bottom.

2.  I got into the designer's head.  Designers look for the cheapest, most original and current work and don't even give a thought about the artist or their reputation.  Also a lot of designers do their own work.

3.  I familiarised myself with current trends.

4.  I learnt that microstock is a little frowned upon lately and has a stigma attached to it.  A lot of clients go so far as to say in their brief "No microstock or clipart please!".

5.  I've made $3.5K's from it so far from various avenues.

6.  It makes me think outside the square and helps me come up with original work and work that I wouldn't do otherwise.

7.  Some of my leftovers go to microstock and/or PODs.
 

« Reply #85 on: August 26, 2010, 05:20 »
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Not necessarily. We have clients that go to our competitors' websites, download the low-res/thumbnail and ask if we have the same images. Why would they do that if they don't care about where they license the images? Why would they go through the trouble of involving a second agency when they know for a fact that they can buy the same image from the first agency? It sure seems to me that clients do care where they license images.

Theres one truth in all this verbal beefing though which needs to be taken seriously. Picture buyers, designers, Ad-people, etc,  they really dont give a crap where or from whom they buy as long as they get their stuff.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 05:23 by christophertvarne »

« Reply #86 on: August 26, 2010, 07:46 »
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Not necessarily. We have clients that go to our competitors' websites, download the low-res/thumbnail and ask if we have the same images. Why would they do that if they don't care about where they license the images?

Is it because it is cheaper from you?Or perhaps you are a subscription site that they have already paid into? Maybe they have an account with you but your search engine is a mess so they can't find anything on it (in which case you need to do something).

youralleffingnuts

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« Reply #87 on: August 26, 2010, 07:58 »
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.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 08:49 by sunnymars »

« Reply #88 on: August 26, 2010, 08:33 »
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Sunnymars, it may come as a shock to you but you are not the only person on the board and my question was addressed to someone else. The someone who I quoted. Someone who apparently is part of an agency and was able to say what actually goes on. So I was looking for actual information, not your idle speculations.

Thank you.

« Reply #89 on: August 26, 2010, 08:45 »
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We have clients that go to our competitors' websites, download the low-res/thumbnail and ask if we have the same images. Why would they do that if they don't care about where they license the images? Why would they go through the trouble of involving a second agency when they know for a fact that they can buy the same image from the first agency? It sure seems to me that clients do care where they license images.
It all depends on the price difference, since your research and scouting time costs money too. In the case you can monetize such an effort, beware of sites like Picscout and some others in the making (genre "Best Buy") that will make that process virtually automatic. In that case (having a price advantage), you'd better inject your collection into Picscout.

This from the agencies' point of view. Contributors should be very weary of this trend towards trans-agency virtual photo-agencies too. One day they will regret uploading (or opting in) to bottom-line price agencies, in their greed for the extra cent.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 08:51 by FD-regular »

youralleffingnuts

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« Reply #90 on: August 26, 2010, 08:47 »
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Sunnymars, it may come as a shock to you but you are not the only person on the board and my question was addressed to someone else. The someone who I quoted. Someone who apparently is part of an agency and was able to say what actually goes on. So I was looking for actual information, not your idle speculations.

Thank you.

Baldrick's, sorry I meant to quote the post above you since I was the one who first said that buyer's don't give a * who they buy from.

I too was looking for feedback from the same person.  I too did not care for YOUR idle speculations.


Thank you.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 08:52 by sunnymars »

youralleffingnuts

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« Reply #91 on: August 26, 2010, 08:48 »
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They care which agency as long they can find a quality image they want at the right price.  No one was referring to an agent earlier, well at least I wasn't.  Buyers don't care which artist/photographer the images comes from as long as it's what they're looking for.  They're in a hurry so they're not going to click on an image, then click the contributor's port and let their bio content be the deciding factor on whether they purchase it or not. 



Not necessarily. We have clients that go to our competitors' websites, download the low-res/thumbnail and ask if we have the same images. Why would they do that if they don't care about where they license the images? Why would they go through the trouble of involving a second agency when they know for a fact that they can buy the same image from the first agency? It sure seems to me that clients do care where they license images.

Theres one truth in all this verbal beefing though which needs to be taken seriously. Picture buyers, designers, Ad-people, etc,  they really dont give a crap where or from whom they buy as long as they get their stuff.


« Reply #92 on: August 26, 2010, 09:11 »
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Can somebody use lightboxes to put his or her images ahead of the pack, create a franchise in a sea of commodity-images? If so I am interested in participating. The real question is can it be done? If so, how?
It will only have a small impact on your overall direct sales but the collateral impact on your search position might be more important. But in fact, we don't know that since the search algorithm is a very well guarded secret on all sites.

I don't have any real proof of impact of having independent light boxes, but you can catch some random sales for sure. What's interesting about those are that they are credit and not subscription sales. Last week I had 2 N/A credit sales of level 5 images on DT, and looking into my Google Analytics, I saw an exit to DT from my site (where the images are up) around the same time. That's no proof since it's incidental but that's one of the ways how an independent light box might work.

There is a valuable lesson in this: don't link your images to low-earning or sub sites, since the buyers there are already very knowledgeable about microstock. Many aren't. You should link to credit sales sites, or at least where a random credit sale is easy.

About the social networks, I always avoided them witnessing people wasting too much time on it. But as all sites are pushing FB and Twitter so much,  one could ask if their research didn't show those generate important sales in the overall traffic. They wouldn't make that programming and design effort on their site if they weren't convinced social networking was an asset.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 09:18 by FD-regular »

« Reply #93 on: August 26, 2010, 09:43 »
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No, it's not cheaper nor is it more expensive. It's the same. When agencies represent other RF brands, the prices are set by the image provider. It's the same across the board. We're not a subscription website, but we do offer subscriptions to interested clients, as well as VCDs, RF, and RM images. However, subscriptions are separate from our website, e.g. clients have to go to other websites to register accounts.

For sure, there are clients that shop around to find the best deal (you can do that with RM images). When talking about RF images, that's not always the case, since RF have set prices. Prices vary greatly in microstock, especially when factoring in extended/merchandising licenses. It could certainly be a search engine issue. The fact is that image codes/IDs are different for every stock website, just as in microstock. Or maybe it's just a matter of preference.

Is it because it is cheaper from you?Or perhaps you are a subscription site that they have already paid into? Maybe they have an account with you but your search engine is a mess so they can't find anything on it (in which case you need to do something).
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 09:54 by christophertvarne »

« Reply #94 on: August 26, 2010, 09:50 »
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Totally agree. Most clients are concerned about whether it's the right image and/or the right price. All other things are secondary. When you factor out price and the image, what else is left? Preference to particular agencies? Payment options? I don't know really.

They care which agency as long they can find a quality image they want at the right price.  No one was referring to an agent earlier, well at least I wasn't.  Buyers don't care which artist/photographer the images comes from as long as it's what they're looking for.  They're in a hurry so they're not going to click on an image, then click the contributor's port and let their bio content be the deciding factor on whether they purchase it or not. 

« Reply #95 on: August 26, 2010, 09:55 »
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May I go back on topic?

The only faint possibility of a separate redirect site being a hit with buyers would be:

1) If the content was all superb, so it was completely reliable as a source of top quality images.
2) If there was enough content to meet most common requirements but not so much that it became tedious to search through it all. That implies limits on categories (to make it even more unworkable than it already looks).

I know designers frequently proclaim that they will search through a thousand images to find the perfect result but Alamy's record of searches suggests very strongly that most will give up if they don't find something on the first page or two.


***

As for caring about photographers: Of course they don't - but there may be certain names on the bottom of a file that act as a form of quality assurance above and beyond what the inspections provide. Yuri Arcurs doesn't seem to have any doubt that self-promotion is beneficial.

« Reply #96 on: August 26, 2010, 17:26 »
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As FD said, I don't expect to catch frequent buyers like designers, who probably have one or two sites they search for images, possibly using subscription packages.  Instead, I would aim casual ones who will buy one or two images paying credits. In SP, I see searches like "buy stethoscope photo" from Google, and in fact many sales there are originated from Google, so this seems to be a valid strategy for casual buyers.

« Reply #97 on: August 26, 2010, 19:49 »
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As FD said, I don't expect to catch frequent buyers like designers, who probably have one or two sites they search for images, possibly using subscription packages.  Instead, I would aim casual ones who will buy one or two images paying credits. In SP, I see searches like "buy stethoscope photo" from Google, and in fact many sales there are originated from Google, so this seems to be a valid strategy for casual buyers.

+1.  Designers already know and search microstock agencies.  It's the other buyers (there are many types) I try to pull in with my site(s).  The stats show it works and Google/Bing/Yahoo are the places they come from.

« Reply #98 on: August 29, 2010, 19:17 »
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Nobody so far has touched on the important point of measureability, if you cant measure it you can't manage it. That's where the lightbox co-op idea falls apart. lightboxes are still good, but you are a little bit blind which I think is why everyone seems to say "I think they are working but i'm not sure exactly how much they are helping me"

If you send traffic to a lightbox from your own site then you can measure the traffic and look at sales results. you can use bit'ly to watch traffic if you use a social network to 'do your marketing for you', but if you try to build a network on an agencies site then unless they are happy with you all linking via 3rd party server to keep track of things then you have no idea of how many people are looking at the lightbox and who they are. I stock are quite good in that you can keep independent track off views of a single image over time by tracking the impressions of an image on another server in the description text, none of that is exactly childs play!

to really measure things properly go need to be able to correlate which visitors from which source lead to sales - if you can do that then you're in business. but you cant really do that unless you run your own site, and like others he have written I don't recommend that, you'll NEVER be able to match the agencies when it comes to site usability, range of images and trust.

« Reply #99 on: August 29, 2010, 19:21 »
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Nobody so far has touched on the important point of measureability, if you cant measure it you can't manage it.
Correct since you can check your own Google Analytics, and not those of third sites where you can just guess.


 

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