MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: Strategies for Self-Marketing in Microstock  (Read 24732 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2010, 20:35 »
0
From careful observation and rememberance of several comments existing here there is one call FD who sound like having qualification you seek. At least from various comments made by the person. Unless it is all person named FD know is limited but my idea is this person sound with knowledge to design site so.
Come on TanSen, flattery will bring you nowhere.  :P


« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2010, 21:03 »
0
From careful observation and rememberance of several comments existing here there is one call FD who sound like having qualification you seek. At least from various comments made by the person. Unless it is all person named FD know is limited but my idea is this person sound with knowledge to design site so.
Come on TanSen, flattery will bring you nowhere.  :P

Sorry FD, it is not flattery. I read many times you mentioning technical terminology that fly pass my head. Assume you are qualified. So why not you offer lisafx the assistance ?

And while I got your attention.
I have question for you on Firefox. How do you reduce the memory intensiveness impact on browser? I don't like IE because it is prone to virus. Or is that pure rumor?  What browser do you use? If firefox is so bad why is it the most popular of browser?
« Last Edit: August 24, 2010, 21:09 by lefty »

« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2010, 22:50 »
0
Come on TanSen, flattery will bring you nowhere.  :P

Lastly why you refer to the Nepal TanSen? I am not Nepalese . Nor am I TanSen the Getty photojournalist. But Confusion is much flattery , thought. Thank you :P

« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2010, 23:43 »
0
So why not you offer lisafx the assistance ?
Ahem, that was already done. ;-) But thanks!
And while I got your attention.
I have question for you on Firefox. How do you reduce the memory intensiveness impact on browser? I don't like IE because it is prone to virus. Or is that pure rumor?  What browser do you use? If firefox is so bad why is it the most popular of browser?
FF, but I now minimize my # of open tabs so the resident scripts are minimal. FF itself is not that heavy, but of course heavier than IE that co-uses the renderer in the (resident) explorer. If you have little memory, it's better to restart your PC and not open FF when you want to do Photoshop. DPP is a memory beast too.

« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2010, 01:29 »
0
lol it all sounds good on paper but it hasn't been implemented before because it won't work.  Setting up a website, maintaining it and promoting it poperly takes time and money and who's going to be the sucker that gets bogged down with the big tasks while others just sit back and go along for the ride? 

The smartest idea was the one from djpadavona.

You're probably right. Djpadavona's idea is very good indeed. In fact, it could become almost compulsory to participate in a box like that. There could be one made for each cannister level (or, at least, one for diamond, one for gold - I don't know if Sean and Lisa's crowd need a separate one or might be better off in the larger diamond collection). Black diamonds could be invited to contribute 100 images, diamonds 10, gold 5, silver 2  .... something like that. Not sure about bronze, there are so many of them it could make maintenance utterly impossible.

Even that would probably be far too much work for one person - it would need iStock to allow multiple users to maintain the box, so there would also need to be a shared mailbox to send requests to. But iStock might see it as a direct threat to its efforts to push its Vetta and Exclusive+ collections, so it might not like it.

It also only (hopefully) attracts buyers to one agency, some of us would want a wider reach.

If the other idea could ever be got off the ground, the participants would have to pay an image-hosting fee to cover setting-up and maintenance costs. That would, at least, restrict the potential membership to serious contributors. It would also mean that we would need a high degree of confidence in the ability of such a site to drive business to our portfolios. I would be willing to put in say 50c per file for hosting IF the marketing strategy was really convincing and there were enough other potential contributors to create a credible resource for buyers.

Once money is involved, I doubt if the enthusiasm for this will survive.  And it does come down to Lisa's original point that we pay most of our earnings to our agencies precisely to do the marketing and administration for us. That is what they are there for, nothing else. Lisa must have paid over a million dollars (literally) in commission to agencies to market her works, so she has the right to expect that they do an exceptional job for her.

« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2010, 02:39 »
0
totally agree with you.

Maybe is the buyer that has to pay a (small) fee before being redirected to an agency website, where he can then buy and download the image. No keywords, author's name etc. have to be displayed to the buyer before he pays this fee.....it wouldn't prevent him to search directly on an agency, but at least the task would be time-consuming.

Besides, I think that it should be up to the contributor to specify where his images are available so that both exclusives and non-exclusives may benefit from this project.

Best,
Diego

« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2010, 03:06 »
0
totally agree with you.

Maybe is the buyer that has to pay a (small) fee before being redirected to an agency website,

IT won't work charging buyers a fee. It would all have to be paid for by us *gulp*

youralleffingnuts

    This user is banned.
« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2010, 03:13 »
0
I don't blame Lisa for trying to implement it.  It would be frustrating relying on the performance of micro agents especially if you rely on micro earnings to feed your family.  I think the best thing for her or anyone in her situation is to spend less time in here and more time learning ways to promote their own work including developing their own website.  Also Lisa's an excellent photographer and 'people' are her niche.  This is good but it puts a limit to what she can do with her work.  If I were her I would rethink this niche.  She's got enough 'people' shots that can sit there earning while she branches out in other forms of photography and sells those images other ways.  This way if microstock goes down the gurgler, she'll have a backup.

The other idea (alias's) is a good one but I can't see it working by coming into a forum and asking "who wants in?"   I can see it working if a few internet computer geeks/photographers team up together but I cannot see how these people with these skills will be willing to support other competitors who can't provide anything other than a small amount of money.  



lol it all sounds good on paper but it hasn't been implemented before because it won't work.  Setting up a website, maintaining it and promoting it poperly takes time and money and who's going to be the sucker that gets bogged down with the big tasks while others just sit back and go along for the ride?  

The smartest idea was the one from djpadavona.

You're probably right. Djpadavona's idea is very good indeed. In fact, it could become almost compulsory to participate in a box like that. There could be one made for each cannister level (or, at least, one for diamond, one for gold - I don't know if Sean and Lisa's crowd need a separate one or might be better off in the larger diamond collection). Black diamonds could be invited to contribute 100 images, diamonds 10, gold 5, silver 2  .... something like that. Not sure about bronze, there are so many of them it could make maintenance utterly impossible.

Even that would probably be far too much work for one person - it would need iStock to allow multiple users to maintain the box, so there would also need to be a shared mailbox to send requests to. But iStock might see it as a direct threat to its efforts to push its Vetta and Exclusive+ collections, so it might not like it.

It also only (hopefully) attracts buyers to one agency, some of us would want a wider reach.

If the other idea could ever be got off the ground, the participants would have to pay an image-hosting fee to cover setting-up and maintenance costs. That would, at least, restrict the potential membership to serious contributors. It would also mean that we would need a high degree of confidence in the ability of such a site to drive business to our portfolios. I would be willing to put in say 50c per file for hosting IF the marketing strategy was really convincing and there were enough other potential contributors to create a credible resource for buyers.

Once money is involved, I doubt if the enthusiasm for this will survive.  And it does come down to Lisa's original point that we pay most of our earnings to our agencies precisely to do the marketing and administration for us. That is what they are there for, nothing else. Lisa must have paid over a million dollars (literally) in commission to agencies to market her works, so she has the right to expect that they do an exceptional job for her.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 03:16 by sunnymars »

« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2010, 04:17 »
0
If you want a simpler start, why not gather up 20-30 high end iStock contributors, and invite each one to add 10 (and only 10) of their images to a "Best Of" lightbox.  That way you don't have to pick and choose which images to accept...you know they will all be great.  Then start pushing the Lightbox through all of your social networking channels.

Accept another 5 images from each member of the contributor list every month to keep it fresh, and push those new images hard through social networking.

If you can get enough designers watching the lightbox, you might be onto something.  It would probably take a few months to gain traction (if it worked), but it would be 100% free and nobody would have to design a website.


How far away is that from this ?

Ok, less restrictive and the social networking marketing thing is missing, but else...

Anybody has seen positive effects from those lightboxes?

lagereek

« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2010, 04:34 »
0
I dont agree!  Lisa should stick to what she is extremly good and well known for. Finding a niche, today, 10 years after Micro was introduced? well even if its done, its too time consuming if not impossible, meanwhile the money needs to be generated.

Here is a story:  I ran my own Trad-agency with large, medium, 35-mil trannies, some 20000 for three years, this was back in the 80s, I had high-ranking stuff and man! I was selling very, very well. BUT!!  before I knew, I was stuck in my office, not 8 hours a day but around 15 hours per day, indexing shots, distribution, filing, captioning,etc, etc, etc, etc.  there was no end to it. Remeber, if you want to suceed at something you simply have to be there yourself, no good throwing in a little girl Friday or whatever, hoping they are going to get the job done. Just sitting negotiating in telephones is a hellish job and you have to be a salesman as well.

So many will say AH! but this is online, computers, digital!  sure it is and how much bloody work dont we all do just in PP and uploading??? simple truth is: you got no time over for photography what so ever, your life will concist  of a screen and paper. Fun hey?

I was lucky!  a very large agency bought my little operation, paid me handsomely and later I joined that agency, that Agency was later bought up by Getty!  well the rest is history.

all the best.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 04:37 by lagereek »

youralleffingnuts

    This user is banned.
« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2010, 05:04 »
0
Well the microstock industry is well oversaturated and it's going to get a lot worse.  Everyone keeps whining about it while at the same time they sit there typing on forums and posting their referral links getting more and more people to join.  The agencies benefit but you're all doing yourselves in and you had to have known this was going to happen.  Eventually it will be a struggle to make a living out of microstock and unless you look at alternative ways to earn, you're going to wake up one day and kick yourselves over not having something to fall back on.

The big earners had it cushy for years but I'm afraid it's time people... something's going to give, the bubble's going to burst.  You can all sit there fighting the odds trying to come up with ways to promote your ports but if everyone is still inviting new members to sign up for a few extra bucks, then you're fighting a losing battle.  The growth rate of your individual ports is nowhere near the growth rate of the microstock agencies.  We're living in a digital world where everyone with a digital camera thinks he's a photographer.  You know what?  they are photographers!... you told them so when you referred them! 

Every year it's going to get worse until eventually no one will be making a living out of microstock.  This will become a hobby.  A little side earner.  It's just the way it is.

lagereek

« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2010, 05:11 »
0
Well the microstock industry is well oversaturated and it's going to get a lot worse.  Everyone keeps whining about it while at the same time they sit there typing on forums and posting their referral links getting more and more people to join.  The agencies benefit but you're all doing yourselves in and you had to have known this was going to happen.  Eventually it will be a struggle to make a living out of microstock and unless you look at alternative ways to earn, you're going to wake up one day and kick yourselves over not having something to fall back on.

The big earners had it cushy for years but I'm afraid it's time people... something's going to give, the bubble's going to burst.  You can all sit there fighting the odds trying to come up with ways to promote your ports but if everyone is still inviting new members to sign up for a few extra bucks, then you're fighting a losing battle.  The growth rate of your individual ports is nowhere near the growth rate of the microstock agencies.  We're living in a digital world where everyone with a digital camera thinks he's a photographer.  You know what?  they are photographers!... you told them so when you referred them! 

Every year it's going to get worse until eventually no one will be making a living out of microstock.  This will become a hobby.  A little side earner.  It's just the way it is.

Agreeing with you, at least to a point. However where quality really matters,  NO!! everyone with a cam is not a photographer,  far from it.

« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2010, 05:19 »
0
Agree with BaldricksTrousers. You cannot charge the buyers a fee to use the website. Nowadays, stock agencies don't even charge for doing image searches for buyers!

Don't know how many of you keep track of what's happening in macrostock, but premium RF prices are going down (moodboard, Imagebroker etc.). Every other month or so we get emails from agencies lowering the prices for the RF images.

It's probably better to set it up as invitation only in the beginning, maybe needing recommendations from two accepted members or something.

When it comes to image hosting, you can get around that by relying on third-party websites with established customers already. For example, with a fairly large collection, Impact in IT's platform doesn't have image hosting fees for image providers (e.g. it is the agencies that would represent your collection that are charged a fee based on the size of the collection). I know the guy working at Impact and could talk with him about hosting.

The main problem is whether agencies are going to be interested in another microstock/midstock brand.

youralleffingnuts

    This user is banned.
« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2010, 05:26 »
0
@ lagereek

You've missed the point.  In their minds they are.  They've joined microstock agencies as photographers.  Microstock agencies refer to them as photographers so in actual fact they ARE now photographers.  It's irrelevant if their photographs are crap. Their photos are still good enough for cheap microstock.  Their images are still saturating the market and it takes longer to find the quality shots. Furthermore these amateurs start playing amongst the big guns and start paying attention picking up tips and gaining more and knowledge. While the hot shots lose enthusiasm over their ever-decreasing revenue, the new ones start earning more and more each month and are full of enthusiasm to improve the quality of their work and the quantity of their portfolios.  In the end they are photographers and a lot move up the ranks.  
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 05:28 by sunnymars »

« Reply #39 on: August 25, 2010, 05:27 »
0
lol it all sounds good on paper but it hasn't been implemented before because it won't work.  Setting up a website, maintaining it and promoting it poperly takes time and money and who's going to be the sucker that gets bogged down with the big tasks while others just sit back and go along for the ride? 

Exactly. You will be paying to compete for advertising space against the millions being spent by IS, FT & SS __ only to then direct any buyers straight back to them. What's the point?

The only way an individual or a collective of photographers can market themselves cost-effectively against the big boys is by having a unique and comprehensive collection in a niche subject __ say 15K images of a particular country for example.

lagereek

« Reply #40 on: August 25, 2010, 05:30 »
0
@ lagereek

You've missed the point.  In their minds they are.  They've joined microstock agencies as photographers.  Microstock agencies refer to them as photographers so in actual fact they ARE now photographers.  It's irrelevant if their photographs are crap. Their photos are still good enough for cheap microstock.  Their images are still saturating the market and it takes longer to find the quality shots. Furthermore these amateurs start playing amongst the big guns and start paying attention picking up tips and gaining more and knowledge. While the hot shots lose enthusiasm over their ever-decreasing revenue, the new ones start earning more and more each month and are full of enthusiasm to improve the quality of their work and the quantity of their portfolios.  In the end they are photographers and a lot move up the ranks.  

Yep!!  this time you got it right and I totally agree. Proposing opening your own site,etc,  seems more like an act of desperation.

« Reply #41 on: August 25, 2010, 06:56 »
0
It does all sound like a good idea. I think the part about NOT being an agency, but just having a separate site with the images being linked to whatever microstock sites the images are on sounds like a good one. Links in and out, on top of whatever social networking all the participants do, will certainly give the site good search engine placement.

Every single photo in my portfolio is not a good one, but I have some great sellers. I have a lot of opinions, but if the site is an elitist one, I am afraid I will not make the cut!  ::)


« Reply #42 on: August 25, 2010, 08:12 »
0
And while I got your attention.
I have question for you on Firefox. How do you reduce the memory intensiveness impact on browser? I don't like IE because it is prone to virus. Or is that pure rumor?  What browser do you use? If firefox is so bad why is it the most popular of browser?
FF, but I now minimize my # of open tabs so the resident scripts are minimal. FF itself is not that heavy, but of course heavier than IE that co-uses the renderer in the (resident) explorer. If you have little memory, it's better to restart your PC and not open FF when you want to do Photoshop. DPP is a memory beast too.
Thank you. So that the reason for Lack of Memory warning. Salut FD

alias

« Reply #43 on: August 25, 2010, 08:31 »
0
search engine placement.

Forget Google. Use the social media. By recommendation is the new search.

if the site is an elitist one, I am afraid I will not make the cut!  ::)

Think to building a boutique shop window rather than a yard sale. You want it to be cool.

« Reply #44 on: August 25, 2010, 08:42 »
0
search engine placement.

Forget Google. Use the social media. By recommendation is the new search.

if the site is an elitist one, I am afraid I will not make the cut!  ::)

Think to building a boutique shop window rather than a yard sale. You want it to be cool.

Why forget google?
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 08:51 by massman »

alias

« Reply #45 on: August 25, 2010, 09:10 »
0
Why forget google?

You are not trying to reach everyone with an upmarket boutique. The social media networks are the thing now. Photographs friend designers. Designers follow other designers. The industry talks to itself. If the site is cool and useful people will do the Google for you.

SEO is ultimately like a dog chasing a car. To say forget Google, I am being slightly rhetorical but put it to the back of your mind. Now there are a few things you want to do from the start in case you want to exploit them later (IPTC keywords for example - maybe 5 max). But yes. Basically forget Google.

Plus. How you have find about about Google in the first place ? Someone said ?

« Reply #46 on: August 25, 2010, 09:43 »
0
It does all sound like a good idea. I think the part about NOT being an agency, but just having a separate site with the images being linked to whatever microstock sites the images are on sounds like a good one. Links in and out, on top of whatever social networking all the participants do, will certainly give the site good search engine placement.

Every single photo in my portfolio is not a good one, but I have some great sellers. I have a lot of opinions, but if the site is an elitist one, I am afraid I will not make the cut!  ::)


What about creating a site something like this?

- Users can create blog posts about their images/content which:

   - image(s) on the post are allowed to link to author's affiliate account/image(s) at the micro agency of their choice which brings in the extra affiliate boost/income for the purchase; which increases sales of that image; which increases search ranking at the agency
   - post is credited to user's author account/profile on "site" which lists your site/agencies
   - posts a tweet to the "site" twitter account about the blog post
   - gets picked up by the search engines (site will be seo optimized and submitted)
   - blog post feeds will be syndicated to other sites about stock/micro
   - a facebook page will also be created and (eventually) posts will be listed there also

- Users/Authors will be by invitation only in the beginning, then maybe later by approval process.  The first few posts by each user will be held for approval by the admin.  After the user has created a good track record, they will be posted immediately when published.

- Each user will spread the news about their blog posts, which spreads the news about everyone's posts, which advertises the site,

- With updated content being added daily, search engine ranking and traffic will also flow to the site

The site will be 100% focused on content BUYERS, so it will not have sell your images here or any kind of affiliate links of that sort.  The site will have a Google analytics account that all users/authors will be able to view and track progress.  The site will be free for users (maybe some advertising spots will be available to purchase to pay for the site).

Any other ideas?  I have personally seen increased sales from images I have blogged about, with the nice extra boost of the affiliate sale here and there.  My personal photography site gets hits from the search engines daily about images I have blogged about (and my posts are usually rushed and slim on content).

(by the way, this concept is already being created  ;) )

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #47 on: August 25, 2010, 10:02 »
0
lol it all sounds good on paper but it hasn't been implemented before because it won't work.  Setting up a website, maintaining it and promoting it poperly takes time and money and who's going to be the sucker that gets bogged down with the big tasks while others just sit back and go along for the ride? 

The smartest idea was the one from djpadavona.

I agree with what sunnymars said. It takes work to create a website and it takes work to keep it updated with new photos ect. If it was just sitting there....it wouldn't be as much work, but to keep fresh content every week...that is work and whoever did it would be blogged down with it all which would be kinda unfair to that individual.

lisafx

« Reply #48 on: August 25, 2010, 10:18 »
0
Really great ideas here.  Brandon, I am pleased the blogging is working out so well for you.  It's good to know there is a direct correlation between images you are blogging about and increased sales!  Thanks for sharing that info.

As for what I personally should be doing, well, I am doing what I like and what I am good at.  Shooting people for stock.  I did weddings and portraits before discovering stock and I guess I could go back to that, but I wasn't particularly successful because I lack marketing skills (see a pattern here?).  Not to mention that I really hated doing it.  I doubt I will go back to doing something I hate that much. 

And spending too much time on the forums?  Guilty as charged.  But since I have learned a lot of useful information here, it isn't just a guilty pleasure.  It is part of my business.   It's a fun way to spend free time, and certainly much less of a waste of time than playing Farmville on Facebook or some similar BS. 

« Reply #49 on: August 25, 2010, 10:39 »
0
May-be a super stupid idea, but if the marketing site-to-be would not be selling directly, and only through links to - let's say - the big 4 ... why not ask for sponsoring?   SS/IS/DS/FT would benefit from the existence of a site that shows really creative images, so might they not be willing to sponsor it ?


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
31 Replies
10236 Views
Last post March 14, 2008, 17:49
by sharply_done
24 Replies
6304 Views
Last post January 21, 2010, 19:57
by willie
27 Replies
4177 Views
Last post April 29, 2013, 16:14
by ShadySue
49 Replies
6620 Views
Last post May 16, 2015, 02:37
by Hobostocker
3 Replies
3152 Views
Last post January 03, 2018, 11:29
by niktol

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results