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Author Topic: Strategies for Self-Marketing in Microstock  (Read 24743 times)

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lisafx

« Reply #50 on: August 25, 2010, 10:47 »
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I think it sounds like a really good idea Anyka.  If we could demonstrate a clear ability to drive traffic to the sites, a site would be smart to sponsor and make sure the traffic went to THEIR site :)


lagereek

« Reply #51 on: August 25, 2010, 11:11 »
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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 ?

Or the whole thing might just be seen as a hostil action since its more or less a group of independants??  dont know?

« Reply #52 on: August 25, 2010, 11:29 »
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It's hard to follow the thread in its entirety but I want to bring up a couple of thoughts here.

- Why would the big 4 (together) support ONE site, that supposedly drives traffic to them. Either one of the big 4 would like to do that individually but not if IS knows that the site also promotes SS, DT and FT images. At least it would bother me as an agency owner to see that other agencies would be supported by the same source. Maybe I'm just naive about that.

- I blog about various issues in Microstock using only my own images as blog illustrations. All linked to my images at each agency with referral code. I have 30 unique visitors daily and not once found out that one of them bought one of them. I don't know how much traffic Brandon, has and I believe he as a lot more so, sure there can be money/business made but the traffic has to be there in the first place to get there.

- Content is key. While many sales people say that you can sell anything (no matter how bad it is) it just matters HOW you sell it. HOW do you promote it. Same thing with the iPhone. While competitors have better phones available (screen res, camera res, add-on memory, customization options etc.), Apple (also due to it's phenomenal brand image) manages to get that thing sold as if there are no other phones on the market. I strongly believe in quality and not quantity. So to me it only makes sense to offer exclusive content.  How can you offer something successfully at a higher price point if it's available somewhere else dirt cheap.

- Letting in 2 images from Bronze members I read somewhere... What would be the motivation for these people to keep contributing? That barely leaves any exposure for them. Sure, it mostly makes only sense for contributors with large, already successful portfolios. Or at least newbies with exceptionally creative content. You need to offer a considerable amount of high quality content to begin with and keep the new content coming at the same time.

Now besides that:

I've been working my butt off to figure out this Twitter thing, enhancing my Zazzle store and promoting my portfolio through my web site.

Traffic and targeted visitors are my goal which I can't get to see my stuff.

There are hundreds of books, workshops and courses out there (especially youtube - LOL) that promise you trillions of $$$ if you follow their strategy. I think this is even worse to find the right info than asking what to shoot in a microstock forum in order to be successful.

Obviously all of us (with maybe a few exceptions) have no clue how to successfully promote ourselves. Otherwise we would be laying on our yacht right now watching the royalties roll in on a custom-designed flat screen, mounted over my hammock.

So my question is: Can one person (photographer/contributor) do it ALL by him/herself?

- Creating content (editing, keywording, uploading and managing)
- create their own web presence like a personal/professional web site as an electronic business card to build their brand
- create, manage and add to a blog on a regular basis
- follow, un-follow, find new people to follow on Twitter and tweet about useful stuff
- create, maintain and update Facebook and mySpace
- educate yourself in terms of new photography gear, social networks trends, web site technology, marketing strategies
- advertise, promote and market yourself in person at the ball's game, supermarket, intersection etc.
- walk into galleries, restaurants small businesses and present yourself as the next big Sh!t who has the bestest images in the world that they have to buy.

I mean the list goes on and on.

Oh and do you guys also have a life? I barely do. Does that mean I'm incredibly inefficient, because technology is supposed to make everything easier?

I'm pretty sure the ones who figured all this out successfully don't hang around in any forum nor do they want to share this info but maybe we can put some pieces together.

Oh and another thing about this idea of promoting our images: How much money is each of you willing to throw into the pot to make it happen. Or how many hours a day are you willing to work for free to set it up, as you may also be a web designer, programmer etc.?
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 11:35 by click_click »

alias

« Reply #53 on: August 25, 2010, 11:30 »
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Yes. Make sure that it absolutely is not potentially hostile and does not favour one site over any other. It should be complimentary and industry friendly.

It's next about a group of hip modern photographers promoting their very best work together.

I would suggest - no advertising. A serious photographer would not have advertising on their portfolio. Adverts are not cool. Pay for the thing by subscription. Because you would be proud to be part of that group.

One day you might get to do a tie in with Hasselblad or Nikon. But that would be in the future.

lisafx

« Reply #54 on: August 25, 2010, 13:16 »
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So my question is: Can one person (photographer/contributor) do it ALL by him/herself?

- Creating content (editing, keywording, uploading and managing)
- create their own web presence like a personal/professional web site as an electronic business card to build their brand
- create, manage and add to a blog on a regular basis
- follow, un-follow, find new people to follow on Twitter and tweet about useful stuff
- create, maintain and update Facebook and mySpace
- educate yourself in terms of new photography gear, social networks trends, web site technology, marketing strategies
- advertise, promote and market yourself in person at the ball's game, supermarket, intersection etc.
- walk into galleries, restaurants small businesses and present yourself as the next big Sh!t who has the bestest images in the world that they have to buy.

I mean the list goes on and on.

Oh and do you guys also have a life? I barely do.

All extremely good points Click.  The time consuming and overwhelming nature of all of the above is probably what keeps good ideas like this from getting off the ground.  I know that I am already spending as much time as I care to on my business, and that is allotted mostly to shooting, editing, keywording, and uploading.  And yeah, hanging around here too when I need a break from any of the aforementioned ;)

If an alternate site to drive traffic, as is being discussed, were to be successful it would have to be run by someone who is pretty devoted to it.  They would make their money from the photographers who would pay to participate.  Most likely they would have less time to actually do microstock themselves. 

It's tricky to implement, I am sure.  What we don't need is yet another "get rich quick" scheme that just bilks aspiring photographers out of their money. 

« Reply #55 on: August 25, 2010, 13:48 »
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"Nil volentibus arduum"  (for those that really want something, nothing is impossible).  ;)  :-X
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 13:54 by FD-regular »

« Reply #56 on: August 25, 2010, 14:21 »
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It may have already been mentioned, but just an FYI that iStockphoto allows the creator of a lightbox to assign admin status to other users, so if a couple of black diamonds teamed up they could each add files to the lightbox.  If you wanted to limit each user to X amount of files, the administration would have to be an honor system.

« Reply #57 on: August 25, 2010, 14:50 »
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So my question is: Can one person (photographer/contributor) do it ALL by him/herself?

- Creating content (editing, keywording, uploading and managing)
- create their own web presence like a personal/professional web site as an electronic business card to build their brand
- create, manage and add to a blog on a regular basis
- follow, un-follow, find new people to follow on Twitter and tweet about useful stuff
- create, maintain and update Facebook and mySpace
- educate yourself in terms of new photography gear, social networks trends, web site technology, marketing strategies
- advertise, promote and market yourself in person at the ball's game, supermarket, intersection etc.
- walk into galleries, restaurants small businesses and present yourself as the next big Sh!t who has the bestest images in the world that they have to buy.
Yes, all of it.


I'm pretty sure the ones who figured all this out successfully don't hang around in any forum nor do they want to share this info but maybe we can put some pieces together.
Correct.

« Reply #58 on: August 25, 2010, 14:54 »
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"Nil volentibus arduum"  (for those that really want something, nothing is impossible).  ;)  :-X

Best reply I've seen so far.

« Reply #59 on: August 25, 2010, 15:42 »
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Wasn't Magnum elitist? ??? :D ;D

ED:  should have said, "Isn't Magnum elitist?"   8)

Thanks ;D

« Reply #60 on: August 25, 2010, 16:35 »
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I think this sounds like some of the Partner Programs from DT and FT. There are sites that get content from both of them. DT has something called API in their referral area; does that have something to do with this?

Maybe such a scheme could be financed partly from referral income? If there is a referral link belonging to the site inbedded in the image link? Is that possible in all the big ones?

« Reply #61 on: August 25, 2010, 16:45 »
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It may have already been mentioned, but just an FYI that iStockphoto allows the creator of a lightbox to assign admin status to other users, so if a couple of black diamonds teamed up they could each add files to the lightbox.  If you wanted to limit each user to X amount of files, the administration would have to be an honor system.

I was thinking of suggesting something using lightboxes - IS or DT, I don't know.

Take N of us, each with a website or a blog.  Like in MSG lighboxes, each would select a few images on a theme, we would create a lightbox with them, and all would publish that lightbox in their websites/blogs.

PS: We could publish that in Squidoo too.

« Reply #62 on: August 25, 2010, 17:38 »
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Obviously all of us (with maybe a few exceptions) have no clue how to successfully promote ourselves. Otherwise we would be laying on our yacht right now watching the royalties roll in on a custom-designed flat screen, mounted over my hammock.
My first question is: How are we all going to fit into your hammock?

Secondly, would buyers use these lightboxes to actually buy?

Ways buyers might find images to buy:
-keyword search
-looking at the port of the imagist whom they just dled an image from (mostly subscribers do this probably) to see if there are more good ones
-looking in categories
-looking at lightboxes, which are sort of more-vertical categories

How many buyers really use lightboxes to buy images? Does anyone know? And if the answer is, "Not many" then even if alias' idea of using social media to get googlejuice (which sounds like a great idea) works and you get a lot of traffic, the whole overall idea might not be so good.

Madelaide's idea of everyone re-publishing the lightbox seems like a really good one. But still, visitors might not buy. Then what good is it? Surely you if you were going to invest time or money in the lightbox idea, you would need some evidence that buyers really use them to buy.

« Reply #63 on: August 25, 2010, 18:17 »
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I don't really know about any of the microstock agencies, but because I do actually work for an agency in Asia, I know that our clients use lightboxes extensively. Mostly to organize images they like or need for future use. Especially those that buy from subscriptions. They have tons of lightboxes for a large variety of subjects. I'd be very surprised if the same wasn't true for microstock buyers too. However, there's a big difference between buyers organizing their own lightboxes and you guys creating lightboxes/galleries for the buyers.

« Reply #64 on: August 25, 2010, 18:32 »
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However, there's a big difference between buyers organizing their own lightboxes and you guys creating lightboxes/galleries for the buyers.
Correct, I think we're talking about a different type of lightboxes. The ones that buyers make for themselves are actually glorified bookmarks. I use them on my buyer's account in DT to pass to the designers (that use the same account). Lightboxes on DT are not even public (collections are, just like lightboxes on IS). When the (Indian) designers log in they check my lightbox and download out of it what matches best the page layout or dominant colors.

Contributor-made lightboxes or collections are totally different. They are very useful for a niche subject that would take too much time for a buyer to explore himself.

youralleffingnuts

    This user is banned.
« Reply #65 on: August 25, 2010, 18:57 »
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The only thing this website will do is reduce your RPD even further.  What you're all failing to consider is the typical behaviour of a designer.  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.  They're after the best, the most current and the most original content.  They're not going to browse through an individual's portfolio first and risk downloading something better than your shots.  They're going to do what they've always been doing and search for images on microstock sites where there are millions of photos from ALL photographers.  If you want to stand out in a crowd of millions, make your images individually better than anyone else's.  Focus on the search results of each image and figure out a way to move them to the first 5 pages quicker.  If you're old timers at this and you've haven't worked it out yet, what . have you been wasting your time on?

lisafx

« Reply #66 on: August 25, 2010, 19:25 »
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 Focus on the search results of each image and figure out a way to move them to the first 5 pages quicker.  If you're old timers at this and you've haven't worked it out yet, what . have you been wasting your time on?

Seriously?!!  "Figure out a way to move (our images) to the first 5 pages quicker"?!!  So, like, game the system?  It's been tried a bunch of times in the past but ended up with account closures for the gamers.  AFAIK the search engines are pretty gameproof at this point.  

Eventually if you build a portfolio of quality images and a good sales history you may be toward the front of many searches, but it really is dependent on the whims of the sites and their programmers.  Beyond producing the best images we can in whatever our areas of specialty are and using as many accurate keywords as possible (without spamming!) there really isn't much else one can do to ensure search position.  

You have some very nice vectors in your portfolio.  Would love to hear more about how you managed to get all your 59 files on DT placed advantageously enough to pull in the 72 sales you have had since you started in April 2010.  Perhaps yours is just the fresh perspective and insight we "old timers" have been waiting for to show us the way ;).
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 19:43 by lisafx »


WarrenPrice

« Reply #67 on: August 25, 2010, 19:41 »
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^^was wondering how long that would take.   ;D

youralleffingnuts

    This user is banned.
« Reply #68 on: August 25, 2010, 19:42 »
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lol I'm not stupid enough to just blab it out on a public forum but yes, absolutely work the system.  I wasn't talking about playing games or doing anything illegitimately.  Certainly not spamming or using inappropriate keywords.  Figure out what drives the search engines at each agent, it's not that hard.  Choose one of your quality images that's on page 10 and pick out a quality image that's on page 1, go their portfolio and try to work out why yours is placed on 10.  

Competition seems to scare everyone away but it drives me.  If it wasn't so competitive I wouldn't be in it at all.  The money's not driving me either.  I want my image to be better than anyone elses and I want it on page one.  I'm far from it but that's what is driving me.



 Focus on the search results of each image and figure out a way to move them to the first 5 pages quicker.  If you're old timers at this and you've haven't worked it out yet, what . have you been wasting your time on?

Seriously?!!  "Figure out a way to move (our images) to the first 5 pages quicker"?!!  So, like, game the system?  It's been tried a bunch of times in the past but ended up with account closures for the gamers.  AFAIK the search engines are pretty gameproof at this point.  

Eventually if you build a portfolio of quality images and a good sales history you may be toward the front of many searches, but it really is dependent on the whims of the sites and their programmers.  Beyond producing the best images we can in whatever our areas of specialty are and using as many accurate keywords as possible (without spamming!) there really isn't much else one can do to ensure search position.  

Would love to hear more about how you managed to get all your 59 files on DT placed advantageously enough to pull in the 72 sales you have had since you started in April 2010.  Perhaps yours is just the fresh perspective and insight we "old timers" have been waiting for to show us the way.

lisafx

« Reply #69 on: August 25, 2010, 19:50 »
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lol I'm not stupid enough to just blab it out on a public forum but yes, absolutely work the system.  I wasn't talking about playing games or doing anything illegitimately.  Certainly not spamming or using inappropriate keywords.  Figure out what drives the search engines at each agent, it's not that hard.  Choose one of your quality images that's on page 10 and pick out a quality image that's on page 1, go their portfolio and try to work out why yours is placed on 10.  

Competition seems to scare everyone away but it drives me.  If it wasn't so competitive I wouldn't be in it at all.  The money's not driving me either.  I want my image to be better than anyone elses and I want it on page one.  I'm far from it but that's what is driving me.

I think it's awesome that you have such enthusiasm, and great that you are not intimidated by competition.  Maybe you will have a long successful microstock career.   Its really too soon to draw any conclusions though.  

« Reply #70 on: August 25, 2010, 19:57 »
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Would love to hear more about how you managed to get all your 59 files on DT placed advantageously enough to pull in the 72 sales you have had since you started in April 2010.  Perhaps yours is just the fresh perspective and insight we "old timers" have been waiting for to show us the way.
;D- I didn't say it this time.  :P

youralleffingnuts

    This user is banned.
« Reply #71 on: August 25, 2010, 20:03 »
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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.  

You can toss my opinion or advice out the window, it doesn't matter at all to me.  But really, I'm not and no-one else here is going to worry about your starving family when microstock volumes go through the roof and you've wasted a good portion of your microstock life on a public forum typing useless post after post instead of working out a way to maximise your profits, your position as well as creating images that aren't limited to microstock.

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.

lisafx

« Reply #72 on: August 25, 2010, 20:07 »
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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. 

« Reply #73 on: August 25, 2010, 20:08 »
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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. ;)

« Reply #74 on: August 25, 2010, 20:10 »
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Oh boy. She's back. For a minute I thought sunnymars just might have been having a bad day the last time she came in here and used foul language at most of us. I have her on ignore, but I can see from you guys quoting her that she's up to her old tricks.

Hope she doesn't derail the thread (which might very well be her intent). I think we are all on the right track to something good.


 

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