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Author Topic: Time to create a new sustainable stock agency  (Read 11210 times)

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« Reply #50 on: December 17, 2020, 13:15 »
+1
Just bumping this due to some news. Photodeck just announced new functionality that provides individuals with the ability to set up an instant agency or photographer collective. I use Photodeck for my photo business website and am pretty happy with them. For anyone who wants to start an agency or collective this may be a good alternative to building from scratch.

https://www.photodeck.com/blog/2020/12/creating-photo-agency/

Thanks, Paulie W., for pointing that out.

I had an account and built a site at Photodeck long, long ago. A very early user. The guy running it was nice and very helpful as I got my feet wet in self-marketing.

So I can't remember why I didn't stay with it. Maybe because I went with iStock, Shitterstock, etc?? Who knows now or cares?

But I may go back and take another look, thanks to your recommendation. It might be an idea whose time has come (again) for me.


PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #51 on: December 18, 2020, 00:17 »
+2
Just bumping this due to some news. Photodeck just announced new functionality that provides individuals with the ability to set up an instant agency or photographer collective. I use Photodeck for my photo business website and am pretty happy with them. For anyone who wants to start an agency or collective this may be a good alternative to building from scratch.

https://www.photodeck.com/blog/2020/12/creating-photo-agency/

Thanks, Paulie W., for pointing that out.

I had an account and built a site at Photodeck long, long ago. A very early user. The guy running it was nice and very helpful as I got my feet wet in self-marketing.

So I can't remember why I didn't stay with it. Maybe because I went with iStock, Shitterstock, etc?? Who knows now or cares?

But I may go back and take another look, thanks to your recommendation. It might be an idea whose time has come (again) for me.

Photodeck has come a long way. I think I signed up with a basic account in 2010 and switched to a more advanced account around 2014. I've also communicated with the founder and their support team and they've been helpful overall.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #52 on: December 18, 2020, 09:42 »
+1
Just bumping this due to some news. Photodeck just announced new functionality that provides individuals with the ability to set up an instant agency or photographer collective. I use Photodeck for my photo business website and am pretty happy with them. For anyone who wants to start an agency or collective this may be a good alternative to building from scratch.

https://www.photodeck.com/blog/2020/12/creating-photo-agency/

This will be interesting. I think many have been asking for something like this, for a long time. Off to read.

Oh I get it. Nice

"host multi-photographer accounts on PhotoDeck, with access rights management."

Five members team plan $100 a month, but it tracks individuals earnings, which is very important to any team or group agency, that the people who make the sales, get the credit for the sales.

Start your own agency, and have 5 people join you.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2020, 09:47 by Uncle Pete »

farbled

« Reply #53 on: December 18, 2020, 12:00 »
+2
I wish ktools still supported their software. I found it easy and intuitive and you could set up multiple contributor accounts easily.

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #54 on: December 18, 2020, 14:03 »
+2
Just bumping this due to some news. Photodeck just announced new functionality that provides individuals with the ability to set up an instant agency or photographer collective. I use Photodeck for my photo business website and am pretty happy with them. For anyone who wants to start an agency or collective this may be a good alternative to building from scratch.

https://www.photodeck.com/blog/2020/12/creating-photo-agency/

This will be interesting. I think many have been asking for something like this, for a long time. Off to read.

Oh I get it. Nice

"host multi-photographer accounts on PhotoDeck, with access rights management."

Five members team plan $100 a month, but it tracks individuals earnings, which is very important to any team or group agency, that the people who make the sales, get the credit for the sales.

Start your own agency, and have 5 people join you.

I skimmed over the details. So looks like the plan includes up to five people but you can contact them to request more users. Beyond the technology is all the business stuff. Content strategy, marketing, how to handle customer service, how to split the costs, attract buyers, design configuration, and more admin related stuff.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2020, 14:05 by PaulieWalnuts »

Horizon

    This user is banned.
« Reply #55 on: December 18, 2020, 14:17 »
+4
Oh boy this idea have been on the carpet many many times. I think the first time was when Istock started to mess us around and thats about 10 years back if I remember correctly.
The idea is great if one whants to spend 90% administration this and that and 10% photography!....just a minor detail who is going to pay for it all? advertising etc and all that goes with it?

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #56 on: December 18, 2020, 14:34 »
+4
Oh boy this idea have been on the carpet many many times. I think the first time was when Istock started to mess us around and thats about 10 years back if I remember correctly.
The idea is great if one whants to spend 90% administration this and that and 10% photography!....just a minor detail who is going to pay for it all? advertising etc and all that goes with it?

Yep and that's the other half of the equation. You need to have a solid business plan otherwise the technology is useless.

« Reply #57 on: December 18, 2020, 17:58 »
+6
Oh boy this idea have been on the carpet many many times. I think the first time was when Istock started to mess us around and thats about 10 years back if I remember correctly.
The idea is great if one whants to spend 90% administration this and that and 10% photography!....just a minor detail who is going to pay for it all? advertising etc and all that goes with it?

Yep and that's the other half of the equation. You need to have a solid business plan otherwise the technology is useless.

Exactly right.

And that's where we come full circle back to Symbiostock, isn't it?  Great ideas for "let's all band together and show the *insult removed* we don't need them" but almost no ideas for marketing.


EDITED TO ADD: Fun how this sweet, 74-year-old widow can still write stuff salty enough to wind up with an *insult removed* tag here on MSG. Must mean I'm not completely washed up yet. ;D ;D ;D ;D
« Last Edit: December 18, 2020, 18:01 by marthamarks »

« Reply #58 on: December 19, 2020, 17:54 »
0
Quote
And that's where we come full circle back to Symbiostock, isn't it?  Great ideas for "let's all band together and show the *insult removed* we don't need them" but almost no ideas for marketing.

and at the end of the day selling is all about marketing!

:) good to see you still being salty Martha!

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #59 on: December 20, 2020, 11:26 »
+1
Oh boy this idea have been on the carpet many many times. I think the first time was when Istock started to mess us around and thats about 10 years back if I remember correctly.
The idea is great if one whants to spend 90% administration this and that and 10% photography!....just a minor detail who is going to pay for it all? advertising etc and all that goes with it?

Does that administrator get paid more for all the extra work?  :) Otherwise, you make a very good point.

I wish ktools still supported their software. I found it easy and intuitive and you could set up multiple contributor accounts easily.


Apparently as the php versions changed, the second Ktools, which was not an upgrade but all new, also started to fail. If I understand right the entire package would need to be re-written to match modern standards.

"I have made the decision to close Ktools.net. I have been struggling with keeping it running in my very limited time but unfortunately I can't do it any longer.

I started Ktools in 2003 when I was single and had no kids. Things took off quick and I started working on Ktools full time. Soon after I brought on Jeff to help me. We worked to develop hundreds of releases of PhotoStore over the years and answered in excess of 110,000 support tickets. In 2013 Jeff was diagnosed with cancer. He left Ktools shortly after to spend time with his family. During this time I tried to bring on different people to help me but nothing worked out. Last month Jeff passed away from his cancer. This left me to reflect on things. Since the start of Ktools 14 years ago I got married and had 2 kids. My kids are 2 1/2 years and 7 months. Things rapidly changed on the internet during this time and my inability to keep up hurt the business over time. Because of this I took on a full time job in 2015. Since then my time has been extremely limited. I have tried to keep up with things the best I could but with a full time job and young kids at home I feel like it was a losing battle. Gone are the days when I could work 12-14 hours on this.

I will be gradually shutting down the site with a goal to have everything completely closed within the next couple months.

I will continue to assist anyone with remaining support time. Support responses may be slow but I will get to them. I will no longer be selling support packages or upgrade packages."


I installed some free photostore on one of my sites, but never got to the point of figuring out how after I uploaded photos, to get them to display. And then people have told me, getting the store to accept payments, gets complicated as well.

Lisafx had a working site, then it was re-written, she paid for that. Last I looked, it wasn't functional at all. That was with someone professional who made changes to keep it working. Maybe the code could be purchased from KTools Photo Store as a starter, then developed. Cost vs return how much demand?

farbled

« Reply #60 on: December 20, 2020, 11:52 »
+1
Lisafx had a working site, then it was re-written, she paid for that. Last I looked, it wasn't functional at all. That was with someone professional who made changes to keep it working. Maybe the code could be purchased from KTools Photo Store as a starter, then developed. Cost vs return how much demand?

I doubt it would be worth the effort honestly. For me it was ease of use and that it allowed a lot of variables that the Wordpress plugins don't seem to, right off the shelf (video preview, multi contribs, separated payment modules, etc). I also found that I didn't need extensive tech skills to run it compared to some of the more involved WP plugins, and I have tried most of them.

For the money and amount of work, it would be easier to buy an existing agency I bet, and rebrand, toss all the collections and start fresh with exclusive stuff.

At the end of the day, its all just software and (relatively) easily dealt with, compared to establishing sales and marketing your brand. I still maintain there is no point competing in the same sphere as the MS agencies (ie via random google search), and is better to branch out to areas they don't seem to work in. That is the tough bit in my opinion. :)

I still have my site. I use the WP Photo Seller plugin currently, does the job but is very basic.

Activesocial

« Reply #61 on: December 20, 2020, 12:27 »
0
Hello guys, I registered to this forum today but I can't create new posts. Why?
Thanks

« Reply #62 on: December 20, 2020, 14:08 »
0
Hello guys, I registered to this forum today but I can't create new posts. Why?
Thanks

Until you make 5 posts (I think that's the number) your posts need approval. I just approved this one, there are a couple of other members who can approve. Leaf is trying to cut down on spam, so noobs need approval at first.

« Reply #63 on: December 20, 2020, 14:13 »
0
Quote
       In 2013 Jeff was diagnosed with cancer. He left Ktools shortly after to spend time with his family. During this time I tried to bring on different people to help me but nothing worked out. Last month Jeff passed away from his cancer.

Oh, very sad.

I think the Warmpicture site was a KTools site. And I know my personal site was a Ktools too, for a while. And then it broke. Then came symbio. After that broke a couple of times, I moved to wordpress, but gave up on selling from my own site.

Tenebroso

« Reply #64 on: December 20, 2020, 15:51 »
0

@ marthamarks, a virtual hug.



The artists will have to try to get together again. It is not about competing with the agencies. Expand the possibilities, alternatives.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #65 on: December 21, 2020, 06:43 »
0
Quote
       In 2013 Jeff was diagnosed with cancer. He left Ktools shortly after to spend time with his family. During this time I tried to bring on different people to help me but nothing worked out. Last month Jeff passed away from his cancer.

Oh, very sad.

I think the Warmpicture site was a KTools site. And I know my personal site was a Ktools too, for a while. And then it broke. Then came symbio. After that broke a couple of times, I moved to wordpress, but gave up on selling from my own site.

Well you've done much better at getting something working, than I ever did. Even MY Symbio site crashed and Leo looked at it and couldn't see why. I have had no luck with the WP plugins. That's why KTools was the most hopeful for me until that also became outdated.

Lisafx had a working site, then it was re-written, she paid for that. Last I looked, it wasn't functional at all. That was with someone professional who made changes to keep it working. Maybe the code could be purchased from KTools Photo Store as a starter, then developed. Cost vs return how much demand?

I doubt it would be worth the effort honestly. For me it was ease of use and that it allowed a lot of variables that the Wordpress plugins don't seem to, right off the shelf (video preview, multi contribs, separated payment modules, etc). I also found that I didn't need extensive tech skills to run it compared to some of the more involved WP plugins, and I have tried most of them.

For the money and amount of work, it would be easier to buy an existing agency I bet, and rebrand, toss all the collections and start fresh with exclusive stuff.

At the end of the day, its all just software and (relatively) easily dealt with, compared to establishing sales and marketing your brand. I still maintain there is no point competing in the same sphere as the MS agencies (ie via random google search), and is better to branch out to areas they don't seem to work in. That is the tough bit in my opinion. :)

I still have my site. I use the WP Photo Seller plugin currently, does the job but is very basic.

Be patient, I bought lottery tickets again this week...  ;) I wouldn't mind having a full time job again, and running a small stock agency, would be right up my kind of interest. (remember I'm the one who says, don't feed the little agencies that only compete on price and have all the same images as the big ones.)

I'm also not sure that many people would be interested in any exclusive agency. Sure Stocksy has a style and direction, what would "newstock" (the rebranded agency) do for their special niche. Oh I know... Plop and Shoot, realistic food photos.  ;D

But seriously, I suppose food porn would be something in demand? Myself I'd lean towards Motorsports? (obviously not a high demand or big seller)

I hope someone here takes up the package offer and gets together with five others to start their own small market site. That would be interesting to see how it succeeds. I'd wish them the best.

farbled

« Reply #66 on: December 21, 2020, 12:17 »
+1
I'm also not sure that many people would be interested in any exclusive agency. Sure Stocksy has a style and direction, what would "newstock" (the rebranded agency) do for their special niche. Oh I know... Plop and Shoot, realistic food photos.  ;D

I think when the alternative to an exclusive image is potentially only a few pennies if anything, it might make sense for people still producing unique stock images. :) And that's why I am sad about ktools, setting up a 5-10 person shop was dead simple to do and it wouldn't cost a hundred bucks a month to yet another company making money off our backs.

If the Stocksy folks are taking notes, maybe think about a discount brand to go along with their premium one? I bet you'd get a lot of interest.


Tenebroso

« Reply #67 on: December 21, 2020, 14:42 »
0
Once here, in this forum, I asked for the number of files needed for a platform to be potentially interesting for a potential client to come just to look at the web.


Some, very few, commented. The numbers that were said in this forum were high. Lots of files needed to just grab potential attention.


The responses in number, are something that five artists would have a hard time getting, according to the numbers offered by those who commented on this forum.

farbled

« Reply #68 on: December 21, 2020, 15:19 »
+4
Once here, in this forum, I asked for the number of files needed for a platform to be potentially interesting for a potential client to come just to look at the web.


Some, very few, commented. The numbers that were said in this forum were high. Lots of files needed to just grab potential attention.


The responses in number, are something that five artists would have a hard time getting, according to the numbers offered by those who commented on this forum.

This comes back to my point of having a solid marketing plan that relies on something besides volume. For example, I have approx 5k rare earth mineral and mining photos, almost exclusively industrial minerals and metals used in manufacturing. It is one of the larger licensable collections that I am aware of. So, for me, I'd find a half dozen shooters who have a similar complimentary collection (size, quality, variety). Industrial, architectural, "people at work", and the like. At the end, still well under 100k images making for a very small collection. But it is targeted to a specific market. See?

 If all the potential "agency" has is numbers, I think its doomed from the start, since the big agencies will always have more. I doubt I'd join any group that was relying on Google or any other search engine placement for clients. When the supply is unlimited, you need a different differentiator. Rarity and quality is what I'd choose.


Tenebroso

« Reply #69 on: December 21, 2020, 15:50 »
0
Yes. Both factors are differentiators when it comes to getting potential leads. Have a unique or very special material. A differentiating material is something that you can offer someone that they may need.

Right.

The other option is the union of artists, logically, not all. Logically the agencies are not rivals or competition from that group or multiple groups that will be formed from the first successful group.

This group has many advantages, and will compete against other groups and agencies. Customers will have new options. Exclusive groups with a unique material and large groups with a high number of files capable of motivating a potential buyer to approach that platform.

farbled

« Reply #70 on: December 21, 2020, 16:37 »
+1
Yes. Both factors are differentiators when it comes to getting potential leads. Have a unique or very special material. A differentiating material is something that you can offer someone that they may need.

Right.

The other option is the union of artists, logically, not all. Logically the agencies are not rivals or competition from that group or multiple groups that will be formed from the first successful group.

This group has many advantages, and will compete against other groups and agencies. Customers will have new options. Exclusive groups with a unique material and large groups with a high number of files capable of motivating a potential buyer to approach that platform.

Having watched this industry since it took off, in my opinion, there will never be a union. And in the very slim chance there is one someday, if they compete with agencies purely on volume, they will probably not do very well. The one thing I learned from the Symbiostock project was that I will never allow a group like a union ever have a say in how I price my work or where I offer it for license.

*edit, maybe I am not understanding what you mean. The way it reads to me is you want to attract clients via volume mostly. I don't see how that is different from any of the sites on the sidepanel here.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2020, 16:44 by farbled »

Tenebroso

« Reply #71 on: December 21, 2020, 17:39 »
0
I don't want to bring you to anything or anywhere. I simply have the conviction that the union of artists is necessary. Saving the intermediary is something that will bring us many advantages. Therefore, I firmly believe in what I say. To the point of working to make it a reality.

I accept your perspective. I accept your comments, I accept everything. I only say what I think. What you think is not contrary to my words.

You, logically, are free to comment and act as you deem appropriate. A hug and happy holidays if you are used to celebrating them.

If you don't celebrate Christmas, may the new year not be like this 2020.

farbled

« Reply #72 on: December 21, 2020, 17:45 »
0
I don't want to bring you to anything or anywhere. I simply have the conviction that the union of artists is necessary. Saving the intermediary is something that will bring us many advantages. Therefore, I firmly believe in what I say. To the point of working to make it a reality.

I accept your perspective. I accept your comments, I accept everything. I only say what I think. What you think is not contrary to my words.

You, logically, are free to comment and act as you deem appropriate. A hug and happy holidays if you are used to celebrating them.

If you don't celebrate Christmas, may the new year not be like this 2020.

Agree, happy holidays. I apologize if I sounded argumentative. Its not intentional.

I just do not see, where there is unlimited supply of artists and product, the chance for a union to ever really have a positive impact.

Tenebroso

« Reply #73 on: December 21, 2020, 17:54 »
0
All good, greetings.

Never belong to any group. If you think you can offer your files individually, go ahead. I am always in favor of trying, not spending time crying, but fighting. Also, if you fall, get up. Anything you need for your project, and I can help you, count on me. I am very busy, but I can help you. Contact me in February and I will give you the free software and space to start it. If you're interested.

farbled

« Reply #74 on: December 21, 2020, 18:50 »
0
All good, greetings.

Never belong to any group. If you think you can offer your files individually, go ahead. I am always in favor of trying, not spending time crying, but fighting. Also, if you fall, get up. Anything you need for your project, and I can help you, count on me. I am very busy, but I can help you. Contact me in February and I will give you the free software and space to start it. If you're interested.
I appreciate the offer but I think someone just starting out with fresh content and new ideas might be a better investment for you. I do not think I have the drive or ambition to start fresh again except on my own small scale. And as many here can tell you, I am pretty flaky. :)  I made my pile on micro already, and will scrape the last pennies out of my collection before I completely toss in the towel. Best of luck!


 

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