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Author Topic: Where did she go wrong?  (Read 18844 times)

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PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #50 on: September 14, 2009, 05:10 »
0

Prices are subjective, and furthermore, determined by the CUSTOMERS, not the producers.


Kind of. It's still supply and demand.

Prices are determined by the median point at which customers are willing to pay and producers are willing to sell.

If producers all give in to requests for free work, than the median price is free. If producers as a whole refuse to sell below a certain price point, and there is customer demand for that product/service, then that price becomes the median. 





« Reply #51 on: September 14, 2009, 08:31 »
0
Working for free is common in other professions as well. Im running a healthcare-related shop, where people more or less expect me to counsel them for free- I earn money if I sell something, but general opinon is my time is worth nothing.

People get in, want advice for free, it takes minutes, sometimes up to an hour, then they just smile, say thank you, and order the stuff in the nest internet shop (where they dont get this advice) for less money, and expect me to be happy about still having them as customers, albeit not paying ones...

And because everybody tells them they are fools if they pay for things they can get for free, they think its normal, they did alright.

I have to work for free and still must smile and be happy if a tiny little number of them, maybe in the future, one day, perhaps, actually buy something. There are many times I would like to do a rant myself (like now).

So- whats the difference to said fashion photography?

« Reply #52 on: September 14, 2009, 09:59 »
0

Prices are subjective, and furthermore, determined by the CUSTOMERS, not the producers.


Kind of. It's still supply and demand.

Prices are determined by the median point at which customers are willing to pay and producers are willing to sell.

If producers all give in to requests for free work, than the median price is free. If producers as a whole refuse to sell below a certain price point, and there is customer demand for that product/service, then that price becomes the median.  

Yea supply and demand matter, but customer subjectiveness matters most. Just because a good is scarce doesn't mean its valuable, its only valuable when a person is willing to pay high amounts of money for it and there is no guarantee a mob of people will increase the value . It really all boils down to the subjective value the customers have for the good in the first place. If the costs are above the customers subjective value, then the producer failed to predict the subjective value of the product. Supply and demand are more like influences on the customers subjective value, so they still factor in, but in the end the real price setter is the customer.

Free stuff isn't always bad, neither are low prices. I hear lots of photographers complain about the low commissions but never about the falling price of computers and storage they use.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 10:08 by cardmaverick »

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #53 on: September 14, 2009, 22:43 »
0
I understand subjective value. But you seem to be saying buyers rule the market. I disagree. If a product or service is in high demand then the seller is in control. If there is little demand, the buyer is in control. It's balance. If you have something of value to offer then there is an equal exchange of value.

If you're selling something with no value it's time to find a niche to create demand or exit the market.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #54 on: September 14, 2009, 23:02 »
0
Working for free is common in other professions as well. Im running a healthcare-related shop, where people more or less expect me to counsel them for free- I earn money if I sell something, but general opinon is my time is worth nothing.

People get in, want advice for free, it takes minutes, sometimes up to an hour, then they just smile, say thank you, and order the stuff in the nest internet shop (where they dont get this advice) for less money, and expect me to be happy about still having them as customers, albeit not paying ones...

And because everybody tells them they are fools if they pay for things they can get for free, they think its normal, they did alright.

I have to work for free and still must smile and be happy if a tiny little number of them, maybe in the future, one day, perhaps, actually buy something. There are many times I would like to do a rant myself (like now).

So- whats the difference to said fashion photography?
If you have something of value to offer you should charge for it.  Why give free advice so they can go buy on the internet? In my day job (consulting) I charge for advice.

"I would be glad to help you but the guidance you're asking for is typically billable. Would you like to set up an hourly agreement?"

EDIT: Revised to tone it down a bit  ;D

« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 06:04 by PaulieWalnuts »

« Reply #55 on: September 16, 2009, 02:35 »
0
Why I dont charge anything?
Easy.
Nobody in my profession does  (at least not in my country).
The moment I charge my customers money for my advice they are gone. Next retail is directly on the other side of the street.

Its just a sad reality in modern business that sometimes you have to work for free. Nevertheless I like my profession, and I knew about this before I started, so I wont complain too much...

« Reply #56 on: September 16, 2009, 05:02 »
0
Why I dont charge anything?
Easy.
Nobody in my profession does  (at least not in my country).
The moment I charge my customers money for my advice they are gone. Next retail is directly on the other side of the street.

Its just a sad reality in modern business that sometimes you have to work for free. Nevertheless I like my profession, and I knew about this before I started, so I wont complain too much...

How is this a "profession", when you don't make any money?

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #57 on: September 16, 2009, 05:29 »
0
Why I dont charge anything?
Easy.
Nobody in my profession does  (at least not in my country).
The moment I charge my customers money for my advice they are gone. Next retail is directly on the other side of the street.

Its just a sad reality in modern business that sometimes you have to work for free. Nevertheless I like my profession, and I knew about this before I started, so I wont complain too much...

How is this a "profession", when you don't make any money?

She does make a sale if they buy from her after she gives her free advise.

It's the EXACT same as giving away a free photo of the week or whatever it is on Istock.

Or you know what else it's like, it's like using those 'idiots' over at sxc that are fool enough to give away their photos in order to promote your work. But you won't say no to that out of principal will you? No. Because it serves your own interests and that is ALL you're interested in.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2009, 05:39 by hqimages »

« Reply #58 on: September 16, 2009, 05:37 »
0
She does make a sale if they buy from her after she gives her free advise.

It's the EXACT same as giving away a free photo of the week or whatever it is on Istock.

Or you know what else it's like, it's like using those 'idiots' over at sxc that are fool enough to give away their photos in order to promote your work. But you won't say no to that out of principal will you? No. Because it serves your own interests and that is ALL you're interested in.

I think you're mixing up posts.  Your quote was from the original post about doing an entire photo shoot for free.  You've munged that about to be something about selling product based on giving out advise.  Of course, someone selling product wants to draw in customers by giving advice on the products they sell.  Was that your point?  I can't tell.

Hey, if you want to give away your work to promote mine, why would I say no?  Doesn't seem very sensible for you, but I can't control your desires.

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #59 on: September 16, 2009, 05:42 »
0
She does make a sale if they buy from her after she gives her free advise.

It's the EXACT same as giving away a free photo of the week or whatever it is on Istock.

Or you know what else it's like, it's like using those 'idiots' over at sxc that are fool enough to give away their photos in order to promote your work. But you won't say no to that out of principal will you? No. Because it serves your own interests and that is ALL you're interested in.

I think you're mixing up posts.  Your quote was from the original post about doing an entire photo shoot for free.  You've munged that about to be something about selling product based on giving out advise.  Of course, someone selling product wants to draw in customers by giving advice on the products they sell.  Was that your point?  I can't tell.

Hey, if you want to give away your work to promote mine, why would I say no?  Doesn't seem very sensible for you, but I can't control your desires.

Well what's the point in attacking Carla about giving advise away for free, when you're happy to ride on the back of your peers work that THEY give away for free. Why is your point of view valuable to us at all, since if what she did benefited you, you wouldn't tell her to stop doing it then would you?

« Reply #60 on: September 16, 2009, 05:48 »
0
Well what's the point in attacking Carla about giving advise away for free, when you're happy to ride on the back of your peers work that THEY give away for free. Why is your point of view valuable to us at all, since if what she did benefited you, you wouldn't tell her to stop doing it then would you?

Sorry, I mixed up her post and someone else's.  Of course you don't charge for advise when you are selling product.  But that's not "working for free".  That's part of the business overhead and time that should be figured into the cost of the product.  If you're selling product at a loss and standing around all giving out advise, well, then maybe that isn't the best business model.

btw, "attacking"?  A little dramatic, don't you think?

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #61 on: September 16, 2009, 05:53 »
0
Well what's the point in attacking Carla about giving advise away for free, when you're happy to ride on the back of your peers work that THEY give away for free. Why is your point of view valuable to us at all, since if what she did benefited you, you wouldn't tell her to stop doing it then would you?

Sorry, I mixed up her post and someone else's.  Of course you don't charge for advise when you are selling product.  But that's not "working for free".  That's part of the business overhead and time that should be figured into the cost of the product.  If you're selling product at a loss and standing around all giving out advise, well, then maybe that isn't the best business model.

btw, "attacking"?  A little dramatic, don't you think?

Quote
How is this a "profession", when you don't make any money?

Not when questioning someone's professionalism no.. and I am glad you didn't address that to Carla, because I think her business model is real, and it's what we all have to do.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #62 on: September 16, 2009, 06:00 »
0
Why I dont charge anything?
Easy.
Nobody in my profession does  (at least not in my country).
The moment I charge my customers money for my advice they are gone. Next retail is directly on the other side of the street.

Its just a sad reality in modern business that sometimes you have to work for free. Nevertheless I like my profession, and I knew about this before I started, so I wont complain too much...

So if you give free advice and they go buy on the internet, how do you make money?  It sounds like you might be in retail sales.

If the advice is not worth paying for why don't they just get the information on the internet where they buy their products?



« Reply #63 on: September 16, 2009, 06:00 »
0
Quote
How is this a "profession", when you don't make any money?

Not when questioning someone's professionalism no..

"profession" != "professionalism"

profession = "occupation or career"
occupation = "An activity that serves as one's regular source of livelihood"

So, you see, questioning whether working for free qualifies as a "profession" is questionable.  Glad I could clear that up for you.

Quote
and I am glad you didn't address that to Carla, because I think her business model is real, and it's what we all have to do.

She said she sells medical related products in a store and gives out free advise on those products.  I'm not sure that's what "we all have to do".  I do give out "free" advise to iStockphoto buyers on my blog, but I have that figured into my overhead costs.  If I weren't making enough to spend the promotional time on it, I would shift gears to something that would cover my paycheck.

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #64 on: September 16, 2009, 06:13 »
0
Quote
How is this a "profession", when you don't make any money?

Not when questioning someone's professionalism no..

"profession" != "professionalism"

profession = "occupation or career"
occupation = "An activity that serves as one's regular source of livelihood"

So, you see, questioning whether working for free qualifies as a "profession" is questionable.  Glad I could clear that up for you.

Quote
and I am glad you didn't address that to Carla, because I think her business model is real, and it's what we all have to do.

She said she sells medical related products in a store and gives out free advise on those products.  I'm not sure that's what "we all have to do".  I do give out "free" advise to iStockphoto buyers on my blog, but I have that figured into my overhead costs.  If I weren't making enough to spend the promotional time on it, I would shift gears to something that would cover my paycheck.

You questioned her RIGHT to call her chosen career her 'profession', because she gives advice for free. And you don't know that this 'advise giving' isn't factored into her costs, you are presuming.. and you also ride the back of other people's free work without advising them not to do it, so your opinion is worth nothing.

« Reply #65 on: September 16, 2009, 06:23 »
0
You questioned her RIGHT to call her chosen career her 'profession', because she gives advice for free. And you don't know that this 'advise giving' isn't factored into her costs, you are presuming.. and you also ride the back of other people's free work without advising them not to do it, so your opinion is worth nothing.

Sigh.  Again, I crossed her post with someone else's when I questioned whether how you it was a "profession" if she was working for free.  Again, as I mentioned, a "profession" is something one does to earn a livelihood.  So if she is selling product, that is her "profession" - the advice is something she does towards that goal.  Again, this all falls under the "crossed post" note.  Clear yet?

I'm not advising anyone to do anything.  Apparently you're having a bad day.  I'd suggest another few hours of sleep.

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #66 on: September 16, 2009, 06:31 »
0
You questioned her RIGHT to call her chosen career her 'profession', because she gives advice for free. And you don't know that this 'advise giving' isn't factored into her costs, you are presuming.. and you also ride the back of other people's free work without advising them not to do it, so your opinion is worth nothing.

Sigh.  Again, I crossed her post with someone else's when I questioned whether how you it was a "profession" if she was working for free.  Again, as I mentioned, a "profession" is something one does to earn a livelihood.  So if she is selling product, that is her "profession" - the advice is something she does towards that goal.  Again, this all falls under the "crossed post" note.  Clear yet?

I'm not advising anyone to do anything.  Apparently you're having a bad day.  I'd suggest another few hours of sleep.

lol! I'm having a great day. I just know exactly what you are. And I do understand you mis-posted, I responded to your inability to understand how the word professionalism relates to profession, they aren't poles apart you know..  :)

Suggest moving swiftly on.

_______________________________

Thanks to everyone for their point of view by the way, I've been reading this over the last few days and your opinions have been really helpful!!!


« Reply #67 on: September 16, 2009, 06:49 »
0
I think everyone in business, at some point during their work week, gives away advice for free. But when doing the free stuff starts using so much time that there isn't any left to do the stuff that pays, that, for me, is when it is time to move to another career or do something drastically different with the business model.

If I have 600 pictures in my portfolio, and I want to offer one for free for 30 days, I'm still making money on the 599. That still earns me a living. If I offer 599 pictures for free all year, and only one makes me money, well you see what has happened.

I think this is the point Sean was trying to make.

Carla is in a bad position...everyone else offers exactly what she offers, free stuff. Carla will need to find some way to change the balance of free vs paying. It might be very difficult for her to do that. Maybe offer more tangible products that are higher in demand and no one else carries that will earn her money to cover the free advice she gives?

For what it's worth, that is happening EVERYWHERE. Isn't that the exact same discussion we have here on the forums every once in awhile? The "professional" photographers think microstockers have ruined the industry because they sell a photo for $1.00 instead of $100.

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #68 on: September 16, 2009, 07:26 »
0
I think everyone in business, at some point during their work week, gives away advice for free. But when doing the free stuff starts using so much time that there isn't any left to do the stuff that pays, that, for me, is when it is time to move to another career or do something drastically different with the business model.

If I have 600 pictures in my portfolio, and I want to offer one for free for 30 days, I'm still making money on the 599. That still earns me a living. If I offer 599 pictures for free all year, and only one makes me money, well you see what has happened.

I think this is the point Sean was trying to make.

Carla is in a bad position...everyone else offers exactly what she offers, free stuff. Carla will need to find some way to change the balance of free vs paying. It might be very difficult for her to do that. Maybe offer more tangible products that are higher in demand and no one else carries that will earn her money to cover the free advice she gives?

For what it's worth, that is happening EVERYWHERE. Isn't that the exact same discussion we have here on the forums every once in awhile? The "professional" photographers think microstockers have ruined the industry because they sell a photo for $1.00 instead of $100.

It's not quite the point Sean was making, because he would never give away an actual image for free, and considers those that do so to be idiots pretty much! But I do get the point that YOU are making, which is that free is relative, and actually, this really applies to the topic.. in the case of microstock it might be giving away one photo, with the balance of 599 left, in the case of fashion photography, it's giving away one shoot, with the balance of (unknown number) paid shoots..

I guess really what it comes down to is having a great business sense and financial tracking, unfortunately most photographers struggle with this! It's also to be expected that if you give something away, people will not value it, and that's just an unfortunate aspect of human psychology.. so you might well get no thanks (or a door slammed in your face after they take your free image and run), sad but, the more they pay, the better they treat you.. it's a balance everyone needs to find..

« Reply #69 on: September 16, 2009, 07:33 »
0
I remember seeing something on TV years ago. They tried to give fivers away on the street to passers by, not catch, over half were to suspicious to accept.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #70 on: September 16, 2009, 07:33 »
0
I think everyone in business, at some point during their work week, gives away advice for free. But when doing the free stuff starts using so much time that there isn't any left to do the stuff that pays, that, for me, is when it is time to move to another career or do something drastically different with the business model.

Well said.

Yes, I do give away some time. But the purpose of that is to give the potential client an idea of how I work and my level of expertise so they get comfortable with me. So I give a little advice and then at some point I nicely let them know if they want more it's time to pay. If they're not willing to pay then that's exactly the point, all they want is free advice. The problem comes when they keep asking for advice and you keep giving it. They're not going to stop until you do. At some point it's time to shift the conversation to doing business.

And like you said, if this isn't realistic for the industry and you're not making money, something needs to be done to change the process or it's time to change industries. Like become recognized as an absolute expert in the product. So when someone says "well nobody else charges for advice, why do you?" You can say "because nobody else knows as much about medical equipment and how it can help you than I do."

I was at a trade show yesterday and there was a photographer there doing free headshots. This could be a good way of getting new business. But what if the people who got the freebies kept coming back later saying "can I get just one more free headshot? It will only take a few minutes and not cost you anything, right?" And the photographer just keeps doing free shots hoping someday someone will eventually pay. Pretty poor business practice.

« Reply #71 on: September 16, 2009, 09:25 »
0
Well, at least Cathy understood what I was saying.

And this whole thread was not about doing one free shoot in return for an unknown number of paid shoots.

« Reply #72 on: September 16, 2009, 12:21 »
0
No, I didn't get that the thread was about doing one free shoot in order to get more business. I got that the thread was about working for free just because the industry says so.

And if someone does think that's ok, they can't really post a blog about how awful the company that they did the free work is. They should look in the mirror and place the blame where it's due.

« Reply #73 on: September 16, 2009, 12:55 »
0
I think its a good time for you microstockers to pause and thank heavens that youre part of an industry where high-quality contracts that reward you handsomely for your work are the norm, an industry where 99% of you do not work for free, an industry where getting published without a credit is so rare, an industry where agencies are so fair and sensitive that its truly hard to understand why anyone would want to be someone elses photography slave, an industry
you are dripping with sarcasm, right?

« Reply #74 on: September 16, 2009, 13:22 »
0
Her complaint, as I understand it, centered around the fact that
A) Her editorial got hacked to pieces and more importantly...
B) She DID get credit but the others who were part of her creative team did NOT.


No, I didn't get that the thread was about doing one free shoot in order to get more business. I got that the thread was about working for free just because the industry says so.

And if someone does think that's ok, they can't really post a blog about how awful the company that they did the free work is. They should look in the mirror and place the blame where it's due.


 

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