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Messages - swisschocolate

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No need to clog this forum, just peek in my site and you'll find all the answers there.

Obviously, you're good at SEO...

No, thanks.

Couple of, so far - it's been up for just a few days.
Customer service? ???

Photodeck, Smugmug, Photoshelter, Pixieset, Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, Wordpress Plugins and 10 more.

What is the refund procedure? What about VAT for customers from European Union? What is the legal agreement between you and your customer which garantees that they are safe to use an image how they intend to? What license do you sell?

I'm not asking you to answer all that :) just I had no idea how to deal with that by myself if I would open the shop.

Btw, website is cute! Good luck :)

What freaking harm would come from supporting the simple CONCEPT of contributor empowerment of any kind?
'Of any kind' no harm :)

But when it comes to "delete your portfolio" and "go exclusive" I feel my personal responsibity to notify newbies that it will harm them tremendously in the long run. How it did harm my own portfolio (forever), when I was naive enough to believe in all this nonsense.

Now after a months work my fresh new website is taking off satisfactorily.
My investment? All together $171.00 (hosting included) !

I can show you ways to make it for even less money and without all that technical hustle that you did :)

How are the sales and customer service are going so far?

I believe the suggested plan can be realized. This team effort should be well structured, so that everybody stays informed, knows the plan and and stays motivated, and more importantly we need the leverage of a group.

So basically what is suggested is an organized "financial suicide", right?

Because even if your "plan" will work and agencies will change pricing (losing customers in the meantime), your portfolio won't be there anymore to reap the benefits of this "revolution". And it will never get back to the same positions. Never ever.

What can be more stupid than that, I can't imagine...

> Make an exclusive account with whatever agency is the fairest - Pond5, Alamy, Storyblocks

Or accept only (40) 50% share at the lowest.

I have deleted my account with SS due to the image abuse via Facebook... and have stopped uploading many other micros for multitude of reasons, one being this free trial nonsense and  of course, microscopic payments.

I don't expect the answer since it's personal, but is microstock your main source of income? Do you make a normal living from "Pond5, Alamy, Storyblocks"? And do you live in a developed Western country?

Overall though, it is also important to remember that the agencies are not out to get you, they have human beings working there and they have an incredible amount of costs for IT, legal stuff and marketing that we can barely imagine how very hard it is to attract and maintain customers.

Every producer is also free to have their own webshop from their website or through photoshelter and to sell direct. Many, many people do that. Again, it takes years to build up successful customer relationships and maintaining your network.

And again, personally I think it is very important to see agencies as a voluntary partner, not your enemy.

Nobody is stopping a producer from selling directly online.

The entire planet is your market and just below your finger tips.

Great! Thank you!

Maybe if we will stop see ourselves as little victims against "evil big brother", and begin to respect their hard work too.

We can have an equal dialog with them. And only after we're able to organize at least ourselves here :D But everyone has such different income/experience/goals...

I was seriously thinking to try to sell my images online by myself. After months of research and tries, I gave up. It all would take 99,99% of my time and a huge invesment without even a hope that it would work.

Stock sells well only if we sell it all together and create a huge variety. But someone has to run and maintain it, and it's not us, obviously.

And the people at the top, making the most money

I fully agree with you.

But did someone here took enough risk in their life to start an agency?

Or those "people at the top" are aliens? Not just people who took huge risk and responsibilities and actually made it happen? Don't they deserve their money?

This all sounds so strange. Like if those agencies were given to them as a gift and now they abuse poor artists for fun.

Such a victim mentality. Nothing else. Sorry.

I'm not sure anyone is arguing that you should do anything to be part of a community or because someone wrote that you should.  There are actual arguments and facts presented here.

Have you deleted your SS potfolio already too? Or someone else should do it first?

Fact: SS didn't change its pricing for 15 years straight. Why did you start uploading there at all?

Like I said before you have to have people willing to pull their media from sites and you won't get enough people to even make the big agencies think twice. The best bet is to support sites like Stocky, Pond5 and Adobe!!

Why don't you pull your media from SS first as a great leader?

Sorry, but all these slogans which involve other people's money sound scary.

For sure, huge studios that have 10-50 people on salaries will go and pull their 500.000 portfolios tomorrow, just because they read something on the forum and want to be "a part of the community".

This sounds great, but it's a massive work.

Is there an example in other online industries who managed to do it?

I know only one example in domain industry
"The Internet Commerce Association (ICA) is a non-profit advocating for the rights and interests of domain name owners and related service providers."

They have lawyers involved, board members etc.

Maybe it makes sense to contact them for advice, since we are in internet commerce too :)

Why build a separate website when we have this forum? What a new website will change exactly? And how will we discuss things there? Make another forum?

It is already a place "where contributors can go to get information about the state of the industry and the actions of different agencies", isn't it?

Since I left IS exclusivity, I don't have any reasons to complain anymore.

I'm so happy to feel this freedom that if something changes I have full control of my portfolio and can move it around and upload to new sites.

It felt so terrible to be worried about 1 website and how it will be doing next month.

I started from 0 again and already have regular sales on all major websites and they're growing each month. I have a strategy and working on my workflow to make it more and more efficient so I have more time to invest in growing my portfolio. I can't find what I should be fighting against or what for, sorry :) (except the concept of exclusivity in general :D as my memories are still so fresh).

Pond5 / Re: It's official, you are exclusive.
« on: March 28, 2019, 08:57 »
OK I am a small and I mean small business, if I need video I pay for it!

(I was actually always wondering why you do this :D since you have your own great library :) )

What about those who doesn't want to become videoproducers first, who actually doing other business like selling apparel or home decor or diet plans? They use stock photos now. And they will need to tell video stories too, and a lot.

Pond5 / Re: It's official, you are exclusive.
« on: March 28, 2019, 08:32 »
If we build the best exclusive library there then that is where the buyers will go.

What about the growing demand of video for small buyers, not corporate, that will never be fullfilled this way? By us. But it will be fullfilled anyway, small online businesses will not sit there without video forever.

Someone will fullfill that demand (let's pray it won't be "a free generous community") and you won't be on that market then, can you afford to miss it?
And sell only to high-end buyers, then maybe it's worth it.

I personally want to be able to sell simple stuff as well, that doesn't need a crazy production set, flying helicopters over Antarctic in Haloween costumes.

Pond5 / Re: It's official, you are exclusive.
« on: March 28, 2019, 07:48 »
No it is not. You are producing something and it has a cost for you. It does not matter if it is a hammer,a photograph or a clip.

No :)

To sell a hammer you should produce a hammer. To sell a second hammer you should produce a second hammer. If you don't produce a third hammer, there is nothing to sell anymore.

You don't produce a clip each time, you produce it once and sell infinite amounts of times.

Just visual for now.

Just curious, is it technically challenging to combine both?

Because this way it would be much more accurate and since I'm sure the most important words are there anyway, then I may not need to waste time correcting the results.

Or is there hope that AI will be able to provide an accurate description in the future?

I doubt, since there are so many variables like location, abstract concepts etc. which can't be read by machine just because it will never be able to recognize that "this architectural detail on the building was shot in Amsterdam, not in Paris", so it will always need at least some data. Isn't it?

Pond5 / Re: It's official, you are exclusive.
« on: March 28, 2019, 04:51 »
Got it, all you had to say.

I entered microstock in 2008 getting paid 0,25c per image and continue to make a living from it. And there is no reason for me to expect more, because these were the rules since inception of this industry.

If you have another experience when you was paid not pennies but hudreds since 2008, so you afraid that it will change in the future... I'm geniunly happy for you :) and sorry at the same time.

Pond5 / Re: It's official, you are exclusive.
« on: March 28, 2019, 04:11 »
But still is a business investment.
Here are some free info if you wish to research,
Facebook Blueprint and Youtube Academy.

Thanks! Will check it out.

Of course hiring a videographer is a massive investment, but I meant if stock costs me 5 per second, videographer becomes more affordable. But it doesn't mean my business can afford either of them :) which is fine for a physical business maybe they have other channels and strategies, but for online business - you're non-existent without constant stream of content.

Prices aren't lowered for no reason. And as we can see here, they haven't even really changed the last 10 years...

That's a great argument against this "race to the bottom" talk.

SS didn't touch it's prices/royalties for how many years? 11? 15?

Pond5 / Re: It's official, you are exclusive.
« on: March 28, 2019, 03:44 »
RPI of the clips means nothing RPI of the shoot is the only thing that counts.

Is there a business or an industry where Return Per Investment is 100% guaranteed?

I am the last one that must comment as a newbie

but I don't see any "protect our media from "thieves"", mechanisms developing from agencies.


Just a small question... So they need to spend more money on additional tools to protect us more, hire an army of lawyers to protect each account. At the same time they should increase our %, and do better marketing, also we should have few big players to have a choice but they shouldn't compete with each other and so on and so on. And at the same time keep pricing low enough, otherwise the raise of Unsplash & Co. is inevitable.

Are they real geniuses? I really doubt :)

Pond5 / Re: It's official, you are exclusive.
« on: March 28, 2019, 03:03 »
I read some of your post and sorry to say but you are well beyond reality in many of your assessments. You obviously have never worked on a "custom" production unless when you mean custom (is is me picking my iphone and shooting video) because I can guarantee you that a single well done production buy you a video subscription to all the existing footage libraries for 1 year.

No need to sorry, because it's only my opinion, I can be wrong. But I repeated several times that I'm talking from a stand point of a small online business owner (which is a growing trend globally). Custom I meant to hire a videographer.

No one buys me a subscription, and SS prices are 25 HD clips - 200 seconds - for 1,199 - it is nothing in terms of content.

So it means that this segment of customers (future millions of them) is forever excluded from buying video on stock sites.

In 2008/2009 there wasn't regular $200 sales anymore (at least for newbies), maybe in 2002 :)

And on Shutterstock it was already the same 0,25c for a beginner.

But the volume was great even with a small portfolio.

Looking at my SS stats I think 100 images back then is like 10.000 images now :)

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