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Maximising Earning Potential in a Mature Microstock Marketplace. Bob Davies. Who am I?. Microstock Illustrator & (Occasional) Photographer. Who am I?. Blogger & software engineer Microstock sites/tools 5 browser add-ons 2 wordpress plug-ins. My Philosophy. Pragmatic Rational
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Maximising Earning Potential in a Mature Microstock Marketplace Bob Davies
Who am I? Microstock Illustrator & (Occasional) Photographer
Who am I? • Blogger & software engineer • Microstock sites/tools • 5 browser add-ons • 2 wordpress plug-ins
My Philosophy Pragmatic Rational Responsible
Goals • View microstock industry as raw data • Find your place in the industry • Develop your portfolio • Content • Workflow • Reach
Maturing Microstock Eng: Maturing Microstock
Maturing Microstock • 2002-2005: Microstock emerged • Few agencies • Dollar-prices • The long-tail emerged • 2005-2009: Microstock developed • More newcomers • Upward and downward price pressures • The long-tail was easily recognised
Maturing Microstock • 2009-????: Microstock matures • LOTS of competitors • Buyouts, mergers and partnerships • Premium micro-content earns promoted pricing • Up-selling takes centre-seat • ‘Reach’ opens niche markets • The long-tail is now VERY head-heavy
The long-tail rules • This is the 80/20 rule visualised • Your position in the head/tail matters... • There is no ‘real’ average • The head is better for any ‘one’ • The tail is good for any ‘many’
Fundamentals • Research and preparation are critical • Objectivity goes a long way • Quality is greater than quantity • Conversion rates earn status • Monitor, revise and renew
The Thought-Model was: sell MORE photos
The Thought-Model is now: sell MORE PHOTOS
Future Thought-Model: SELL more PHOTOS
SELL more PHOTOS • Analytics & Self-awareness • Targeted Production • Shoot for your market • Accurate and relevant metadata • Agencies/photographers markets must ‘align’ • Marketing • Up-sell your market • Change your workflow
Workflow MUST become: • Earn
Aspects of the image (then) • Early microstock • Images were rough • Lots of opportunity for everyone • Few barriers-to-entry • Recent developments • Higher quality is necessary • Less space in the market • Production costs are increasing
Aspects of the image (near future) • Lifestyle & ‘rich media’ content • Broader internationalised content • Content quality will improve ever more • Expansion into footage is wise • Room for niche collections is growing • New technology makes brings new imagery • Your style needs to be original, and definitively your own
What to actually shoot? • What is a picNiche rating? • Conversion against competition • Oversupplied topics rate low • Undersupplied topics rate high • Not a perfect measure, but a good indicator • Search volume data is an issue • What I’ve learned from picNiche data...
Downward Trends • Downward trends are ALL due to • Increased competition • Don’t waste your time... • If you plan to produce any of these topics: • you must be GREAT already • ...and improve to become AMAZING!