I admire the submitters at Dreamstime who have committed to developing their art and skill. I often look at other people's work and try to learn from it. Unfortunately, this cuts into my productivity but fortunately, when I do learn a new technique I can hardly wait to try it out. Ultimately, this ends up diversifying my portfolio to the point where I'm not sure if I have much of a distinctive personal brand. I still feel like I'm constructing the right combination of photography and illustration to demonstrate my skills. Or am I navel gazing way too much?
When so much of the world is a vertical market, it is easy to believe that developing a distinctive body of work and sticking to it is the best way to capitalize on the micro-stock market. It is certainly one way of driving traffic to your portfolio. For example, you could become the best easter illustrator or the go-to person for zoo animals... and thereby build your own brand. But I also wonder if it's advantageous in micro-stock to be that linear. Do you think we have buyers that are going to remember our branding?