You Can Lead a Horse To Water But You Can't Beat Any Sense Into It
How do I say this in a nice way?
It's my observation and opinion that virtually all the threads about lack of sales, poor sales, theories about views, post-a-blog-get-a-sale, etc., generally are started and bumped up by Contributors who have yet to understand the business of stock.
The real answer is to keep uploading QUALITY images and CONCEPTS. If you follow and observe particular Contributors, you will be amazed at how many small portfolios are pulling in huge sales on a consistent basis. That should be proof enough right there yet the "conspiracy theories" will never go away.
Stock is also a numbers game. The more you sell, the more credit sales fall your way. The trick is to get sales in the first place. And that's where it doesn't get nice: It's a hard reality not all portfolios are created equal and there is a reason why some are successful and some are not.
However, there is hope. If you work at it, you can improve and stand shoulder-to-shoulder (statistically) with the big boys.
And that seems to be the biggest issue for many: Improving. Those fixated on creating theories about Views, writing blogs for the sake of writing blogs, etc., just never seem to make the leap to the one single element required for carving out your niche in the stock world: Improving.
The online stock model is a fantastic opportunity. Other than a camera and/or software, you can start your own business with no start up costs. Everyone is welcome to join the community regardless of experience or credentials.
However, joining the community does not guarantee success. It's up to you to be successful. Many quit and give up; you can see this in the New Member forum. Search through the old posts and check out the profiles of contributors announcing their arrival. A great number of them have only a handful of images in their portfolio and hardly any sales one or two years after signing up.
As I've said before, failure is not a bad thing. In the end everyone gravitates toward endeavors they enjoy doing and can do well.
Many Contributors naturally do well with stock on their own; some figure it out quicker than others but they all eventually get to where they're going.
There isn't much need to address the two groups of Contributors who succeed or quit and move on to other activities. This blog is for the group that needs help. They are failing at stock but stubbornly refuse to either move on or makes excuses for not improving.
If you are in that group, then this is how you can succeed:
1. Admit you are failing. Once you stop analyzing Views, blaming the search engine, posting messages and blogs thinking you need more exposure, then you will be able to focus on the issues that are holding you back.
2. IMPROVE! GET BETTER!
Yeah, OK, reading "Microstock for Dummies" isn't going to make you a stock guru after four hours of reading. Here are tips on how to get started:
1. Study the database. You have millions of images right in front of you to look at. Which ones get a lot of sales? Why? Can you do a similar concept? Can you EXECUTE the concept well?
2. Have no studio? No lighting equipment? No models? SO WHAT???? Again, study the database. Just browsing through it can give you ideas. Look for concepts that YOU CAN DO without models or renting an office building for a day. Sit down with paper and pencil and brainstorm.
3. Find portfolios of amateur Contributors who are successful and study their work. Can you tell if they lack resources like models and lighting equipment? How do they work around their limitations? You will discover that each individual has their own style of creativity which sets them apart from the rest. And they will have amazing sales with a small portfolio.
4. Find Contributors who are failing. Many images, very low sales. What do you find in common with these Contributors? Are you following the same path?
One of the greatest tools on DreamsTime and the most under-utilized is the POSITIVE CRITICISM forum. It can be a huge mistake to assume you know all the reasons why your portfolio is at the level it's at; doesn't everyone overlook the obvious at one point or another? It is not a bad thing to ask for help!
The real secret of the stock game is to keep uploading quality images in order for the sales to come. I did mention this is a unique community where Contributors of all skills levels are welcome. But we still compete with each other; therefore, it does not matter what level of skill you have, you have to improve and get better if you want to succeed or remain successful, especially as the stock industry evolves and changes.
Regardless, people will be people so the DT internet forums will always be full of people blaming the search engine, obsessed with View counters, or posting messages until their face turns blue hoping that will get them noticed.
So, the point of this blog is this: Do you subscribe to the various theories and excuses for not having many sales and/or quality sales? Or do you think your portfolio may perhaps have room for improvement? You would think the entire community would answer in unison for one of these statements, but the message forums indicate that is not the case.
I have essentially written a dissertation on the old saying of "Leading a horse to water..." May this blog be helpful to those who take the drink.
Photo credits: Lincolnrogers.