A few days back I made an announcement about the launch of my involvement with Gerber Global Media Content in Switzerland. I’ve answered a flood of questions as to the why and how and what, both, privately and my LinkedIn Group Photography Business what it is and why I think this is a big deal.
It pains me, it really, really pains me to see what is going on in the photography business. The divide between the young and the old photography souls in our world is growing larger by the minute. Hostility is growing amongst photographers and I know so many talented people who are going out of business. What can I tell you – I’ve been preaching it for years, you must learn the business side. You must learn where the business is going and get with it before all the good spots are taken. You miss this – you are dead, done, and over.
Paradoxically content is King. There are more websites published than ever, more businesses with an internet presence and the numbers continue to explode worldwide. Each and everyone of them uses images and illustrations. How is it possible that nobody makes any money? Because there’s no perceived long term value for 80% of images that are out there. We must learn how to differentiate between what has value and what doesn’t.
They called in an information highway for good reasons. Just like a car zips by in a less than a second – information does the same. In most cases (I am not saying in all cases) what I am seeing right now is that the image has to be: good enough – well priced – and will see it’s 15 minutes of fame before it becomes irrelevant.
What I also see is that there are new businesses are formed who specialize in content creation on demand. A business with a high traffic website and a good Google ranking wants to keep it that way. That is why they hire a content creation company to assist them with creating content that keeps readers engaged and coming back.
From my days as the Photo Editor for Elle I have always known that packaged content sells well. When I ran Beateworks (the stock licensing business I sold to Corbis) I generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in reselling packaged content. Mostly high end celebrity at home stories but I know that there is a market for packaged content NOW and I am going after it.
Our PhotoBizCoach community has nothing but content to offer. I hear it from you all day long. You have great images that often sit unused in your drawers.
That’s why I advised Livio to create Gerber Global Media Content so that photographers like you can have a destination for your stories.
The big issue that we’ve run into (and some were very hostile about this) is text. You can’t sell packaged content without text. If there is no text – there is no packaged content. We are back to images sitting on your drives. There is no value to that. The value is in the package.
My job is to keep you abreast of industry changes and to advise you on tricks, tips, and techniques on how to keep your business going. But you have to make changes to the way you do business and you have to actually do the work. Nobody will go to your house or studio and sift through hundreds or thousands of images to edit them and then hire and pay a writer to research the story and write a text for it.
Times have changed. You need to be more things to more people, and you need to be more efficient. If you have content that you’d like to make money with – get going with your editing NOW. Start collaborating. When you got your selects find yourself a writer (they are ALL in the same boat as you) and form creative partnerships. The better text and photos are, the higher the probability is that you can sell it. Make sure that it’s something people are interested in. Stories only sell if there is an angle, or a hook of some sort.
You are visual story tellers – you are time machines. So tell your stories before it’s too late and someone else figures out a better, faster, and yet cheaper way to do it.
If you have any questions about submissions, please refer to our submission guidelines. We are going to facilitate a live training seminar in the next few weeks and Livio about content creation and how the process works.
You can opt to do nothing and that is OK. Doing nothing means that everything stays the same. You tell me if you can afford it.
Wonderfully said. Printed, and this will be re-read and passed along often! I’ve been a Real Estate Photographer for over 40 years, and you’re so right. Everything was so much simpler in the ‘Old Days’.
Thank you, Thea
Content is KING. Yes, I believe you are correct. I fell into this reality through a personal project that I entitled “A Mule’s Tale…”. I posted the BLURB book on Facebook. Within 4 hours(!) I had a call from a regional publisher. Now my portfolio is entitled THE GRANDEST RIDE. The Portfolio has been given two cowboy museum shows, a gallery show and print sales to a huge corporatation, book sales specifically targeted to my publisher’s niche market along with postcards and very inexpensive mounted prints.
I am ecstatic! But the down side. I continue to be the manufacturer, salesman, book keeper etc. I need to make more photographs, need to sell more photographs, need to be given assignments. Most of all I need someone to help me do some of the heavy lifting. What can you suggest. My two stock agencies are doing their part, I am emailing, snail mailing and socially networking. Where do I go, what else must I do to get assignments?
Your thoughts are of interest to me.
We recorded the introduction session to Gerber GMC. I will be sending you the email so you can listen to it and decide if this is something that sounds right to you.
Beate, I have paid for courses from you and I have listened to many of your webinars. I am an oldie trying to stay afloat in the sea of youth. You are so right. I haven’t remade my website (made in flash and not working on mobile devices) because I am thinking that the blog is the way to go. I haven’t published much to my little blog, but I hope to make it the main focus in the months to come. I was approached, out of the blue, by a company doing exactly what your new company is venturing into. When I asked where did you find me? I wanted to say “Because I am such a small fish- but didn’t”-they responded with “we searched for blogs in your area” Bingo!
Thanks for sharing your experience. I am so glad that the new strategies you are implementing are working. It proofs the point that we have to continue to adjust to new market conditions. Keep pushing! Beate
Well said! I’ll have to get on this…