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Thursday, November 22, 2012

first month of freelance statistics

As of first October 2012 I am no longer an istockphoto exclusive contributor.

There where many reasons to this decision. Some very obvious, like desire to being dependent on overall microstock footage market performance, rather than how one agency is doing. Other more personal, like growing dislike to the way istockphoto treats its contributors. The last one applies not only to royalty rates, or changes in redeemed credits structure, also to the uselessness of contributor relations in answering most of the questions I had.

Transferring my portfolio to shutterstock, pond5 and revostock was no one click task. Understanding how other agencies work, preparing portfolio for transfer, especially metadata, takes a considerable amount of time. If I were doing it again I would probably do it three times faster, so if you are considering a transfer do not hesitate to contact me. I will gladly share my experience, and let you know how to automate and speed things up.

Is it taking much more time to manage multiple agencies? No, no, no, no and once again no. I totally disagree with this commonly repeated statement. If you do things the smart way, It will take just a little bit more time.

Am I happy with my decision? The simple answer is yes. That said I wasn't expecting much boost in my income. Especially not from the beginning. I was hoping for a bit more stability. It is said microstock footage sales is a roller coaster. The more agencies you license your footage at, the more likely you are to have a gentle ride.

Over time I expect my sales to build up on other agencies. I am sure you've noticed, the sooner a file gets its first sale, the more likely you are to sale it again and again. For instance at shutterstock I have hundreds of file that did not sell yet, and a few files that have already more than one sale. November looks promising. I will be posting my statistical data at the end of every month.

In the last two years my portfolio grew slowly but steadily from about a hundred files to over five hundred files today.

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