Another day of uncertainty in the stock market as Wall Street tries to recoup from the news of poor profits while investors, sitting on the sidelines, are afraid to put money back into the market.
Hearing the word stock sorely reminds me that in our own industry, stock photography, the downward spiral continues as budgets shrink and clients tighten their collective belts and look for ways to stretch their content budgets. And, if that doesn't make you want to crawl into a hole and hide, more grim news reports that overall sales within the photo stock industry have flattened out or are in a decline from this time last year and photographers and artists are becoming disillusioned with the general lack of return on their investments for creating images for stock. The bright spot in all this gloom is that people are still looking for and purchasing images, they are just looking for better priced stock images and inexpensive ways to promote their businesses. Unlike the investors in the stock market, don't take a seat on the sidelines. I believe that all artists currently working in the advertising, graphic design, photography or stock photo business or are looking to get into these industries should consider the following:
"Look to diversify by offering more services to complement your specific business.
" Look to partner with your peers sharing space. Consolidating your office will give the possible client the feeling that you are bigger than a one man show. This also helps defer costs" Ask how long your prospective client has been in business. New businesses run a greater risk of failure within the first 3 years. We all read or heard horror stories about jobs going without payment leaving the studio holding the financial bag.
" Look for clients that would benefit from your expertise. If you do not do automotive products or know nothing about the specific industry don't waste your time or their's.
" Learn about an industry before you expect to compete for a client's business. You need to bring something to the party.
" Use stock photos and illustrations. It will save you money over hiring a photographer. I've been the owner of PhotoSpin.com for a long time and am amazed at the cost of some of the image products out there today. According to some recent statistics, I've read that last year the average stock customer spent about $1000.00 for stock photos. This was one of the reasons we created our online subscription service for royalty free images back in the year 2000, to allow customers to download high quality photos and illustrations at an affordable price. Check us out: www.photospin.com
I believe that the creative industries will rebound. We just need to be patient. In my own industry, artists will always need fresh images to create the advertisements, websites, brochures, etc. to promote their client's businesses, products and services and I intend to provide them with such images at an affordable price. As the old saying goes "A picture is worth a thousand word"'. Maybe in today's economy we should say "A picture with the right layout is worth a thousand dollars".