What Is A New Photo Buyer Worth To You ?
If you were selling apples, which of the following scenarios would you enjoy most?
A. You start your morning with a leisurely breakfast at 9:00 a.m., load three dozen apples into your cart and deliver them to one customer at 11:00 a.m., and then spend the afternoon at the beach.
B. You are awakened by the alarm at 5:00 a.m., you rush through breakfast so that you can start knocking on doors in order to sell your 36 apples by the end of the day.
The first one sounds best, doesn't it? Yet most stock photographers
resort to the second one, or even a third one: they wait by the phone and hope
someone will call them.
In the days of the California Gold Rush, the '49ers who proved
successful were those who first panned creek to locate gold, but then took one
more important step. They followed the gold back to the source and then spent
their time in the mine. Unsuccessful 49'ers only panned the creeks and streams.
Too often, stock photographers will sell a photo to a buyer
and consider the transaction final. The photographer goes on to look for "gold"
Successful stock photographers, on the other hand, learn how
to "mine their lode." That is, they calculate the future net worth of
the photobuyer and put the buyer into their system, which includes a
program of regular promotion of their photography to that buyer.
These photographers cultivate a long-term working relationship
with photobuyers whose photo needs match the photographer's own stock photo
Determining a future net worth of an editor or photobuyer
is not difficult to do. The photographer estimates assignments, sales, and other
revenue that will be obtained from that photobuyer over the years, and then
projects what potential monies will come in. Past experience shows that each
buyer represents certain predictable variables: per-picture rate of pay, average
number of pictures bought per year, spin-off to other photobuyers in the same
publishing house/ad agency/corporation. From this, it's easy for the stock photographer
to determine the future net worth of their new photobuyer.
The future net worth over a ten-year period of a typical low-budget
buyer would be approximately $5,000. That of a mid-range buyer would be $25,000
and a high range buyer would be $75,000.
The key is promotion.
If the stock photographer does not set up a regular and consistent
plan of promotion, the new photobuyer could very easily slip away.
What does it cost to promote? If your costs to promote were
just 10% of the expected gross revenue, it's easy to see that promotion costs
are irrelevant. The key is to know who you should spend your promotional
Which brings us to how to get good leads worth your promotion
dollars (panning for gold along the creek). Leads from a marketletter like PhotoDaily,
are the most cost-effective. If you spend $350 per year on a market service,
and obtain 10 excellent mid-range leads during that one-year, you have a gold
mine: 10 x $25,000 = $250,000 future net worth -- at a cost of only $350, plus
10% to promote to them over a ten-year period. There are not many businesses
that can realize that kind of cost-effective marketing strategy.
Begin today to follow-up with the photobuyers you've cultivated
in the past. Start mining this hidden asset of yours.
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