Stock photography used to be a club only a few photographers got to join. It took professional gear, professional training, and probably required knowing the right people at the right stock agencies to get a foot in the door.
But that’s all changed.
Now, virtually anyone with a camera can sell images on stock photography sites. But having the capability of selling photos and actually making sales are two completely different things. If you’re thinking about selling stock images, or if the stock images you’ve already got just aren’t selling, follow these quick and easy tips to boost your sales.
Do Some Research
Rather than randomly uploading whatever images you have on your laptop, it’s important to first conduct a bit of research and find out what kinds of images are currently selling. Really put some effort into your research, and develop a clear understanding of the kinds of images that are flying off the virtual shelves and why those images are selling.
Part of this process should involve an examination of trending topics in the news and on social media. For example, if pancakes are trending in the news for some reason, you better believe that people will be looking for stock images of pancakes. Having that kind of information will help you add in-demand photos to your stock photography collection that will have a better chance of being purchased.
Research isn’t just about the content of the image, but also about what the image looks like. Inspecting popular images and determining what they might have in common in terms of composition, for example, will help you develop a better gauge for what your images need to be of and what those images need to look like as well. Have a look at the most downloaded images from several stock sites to develop a better understanding of the compositional choices the photographers have made.
Embrace the Free Section
It might seem silly to donate some of your images to the free section of a stock site, but it’s actually a really smart move that could get your paid collection a lot more views. The free images on a stock site are incredibly popular and get an enormous amount of traffic. As a result, photographers that have images in the free collection get a ton of exposure. This isn’t to say that you should put your entire collection of images into the free area of the site, but offering a dozen or two dozen free images will be certain to get people to check out your fee-based images. The more people that visit your collection, the more likely you are to sell images!
Develop a Niche
While it’s important to offer images of popular topics, it’s equally important for you to develop a niche. Stock photography is a highly competitive market, so you will need to add images to your collection that stand out from the crowd. Your niche images can focus on a certain subject, like street performers in Paris, or you can develop a niche based on a specific style, like black and white photography.
The point is that developing a niche in which you can make a name for yourself will give you a nice balance between images that are highly sought-after, if only for a moment in time while the topic is popular in the news, with niche images that will have a longer life cycle and draw more attention to your collection in the long run.
The Final Word
In the end, boosting your sales is all about being diligent. Keep your eye on what’s trending in the news, get creative and develop a niche, and keep a few images rotating through the free section. If you do, your sales have a much better chance of improving.