1. Failure to Make a Routine
Everyone loves the idea of working freelance, but if you don’t put in the hours the chances of getting big rewards are slim. There is no cap on your microstock earnings. If you make and stick to a routine you will increase your production, this can be difficult at first if you are doing microstock in addition to a regular job, however even if you work a couple of hours a day at times you know you will be available, it is worth perusing and you will see progress which ultimately will encourage you further to stick to your routine. Microstock is not stressful like a regular job as you have no one to answer to other than yourself. However, don’t let yourself down, organise a routine to help fulfill your potential in microstock.
2. Failure to Invest
I think too may people think that because they have a monthly bandwidth package that the world is their oyster, however in reality for many people access to the internet only enables them to look at other peoples successes. Remember with the internet we are all able to obtain the same knowledge therefore the competition is huge, it is not just you reading about how to be successful at microstock, anyone can, so you need to up your game if you want to compete. Spending money (if you have the money to spend) will help a lot to achieve your aims. Mmm maybe I could have put the last sentence somewhere towards the end of the post, as mentioning spending money so early on is probably not in the Blogger’s Bible. Seriously though, don’t fall into the Post-Millennial losers club of those who believe that everything should be free, don’t expect microstock to be more than just a hobby if you are not willing to invest. Here are just some examples that successful microstock photographers invest in.
- Photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.
- A decent camera and lenses, more than an entry level DSLR. If you go with with a DSLR and kit lens combined (often the deal is too good to resist), at some point you should also purchase an additional better quality lens to get the best from your camera. Kit lenses are usually not hard wearing and don’t have the best optical construction.
- Get rid of the chores to speed up your work flow. Some microstockers employ people for post production work so they can submit a higher volume of images, as the quantity of images that can be produced is usually a significant factor in the amount of income possible in microstock. There are also ways to outsource the chores, picworkflow for example has a service of keywording and captioning your images. Analysing your keywords and adjusting accordingly is also beneficial for getting your images found (and hopefully getting more sales). Microstock Analytics has a good service for this.
3. Not Measuring your Progress
If you are not measuring your progress, how will you improve? The objective is to grow and expand. What are your goals? What are you doing to get there? You need to devise processes and plans. Flying by the seat of your pants rarely gets you anywhere. Create goals, small ones at first, then challenge yourself further by moving progressively to larger goals. Track your progress, again Microstock Analytics is good for this.
4. Negative Beliefs
The journey to become a successful microstocker is a long one. Because of the amount of work and length of time it takes to create a really good income, you may start to doubt yourself or doubt the industry during the process. To overcome this make sure that when you achieve your goals, you celebrate them. Keep company with people who challenge you to achieve more. Although forums can be great sources of information, they are also full of naysayers and those who failed or those who had successes in the past but never adapted to stay successful. Don’t pay excessive attention to the overly negative posters. Spend more time with those who push the envelope and the positive thinkers. They’ll feed your motivation.
5. Death by Perfection
Trying to be perfect is time consuming. Successful microstockers find a balance because they know that quantity is needed in order to achieve a large income. They won’t spend time deliberating why an image got rejected, they won’t try to fix images that are rejected (the rejection reasons are often inaccurate anyway), they will limit the time they spend doing post production and will batch edit images to save time. Microstockers are creating stock images not works of art to be sold to the highest bidder. Speed up your process and get your images online, being a perfectionist will not help you in this. Meet the standards set by the agencies and then send them what they require, in bulk.