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  • #27990
    Profile photo of George Sheldon
    George Sheldon
    Participant

    All,

    Time to discuss business – the business of what we are doing here.

    First thing on the agenda is:

    Should we start a program of free stock?

    How many of the big agencies offer “x” number of free images to new clients?  Seems like many do – does it make sense to give away some smaller sample images – free – to get potential clients and to get their e-mail for marketing? I seem to always over-produce, and the images of mine that I’d give away are not for sale anyway – and they would be smaller in size. Would you do this to build your list of clients and potential customers? Is this smart marketing? How powerful would it be to start a “free” stock program? Does it make sense to do this individually or better to do it as a group?

    Second item up for discussion:

    Should we start a monthly subscription service?

    You know the plan – pay “x” and download all you want for $xx.  I see there is a Woocommerce addon plugin that would allow this type of subscription. Does this king off pricing make sense?  Would do it? What would you charge for a monthly subscription?

    Your turn – tell us all what you think.

    George

    #27991

    My answer is NO for both. Reason?

    The first thing is to get the site out. When traffic is up, there are a lot of things you can play with. Big agencies do those marketing strategies because they have huge client base.

    Second, unless we have hundreds of thousand or even millions of images in stock with a big variety of topics and the clients buy images daily, the subscription may make sense. High sales quantity justfies the low subscription price.

    I am not a fan of freebies. Whoever are serious in business would not care about couple of bucks to get the image they want. The image license fee is a tiny fraction of their project expenses. I have one full size sample with watermark at my site in case if clients wish to see the quality of the images. I give away small size image for free in exchange of site back links but so far no one asks for it.

     

    #27997
    Profile photo of Andre
    Andre
    Participant

    I’m with Songquan, NO to both.
    I think both ideas are part of the problem Symbiostock tries to solve.

    First, if you “over-produce” then it means you’re not editing tight enough. Nobody wants sub standard or boring content anyway, not even when it’s free.
    Second, “free” (or super low priced) and “subscriptions” are exactly how photographers became dissatisfied with agencies. Not smart to repeat this strategy IMO.

    Symbiostock is about simplicity. Client is searching for an image, finds it on Symbiostock, pays for it. That’s it. No registration needed, no credits to buy, no future ad spamming. If we give this away then we give up what sets us apart from most agencies.

    #27999
    Profile photo of Walt Payne
    Walt Payne
    Participant

    I agree with “No to both” for many of the same reasons stated above. But I also appreciate the thought you are putting into the whole process, George, and the assistance you give. It would be nice if we could come up with some reasonable way to increase traffic and sales for all of us.

    #28019
    Profile photo of Robin
    Robin
    Keymaster

    Thanks for brainstorming George – your continued efforts with helping the entire project are always appreciated.

    #28023
    Profile photo of George Sheldon
    George Sheldon
    Participant

    Thanks to everyone that has responded and voiced their thoughts.  I hope more join in the conversation.

    I would like to add that, in my opinion, we need to consider our business model and refine it.

    George

    #28024
    Profile photo of Walt Payne
    Walt Payne
    Participant

    I agree, George. We also need more promotion through various means to get the word out to gain more participants and more traffic.

    #28038
    Profile photo of George Sheldon
    George Sheldon
    Participant

    Google says more searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries (including the US).

    Google has also announced they would be penalizing sites that are not “mobile friendly” in search results.

    What are your strategies to deal with “Mobilegeddon”?

    #28039
    Profile photo of Walt Payne
    Walt Payne
    Participant

    George,

    I think the Symbiostock Express theme shows pretty well on mobile.  I am not sure what Google might define as “mobile friendly”, though I plan to look that up.  One thing I did see with my site on mobile is that the images in the slider are slow to load, so I will need to shrink the file sizes as much as I can without degrading their appearance.

    Thanks for bringing this up, as I know it is important.

    #28040
    Profile photo of Chrisroll
    Chrisroll
    Participant

    Optimize your website for speed (cache plugin, image optimization, database optimization, css minification)

    Hide your slider on mobile device to faster load

    Test your site on https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

     

    #28041
    Profile photo of Walt Payne
    Walt Payne
    Participant

    Chrisroll,

    Thanks! Well, Google thinks my site is mobile friendly, though I see a number of things that need to be improved. But at least they won’t penalize me in search, though almost as bad is that slow loads will kill results for mobile users.

    #28058
    Profile photo of Walt Payne
    Walt Payne
    Participant

    Chrisroll, what image optimization do you use? I was afraid to use them because I don’t want my download images messed with.

    #28059
    Profile photo of Chrisroll
    Chrisroll
    Participant

    I don’t use wordpress plugin for my slider or website post images (for product images I let Imagick do the job).
    I optimize them under Gimp but you can also chek here for good free compression software :
    http://enviragallery.com/9-best-free-image-optimization-tools-for-image-compression/

    #28060
    Profile photo of George Sheldon
    George Sheldon
    Participant

    Question: What would you say is the most used browser?
    Answer: I would have got this wrong. I just recently read that the most used browser is the Facebook browser.

    Something else to consider as you think about being “mobile friendly”.

    George

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