If you’re trying to have a better life using your job to achieve it, maybe you’re doing a wonderful thing, but only if you:
- Work 8 hours a day for 5 days a week.
In 2013, I tried to produce a new format for television. I lost a lot of money and I worked for months, but nobody wanted to buy it. I’m strong and I soon started working to recover (do you know how many failures Elon Musk had before founding Paypal?).
So, in 2014 I worked:
- 12 hours a day for 6 days a week
to create new job opportunities for myself. I wanted to be a full time online entrepreneur, and I needed a boost to succeed. There are two kinds of boost you can use:
As I told you, I had a failure that cost me a lot, so I didn’t have money, but I had time.
Working too much means building your life around a job, and I don’t want that. The best part of my life are the people around me, not my CV. If I spend all my days in front of my computer there is definitely something wrong, and I have to find a way to change. Working 12 hours a day for six days a week can only be healthy if it is limited to a few months of your life. I was just trying to have the chance to have a better job, moving gradually to something that I could commit less hours and give the time to stay with my family and do what I liked, instead of staying inside a office with a nervy boss and jealous colleagues.
Producing Microstock was what let me achieve it. Then, thanks to the passive income I get every month selling stock footage, I found the way to produce other projects, such as this blog. Today I feel free:
- I love to create stock footage
- The more I study the more money I get
- I spend many hours with my son
- I can live wherever I want
- I don’t spend hours to go to the place where I work
- Somedays I wake up and check my emails finding sales reports that can make me say:
Ok guys, let’s go to the beach!
Last summer I spent many weekends (sometimes Thursday to Monday) sunbathing in front of the Adriatic Sea. For a couple of times, I spent the whole week in one of those beautiful cities in northeastern Italy, not too far from where I live. When I came back home in September, I checked my sales reports in Microstock agencies. Here they are:
Pond5 August 2016 payout (and also $792,50 for joining the membership area)
Shutterstock August 2016 royalties
Videoblocks August 2016 earnings
That’s why I love producing Microstock. You have to work hard, but after that every day is a good day. By the way, during summertime, buyers purchase more or less at the same pace as usual (believe me: you need this kind of information to sell more).
We as contributors give a large part of our earnings to the agencies. It means that we hire someone who works for us, but it is also true that on September 1 all you need to say goodbye to your summer holiday is an email like this :
It’s not easy to find direct customers. You have to study a workflow, and before that you need to have stunning content. They contacted me two months before, and left me with the usual message:
Ok, we’ll let you know.
Communication is important when dealing with potential buyers. My technique is simple:
- Thanks for contacting me. The cost for licensing my footage is…. I look forward to receive a reply.
This is the first stage:
But before that it’s time for:
When you get an email from a customer saying he wants to buy your footage, you need to have a workflow that makes you spend the shortest time to close the deal.
When I get the money on my PayPal account, I just need to spend one minute to find the exact link of the footage I’ve already uploaded without the watermark on my Amazon Cloud Drive, and I need to have that link even if I’m outside my house office. It’s not so easy to work this way, at least if you don’t think Microstock is a business:
- Even if I use to check emails twice a day, only the email that direct buyers use to contact me has the “Push” option in my IPhone.
- With my Amazon Cloud Drive, I can find the link I need in less than one minute. Not because of Amazon, but because I organized the files perfectly.
Without this workflow those 250 Euro could go up in smoke. Now I need to improve my workflow, and the next goal is to automate payment and files delivery. To do that I’m working hard, and I’m spending hours to then save days of precious time.
Looking at my sales report, you will have noticed a decrease of Shutterstock. Never fear: something that happens frequently in Microstock, and Pond5 compensated it ($ 1010 + $792.50 as a fixed payment for giving my content to their membership area).
There is a little thing that I incredibly love in those reports. It is the detail of the stock footage I sold. I hope you too can get some inspiration from it, even if you’re now just a contributor that gets only 20 Euro per month. Earning $90 for:
- A 2009 time-lapse of the Colosseum
- A 2011 time-lapse of the leaning tower of Pisa
Both have already sold widely, which is great, because it makes me think my collection is like a benefit. You can be happy too: everybody can take those same shots (there are millions of visitors who come to my country every year!). Let’s say I paid my last holidays with the content I created many years ago during other holidays of mine.
By the way, answering the question of the title, in my case it’s around
- $3,000 per month
The amount missing in the screenshots above is because of a light seasonal variation of the market and it’s partly compensated by direct sales (like that of 250 Euro I wrote about), and that there have been even in August while I was sunbathing:
Are you tempted by Microstock?