My name is Pier Paolo Mansueto, I live in Milan and I work as a clerk. In my spare time I dedicate myself to my passion: photography and video making.
Here, you can see my portfolio on microstock websites, where I signed up with the nickname eyesonmilan:
A difficult start
On the Christmas day of a couple of years ago, I bought Daniele Carrer's course (learn more about the course).
I had been following his podcast for a couple of months and for a while I thought about buying the course because I wanted to try selling stock footage.
That day, I had hurt myself on a ski slope, and I was sad because I had to abstain from all sporting activities for a couple of months. To cheer myself up, I got a nice present: Daniele's video course.
It was one of the best choices I have made in my life.
The course was a turning point
I had already started producing on my own, but the course was fundamental for:
- discovering techniques and tools that I otherwise would have been unable to find.
After buying the course, I immediately got the help of Daniele, who has so many things to teach thanks to his experience.
From that day on, I worked hard to increase the quantity of videos for sale on the agencies he recommends: Shutterstock and Pond5.
Create a video for Youtube
I recently wrote to Daniele to ask for his opinion about a video I made by editing some footage that I shot in Milan.
I am particularly proud of the result I reached. I had never done editing like that, but I did it easily by following the advice Daniele gave on his course.
A buyer contacted me via YouTube
I decided to create that video because, a little while ago, I had published on Youtube a short hyper-lapse of the Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace, one of the landmarks of Milan). A person from Brazil contacted me because he was interested in buying it.
I therefore decided to do this editing to find someone else interested in buying the whole video, or part of the stock footage of Milan I had included (without going through the agencies and leaving them a share of the profits).
As yet (a hundred days after publication) no one has appeared, but I know that times can be long. Even in the case of the Arco della Pace video, several months passed before being contacted.
The most complicated thing while editing was finding adequate music, but once I understood the workflow to use to create cuts between the clips following the rhythm of the music, it was fun and it didn't take long.
I also inserted a watermark (the text in the middle of the video) to avoid someone using it without asking, just as suggested in the course.
I was satisfied with the editing. You can judge it too:
Sales reports of my production of stock footage after almost two years
Writing this page is an opportunity to see my results after almost two years as a stock footage producer.
If I look at the content I produced in my first days, I go crazy:
I was really naive to think that someone could be interested in buying that awful material.
I used to shoot footage:
- with an awful old camera
- without a stabilizer
- without a tripod
and with very little knowledge of what it means to create a video. I wasn't aware of terms like:
- 4K resolution
And, of course, I didn't know what buyers were looking for.
But, after two years of experience, things can improve, because everything can be learned by:
- working hard
Useful resources to learn how to sell more videos
There are many useful resources online. In addition to Daniele's website and podcast – which I usually follow to keep up to date with the microstock world – I follow some blogs about producing stock footage and stock images.
In particular, these two:
- https://brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/ by Alexander Rotenberg
- https://www.backyardsilver.com/ by Steven Heap.
There, I always find many useful suggestions regarding:
- what kind of content to produce
- market trends
The profits I got
For me, the first results came after about six months. Slowly, sales have increased. I'm still not completely satisfied, but at least now the sales are regular.
For some time now, I’ve sold an average of 8 videos per month, with net earnings ranging between 150 and 300 dollars per month.
Sales come from Pond5 and Shutterstock. I make fewer sales on Storyblocks, where to date I have only sold 3 videos.
But after two years of hard work, I am able to better know what the market wants. So, now I can focus on the production of the most requested content. The main secret to selling is being able to find a niche in which to specialize.
Recently, I decided to focus on the production of:
Daniele's course explains how to create this type of footage very well.
But I don't stop with the microstock business.
From a microstock producer to a digital entrepreneur (thanks to video and photography)
Daniele led me to discover other podcasts, a few of which were about digital marketing. I started listening to them almost a year ago. They opened my mind to new ideas.
I focused on a podcast of interviews with digital entrepreneurs who tell of their successful experiences.
Thanks to what I learned, I decided to dedicate myself to a new project which is starting right now.
I launched a website in Italian called www.fotografarebene.com. It is dedicated to those who are taking their first steps into photography.
There are still few pages, but in the coming months I will dedicate myself to writing and launching a podcast.
The stock footage taught me to have:
Enthusiasm is also useful!
With them, the results finally arrive.
I have also created a digital tool that, taking the data available on the Pond5 website, is able to understand which contents are most requested by the market, allowing us to produce stock images and stock footage that have the best chance of selling.
You can find it on this page.
Pier Paolo Mansueto
This story was originally published on the Italian microstock blog of Daniele Carrer.