So you love taking photos and making memories but you also want to expand your income pool. After all, this is the age of having the greatest freedoms to create what you love and profit from it. If you ask me, everyone should be able to easily turn a passion into a profit - big or small.
As a photography novice or even a professional, if you've thought about doing something with those unused images you have collecting dust on your external hard-drive - creating a platform to share your images with the world is the way to go.
If you're familiar with any of my work, outside of graphic design and what not, I run and operate a stock photography platform known as CreateHER Stock. July 2018 will mark three whole years since our inception. I've learned quite a lot from having a niche website catering to an audience that need a lot.
Turning images that go unused or creating new images to use as stock imagery is a pretty cool way to create a decent income stream if you're looking to make a profit. I'm share 6 tips to help get you started.
TIP 1 - FULFILL A NEED
Like any new business idea, you need to have a purpose. What void is out there that you have the skills to help fill? Who are the people needing this specific resource? Why?
For me, as a blogger, I needed to outsource images for posts where I needed Black women that looked "real" enough to bring my content to life - not ones with the outdated fake smiles and bad hair weaves. Cue the need for "black hands typing on laptop", right? I figured if I had this need, someone surely thought of it. If not, why not create a space to help this?
TIP 2 - DO YOUR RESEARCH
It's important to "survey" the audience you feel is seeking the very thing you'd like to create for them - or at least give an option for. Something as simple as posting a question for feedback in a Facebook group you're apart of or sharing a thought on Reddit could do wonders for clarity.
It's likely that based on the responses you receive, you'll know whether your idea is something worth creating or at least considering. It's great to ask additional questions too to help you decide on more complex things, like interface.
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TIP 3 - BUILD YOUR ONLINE COMMUNITY
After deciding to create your platform, go ahead and begin building an online community of supporters and interested peeps. This includes creating social media profiles and building an email list.
To get you off to a great start, offer something to those who sign up to your list. Whether it be an early bird offer or something free that they can make use of.
TIP 4 - CREATE YOUR PLATFORM
Your idea needs a home. A HQ where others can easily find you. Bring your vision to life. I will say that I wish I had known of several things when I first launched my platform - including all the things that would have made my platform even better but it's al about growth, right?
Find a platform that will make things easy to both navigate and update for both you and your audience. Plan for the future of your platform because you just never know. So, when choosing a platform and tools to keep it running, make sure it all allows you to scale alongside the growth of your platform.
TIP 5 - STAY CONSISTENT
When operating a platform where images are your main product, it's important to keep things updated. The same if you offered a subscription where you share other forms of content downloads.
With stock photos, it's important to make sure your users are aware of how often they can expect updates. Hello FAQs page (but we all know not everyone will read) - so, at least stay consistent with uploading fresh content, regularly.
TIP 6 -REINVEST IN YOUR BUSINESS
You're generating income from your work. Now instead of taking home all the bacon, it's important to reinvest it into growing your platform. This can be from purchasing new props to having a certain amount set aside for travel or hosting local photoshoots.
This is also a great time to take into consideration whatever your users feel should be improved with the website or its features - something I totally recommend.
Now go forth and conquer.