Summary of PACA Sales Webinar


PACA’s first webinar in May was focused on sales.  Over 45 people attended the lively discussion and, despite some technical difficulties, a lot of great information was shared with the participants.

Leslie Hughes, Visual Steam
Candace Murray, Condé Nast
Sonia Wasco, Grant Heilman Photography

  1. Leslie’s Presentation   (view here)
  • Projections

Growth expected overall through the next couple years

Ad Spend up through 2016 Globally= 5.6% per year

Growth led by Americas and Asia

Europe starting to improve

Display ads to surpass search for the first time in 2015

Mobile only 13% of internet advertising, will be 26% by 2016

Social media 30% year-over-year growth

Traditional media will only outpace digital until 2016

Traditional publishing in decline

internet publishing to soar in next 5 years

12% growth in USA this year, 11% worldwide

b. Why?

$$ are moving online

Increased use of visual storytelling

Digital ads more palatable to customers, making them more palatable for businesses

  1. Challenges
  • Generating leads and finding new clients
  • Creating awareness-People don’t realize they can license our content (Candace)
  • So much content available, need to build a unique value proposition for your content
  • Driving people to our website/Getting client attention
  • Data mining of our client base
  • Budget issues:  Know who you’re talking to, find out their budgets, push the envelope.  Client budgets are a challenge, but they will pay if you demonstrate the value of your product/service
  • Remove human touch from low-priced sales
  • Rights and clearances, and clients needing full indemnifications


Increase in the use of visuals online

Increase in visual storytelling

  1. Challenges to Clients
    • Budgets-tighter than ever
    • Creative Content-finding unique, authentic content
    • Time Pressures-Everything has to be now-makes pressure for seller
    • Social Media, they don’t understand usage, so they expect us to figure it out for them. How to make it work best for them
    • Abundance of options, imagery the same on lots of sites.  Cross-pollination at multiple agencies

**Are clients becoming reluctant to use Google Image search now?  Some are concerned with identifying legally licensable content

**PacaSearch named in the top 5th go-to site for buyers.  PACA participants need to start advertising it on their own sites

  1. Have Microstock Companies affected the lowering of prices for stock?
  • You can still get to higher prices if you know their budget and work with the right people
  • Microstock has opened buying to a larger number of buyers, you can make good use of this if you choose your clients wisely.  Avoid clients that have to have the lowest pricing or see if you can work out a price that is fair.  Sometimes a buyer thinks he needs microstock pricing but can work with RF
  • Customers have been brainwashed that web usage should be lower priced, but since it is now the most frequently used method of advertising, we need to rethink pricing for this medium and re-educate our buyers.  We need to think about the internet as being the delivery method rather than the usage.  Website is the usage.  There is a difference between a site that is turning over images rapidly and one that is using images for branding or for publishing.

**Success story of a RM sale of over $100,000.00 for a drug company needing rights for exclusive pharmaceutical usage for a new product outside the U.S.  Multiple licenses that added up to this amount.  There are companies that still require restrictions and warrant big prices.  No longer the norm.

  1. Sales Goals for Coming Year
  • Data Mining
  • Delivering bodies of new work to specific clients
  • Reach out to different people at the traditional spaces: CMOs rather than art buyers and art directors.  Companies have money, but not always in the art department.  Try other departments
  • Using linkedin, agency access, etc to find new leads
  • Attend trade shows like HOW, Visual Connections, Stock Photo Expo and seize the opportunity to get face-to-face with buyers
  1. Top things needed to grow sales in the coming year?
  • Leveraging tools to their best advantage                                                                                    Social media, linkedin, finding ways to connect
  • Re-establishing relationships with those that have purchased before
  • Finding new customers
  1. One piece of advice:
  • Don’t close any boxes.  A client called Grant Heilman for Royalty Free Images and they don’t have any.  Instead of turning away the client, they talked further with them and realized their budget really could work for RM and they sold them 10 images for their project.  A win-win for both sides!
  • Ask as many questions as humanly possible. “You should know your customers so well, you can cover for them if they’re out sick.”
  • Target the right demographics.  If you do the budget pricing, target budget markets.  RF not always cheaper.
  • Figure out how to stand out
  • Follow through is KEY

 Q & A

How to rationalize a RM price increase?

Candace – Use the info gleaned from asking them discovery questions.

Leslie – Depends on client needs. Is the issue simply price? Or ease and reuse?  Also, how the image is being used.  Sometimes RF is more expensive.  Also, sometimes the client has little choice.  Believe in bending a little for client depending on usage and relationship.  Also, consider how easy it is to replace the image or get it somewhere else for less.

What marketing technique should you use?

Leslie – Different methods reach different people, use ’em all. Personalized emails, phone calls. We’re visual people in a visual industry – use pics!  And it depends on the communication?  Are you looking for new clients and getting them to register?  Or perhaps you have new content available.  Have a purpose for every communication.

How do you get a foothold where preferred licensing is already in place (particularly Getty)?

Candace – You can bend over backwards or not. Know how much they need and what you can deliver to them. It might not be worth it to you. Whatever you decide, reevaluate after one year.

Sonia – Figure out your added value to keep you in the running. Found out their terms and if you’re willing to meet them. Gaining a foothold is easier with when you have a specialty collection; you feature a particular area or photographer or something.

Leslie – Understand what’s important to that client more than your competitor. Check back with them periodically. Spend a little more time preparing something targeted rather than generalizing (which will get you blacklisted).

How do we establish subscription pricing?

Leslie – We configure custom subscriptions, so it’s not something we do automatically online.  We talk with the client to understand what number of images per month they think they will need and we try to price competitively based on alternatives.



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