As we approach 2023, in this article I’ll discuss the importance of making achievable and realistic goals for next year within your microstock photography and videography business. As well as some steps you can take to achieve them and pitfalls to avoid. Let’s get started!
Been publicly making microstock goals since 2017!
One of the reasons for my continued success and motivation in the microstock industry is that I’ve been publicly making yearly goals since 2019, which also helps me be accountable for my failures – and boy I’ve had many.
See my year-end reports for 2019, 2020, 2021. Currently drafting my 2022 goals, so stay tuned!
Be SMART about your Microstock goals
SMART goal setting is a method for setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. This method can help you create clear and actionable goals that are more likely to be achieved. Don’t be one of those people that quit on their yearly goals in mid-January!
In fact, the acronym "SMART" stands for:
- Specific: Goals should be clear and specific, rather than vague or broad. For example, instead of setting a goal to "submit 20,000 images in a year" or even worse, “become a better photographer”, you could set a more specific goal to "shoot five different trending topics for the Microstock market" and “learn how to create a tilt-shift effect in Photoshop”;
- Measurable: Your goals should be measurable, so that you can track your progress and determine whether you are on track to achieve your objective. For example, you could set a goal to "increase your portfolio by 20% in the next year". Overall, I try to avoid making financial goals since the market is too unpredictable and sales are often beyond my direct control;
- Achievable: Goals should be first and foremost realistic and achievable. If your goals are too ambitious, you may become discouraged if you are unable to achieve them or worse, you achieve them at a mediocre level such as the case of overly increasing a port-size;
- Relevant: Goals should be relevant to your overall objectives and aligned with your values and priorities. For example, you could set a goal to "travel to three different countries next year", which would help to diversify your travel stock portfolio; and
- Time-bound: Goals should have a specific deadline, so that you can stay focused and motivated to achieve them. For example, although this blog post is about setting yearly goals, you can easily break them down to monthly or even weekly goals.
By setting SMART goals, you can create clear and actionable objectives that are more likely to be achieved, and increase your chances of success in your microstock business.
Three goals I’ve set myself for 2023
So, with the above in mind, I’m happy to discuss three goals that I’ve set myself for 2023 to hopefully inspire you to do the same.
- Devote five hours a week to researching the market
It’s important to have a clear understanding of your target audience and the types of content they are looking for. This can help you create images and videos that are in demand and more likely to sell. One such tool is Google Trends as already discussed on a previous blog post.
It is also helpful to regularly review your portfolio and make updates as needed to ensure that your content is high-quality and relevant to your target audience.
2. Shoot more drone lifestyle clips
Since I’ve invested on a drone back in April 2022, I’ve shot and uploaded to various stock sites hours of footage and hundreds of stills. However, one such type of content that I’ve not uploaded are lifestyle content, in other words “interesting people doing interesting things”. This tends to be one of the more profitable niches within microstock, especially if captured with a drone as there is still a large gap in the market.
3. Travel to Czech Republic, Slovakia and Azores
As COVID restrictions have practically disappeared, I hope to rack up some airmiles next year with some adventures to the places listed above. By exploring these new locations and capturing images of unfamiliar subjects, I’ll hopefully add diversity and depth to my portfolio, which should lead to more sales.
The importance of setting SMART goals cannot be underestimated. Therefore, with 2023 fast-approaching, jot down some goals and ensure to track them mercilessly throughout the year.
Would be great to hear from you a year from now on whether you achieved them. In the meantime, Happy New Year!