Be there

The rule is simple : be where your customers are. Applying it is much harder.

Sure, you can have a twitter account, and Facebook, and Linkedin and all that. But is that where your customers are? Not really. They don’t really follow you on Twitter because they don’t want to, nor do they wish to exchange personal stories with you on Facebook ( if they even know you), they log into Linkedin once every few months  to find a number and quite frankly would really appreciate if you would stop spamming them with your blast emails.

Sure, you have a website. But so do billions of other people/companies/schools/institutions/churches/ airline companies and so on. A drop in the ocean doesn’t even begin to describe where your website/blog is right now. You can make that two drops in the ocean if you have a really good SEO.

So what to do asks the wise man ? Well, there is a nifty smart way to put your images in the face of image buyers in a very subtle and smart way. It’s called Image Exchange and it is brought to you by Israeli company Picscout, previously in the copyright infringement detection industry.

How does it work ? Very simple. You, the image creator, send small versions of your images into their central servers where they are fingerprinted for detection. Image Buyers, on their side, download a small plug in for Firefox or Internet Explorer (Soon Chrome, hopefully). Every time your image is seen on any website at whatever format, a small “i” icon appears on top of it. All they have to to is click on it and they can be redirected to your website .

The huge misconception about Image Exchange is that  it only works with a Google Image search, which would already not be too bad. But no, it works everywhere. Let’s say your friend post a link to an article that they like on Facebook. Automatically, a thumbnail of the picture on the page is rendered. Well, Image Exchange can recognize that image and tell you who the licensing right owner is.  Your images become viral and your best publicity without you doing a thing: Imagine that ! Wasn’t that one of the promises of the Internet ?

Image Exchange is somewhat free. They get paid for each recommendation that they bring to you after a certain amount of click-troughs. You can purchase more, in advance, or stop whenever you want . That simple.

So, if you want your images to finally end up where your potential clients are, head on to Picscout and sign up.  You might actually see some more income without having to dump all your images into Istockphoto.

About the author

This business has too many Surveyors and not enough Bohemians”  Roger Therond , legendary photo man, once said to a good friend of mine, Eliane Laffont. This blog is about restoring the balance and letting the Bohemians talk.

Paul Melcher has been named one of the “50 most influential individuals in American photography” by American Photo. He is currently senior vice president of the PictureGroup. He writes the Thoughts of a Bohemian blog

Marco | Editor

Editor at large and founder of a bunch of stockphoto businesses