Lookstat Back-Office Services – Just Press Play

The Back Office

I recently had a chance to try out Lookstat’s back-end service, and although I have yet to  add it to my permanent workflow – I find myself looking forward to the time when I do.

The back-end service of Lookstat is a great tool for anyone who likes shooting more than sitting in front of a computer or who doesn’t have a room full of people working for them.  Microstock photography is time intensive.  Shooting and editing in larger numbers, keywording those images, and perhaps most time consuming, uploading to the large number of microstock sites – all add up to a lot of time spent per file.  Time that could have been more productively spent shooting.

For those who take advantage of the Lookstat Back-end service however – all they need to do is shoot, ‘press play’, and watch their images appear on the microstock sites of their choice.  Edited, key-worded, uploaded and processed – ready for sale.

Perhaps one of the best features of the service is it’s scalability.  If you only want to make use of a couple of the services Lookstat offers – uploading and keywording for example, you can.  Additionally, if you have a huge back-log of images, or shoot seasonally, you can use the service only when you need it, with no further commitment.  Something hiring in-house staff simply cannot compete with.

In terms of logistics, the Lookstat back-end is simple.  You upload a set of images (and releases) via FTP – wait for them to be keyworded, make any changes if necessary, download the keyword sets to your computer if you want, confirm the data and your work is done.  Lookstat takes care of the rest – and you can proceed with your next shoot while you images are pushed through the uploading process on the sites of your choice.

The luxury of an automated back end is obviously a paid service, but the price is fair given the work involved. If you are sitting with a back-log of images, which could be earning you income, you should be easily able to recoup your costs by getting these online today with Lookstat instead of in a few months (or longer) working by yourself.  To get the full pricing breakdown, and further info you’ll have to ask for details on the Lookstat site.  Alternatively, you can check out the discussion on Microstock where Rahul, the CEO checks in quite often to answer questions.

But wait, there’s more…

If you’re not a big producer or at the level where you need / want someone to take care of part of your workflow,  Lookstat has a few things that still deserve to be checked out.  Valuable features that are free.  Firstly,  Lookstat has a blog where they post suggestions for shoots along with detailed statistics showing popular search terms and possible database holes and opportunities.  If you are wondering what to shoot or which shots withing a topic may sell – browse the blog while you are brainstorming.

Secondly, the analytics side of Lookstat, which is a big part of their offering, provides a valuable tool for sales tracking and shoot performance.   Lookstat can automatically track sales on all of your images from both Dreamstime and iStock and allows you to group the images for comparison.

To Summarize

Lookstat is the Tupperware of third party services.  It is extremely useful, reliable, and an industry benchmark.

If you are involved in microstock or thinking about getting involved – check out Lookstat if for no other reason than their valuable blog posts and analytic tools.  They are free – you can hardly go wrong.

If you want to outsource some of your work load with minimal risk – check out the Back-Office service.  Like I said earlier, I haven’t added it to my permanent workflow yet – but if I manage to organize as many shoots as I hope to this year, I will definatly be offloading some of the work to them.

[Lookstat discussion on the forum]

About The Author:

Tyler Olson works as a microstock photographer who also runs the MicrostockGroup forum and blog. Being so closely involved in the microstock community as a submitter, forum moderator and blogger, Tyler is able to keep updated in the constantly changing microstock marketplace.
Posted on February 22nd, 2010 in Reviews | tags: , ,