1 Million Sales and Counting
Stock can be a challenging marketplace. The demand for content grows evermore, but cracking the formula for best-selling content takes years of patience and practice. But once you figure out the lay of the land and invest the time to explore and learn from your mistakes, it can be a financially and creatively fulfilling endeavor. And Monkey Business, a stock agency based in the UK, has done just that. They recently celebrated a major milestone — one million sales on Adobe Stock.
Long before founder Cathy Yeulet started Monkey Business, she was in the business of content. In the early 2000’s, she founded the premium royalty-free stock collection BananaStock, and successfully sold it to JupiterImages for a handsome sum four years later.
By the time her non-compete was over, Cathy saw that the stock industry was in an entirely different space, and decided to venture into microstock. She admits it was a risky move at the time, but ultimately, it proved to be the right decision. What started out as a team of five working out of Cathy’s family home is now a team of a dozen, producing over 10,000 images and videos every year.
The secret to Monkey Business’s success is understanding what kind of content works: lifestyle imagery that portray realistic families and diverse ethnic groups. “We have developed a great formula when planning and producing new content,” says Cathy. Monkey Business makes big investments in both local and international shoots in order to create collections that are authentic and representative of their target markets.
Monkey Business has also been on the forefront of adapting to changes in the stock industry. “With the continued rise in online video consumption and advertising, it was clear there was an opportunity to benefit from shooting video,” says Cathy. Five years ago, Monkey Business started experimenting with video and, since then, has invested heavily in the medium. Today, they have a dedicated video team, and Cathy adds that video is where the company is seeing the healthiest growth. The demand for video is predicted to increase even further in the coming years, making up 75 percent of all mobile data traffic by 2020.
The video boom isn’t the only change in the stock industry that Monkey Business has seen. Cathy says that stock customers have become more discerning consumers of imagery: “Customers will continue to become more discerning when looking for content, looking for high-quality, unique imagery to tell a story in more visual ways.” As the expectations of stock collections increase, it will become increasingly important for stock creators to develop their portfolios and adapt to the needs of the marketplace.
It may sound like a daunting challenge, but the key is to keep moving forward steadily. “Keep shooting and continue to refine your craft, and invest in bigger productions as you become more experienced,” says Cathy. Analyze your sales and look for trends in themes and seasonality. Learn from your rejections. “Above all, if making a career of stock, have fun and enjoy the process.”