Styled Stock Membership + Your Brand = True Love
I shared my Top 10 Styled Stock Memberships and also why I would share my "competition" in a blog post, I know right? Here's the thing, there are SO many memberships and things that you can join these days....it's mind blowing. It's easy to get overwhelmed and buy up ALL THE THINGS and end up with membership remorse ( I just made it up, but it's real friends ). Do you need photos for your business? Yes. Do you need ALL the photos that anyone has ever taken? No. Here are 4 key things to consider when shopping around and deciding on which Styled Stock Membership is going to be best for you!
I just recently did an audit of all the monthly memberships, services and fees that I had at one point needed, or thought I needed, and cleaned out a few that just really weren't serving any purpose. Liz White has a great blog post about her Thirty-Three Method for "test-driving" new things and cutting them loose when it's not working out ... cue the boombox on the lawn, please come back to me!! Just kidding, never feel bad, if it's not growing your business or making your life easier, it's time to cut the cord. Bye Felicia!
Price Point and billing terms
- What are the options? Monthly? Bi Monthly? Yearly? Lifetime? Most stick to the same basics, and you usually get a price break for going with a longer term. If your budget is by the month at this point, look at those that offer monthly and are within an amount that you can spend. If you are about saving $$, then go with a longer term.
- Does it automatically renew? Most of them do, AND typically they will renew at the price you joined in on. That means that even if it gets bigger and more awesome-er you are still getting the same price. Write the renewal date down in your calendar or set an alert in Google Calendar, so you can be sure to re-evaluate when the time comes to see if you want to continue or need to try something different. Ain't no shame in changing your mind girl, however since this is a digital product we are talking about, refunds are few and far between so just keep track of your renewal dates :)
Color and theme options
- What colors or themes are consistently used? You can get an idea of the photographer's style from their website and membership info page. If you need a little more of an idea, check and see if they have monthly free photos offered. You can grab monthly freebies from me here :) You may also check and see if they have photo bundles offered on Creative Market to see more examples of their work. Take a look at my shop on CM here.
- Does it jive with your brand? There are some memberships that are really consistent across all their photos, which is awesome if it fits with your brand. Do you like to change things up sometimes? Look for one that gives a little taste of different things so you aren't locked into one look #commitmentissues (i'm right there with you, I keep it fresh and change it up in mine because that it what I like to do!)
- How can you access the photos? How do YOU typically schedule/post/plan your social media? Most memberships give you the ability to download full sets or one photo at a time. If you like to post on the fly, then the individual photos might work best so you can pick and choose, or if you are just going to download ALL the photos and have them at your disposal on your computer, there is a great way that I have found to keep them organized. I will write a post and share more about that soon :) You will typically have a membership login to get access to all the photos available to you. Some will keep all the photos in the membership site and others will remove bundles after a certain amount of time or retire some bundles when they are making room for new stuff. TwigyPosts has an AMAZING thing going with her membership, she has an exclusive, members only, IG account with the photos posted so you can just screenshot and post! Brilliant! I love scheduling my posts ahead of time, it makes life so much easier! I can go into my folders and grab what I need to schedule on my computer and done!
Perks and bonuses to membership
- Are there extra perks included in the membership other than just photos? If you are only needing photos, then anything extra may not be important. If you are needing help with content AND photos, Jasmine Star's Social Curator membership is great in that along with the photos, she actually gives captions that you can fill in the blanks for your social media posts. Like I mentioned above, TwigyPosts has a members only IG account where you can screenshot photos, crop and then post on your own account. Some memberships offer affiliate programs where you can earn a little extra something for sending new subscribers their way, discounts for purchasing other products they offer etc. If you are a more bang for your buck kind girl ( I see you raising your hand ) then it's worth checking out to see what other perks a membership has!
- Are you needing photos for personal use only or do you manage other accounts? This is a big one, you don't want to be caught using photos that you purchased (membership or otherwise) on a client's account if you don't have the correct licenses (or they aren't even offered) to use them that way. If you are using them for your own personal accounts, this shouldn't be an issue and most photos that are in a membership don't require crediting the owner (though if they do, that might be a red flag, there are plenty that don't so just keep moving). As a photographer, it is always FUN to see how my members are using their photos on social media, plus it helps to spread the word, so tag away if you want to, but it's not usually required.
If you ARE a Social Media Manager, you probably already know, but maybe you are just getting started and it's hard to know all the things, right? You want to make sure that you are purchasing an option that allows you to use the photos on more than one account (that you don't own). If it's not clear in their membership info page, shoot them an email and ask. You don't want to get an email saying that you are in violation of license terms...sounds scary, right?? I have included SMM pricing options in the Top 10 Styled Stock Memberships if they are listed as available!