Unless we are on a fixed salary or have any extra source of income which may get you varying sums of money every time, it is always interesting to know in advance what your revenues will be this month. With Micro Stocks, we normally either rely on our own monthly or daily averages, or just trying to guess. Such methods, of course, cannot provide accurate previsions. Without any serious statistical base, it’s difficult to take into account seasonal fluctuations, market trends and other factors that are likely to affect our sales. We should expect at least 15-25% margin of error with all our simple calculations (thout the margin can be less for experienced artists with big established portfolios).
However Yuri Arcurs (www.arcurs.com), best-selling micro stock photographer (or at least one of such) has recently presented a curious tool on his site, which is supposed to provide you with more precise view on what the ongoing month will bring you. He calls it “projected monthly income calculator (PMI)”. According to the author, by entering your current earning figures of the ongoing month for each stock agency in an extremely simple online interface (see below), you will see the total amount you will get this month from Micro Stocks.
The claimed accuracy is 5 percent starting from “just a few days in the month”, but the minimum required days to get a representative sample is not indicated. I tried to fill in my current values for September (it is only the 3rd day in the month yet) and the tool already suggests 6-7% accuracy on its predictions.
However, there’s no doubt that Yuri Arcurs with his many years experience and outstanding success as a Micro Stock photographer, can perform such estimations better than most of the rest of us. He says that his tool takes into account big number of criteria and solid statistic database. Well, it’s too early to judge on the results, because not a single full month has passed as of yet since this tool has been released. We’ll see from our own experience and from other users’ comments in a month or two, whether it is really worth using this calculator as opposed to making our own predictions in a way we are used to.
From the estimate for September it gives me now, I should say it may be a bit optimistic compared to our usual monthly averages this year. I did add quite a few new images to my portfolioin August though, which should certainly do good to my sales in September. As it stands now, I’d be glad to know the calculator provides the result which is precise enough 😉
Still, there’s a few things, which I’m quite sure this tool will not take into account, which may affect our monthly revenues (at least for average stock photographers, whose portfolios are big enough to eliminate the ability of these to beat your figures of the normal track). Such factors are:
Effect on your sales caused by new images you have just added or will upload during the month. We know that at least on Shutterstock, new photographs may give our sales a certain short-term boost;
Any occasional extended license sales which you already had or will have during the month. The same is true for expensive big-size image downloads on some stocks, which are not too common for you. If you already had any of these in the current month, I suggest you exclude their revenues from the number you enter in the calculator, otherwise you risk to get way to optimistic estimate.
Anyway, let’s see in a while whether this new tool will relay prove to be useful in predicting our Micro Stock income for the current month. I hope it will, knowing that Yuri Arcurs is really a person on whose experience we can rely.