Picture by: Peter Hofstetter
You’ve seen us building this platform, blog, Tweet and Facebook and recording videos, and you probably have questions.
Who is Tilpy? Why do we do this? How is Tilpy doing? What are those little plastic things at the end of your shoestrings called?
The last question is easy: they’re called ‘aglets’.
The other questions... well, that’s not so easy.
It’s time for us to pull back the curtain, and tell you how we’re really doing.
So here it goes.
We here at Tilpy are just three guys with a passion for photography, plus some other great guys helping us. And it’s a BIG passion: the fact that we’ve been working on this for the last two years is proof.
Especially considering that each of us have day jobs as well, and we’re building Tilpy in our spare time.
We really are committed.
But it’s not been an easy two years. There’s been ups and downs, and while we love this platform and our small community, the bare truth is that we’re not yet where we had hoped to be.
The good thing in all this though, is you: you’re reading this because you’re part of our awesome network of pro photographers, and we’re so grateful you’ve been with us for the ride.
But you’re probably wondering when things are going to kick into gear, and when people will start buying your photos.
Picture by: Bohdan Emets
That brings us to another harsh truth:
At this moment, we have the platform finally running (and here is the reminder how Tilpy wants to help pro photographers). However, we don’t have many photo buyers yet. And there’s a good reason for that, as you’ll see.
WHAT??? YOU DON’T HAVE PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO BUY MY PHOTOS?!
Easy now, partner. We do have a few, but there’s a reason why we’re not yet on a mission to find more buyers.
See, as you well know, running a business is tough. It’s hard work.
Competition is fierce, and unless you have a serious strategy, all the time and effort you put into building a business can go to waste. Not that we’re complaining though. We chose this path, and we knew it was going to be hard work. And we wouldn’t want it any other way.
But why the f**k didn't we start to reach out for clients yet? Aren’t we here to help you sell photos?
Yes, we are. And that’s where our strategy comes in.
We are currently focusing on building up a critical mass of Pro Photographers on Tilpy...
...because we know that time is one of the key success factors for working with marketing agencies. Meaning, when a client requests a picture, he most probably needs the right one within the next couple of days. And for that reason we need a photographer network which is big enough to serve the request within a short period of time.
Of course we could attract a venture capitalist or business angel to invest, and go all out advertising all over the internet, but we don’t want to. We built this, it’s our dream, and we want to keep full control. Even if that means we have pull ourselves up by the bootstraps.
Besides, we want to create a platform, and a community here at Tilpy - and that means we want to focus on organic growth, instead of doing the spammy marketing that floods the internet these day.
Because bootstrapping is what we’re doing at the moment. We’re not making money with Tilpy yet - in fact, we pay all costs out of our own pockets.
Picture by: HedgehOg Osipov
So why? Why would three crazy guys try to do the nearly impossible?
Simple: because these days, everyone with a camera can create a website, upload a bunch of images to a stock photo library, and call themselves a photographer. But most of those people are not pros like you, and they’ve done serious damage to the industry. And it kills us to see it.
And that is why we want to set things right, and give pros like you a way to continue building a thriving business.
So those buyers, when will they show up?
Oh they’ll come, don’t worry. But right now, we’re still on the mission to grow our community of photographers. Because once we start focusing on attracting buyers, we need to have a large community of professionals to wow buyers with.
And that’s where you come in:
we would love your help in growing our community.
But before we get to that, you might wonder: “Why do I want to be part of a community, isn’t that putting myself in between the competition?”
Yes, that’s what it means, and that’s a good thing! Because we curate all images ourselves, Tilpy will position itself - and you! - as an elite platform, and that’s going to attract only the kind of buyer who understands that you can’t get quality photos for ten dollars. The kind of platform we’re building, and the community, that attracts buyers with a budget, and credit card in their hands.
Thank you so much, you are fantastic.
Your Tilpy Team
Johnny, Maki & Roland