Follow A Female Founder: Isabel Gonzalez
Beautiful people, gorgeous scenery and magnificent buildings, Asia has them all. Yet why can’t we find quality stock photos of them? Cue Klaud9, an Asian stock photography platform that curates, shares and compiles some of the best stock photos Asia has to offer. Learn more about the iconic female founder behind it all: Isabel Gonzalez.
Industry: Stock Photos — Media
Revenue model: Anyone who has a great eye for photography can monetise their photos on Klaud9. We pay 40% to 60% royalty fees of our sales price to photographers. From hobby photographers, to professional photographers and instagrammers. .
3 year plan: Our vision is to expand into Southeast Asia and become the leading website for Asian Stock Photography.
Describe three of the most significant growth curves in your business.
We only launched 2 months ago so we are still in our early stage. But we grew our database from 0 to 80,000 photos, over 5,000 photographers and clients such as BBH, Tribal Worldwide, JWT, etc.
How does your business fit into the future of your industry?
We have found a niche with demand. There is a tremendous need for high quality Asian Stock Photos in this region so we are focusing on the type of photos that are most searched for, such as millennials, mother and child, family and many others. The marketing landscape is changing a lot with digital marketing, social media and content marketing. Digital advertising is forecasted to grow from U$134 billion to U$240 by 2019 which is tremendous. Which also means that visuals such as photos and videos are essential. Brands and advertising agencies are cutting on commissioned shoots and prefer to buy stock photos immediately online. Which is great for our industry as the demand is growing considerably. Clients want to be able to buy high quality photos and videos on the spot to be able to launch digital marketing campaigns within the same day or the next day.
What has been your biggest insight or lesson learned about running a business?
You have to prepare for a marathon, not a sprint. The team you select to launch with you the business is essential for the success of it. Although you might find that later on down the lane you might need other types of expertise as the company grows, it is still essential that you find people who share with you the same passion and motivation to join you on a long and exciting journey. That you have to be flexible as entrepreneur and be able to see business opportunities anywhere and try to adapt to the different demands. To have patience. Although we want things to happen the same day it takes time to build the business and relationships. That there is only so much you can do with a small team, even if the investors keep insisting that after x amount of time you should have done more. That it’s always good to talk to other professionals who are not in your project on a day to day basis. They might give you other ideas or perspectives.
What has been your scariest moment? How did you resolve it?
The scariest moment for any entrepreneur is running out of money. Just keep on going to events, network with business angels and let everyone know you are raising funds for a great project. Somehow one contact leads you to the next. I was lucky to be supported by Female Founders and Crib which allowed me to get female investors on board too.
What is the one piece of advice you want to give to aspiring women entrepreneurs?
My advice is
- Prepare for a long and hard journey working non-stop but it needs to be fun
- Surround yourself with like-minded people who share the same passion and vision like yourself
- Network a lot. You will need it to get investors and your first clients
- Don’t try to be profitable right from the beginning. Just try to get revenue in as VCs require to see revenue or large follower base
- Be flexible and adapt to business opportunities but be clear where you want to take your business to
- Sometimes the investor is not the right investor. Don’t worry. A better one will come along.
- Believe in yourself and your vision as there will be times where you will feel lost and exhausted. Spend some time doing something fun or meditate so that you can fill yourself with new energy and continue your awesome journey. Good luck!