I’ll start with what Oferia.pl is. Oferia is an advertising portal for service providers and recipients, owned by Leroy Merlin, but the advertisements that appear there can be found from every industry, not only construction. There are also job offers for a photographer, so I decided to find potential clients for my services there and look at how it works.
Business is simple. If you are looking for someone to paint your room, you give an advertisement for free, and the portal earns money from the fact that companies that want to apply pay for improvements on their profile and the possibility of obtaining contact details for advertisers. You can apply for free, but it is the advertiser who contacts the chosen ones. There are similar sites where you have to pay for each application with previously purchased points, without a guarantee of obtaining orders. Here we do not pay anything and do not risk anything. If we want to hit each customer directly, we have to pay for this privilege, and so we use for free.
How does Oferia work?
Under each new advertisement, we can leave our offer for free with the price and contact details. Usually there are formulas like:
- We are a company specializing in such and such photography, we have been operating since 1930, we have X equipment and we have taught here and here. We invite you to visit our website www.super-fotograf.com.pl and to contact us firstname.lastname@example.org and/or by phone.
- I’ll take care of that. Feel free to contact me to discuss the details of email@example.com
The overwhelming number of offers includes the price in the form of:
- 1 PLN
About 10-30% of offers are actually a valuation adequate to the order. However, a large part of the offers are heavily underestimated, although I assume that with “prices on prv.” it may be worse. Of course, I’m talking about offers here, where the requirements are described in detail, because there are announcements like: “We are looking for the cooperation of the photographer. Additional work. Stationary 2-3 times a month.” Where people still offer 100-200 zł without knowing whether to take 10 or 100 product photos, or maybe some stylized sessions.
What does not suit me in Oferia?
If you can decide, it is largely prevailing offers who will give less. Most clients pay attention to the price, and 95% of private individuals submit their offers. Very rarely, these are actual photo companies (marked with a suitcase). On average, half of them run their portfolio on Facebook, Instagram or other online galleries, where there are practically no photos from other projects. And their contact is usually some kind of firstname.lastname@example.org You can see that they are trying to get their first orders, so that they will reimburse them for the costs and maybe earn something.
Is it possible to make a living from it?
In general, the rates are often very low and given in gross amounts, so in practice they are even lower. I can’t imagine anyone who would maintain his photography company based on orders from Oferia, even having some premium package to pay for. Just replying to these ads takes a lot of time, and you could devote it to running your social media or developing photographic and business skills.
What instead of Oferia?
While a conscious client has a chance to choose a service provider according to his criteria and portfolio review, I consider submitting offers on this portal to be a waste of time. If someone starts, it will only have to be corrected after him, because in the best case they will do the fuss. I think that my own projects will develop such a person more. Alternatively, sessions for friends of companies with their products, interiors or services, but on their own terms, and not as a contractor for PLN 100 gross, are the way to development. Interestingly, when making such a fuss for someone for PLN 100, people often have higher expectations than by employing a professional company, and no corrections, in the absence of experience, will save the situation.
In the long run, there is also the problem of our positioning. Because if you start doing sessions for 100, 200, 300 PLN for friends, they have you, for a cheap photographer. Then even customers from the recommendation usually receive such a signal and report to you, because they count on lower rates. So either you have to be assertive and raise rates, and then your friends will consider you a scrooge and that “only on money you care” (as if the fact that they want you to provide a service below the market price does not put them in such a position).
At some point, you will either become eternal amateurs /hobbyists who earn money on the left, or you have to take on a serious business – set the prices of your services, taking into account all costs, start working on your brand and gain new customers. However, if photography is just your hobby, then keep doing YOUR projects.