FCP Archive Sale

Quick Statistics

  • Sales were commission based.
  • Legacy products being sold: 16000 negative packets and 3000 discs dated 1981 through 2016.
  • Highly limited audience marketed to on Facebook and Google My Business.
  • Target Geographic Demographic = 41,000 people, 100km radius
  • Notable locations for finalised sales = Bathurst, Cairns, Melbourne, Thailand, New York, London, South Coast NSW.
  • 98% of the project was handled solely by me including customer service, sales, advertising copy and campaigning.
  • Anticipated percentage to be sold (2016): 50-65%
  • Actual percentage of archive sold (2020): 75%
  • Advertising budget = $0.
  • Average engagement rate per post: 7 – 12%
  • Key Statistics for March 31 – July 1, 2020 (During COVID)
  • Total Reach: 105037 per post per day  – organic reach
  • Total Engagement: 8307 per post per day – organic reach
  • Conversion Rate: 7.9%
  • Number of Sales: 351 for the quarter.

Background Information

Frank Colzato continuously operated a professional photography studio in Bathurst from November 1981 to July 2016 when he retired. He archived every single session that was booked in the studio and on location. You can read about my previous association here.

Over 35 years of continuous shooting results in over 16,000 negative packets and 3000 digital images burned to discs, each with a unique reference number and alphabetical and numeric filing record.

Photography was taken on film from November 1981 to March 2005.
Digital images were taken from December 2004 to June 2016.

After announcing retirement in early 2016, neither Frank nor Shirley wished to store these files but they didn’t want them to be automatically disposed of. They wanted to give loyal clients the opportunity to purchase their negatives and keep the images in the family. Opportunity was also given for clients to automatically donate to the local family history group or to have the files disposed of securely.

Early sales methods

The sale of the archive began prior to the physical shop front closing on July 1, 2016. While it was an easy face to face access point, negatives were kept offsite and the method of retrieving them took a minimum 24 hour turn around.

After closing, the digital files and production machine were stored at my home. The negatives remained at Frank and Shirley’s property. For clients seeking digital files only the turn around time was usually a few days. However if they also wanted negatives the time frame would extend up to 1-2 weeks in which time the client could go cold. We persisted with this system until March 2019 when the archive was moved here.

Bringing in the Frank Colzato Archive: Part One

Digital Marketing March 2019 – July 2020

I began rolling out digital ‘proofs’ to expedite sales and broaden the audience scope. This resulted in the albums going viral and a direct increase in inquiries and sales. Community engagement was significant in the creation of positive sentiment with the overarching comments from customers being “thank you so much for doing this”, “we never knew our Grandparents had photos together” and “what a huge job but its just amazing to see”.

Post performance was generated organically and the following are typical examples of reach and engagement.

Albums were released with individual pictures of photography taken during that annum. Only the albums were shared, the virility of the individual images came from the audience.
How digital proofs were made
Negative proofs from 1981 to 2004.

As of June 1, 2020

As of June 1, 2020 the archive had reduced to less than 4000 negative packets and approximately 900 digital discs. However it was always understood from the beginning of the project that not everything would sell and we were realistic and sensitive about people’s desire to dispose or donate their images. Reasons for disposal typically surrounded relationship breakdowns.

The Project ended on 1 July 2020

A final push was conducted to wrap up inquiries into three categories: purchasing, donating or disposing. Approximately 1500 negative packets and 300 discs have been donated to the Bathurst Family History Group who now have full copyright on the images. To meet the demand, I hired a subcontractor, Bianca, who was successful in engaging with customers, maintaining the brand and mission of the project and finalising the sales.

Frank Colzato – Australian Institute of Professional Photography Licentiate.
Retired after 45 consecutive years in the industry.