Picture Perfect: Q&A Interview with Klaud9’s CEO, Isabel Gonzalez

Unlike any microstock agencies such as Shutterstock and Getty, Klaud9 is a website that curates stock photos.  If your targeted audience is Asian, you probably have struggled to find Asian stock images to communicate your marketing messages, Klaud9 addresses this need!

LadyBoss spoke to Isabel Gonzalez, who co-founded Klaud9 with her business partners Matthew Teo and Joan Illari:

During the 6 years I managed the marketing teams here in Singapore we came across the problem of lack of quality of Asian people stock photos.

Q: Tell us about your business, how long you’ve been doing it, and who your customers are?

A: We are targeting any marketer, creative, designer, blogger within Advertising agencies, marketing departments and media companies, who have the need of sourcing quickly Asian stock photos for their website or next great marketing/advertising campaign.

Q: What were you doing before entrepreneurship?

A: My background is marketing and e-commerce.

I launched and managed 2 websites called cheaptickets.sg and skiddoo.com.sg in Singapore for corporate companies.

At the end of March I decided to give the start-up world a try myself. During the 6 years I managed the marketing teams here in Singapore we came across the problem of lack of quality of Asian people stock photos.

So I realised the need to fill this gap and thought that it would be a great opportunity to launch klaud9, a website specialised in Asian stock images.

Q: In terms of sales and marketing, how do you reach your customers, and what works?

A: We will be rolling out a marketing campaign which will be partly online through Search Engine Marketing/social media but also offline – visiting advertising agencies/marketing departments directly to present our new website and services.

We will be expanding throughout the region as there is currently no dedicated Asian stock website available.

Q: What is your best-selling product/service?

A: The category travel will be quite important as Singapore is a hub for travel and there are a lot of online travel agencies as well as traditional ones who source photos of travellers experiencing activities, holidays, etc.

Q: Where do you see the future of your business?

A: We will be going towards cinematographic, videos/stocks as digital marketing campaigns tend to get more views when it’s a moving image.

We will be expanding throughout the region as there is currently no dedicated Asian stock website available.

Q: Tell us about your Number 1 business challenge?

A: Our current number 1 challenge is to convince traditional photographers to embrace technology and to see stock photography not as a competition but as a progress within the digital marketing world.

Marketers and creatives need nowadays to turn campaigns around quickly, especially when it comes to digital marketing. They do not have the time to commission photographers.

We, therefore, need photographers to work with us and to create photos that can help the industry turn their campaigns around quicker.

Q: What is the vision of the company? Does Klaud9 aim to become a company like Shutterstock and Gettyimages? 

Klaud9 is not a micro-stock agency like Shutterstock and Getty. We are a website that curates stock photos. We make sure that the quality of the photos is what our clients are looking for.

In addition, we will have features such as “The brief” e.g. Where our clients can do a shout out to our photographers to get the photos they need when they cannot find them in our marketplace.

We also curate for free for our clients when they need a larger amount of photos and do not have the time to go throughout the website. So we do differentiate ourselves in the business model as well as the quality and type of photos which are Asian specialised.

But it’s also essential for those women networking groups that they get big companies on board to support what we are trying to do.

Q: What are three lessons that you’ve learned so far from entrepreneurship? 

 A: I think what defines an entrepreneur is:

# 1: Perseverance – you need to persevere and not to lose faith and hope that your business is going to come off the ground. Don’t give up!

# 2: Networking – is essential to get people to help you. Don’t be afraid of asking for help. Many people are happy to help.

# 3: Patience – you sometimes want to do things at a different speed than other people/partners want to do it so it does require a lot of patience.

# 4: Fundraising – is very tough but once you convince one investor to come on board, others will follow.

Q: Are you part of any women’s networking groups or communities? Do you find them to be beneficial? 

Yes, and they are beneficial.

And I can only recommend going to as many events as possible, cause you do meet people who put you in touch with others, who can be of help whether it comes to clients, investors, recommendations of services, anything.

Someone always knows someone else and that’s essential.

But it’s also essential for those women networking groups that they get big companies on board to support what we are trying to do.

That they help with mentoring and networking.

Written By

Co-founder and Business Development Director of LadyBoss, Melissa is a multi-hyphenate. Her other role is at BiTS (a business intelligence tech startup in Singapore) as their chief marketer and consults for various other startups. She dreams of saving the world. When she's not working, you'll find her soaking up the sun at the beach or enjoying a strong cocktail at a fancy bar! Connect with her on LinkedIn:

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