The number one reason products don't sell is crappy photos. Don't believe me? Start looking at your own buying habits and pay attention to what appeals to you. I guarantee the product has beautiful photos in different settings and helps you understand exactly what the product is.
So if you are doing that for other's products don't you think people are doing it for your products too? Below I list essential photos you must have for every product!
1. Black and White Backgrounds
When I photograph for products I always take simple shots of the product against both a black background and white background. I do this because everyone has a different aesthetic and it gives the clients more options.
2. The Creative or Lifestyle Shot
Depending on what your product is it's important to show the product within a context. This helps the consumer visualize them using it in their own home. Or if, like in the case of Capital Label Company, lifestyle photos don't really go with the product I get creative. Creative shots don't have to be elaborate either. Creative shots can be a variety of placements for the product like in the second shot below.
3. It's All in the Details
Highlight your product's quality by capturing the unique details of it. Ever see a product on a marketplace like Etsy and wonder what it looks like up close for that cheap price? Use up close shots to answer that question visually for your product.
4. Size or Scale
Getting an accurate depiction of your products size is important, especially if your customer is going to wear it or put it in their home or office. You can often do this with lifestyle shots, but if your product isn't a wearable or something to that nature there are other ways to show size like putting it next to similar items.
6. All Together Now
Selling a product that has multiple things in it, a bundle of something? You definitely need to show it together as a group because it helps the customer understand that they are getting multiples of something not just one.
7. How it's Made
Many consumers are very conscious of what they are buying these days. They want to know where it comes from, who made it and what materials it's made with. It builds trust to show your process and build authenticity with your customers by letting them behind the scenes.
That's All Folks
Those are the basic shots every product needs. Of course, there are more you can add such as a shot of your packaging or something that could be particular to your item.
If you're interested in working with me for your product photography please contact me by sending me an email at email@example.com.
Business Facebook groups are a wealth of information and the number one task small business owners struggle with is creating social media content. The common complaint goes something like this, “I hate creating social media content. It takes so long to create content for social media. I just want to be creative, not be on social media all day.”
Often the solution that others in the group respond with is “I can help with that by managing your social media accounts for you.” The response is usually “I don’t have the money.” It’s true social media managers are usually pricey, but their service is indispensable for some. Don’t worry, there are other ways to save time posting content that is free or doesn’t cost you a fortune.
When creating content entrepreneurs often get blank page syndrome. Suddenly you don’t know what to post. Your mind goes blank. What do you do now?
Reuse Your Content
The blank page syndrome comes from the belief that you have to create new content for every platform you have. It’s not true. The best advice I have been given, and give to you, is reuse your content. If you blog like me use your weekly blog posts to create content on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Tik Tok and anywhere else you are social.
Creating brand new content for every platform is just a waste of time.
Break down your blog posts into smaller chunks to post on social media. If I were to use the content in this post from what I have written so far it would be about the common complaints entrepreneurs have about social media, then I would ask my audience about their complaints too. How simple is that?
Content Photo Ideas that'll Save You Time
Okay, so now you know how to reuse content across platforms. What other hang-ups about social media do entrepreneurs have? It takes too long to take photos and write captions.
There are two options to help you create photos in faster and cheaper way.
The first, buy stock photos. You could subscribe to shutter stock or big websites like that, but there are so many better and cheaper options out there.
There are photographers who sell instant downloadable stock photo bundles on Etsy, like me. I am working on bundles for those weird national days everyone posts about. National Chocolate Cupcake day is on October 18, so if you need some photos, check out my Etsy listing.
Many photographers also have their own member websites where you pay a monthly fee to get access to their entire library. A lot of those same photographers offer free photos monthly if you join their email list (like me as well) or see my Pinterest board on the subject by clicking here.
The second is to hire a photographer or friend to take photos of you. Come up with five different scenarios like working on your craft, having coffee at your favorite place or cooking with your family. Take a day to set-up and photograph all of those scenarios. When you’re done, you’ll probably have two to four month’s worth of photos to use. Block scheduling content like photos is one of the easiest ways to save time and have a plethora of content to use.
Or third, you could do a combination of both professional photographers and stock photos.
Concentrate on One or Two Social Platforms
Unfortunately, social media is a must for any business these days. So saying that it’s a waste of time and I just want to create is not very realistic. Marketing is an essential part of entrepreneurship, whether we like it or not. It takes time, but it’s worth it when you get those new clients or make sales.
If you’re still struggling with posting consistently to social media, then I would suggest pairing down how many platforms you are on. If you are a one person show, it would be hard to reuse content on five different platforms, especially if they are all different.
Concentrate on one or two platforms that you love using regularly. For example, I love Pinterest so I use it for my business and I also love the feel of Instagram because of all the pretty photos. I am concentrating on building my audience on these two platforms before moving on to any others. I just don’t have time, especially this year, to add any more to my entrepreneurial plate.
These things I have learned over the past five years running my business. Before I was a stock and fine art photographer, I photographed weddings and family portraits. I switched because I wasn’t interested in doing that type of photography anymore, but it taught me so much about running a business. These are the ideas I learned and thought of (if I had to start all over again).
I really hope this helped you realize that creating content doesn’t have to be hard and that you are a little more confident in posting to social media. Let me know what you think of this post in the comments below or if you have something to add that everyone can benefit from.
Are you planning for October, November and December yet on your feed or blog? I know I am and lots of other creative business owners and influencers. If you’re not ready and need content ideas I love this website nationaltoday.com.
National Today lists all those obscure national holidays that you see on everyone's Instagram feed, blogs and Pinterest. Even if you’re not into that kind of content the calendar is just fun to look at. It’s amazing what kids of things are now recognized as national days. There’s everything from National Fossil Day to National Text Your Ex Day. Why someone who ever want the latter day is beyond me, hahaha!
In order to help you create content for these crazy days I have been adding photos to my Etsy shop starting with national holidays in October. This past week I added National Chocolate Cupcake Day on October 18th and National M&M Day on October 13th.
You can grab the full sets on my Etsy shop or get a few free ones by signing up for my weekly email list, which gives you access to my free gallery that I am constantly building. Click the button below to sign up!
I have been making goals for years and in all honesty I have not achieved one of them. I take that back last year, in the middle of the year, I changed my tactics because I wasn't seeing what I wanted to happen in my business. My original goals were too expansive, too vague, and very unattainable. I made the same mistake year after year, with vision boards, maps, letters to myself and every tactic you can think of. None of those tactics ever got me to the nitty gritty of it all. However, specific, small goals made progress. Think of a goal like this: goals are not the end result they are a launch pad into something bigger.
I heard once that creative business owners overestimate the amount they can achieve in a year and underestimate how much they can achieve in a day. I am a perfect example of this. I was definitely over estimating what I could accomplish in a year. Then I would get discouraged and move onto to some new idea. I never completed a goal I made at the beginning of the year. I got distracted with so many other things because the timeline was so far off. December eventually rolled around, and I felt so ashamed. I talked a big game about setting goals, but there was nothing to show for it. I felt so inadequate. Maybe you feel the same?
1. Make Goals Simple and Specific
Goals need to be simple, super simple. So simple that you can write them on a piece of paper the size of a fortune in a fortune cookie. Writing on a little piece of paper will make your goal(s) very specific. The traditional way of making goals is vague, which makes it difficult to know where to start. Specific goals helped me come up with a detailed task list of where to start and what to do next.
I know a lot of you are probably asking yourself, what if I have several goals I want to achieve this year? Don’t worry, you can still have several you just need to tackle them one at a time, which relates to my next point.
2. Set a Short Timeline
Goals need a short timeline. A year is too long and procrastination is unavoidable. We should set goals for no longer than three months. Last year, I set a goal to do all my family sessions within a certain time frame. It provided a deadline for me and my clients. It provided a sense of urgency, which helped me get the word out in a hasty but systematic way. Guess what? It worked! I filled all my dates that were open and then some. I also had more inquiries than the previous year.
3. Show Your Audience What You Do
Does your goal involve a new idea in your business? Or do you need to update your portfolio? Start a project based on that goal. For example, if you're a wedding event designer and you eventually want your skills presented in the window of Nordstroms' bridal boutique, you need to buildup to that.
Start designing windows in your local bridal boutiques. Do collaborations with other wedding professionals like styled photo shoots. Start with friends and colleagues you know and build a reputation. Then reach out to the more influential brands. Those big names like Nordstroms want to see your experience before hiring you.
4. Reach Out
That leads me to the next step. Start reaching out and making connections. Join your local chamber of commerce, local professional chapters in things like the wedding industry, photography and arts councils, or the Rising Tide Society’s Tuesday’s Together.
One of my biggest mistakes in 2019 was not telling people what I do. Mainly because I feel like a fraud, that I’m not good enough, which I know is false and fears whispering to me in my head. Basically, I didn’t feel confident in myself, but I pushed through and started putting myself out there more. The more I did the more I gained.
I know what you are thinking, but my work for speak for myself and I need not put my face out there. Maybe sometimes this is the case, but mostly it’s not. People want to buy from others who they know and trust. You build that trust by providing them with a face to the business and giving them valuable insights that will keep them engaged.
5. Celebrate Your Progress
Last, but not least, take the time to celebrate what you have achieved. This is the easiest way to stay motivated when you lack inspiration. Know that your hard work will pay off again because you're repeating the steps of your last success and you’ll improve on them. You have made mistakes before, but this is the time to learn those lessons, making your next goals even better. Stay motivated by looking at your past accomplishments.
There you have it! Following these five strategies will help lead you to bigger clients and projects. Because goals are not a set destination, but a launching point into your next big adventure.
If you have made goals for 2020 I'd love to hear about them. Maybe we can help each other out a long the way!
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