Top 5 time saving tips for creating visual content for your small business

Saving time is my number one priority these days. I am not sure about you but as I get older I just seem to leak time out my ears. The less time it takes to create the images and graphics to promote my business the more time I have to spend on making money, working on my business and enjoying my family and friends. Here are my top 5 time saving tips for creating visual content for your brand.

 

1.Create a mood board

Which should include:

  • Your fonts
  • Brand colours (including Hex, RGB and CMYK value so you can easily find the right colours.)
  • Brand visual style (a selection of images that sums up your brand’s style.)

Tip: Put your mood board on your wall so you can easily see it. Simply print it out or make something creative like this mood wall.

Great mood wall example

Image credit Gurman Interior 

2. Templates

Create templates for all your common visual elements so you only have to add text and sometimes an image to create the visuals for your posts. Some of the common visuals you may use are:

-Promotional post

-Blog posts

-Business tips

-Testimonials

-About Me

-Facebook banner

Tip: Use Canva to create your templates. It’s free and easy to use.

3. Selection images that work for your brand

Spend some time coming up with a selection of images that work for your brand and that you can use across your visuals. What is the element or two that ties all the images together?

Tip: Get a photoshoot done at your office which includes professional headshot and office shots plus some more relaxed images of you at your desk, on your phone, on the couch and being silly. Change your outfit and the items around you on your desk a few times to give it a different look.

4. Save new content and inspiration as you find it

Always be on the lookout for any relevant content, text or images that you may be able to use. Save the images and text in one place so you can easily find it when you are creating your content.

Tip: Use Evernote or something similar to save all your source content in the same place. I love Evernote as you can easily find what you are looking for by searching using tags or text.

5. A plan

List all the visuals you need each week and put aside 1 or 2  hour a week to create them and write the text.  Use scheduling tools or a spreadsheet so you can easily find the content your need.

Finally add all the details to one document or file and keep it somewhere that you can easily refer to it. I have mine on my computer but you could also print it out and put it on your wall.

 


Do you need help finding your visual spark? Contact me to find out how I can help you.

Visual content ideas – 5 DIY ways to showcase your product

Visual content ideas – 5 DIY ways to showcase your product

You sell great products and sometimes paid for a handful of professional images. But you would love to be able to create much more visual content to promote your wares online without having to use a pro photographer all the time. Creating visual content of your products for social media can be easy and a lot of fun. Using plenty of DIY images on your social media accounts is the best way to show off your merchandise and add personality to your brand. A visual brand story attracts customers who will engage with and follow your brand and help sell more of your products.

Here are 5 DIY ideas of how to photograph your product for use on social media(For this article I have used a tea cup and saucer as the product). Each of these images has been shot with natural light (a large window) and a single large reflector. Here is the basic setup that has been used for each image below.

lighting-setup

1. Styled lifestyle

styled-photography

 

Style your product using other elements to tell a story and create an engaging image.

2. Tell a story with flat lay

flat-lay-photography

Flat lay (Term used to describe images that are taken from above of items that are laid flat on a background) the product and other elements to tell a story. This flat lay tells the story of the items needed to create the perfect morning or afternoon tea to have with friends.

3. Show details with interesting close up

close-up-cup

Photograph the product to show some of the detail (here, the silvered edges of the china) and create an interesting graphical driven image.

4. Use an striking background

interesting-bg

Photograph the product on different backgrounds.

5. Give it some personality by including a human touch

human-touch

Show your products in use by including a human touch.

 

Get unstuck by finding your ideal customer

Get unstuck by finding your ideal customer

“I don’t need a target market, I’ll just target everyone. This way I won’t restrict my market and I’ll get more sales.” Does this go through your head whenever someone talks about target markets and your ideal customer? For a very long time this was the issue I faced and it still plagues my thinking. However, knowing your target market is important as it makes your job easier when creating online content. The right content will attract more customers and this will sell more of your products. So how do you decide on your ideal customer?

First you need to determine a target market: the section of the population your product appeals to. Your product fulfils a need or solves a problem that they have. Then, thinking about this target market, pick your ideal customer: one symbolic person you can keep in mind when promoting your product or creating your brand. Give them a name so that when you create content you can ask “Would Sam find this content interesting and useful?”. Everything you publish should appeal to this person.

You may feel that you have multiple ideal customers. Fair enough, but, try to create just one for each area of your business and keep that one in mind when creating content related to that area.

Here is a list of questions you should ask and answer when framing your ideal customer.
Gender?
Age?
Occupation?
Location – inner city, suburbs, rural?
Education level?
Style – clothes, hair, house?
Single or married?
Do they have children? What ages?
What are their hobbies and passions?
What do they read? (blogs/magazines/books/newspapers)
What are their values?
What do they lack that you will provide?

Make a poster that captures all these qualities – you can even give your ideal customer a name and grab a random face from the web – and put it up somewhere so you have a reminder of your audience whenever you need to create content.

Tip: If you already have a Facebook following you can check out the analytics section. This will give you some information about the people who already follow you. Do they fit with your ideal customer?

If not, how can you start engaging them?

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