Archive | June, 2020

How to Organize Your Business Photos

29 Jun

 

As small business owners, we have a lot on our plate. There are a lot of hats to be worn, and being the main marketer is one of them.

Especially with the popularity of Instagram, marketing can take front and center in our business as we try to stay in front of the algorithm and keep Instagram useful to us.

But how do you keep the photos that you use in your business so that they are organized and ready to be used?

Here is how I suggest you organize your photos.

1) Open a Dropbox account to store your images in the cloud in an easy to access location.

I love Dropbox for many reasons, but mostly because it’s easily usable from my iPhone, my laptop and desktop and also accessible via a web browser, and it’s free for up to 2gb which is a lot of jpgs if you are only using it for your photo storage.

Once you’ve downloaded Dropbox onto your computer, you can access it as if it is just a folder on your computer and move files around like normal instead of constantly having to wait for uploads and downloads. Dropbox does all that in the background, so there isn’t a lot of time wasted in waiting for uploads or downloads.

Then download the Dropbox app for your phone, so that your images are updated and available to you on your phone and computer. Organize from the computer, then save onto your phone from the app and upload to Instagram!

2) Separate out your high-resolution images from your web resolution images

What’s the difference?

High (print) resolution images, like ones from your phone and your camera are print quality images, but you don’t want to load those on the web because it will slow everything down (and google will penalize you for it.)

Web resolution images are made smaller so that you can put on the web and Google likes it. But if you try and print from those, the quality will suffer.

It’s important to make sure you have the high-resolution images separated from the web resolution images so they are used in the right places.

You will even have duplicate images that are web quality and print quality in different folders so you know whats what.

3) Create a file structure to your folders to find types of images fast

In your dropbox, I suggest making a folder with your business name first. Then inside that folder, add [biz name] photos, then inside add folders that categorize your images into if they are high resolution or web resolution and then by smaller sections that describe the type of image.

If you take the time to organize your photos at the beginning, it will pay off in spades when you go to post something on your website, your blog, your social media or any of those needs.

4) Bonus for event specific images: Add the date to the folder

This step is great for professionals that hold a lot of in person events where images are taken. You’ll likely have images that relate to a certain event date so when you create your folder names, you should use a format like [YYMMDD_event name] on your folders so that you can always find your images related to that specific event.

How do you organize your business photos?

Why you Should be Using Woocommerce for Selling ANYTHING Online

22 Jun

Why you Should be Using Woocommerce for Selling ANYTHING Online

With 5 million active installations, WooCommerce is one of the most popular plugins and by far the most popular e-commerce platforms. Of the top 1 million e-commerce websites it is the most used platform with a 28% share,  followed by Shopify at 21% and Magento at 7% (resource: builtwith in 2020)

So a couple of interesting questions arise: “Why is this system so popular and why should you use it too?”

There are 1000 individual reasons why many stores use WooCommerce, but in this article, I’m going to provide 10 best reasons!

So, ask again: “Why should I use WooCommerce”

1) Because WooCommerce is free, and always will be.

Free? ‘There is no such thing as a free lunch’…yes, and that is very true, but you do need to pay for hosting your site… but after that, you can literally sell without having to pay for a single software license. This is really a very powerful and unique thing as there is nothing like it in the world. Maybe there is but WooCommerce has a team of dedicated developers and contributors that keep the platform safe and updated for the modern e-commerce shop.

However, when you want some extra functionality you would pay for licensed software… but making the right decisions, it usually pays off for itself as it will either make you sell more, improve processes or saves time in development.

One thing you can be rest assured on, WooCommerce will always be a free plugin for WordPress.

2) Because it’s simple and intuitive

We are not all programmers and it might prove difficult to manually change a website’s backend to manage an e-commerce store.

And this is when WooCommerce comes in handy! The installing, configuring and managing processes are so easy they are accessible to anybody with the slightest WordPress or computer use experience. The user interface has been well thought through to make it intuitive for the least experienced user, yet super versatile that it allows you to sell anything.

It sure is a very good thing to be able to set up a website without going through the frustration of not knowing how to do so!

3) Because so many people use it!

Because many people use WooCommerce, why wouldn’t you too? At least not with a little research to make sure it is the absolute right e-commerce selling tool.

Nonetheless, the fact that it is being used by so many stores implies three direct consequences:

  • The size of its customer base proves the quality of this tool – it can handle 1000’s of customers and a multiple of that in stock
  • So many shops rely on the technology and each would have done some sort of research before deciding on using WooCommerce
  • You will belong to a community where users help each other. This is true with the many Facebook groups, Meetups, WordCamps and online tutorials and websites.

You may agree with me that it’s highly reassuring to know that, in case we run into a problem, a simple Google search might help you right away since there are 100’s of people out there that might have experienced it before and are happy to share a solution.

4) Because it’s constantly evolving and improving

This is a basic aspect of any respectable open source project: it is not developed by one team alone, but it gets shaped by thousand of different users and many dedicated contributors. Not just adding and improving code, but also as part of translations, marketing and community.

That’s why we don’t need one expert to come to fix our specific problem and keep us waiting until it’s our turn. You can literally hold a sign in your city and someone will come forward offering to help you.

WooCommerce is able to evolve, fix itself and it keeps getting better with every updated version.

5) Because it looks professional!

You know which shop you like the most as you keep coming back to it and buy more… why? Maybe the price, the service or is it the look and feel of the shop. Whatever you want to recreate to get that same feeling you have as a customer, you can most certainly achieve this with WordPress and WooCommerce.

The way that you do this is by adding a theme. The theme controls the look and feel of your store, a bit like the shop front and interior. Any seasoned developer will be able to take this a step further by creating different versions of this theme (child themes) and create an online store that is like any big name out there on the internet.

6) Because you can add any functionality to improve WooCommerce

As mentioned before, WooCommerce works without having to add any functionality or plugin. A plugin is a piece of software that adds specific functionality to your WordPress installation. Many plugins are created to add new functionality to WooCommerce and only work when WooCommerce is installed. Not only can it add it can also change the way WooCommerce operates. Just as an example, you can add a membership plugin to turn your store into a membership platform. On top of that, add a subscription plugin and you can create a monthly revenue stream…
The list is very extensive and some plugins only allow you to bulk-edit all your products, or add a badge to a product image but something so little can make a huge difference.

7) Because you can sell what you want, the way you want!

Thanks to the structure provided by WooCommerce and the plugins you are free to implement in it, you are free to sell any kind of product you might wish to.

Physical products, virtual products, reservations, appointments and subscriptions etc… your imagination is the limit with what you can sell with WooCommerce

Maybe easier would be to give the examples of eBay, Amazon and Etsy. These are marketplaces that allow third-party sellers on a platform. This is also possible with WooCommerce with the help of a few plugins. Can you imagine that you take a commission on people selling on your website? Not impossible to get rich, whilst asleep.

8) Because developers, designers, marketers and store owners are in the same boat

WooCommerce is a preferred platform to all trades, from developers, designers marketers, SEO consultants and store owners. Each team knows how the system works and each team can do their part without the help of another person. This site alone is managed by 30 people with each adding content, managing prices, updating designs and accounts. Imagine if for every change you needed to contact your web designer?

Not only that, WooCommerce is optimized for SEO and can score high in Google if you follow the right steps. It is fast, mobile-optimized and uses the latest technology in web development. Really, what could possibly go wrong?

9) Because it makes your store easy to use!

You can’t change the world, so it is easier to adapt, right? If all stores have the product search in the header, why move it to the footer? You can just imagine that every visitor will feel lost on your site. This is the same for WooCommerce… some things that are just best the way they are. It doesn’t mean you can’t improve on it or make it look better. This counts for both the customer and the management of the store, WooCommerce is well thought through for its UI and UX as well as business management tools.

10 – Because we use it too!

Sala Social Marketing uses WooCommerce including a selection of plugins to improve its functionality. We just love its versatility and options to build upon. What might look like a simple e-commerce plugin, that can be installed in a few seconds, can actually run a complete business.

Are you currently using Woocommerce? What has your experience been like? We want to hear in the comments below! 

How to Create Attention-Grabbing Images on Instagram

15 Jun

 

Need to catch attention with images on Instagram? You’re in the right place. In this post, we walk you through 8 ways to use attention-grabbing Instagram Images for your brand – including case studies and examples you can use for inspiration right now!

Instagram has so many daily active users nowadays that it’s probably easier to count who isn’t on the platform yet.

From average folks looking to be social and connect with other people, to brands trying to market their businesses online — everyone on the platform is constantly on their A-game, sharing their visual best images on Instagram, in order to get liked, shared, and followed.

If you’re one of the very few just starting out on the visual medium, or maybe someone who’s had an account for a while and is now looking to get more noticed — you’re in luck! We’ve compiled a quick and easy guide to help you create – and curate images – on Instagram.

Let’s jump in and look at 8 ways to create Attention-Grabbing Instagram Images:

How to Use Images on Instagram to Grab Attention

Whether you’re creating your own images on Instagram or curating user-generated content, this post will help to give your visuals a boost.

1. Start with the Basics

First of all, for whatever reason you’re on Instagram, it’s important to know and list down your objectives. Why? Well, this allows you to plan what kind of content to publish.

Pinning down your objectives also lets you pin down which metrics to follow and use to determine whether your campaign is a success.

Are you looking to get more followers? Skew your content to invite people to follow your page. Do you have a specific post or product you want people to know about? Play up your captions and hashtag-game to get more people to see your post and hit ‘like’.

Part of knowing your objectives is determining your target market, too. Now it may sound tempting to keep casting a wide net in an attempt to get more views, but this is actually counterproductive! The trick to getting genuine interest is to nail down a sweet spot in your audience.

Figure out what age group they are, what their Instagram behaviors are — basically, try to know exactly who they are. Once you’ve figured this out, channel your energies towards marketing and speaking to them.

Trying to get the attention of a few people genuinely interested in you, versus pandering to a huge crowd who may not be as invested, takes less effort and yields better results. This tip is especially pertinent to brands and businesses: remember, the invested few are those who are most likely to share your posts to their friends and make a purchase.

2. Know Your Audience (and Engage with them)

After figuring out your objectives and target market, it’s time to pin down your social media branding!

Study your brand and see how it can translate to images on Instagram. If your brand were a person, how would he or she speak? Is he or she funny or witty or irreverent? Or is he or she more about quietly sharing inspirational thought pieces? And of course, is your brand a he or a she?

This all sounds a bit funny, but turning your brand into a person allows you to plan your content and craft your captions with precision. This also gives you an ownable tone and language, one that hopefully stands out from every other brand on the platform

Hot Tip: Make sure you get permission before sharing user-generated content. And don’t forget to tag them in your post as well.

3. Create your Brand Template

Because Instagram is all about visuals, your branding should stand out in every image you share. What are your brand’s tone and colors? Is your brand dark, grainy, and gritty, or does it veer towards bright lights and pastel hues?

Once you’ve got this figured out, try and create a visual template that can become the guide for all of your content and images on Instagram. You can edit your images using Instagram’s in-app filters and settings or download your own photo-editing app.

One app worth checking out is Instasize, a creative toolkit with a number of modern filters, border tools, and font options for you to choose from. (Instasize is available for download on iOS and Google Playstore.)

Get creative with filters, borders and fonts with Instasize

Once you’ve downloaded your app of choice, play around with the tools and filters to create an ownable look that’s true to your brand. Save or remember your set-up and use it as a template to run your future posts through.

4. Sell a Lifestyle

Instagram is all about visuals, but remember that it’s also a social media platform. This means people browse through feeds to be social and connect, and the last thing they’re expecting is to be advertised to.

Telling a story is a great way to do this. Pair an engaging image with an engaging story or caption and you have the attention of your audience.

If you want your visuals to be successful on the platform, your posts have to be visually arresting without trying too hard to market your brand — or else people are just going to scroll past them.

So try to keep the sales talk on the down-lo. Aside from promoting your products, try to sell your brand and the lifestyle that it fits into. Use your content to engage your audience, while giving them insight into what your brand is all about.

5. Curate Your Grid

Coming up with amazing content goes beyond thinking about your individual posts. You’ve got to pay attention to the overall look of your page, too.

One way you can make your content grid more stunning is to try adding borders to your posts. Borders can add some space or breathing room between the images on your page. And depending on which borders you use, they can even unify the look and feel of your content.

Borders work like filters to lift your images.

What’s great about adding borders is that it’s as easy as slapping on a filter on your images. Simply download a photo-editing app of your choice — or if you’ve already downloaded it, try the border packs available on Instasize. Play around with a few and see which ones fit your brand’s visual identity.

6. Play Around with Carousel Posts

A carousel post is basically an album or a slideshow where you can share as many as ten photos all in one post. What’s great about this format is that you’re no longer limited to having to post several times, or worse, cram everything you want to share all in one image.

So if you’ve got a ton of information you want to post about, try breaking it down into several images on Instagram … in a Carousel.

You can even use an infographic maker to create informative yet visually arresting carousel posts to appeal to both the artist and data whiz.

If you’re planning on highlighting a new product, you can also share a carousel post that allows people to swipe right to see all its details up close.

Got before and pictures you wanna share and show off? Carousel posts are perfect for this purpose as well. You can also use them to show tutorials or step-by-step processes.

7. Get Creative with Your Stories

If there’s any place on Instagram where you can truly flex your creativity, it’s through your Stories.

Unlike the posts you share on your page, the 24-hour lifespan of your Stories allows you to be a little more candid. It also has several features that allow you to be even more engaging: you can add stickers to ask your audience questions or invite them to vote between options.

It also comes with its own text tool, which comes in various fonts and editing options. You can choose from an array of colors — and if those aren’t enough, you can press on a swatch and swipe through a spectrum to find a hue that suits your need.

Another trick you can try is tapping on the eyedropper icon, which then allows you to change the color of your text depending on where you place your cursor.

Use the eye dropper tool to match images.

You can use this to complement the color of your text with your image of choice, or if you’re trying to hide a bunch of hashtags, perfectly match it.

8. Create Cover Photos for Your Highlights

So as mentioned above, Instagram Stories last 24 hours — until, at least, you decide to add them to your Highlights.

Story Highlights go below your bio on your Instagram page, and in essence, become part of your content. And because of this, it’s always best practice to make sure that the cover photos of your Highlights are cohesive with the look of your entire page. A great way to address this is to create and add your own cover photos.

Need a quick and easy cover photo? Simply choose an image that best represents the category of your Highlights. Run it through the same filters you use for the rest of your content, then add your cover.

Got a bit more time to spare? You can use a photo-editing app to design a photo with some icons and labels.

Once you’ve got your cover photos ready, add them to your Highlights by tapping on the preview. Tap on More ( ⠇) on the lower right of your screen then choose “Edit Highlight.” Tap on “Edit Cover” then upload your cover of choice.

Wrapping It Up

When it comes to getting creative with your visuals or images on Instagram, you honestly need just two things: inspiration and practice. So aside from reading up on the best tips and tricks to try, you could also keep browsing through your feed or visiting various accounts.

See what your competitors are up to — and learn from what they’re doing right and what they can possibly improve on.

You could also check out the accounts of other creative content creators like artists and photographers. See if there’s anything about the composition and layout of their posts that you like and could possibly even use.

After scrolling through all the inspiration you can find, try things out for your own content. See what works for your brand, and keep building up from there.

Over to You

What works for your brand for engagement and images on Instagram? What tips from this post will you use to boost your engagement and results? Let us know in the comments below!