Marketing without the basics is like trying to convince your husband that you must buy that Cedar Street Maise Kate Spade bag that costs $298 when your budget is only $50… it’s frustrating, a waste of time, and you probably won’t get the results you want!
Now don’t get me wrong, you shouldn’t wait until everything is perfect before you start marketing your site, services or products, but you should have your basics covered.
Today, we’re going to talk about marketing basics #1: Photography. We’ll get to basics #2 and #3 later this month. So let’s get started…
Basics #1: Photography
Since we are such a visual society, the reality today is that if you want to succeed selling your ‘stuff’ online, your photography is more important than everything, except the quality of your products. Note: When I say ‘stuff’ I’m referring to whatever it is that you’re selling; you, your life, recipes, services, products, etc.
I know you probably weren’t planning on becoming a world class photographer, but…
When you sell online, your photos sell (or don’t sell) your stuff!
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Your customer can’t pick up and smell how amazing your vanilla bean mini cupcakes are, so you have to convey it in photos. Your customer can’t try on the grid singlet top you handmade, so you have to show how it would look on her through your pictures.
Your photos should make your ideal customers drool!
I want you to do a quick check on your site, do your photos do this? If not, fix them!
Something else to note, when you start pitching your stuff to other blogs, online magazines, brands and print magazines, your photographs will also help you to succeed. Bloggers, writers, and editors will share you/your stuff with their audiences through photographs – and most of the time they will use your photos, rather than photographing new ones (in order to save time and money on their end).
The good news is that you don’t have to invest a lot of money into photography to take the kind of photos you see in the magazines. A few options:
1. Barter with a photographer in your area. They’ll get photos to add to their portfolio and you’ll share them with your readers and followers on your social media platforms.
2. Create our inexpensive DIY photo light box. A great way to capture your own fabulous product shots.
3. Scour magazines or Pinterest to collect images that inspire you and provide you with a look to emulate during your own photo shoot.
4. Take time to stage your photos. Before you shoot, get rid of the mess, chords, and place items in your shoot that match your look and brand.
The bad news is that you have to invest time into photography to take drool-worthy photos.
Here’s what you need in order to take your own fabulous photos…
–A digital camera. I personally use a Canon 5D Mark III, but any digital camera that has a macro setting will show the details your photos need.
–Backgrounds for photos. You can use poster board, wood, fabric, granite, colored sheets of paper. I even have some large 12×12 marble tiles that I bought at Home Depot ($3.99) I’ve been known to use.
–A piece of white poster board to reflect light. I buy mine for $1 at the Dollar Store.
–DIY photo light box for smaller product shots.
–Natural light. The best shots are typically shot either indoors next to a window or outdoors. Natural light leaves me with very little, if any, post photo corrections.
–Photo editing software. I use Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom (these are a bit more advanced + expensive), but PicMonkey is a great free, easy-to-use online option.
–Practice. Practice. Practice. Do something fun like the PHOTO A DAY photography challenge with Fat Mum Slim to practice your photography taking skills – you can find the list here. Also, your photo (plus your link) might just end up in their feed.
And lastly, go read my 5 product photography tips. I explain 5 key things to ask yourself before posting a photo online.
Stay tuned, we’ll be discussing Marketing Your Business: The Basics #2 and #3 later this month!