Create a Compelling Digital Ad with Photography

Creating a digital ad today can be tough because there are so many ads that constantly bombard people while they surf the internet and while they’re in public. Your ad needs to rise above the competition and stand out in order to get noticed by people who are too busy to pay attention to most things for more than a second. Otherwise, you’ll be investing your hard-earned money in digital signage that simply doesn’t work.

One of the most effective ways to really grab people’s attention with your advertising is by incorporating stunning photography into your digital ads.

Hire a Professional Photographer for Original Images

Digital Ad

If you know what you want your digital ad to look like, you can envision what type of photography you want to include in its design. You should know what style of photography you want, as well as what images, in particular, you want. Once you have these specifications in place, hire a local photographer who can bring your ideas to life.

Hiring a professional photographer to get you brand new images will ensure that you’re only using original, eye-catching images that people have never seen before. Rather than resorting to using stock images that may be seen in other publications, ads, etc., you will have something fresh that will definitely make an impact and make your ad memorable.

Use Instagram Style Photos

It turns out that Instagram style photos that are taken out of the studio and without a lot of special editing effects, can be more eye-catching than other ads. So if you can’t afford to hire a professional photographer at this time, consider using an Instagram photo instead.

The great thing about using Instagram photos in your digital ads is the fact that they are really affordable, they’re natural and “organic” in appearance, and you can experiment with a variety of different images without breaking the bank. You can even create a series of related ads, each displaying a different Instagram photo, so that people will recognise a theme and remember your brand more easily.

Display Your Products Perfectly

Another great way to use photography in your digital ads is to perfectly display your products. Put them front-and-centre, with loads of detail, on a background that is colourful, natural, or white, so people will be able to see what makes your items better than others on the market.

Again, when it comes to getting great product photos, it’s best to hire a professional photographer with the equipment necessary to capture the smallest details, though you can opt to go with an Instagram style of photography instead to show your products in use.

Finally, if you are having trouble putting your digital ad together, hire an expert company, such as Videonations, that can get the job done for you in a short amount of time. This is the best way to ensure your ad will turn out exactly as you envisioned it, especially if your current staff is unable to meet your expectations.

10 Ways To Minimize Doing Dumb Things That Could Cost You Your Business

Whenever you hear or read the news and you find a company doing something really dumb – getting caught by the IRS for not paying taxes, throwing outrageous parties, building an illegal pyramid scheme, paying bonuses with money they don’t have, or selling really lousy products as fast as possible to make money and get out before they are caught, it makes you wonder. Why would they do it? Isn’t it just as easy making money in a great way as it is making it in a dumb way?

Probably the best way to answer those questions is to say every one of those companies is being run by a smart person. Yet every single day, smart people do dumb things. Its easy to get caught up in it all, and before you know it, you’re caught in a trap that can literally shut your business down, no matter how big or small it was at the time.

No matter what stage of business you are at, here is a way to minimize doing dumb things.

1. Always look for someone employees, advisers or consultants that are ready, willing and able to make you think about the other side. As a small business owner – a solo business owner – its easy to get completely caught up in your own ideas. Even if they are bad and don’t stand a chance of helping you build your business. Look for someone that can argue other points with you and make sure you are proceeding in the right direction.

2. Don’t jump at another’s ideas. Just because someone sees things a different way and has a strong support for his or her idea doesn’t make them right – anymore than it makes you right. Stop, take a step back, and look at the situation logically. If you need to, talk with others about the idea before you make a rash decision. Focus groups work great and can help you look at your ideas through the eyes of your clients.

3. Spell things out. If you tell your accountant you want to pay as little tax as possible, don’t assume he will do it in a legal way. Research the people around you and watch what they do. In some cases, it may be best to tell them “I want to pay as little tax as possible in a legal way.” Don’t assume; assuming can get you into trouble.

4. Never rely on one expert to run your whole business. If experts create your roadmap, its no longer your business. Instead, use them to supplement your ideas and help you understand how to put your own actions into play as fast and as effectively as possible. [Read more…]

Blogging Is Booming For Business … If You Do It The Right Way

Its easy to get caught up in the promise of big returns by using the latest social site – whatever that may be. Yet by jumping on the “latest and greatest” social networking site, you may be missing out on an opportunity that has been there all along.

Blogs are sometimes overlooked as the strong marketing tool they are. A recent study showed that blogs as sources of online buzz have increased over the last five years  from 36 million to 181 million. Yet why are blogs still so strong? Should you be using them? And is there a right way … and a wrong way … to use a blog for your photography business?

Blogs Are The Backbone Of Success

Sarah is a photographer. When she decided to start her photography business, she had been unemployed for several months and didn’t have a lot of funds to invest in her new business. So she did what any savvy business owner would do and did everything she could for free. She printed off business cards on her home printer. And she started designing a Facebook page to showcase her work. She spent several months adding posts and content to Facebook and gradually built up a pretty good following. She gained over 2,000 followers and had a steady line of prospects and customers – enough to keep a steady income coming in every month.

Then someone got a hold of her Facebook password and started posting spam from her account. Facebook received a number of complaints and shut her account down. [Read more…]

3 Marketing Lessons I’ve Learned From Driving Around Town

Have you noticed it in your neighborhood too?

I was driving around this past week, doing my normal weekly errands when I suddenly started to notice how things have changed. Buildings are empty. Little paper signs are stuck in the ground everywhere announcing sales, closings and opportunities. And as I went into some of the places I’ve been shopping for years, I also started noticing how empty things were. The “stuff” is still there, its just the aisles are void of people.

Yet even as stores are closing down, still others are being built and hordes of people are lining up to get in. Ikea opened up down the street from us at the end of July, and the traffic lines look like we’re in Disney World. They’ve needed police to direct traffic for over three weeks.

How can you apply that to your photography business? Read on.

In Every Economic Time, There Are Winners and Losers

Yep, I’ve mentioned that before. Some of the biggest businesses in the world today were started out of a garage during hard economic times. And in many cases, I do think we’re going to see a ton of innovation over the next 15 years. Why? Because if you can’t get a job, you have to make one for yourself.

There will be many big businesses that come from this time period. But there will also be a ton of small, health businesses that start from a dream and a little work.

If you are just starting out in photography, look to people that have already made it big in the photography industry. Then take what they’ve done, and add your own twist. Give people what they want today, and you’ll quickly develop a strong following. [Read more…]

The 5 Traits You Need To Succeed In A Poor Economy

It’s hard NOT to wonder what the future holds. The news is filled with gloom and doom: riots, debt crisis, failing businesses, and unemployment at all time highs. And depending on whom you believe, a quick fix isn’t around the corner. This may take months, even years to fix, not just a few weeks.

If a poor economy is likely over the coming years, do you have what it takes to create a business that is strong and thriving? Just as many successful businesses are created during hard times as they are the good ones. So it is possible. But there are telltale signs that pave the path to success. Do you have the traits necessary to move forward in a positive way?

Hard Working and Smart Working

While a lot of business advice focuses around the “4 hour work week” concept, the truth is it does take more than 4 hours to establish a new, successful business. It takes a lot of hard work to build a concept to the point of it becoming profitable, and give you the wealth you need to sustain your lifestyle.

While hard work is necessary, you also have to find ways to work hard on the concepts that matter the most – and that’s where you really can learn from the “4 hour work week” concept. The idea is to work smarter with the hours you are given. Instead of spending hour after hour working on things you don’t like or aren’t good at, give that to people that can do it, freeing your time up to do what you love.

When you combine the two concepts together, you can quickly know which concepts will earn you money, and which ones will waste your time. You’ll see which ones will move you forward, and which ones will hold you back. [Read more…]

Is Facebook Killing Your Website?

Just a few short years ago, the online world was pretty simple. Design a website, make it pleasing, and you could find success online.

Then things started changing. Social hit and nothing has been the same since. While MySpace gave a first shot at connecting up with like-minded people, it wasn’t until Facebook made waves that we began to see an alternative to building a presence that is both professional and personable.

The best feature of Facebook is it’s free. Where else can you create a presence and market your business – all for the price of FREE? So of course many new start up photography businesses are using it instead of building a website.

But is that the best course of action? Can you really build a strong, successful business with just a free Facebook account?

Yes. And no.

Facebook’s War On Websites

Historically we went online to search out content relative to what we were searching for. If someone typed in a keyword or phrase, they were looking for a website filled with content that could answer their questions, and possible provide them with enough information that would convert them into a customer.

Today, time is short. And our methods of gaining information make the necessity for short information even greater. If we’re standing in line at the post office and do a quick search from a smart phone, we want short tidbits – directions, 140 characters of content, photos, videos, an app to get the details we need. Which makes the Facebook platform perfect for what we need.

We can use a Facebook app to get to our account. See what’s new in our newsfeed. And connect to any messages or requests we’ve received since we logged in the last time. The “like” feature has added tremendous value over the past few months because we can control what we want to see and what we want to share. It helps build your credibility as a company.

Dig Deeper: How To Use The Facebook Like Button

With a few simple steps, you can create a Facebook Page that emulates your brand. And because you can build as many “tabs” into your page as you desire, your Page can be quite complex.

Dig Deeper: How To Make Your Facebook Page Attract Customers

And with many of the apps now available both within Facebook itself, and outside with third party developers, your Facebook Page can do just about anything your traditional website can do. With galleries, shopping carts, and more, a customized Page is just a few clicks away. [Read more…]

8 Things A Photographer Should Never Do

Trying to run a successful business? Unfortunately many photographers think of themselves as photographer’s first, business owners second.

If you’ve started up your own business, your business is everything. Your niche, or what you specialize in, just happens to be photography. Business is business. If you want to be successful, you have to make sure your business has key characteristics in place before you grow it to the next level. Yet that can be hard for some. Take a look at these 8 things, and see how many you are currently doing.

1. Hold checks and bills until “payday”

Do you ever find yourself holding a bill back until a client comes in with an order? You have a cash-flow issue.

Many businesses go under not because they are low on clients, but because they don’t have enough cash on hand to pay current expenses. Start a savings account now and build up three to six months of cash-flow. If you normally spend $2000 in a month, have $6000 to $12,000 on hand. This will help you during downtimes and slow periods.

2. Do everything for the first time

Do you find yourself typing up the same email again and again? Do you find yourself answering the same questions over and over? You may be lacking a system.

Chances are you repeat yourself a lot throughout the week. “Do you have this date open?” is a common question emailed to wedding photographers. Sit down and come up with a great email for both answers – yes and no. In the yes email, you can describe your services, ask for more details like where the event is taking place, and lead them to different portions of your website. In the no email, you can refer a friend that may have the date open. If you create a great email upfront, you simply copy/paste, and change a few of the details.

For every instance you find yourself repeating your actions, sit down and create a perfect system. Then use it again and again. It will give you more time to do the important things in your business. [Read more…]