MARKETING STRATEGY

The Best Resources For Instagram Props

Must-haves for your instagram prop box - keep small accessories, paper goods + more around to help you in styling your instagram photos and creating a more cohesive brand.

If it isn't obvious already –

My instagram feed is rarely instant.

I previously shared that I prefer batching tasks, and taking photos for instagram is one of the things that I tend to do in batches to save time. Also, since my “ideal” natural lighting happens mid day, taking a lot of photos at once helps me to get more consistent (and better) lighting. Throughout the week I might share photos of things that are more “in the moment” like when there's a really pretty sunset or a cute photo of my dog, but most of my photos are taken ahead of time.

For me, instagram is a curated gallery / highlight reel of my life and behind the scenes look at my business, so I'm very intentional about which photos I decide to share. 

Whether you're styling your photos for instagram or your website, it's helpful to have a prop box of items on hand to help you create more interesting photos. To build your own prop box, think about what types of items you already have around your home and gather them together in one place. From there, you can start to purchase additional props within your niche – for example, I work with a natural beauty brand that incorporates a lot of “natural” elements like flowers and greenery to complement their products.

Often I want to take a photo of a particular product like lipstick or jewelry, and having things like trays and coffee table books around helps to make my photos less blah. I try to only buy “props” that are things that I will actually use in real life and that relate to my brand – so you'll primarily see polished, feminine, and modern accents in black / white / gold / pink  anywhere that's associated with wonderfelle.

Whether your styling your photos for instagram or your website, it's helpful to have a prop box of items on hand to help you create more interesting photos.Click To Tweet

PROPS + BACKGROUNDS

You can find almost anything on Amazon, Target, or Etsy 

For specific props here are a few ideas that you can use for styling flatlays or behind the scenes shots:

Office supplies (pretty pens + pencils, notebooks, planners, folders, paper clips, scissors, post it notes, notecards, stationery, etc.). Find fun office supplies at:

Small home accessories + kitchenware (candles, trays, coffee table books, picture frames, decorative objects, coasters, plates, glasses, mugs, bar accessories, etc.) A few great places to find home accessories include:

Small personal accessories (jewelry, watches, keychains, scarves, wallets / clutches / pouches, makeup, glasses, headphones, etc.): Find cute options at:

Other: flowers, succulents, food / beverage items, technology (phones / tablets / etc.)

If you’re looking for resources to make the backgrounds of your photos more visually appealing, consider these:

What are your favorite resources for Instagram props?

Instagram Resource Guide for shooting, editing, scheduling photos

5 Easy Tricks For Branding Your Social Media Images Like A Pro

Expert tips on branding your social media images like a pro from Kathie of Bluchic - click through to learn how to create cohesive social media graphics to build your brand.

Images are becoming an ever important part of a marketing strategy but branding your images for social media can be a challenge. With your website, you design a page and that’s it until you make a change.  With social media, you constantly post new material every day.  So how do you do that and make sure your channels stay consistent with your branding?

It’s something I’ve thought a lot about at Bluchic. Our Feminine WordPress Themes are some of the best in the industry and we pride ourselves on high design, consistency and attention to detail.

So today I want to share with you:

5 EASY TRICKS FOR BRANDING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGES LIKE A PRO

Apply Balance To Your Images

Why is balance one of the key principles of design? It’s how we as humans are wired to perceive things.  When something we view matches up nice and neatly with how we expect it to be, it invokes a good feeling.  And that’s what you want your audience to feel when they see your social media feed.

There are 4 different types of Balance to think about when setting up and editing your images.

1) Symmetrical Balance

This is the type you are likely to be most familiar with.  If you draw a line down the centre or across the centre the other side is perfectly reflected.  This creates a very calm and centered feeling for the viewer.

2) Asymmetrical Balance

This is abstract balance.  There is no symmetry but instead the elements are arranged in such a way that they balance each other out.

3) Radial Balance

This is all about the spiral or circular movement of the image.  The image radiates out from a central point providing a perfect balance but also movement and interest.

4) Crystallographic Balance

This is about repetition.  Repeating patterns which become one giant image and act as one.

Use The Same Logo / Avatar

Make sure you have consistency across all of your social media banners.  You can use a design service like Canva to keep everything together.

Or, sign up & receive a free social media template courtesy of us.

Make sure that if you want to change the banner on one channel, you don’t just do it on a whim.  But you make sure you adapt each channel at the same time.  It might sound like a drag but it is super important!

When something we view matches up nice and neatly with how we expect it to be, it invokes a good feeling. And that’s what you want your audience to feel when they see your social media feed.Click To Tweet

Limit Your Typefaces

You should only work with 3 typefaces and they should be consistent with your website if possible. Users are going to click from your social media channels onto your website and they expect a consistent and fluid journey.  

High bounce rates usually happen when this journey is interrupted and the user arrives on a page they weren’t expecting. So just take a moment now and scroll your feeds. Are your typefaces consistent? Is this an area you can start improving straight away?

What to look out for: fonts, sizing, italics / bold / underlining – make sure these are consistent!

Important Elements = Biggest Fonts

What is the goal of your image? What information do you want to get across, and what action do you want the viewer to take.  Make sure your most important elements are in the biggest fonts.

It’s easy to get swept away in content creation mania.  But, take just 30 seconds of time on each image and ask yourself – what I am trying to achieve here?  You’ll be surprised how quickly your click through and engagement will improve by applying this one simple tactic.

When In Doubt, Simplify

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo Da Vinci.

It is much better to have an image with just a few words and space around it, than a paragraph of information. If you're familiar with Leonardo’s The Vitruvian Man you’ll understand the true depth of this statement. The Vitruvian Man is an extremely complicated concept and political statement portrayed in a simple symmetrical design which has stood the test of time.

Simplicity is memorable. Simplicity works.

Guest post by Kathie of Bluchic: Kathie designs beautifully crafted Feminine WordPress Themes for creative entrepreneurs and business women.  For more information about branding and how to launch a website see Bluchic’s in depth guide. Follow on Twitter l Instagram l Facebook l Pinterest

5 Examples of Opt-ins You Can Use to Grow Your Email List

5 examples of opt ins to grow your email list - expert tips from top female entrepreneurs - a guest post by Solopreneur Sidekick

A guest post by Louise Henry @ Solopreneur Sidekick

Opt-ins are all the rage lately! And rightly so – they have the capability to grow your email list in a big way and set you up for future income streams. I would consider an opt-in (or lead magnet) an essential for your online business that you should implement asap.

OPT-INS TO GROW YOUR EMAIL LIST

Firstly, what do I mean why I say “opt-in?” Basically, all an opt-in is, is something (usually a digital product) that you give someone in exchange for their email address or “opting in” to your newsletter. In this article I’m going to share with you my best advice for creating a high converting opt-in and show you 5 different examples for inspiration.

Most importantly, focus on an issue your ideal client is facing. I’m sure you could create a fantastic opt-in on a number of topics, but what is your client currently struggling with? It can be tempting to skip a few steps, or want to show how knowledgeable you are. Which is awesome! BUT – what stage is your ideal client at? Are you overwhelming them with the thought of automation when they haven’t even sent a newsletter yet?

Next, think of your opt-in as step 1 of your sales funnel. Think about what needs to happen before they hire you or purchase your product. For example, if you are selling a course on ConvertKit, your ideal client should already have an understanding of email marketing. So there’s your topic for your freebie! Educate them on how important email marketing is for their business, why ConvertKit is a great product and finish the freebie with a call to action leading to your paid service.

Another way to think about it is to answer FAQs with your opt-in. For example, I love to help solopreneurs launch their own brands. But my ideal client, someone who is just about to embark on their entrepreneurial adventure, might not know the fundamentals of branding. So something like, a free email course that walks them through the fundamentals of branding would be a perfect fit. What are the questions that all clients ask before working with you? Or what things do you need to explain to each client prior to work beginning? You should be able to get ideas for your opt-ins from this!

Opt-ins are all the rage lately! And rightly so – they have the capability to grow your email list in a big way and set you up for future income streams.Click To Tweet

Here are a few, real-life examples for your inspiration:

  • A free email course like Maya Elious of mayaelious.com and her Free 5-Day Personal Branding Course

Why it works: You can lead potential clients through a series, demonstrate your knowledge and help them work through a subject in depth. At the end of the course, you will have built up trust, your audience will feel as though they have got to know you (and your work) and many will want to know more from you.

Maya-Elious-Free-Branding-Course

 

  1. Access to your Facebook group like Heather Crabtree of heathercrabtree.com and her group Savvy Business Owners

Why it works: Not only do you capture their email, but you get another member in your Facebook group too! Why is this so great? That means you have double the chance of building a meaningful connection with your audience.

Heather-Crabtree-Facebook-Group

  1. Free templates, stock photos or other helpful + practical things like Jessica of lovepluscolor.com and her free creative library of templates + worksheets

Why it works: You’re helping your ideal client with something right away. By providing them with a template or worksheet they need, you can make an immediate impact on their business (and they’ll surely thank you for it!)

Love+Colour-Freebies

  1. Access to a free webinar replay or video masterclass like Nesha Woolery of neshawoolery.com

Why it works: You’ve already put in the hours crafting the perfect webinar! Now make it work for you! Offering up the replay is a smart way to do this. Plus, it’s a very personal way for your clients to get to know you. Many marketing pros I admire have started to go with this option (Halley Gray, Sarah Morgen) – and that’s because it converts.

Nesha-Woolery-Free-Video-Class

  1. A free PDF of whatever you’d like! Here’s a fantastic example by Shaina of yourampersandstudio.com

Why it works: You can get laser specific on what your target audience needs, like Shaina has done here with her download “28 Lessons, Resources and “Aha” Moments for the Rising Photographer.” Niche down and offer something totally unique + relevant to your audience!

And remember:

Go above and beyond and make your opt-in really strong. You want to exceed their expectations. You want it to provide a glimpse into what it would be like to work with you! And we know that’s gonna be good.

Grab their attention. Ever noticed that the best marketers use words like “irresistible” – don’t be afraid to spruce it up!

And lastly, remember to tell them what to do next! The last page of your opt-in should include a call to action that tells them exactly how to hire you or buy your product.

I hope this has helped get you thinking about your next opt-in. Good luck and leave your link in the comments once you’re done!

Louise-headshot

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hi, I’m Louise! Your Solopreneur Sidekick. I’m passionate about helping busy solopreneurs make the most of their time so they can focus on building their dream online business. From offering on-demand design & digital marketing services, to writing my best actionable tips & tricks on my blog, I help you focus on what's important and see the growth you deserve!

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