Spammy Sales Emails and the Lingering Odour…

yelling man image

I’m willing to bet both of my eye teeth, that if you are a small business owner you get about a dozen of these sales emails a week. The might not be for photo editing specifically but you get the gist. On the odd occasion I’m actually at my desk plunking away I will return the odd response. Is anyone listening? Not likely. But it sure feels smug to be able to hit SEND.

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The real point that hit me was WHY would I not care about a POSSIBLY great service to use? It’s the angle of attack of course.

BUY MY STUFF. USE ME I’M THE BEST. WE GIVE GOOD QUALITY WORK.

Am I shouting too loud? Exactly.

First off – If you can’t even find someone to correct your grammar I’M OUT. This kind of poor quality attention to detail has me running for the door.

Second – I want you to learn about MY business. Ask ME questions, learn about what my needs in business are THEN pitch me the services I need.

Third – Blanket emails that you can’t even put a NAME to (and all that would take is checking on my ABOUT PAGE) to personalise. You would get so many more opens to this email if you personalised it with Dear XXX”

A well formatted sales email will ask questions, will hit on pain points, identify  problems, and provide solutions. And only THEN will they go in for the Sale.

Build the relationship first, learn, and then GO FOR THE JUGULAR.

(In case you were curious)

My response:

This type of blank solicitation email does not work to get sales.  We Australians do not like spammy unsolicited sales emails. Why don’t you ask me what I NEED instead of PUSHING your company all over me like a bad smell. I can bet you haven’t received even 1 positive response back?

Understand your customers, and what they want and MAYBE you will be able to offer me something I would buy into.
Your Sales Tip of the Day from Someone Who Would Actually Consider Using You If I Thought you Might Actually Care About My Business.
Erin Pimm
www.head-hunters.com.au

Get your LinkedIn – Social Media House in Good Order!

Head-Hunters photography headshot image

 

Head-Hunters Photography Headshot ImagesIf you are the average Australian you’ve just spent on average 3 hours on your mobile cruising social media APPS today. Facebook is the obvious, and I know you’re looking on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and maybe even *gasps* Tinder! So you’ve seen some stuff… I can tell.

So how does your profile stack up to all the others?

I get it. you’re busy. We all are. Up and at ’em in the morning to work, a full 40 hours a week, the gym, social, laundry…who has time to update their profile picture right?

WRONG. Who DOESN’T have the time to get their profiles all spiffied up. You are probably part of the 75% of employees who are currently employed but looking to make that next leap up the ladder. Time to get your social media house in order.

And don’t be fooled…Employers are searching for you on social media. They want to see a balanced life…not too many party pictures of you munted at last weekends Rainbow Serpent Music Festival or your besties birthday at Miss Collins. So lets scrub or at the VERY least change the privacy settings on those more dubious images.  Do a Google image search for your name and make sure you scrub those images off the net as well. Here is a great resource for removing images from the web

Now I’m sure the thought of getting new headshots taken for your LinkedIn Profile and you other social media send shudders up your spine?Head-Hunters Photography Headshots

Well it doesn’t need to be painful! You don’t need to book time off work either! HeadHunters is offering a great new weekday $99 special where WE will come right to YOUR door.  We’ll use some of the great architecture and storefronts of your business hood and take a great environmental portrait for you. We’ll walk far enough away that the boss doesn’t need to see what we’re up to (unless of course you are going for major brownie point with him.

Quick and easy. 30 minutes from start to finish, and you’ll even have time to apply for that new job you saw on LinkedIn this morning.

So what are you waiting for?

Head-Hunters Photography Image
Head-Hunters LinkedIn Headshots

Bullet proof your profile.

First impressions are absolutely everything.

GO win the job, the contract, the GIRL. And call me to get your $99 Lunchtime LinkedIn Headshot! 

iPhone Photography Tips for Small Business

iPhone Photography Tips for Small Business

EVERY business owner has one of these smart gadgets they’re virtually tethered to …and yet most of us brick and mortar businesses could be doing so much more with these little devices every day to help out in our marketing. And guess what…these ideas won’t cost you a dime…

Special of the week/Feature Wedding of the week – Say you are a florist shop and you want to keep you clients in front of you. Do up your bouquet of the week with your feature flower, or wedding theme and take pictures of the sets…these go HOG wild on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook!

Wedding bouquet

POS and In Store Displays – Fresh fruit stands have fodder galore, but you know what makes them really great? Vibrant Colour and lots of Pattern (think of how lovingly they are stacked every day). Use that to your advantage in any storefront of business window.Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 12.12.22 PM

 

Coffee Shops – yes of course you are going to feature your shi-shi coffee and poached eggs on Feta and bespoke multigrain…but how about your PATRONS! Get them to check in with a review and photo on Google+, or YELP and give them their next coffee ON THE HOUSE and feature THEM on your favourite Social media…everyone deserves their 15 minutes!

Shoe/Podiatrists Shop – Engage a sporty “customer of the month’ and have her try on several different shoes. (GIve them a loss leader freebie as a thank you). You could also do a greaHappy Employeet little flat lay every week with a new outfit and pairing.

 

Tax Store/Accountant – So not sexy – I know, I know…BUT…Feature your clients with a big return on your Facebook page. You won’t need to coax them to have their picture taken when you save them money this year.

Book Store Special

Book Store – Featured books of the month are obviously the low hanging fruit but why not try a Kids Reading Corner – ask THEM to suggest a book! (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr)

 

flatlay

 

 

Clothing – Flat lays are hot! Try doing one up on the counter or bench – pair up your feature or specials with all the accessories…or better yet get the customers to try them on and model!(Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest)

 

 

Before and AfterHairdressers/Make-Up Artists – THIS business is the CREME de la CREME for Before & After Marketing. The key here is for images to be similar to each other in angle, distance and lighting. Toss those into a collage APP and that’s an INSTANT seller!

 

Best practices for Social Media.

Now in order to get the best out of your pictures – here are a few ideas on how to engage your customers at the right time and place with your social media postings…

  1. Try and post every day on Instagram and Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Pinterest (wherever your clients are). At the very LEAST once a week.
  2. Run monthly contests for engagement.
  3. Offer freebies for check-ins and reviews.
  4. Spend a few moments on the image using some great APPs with filters(most social media have them built in now)
  5. Post at the top of the hour, just before work, lunch hour (12:30-1:00)

 

Try a few of these APPS on your smartphone for fun…

And a  few more thoughts about your images:

  • Make sure the image is in focus.
  • Make sure the image doesnt have too much clutter around it or too busy
  • Use lots of colour and pattern
  • Use the square orientation if you are planning on Instagram, so its properly framed right in camera
  • Try and get an even consistent light from side to side.
  • Watch out for the overhead lighting…and it’s EVIL shadows!

 

Enjoy your creative time, use these iphone photography tips, and when you’re ready to get some incredible business images for your business –  call HeadHunters Photography!

 

iPhoneography – Part II

So now you know what your camera can do straight out of the box, let’s start getting into the fun creative aspect of iPhoneography

** Watch out for the exercise at the bottom – and send us your pics on Twitter or Instagram!**

Welcome to the wild wild world of ‘Photographic Design Elements’  

“To achieve visual unity is a main goal of graphic design. When all elements are in agreement, a design is considered unified. No individual part is viewed as more important than the whole design. A good balance between unity and variety must be established to avoid a chaotic or a lifeless design” (wikipedia).

So what are design elements REALLY? It’s a simple and complex answer. The Simple is: they make your photo better: The Complex is: the multitudes of elements and HOW you use them to create compelling images. Subtle or Overt.  We’re gong to tackle in the simplest terms the main elements used in composing images. This is where your eye, your style, your taste comes into play with your iPhoneography

Learn the Rules. Then learn how why and when to break them. But most importantly –  KNOW the WHY.

Depth of Field

This is your field of focus. Your camera WANTS to decide for you what and where to focus. You are are going to give a stern talking to and go Manual (AE and AF LOCK). To lock either your focus or Exposure, you need to open your camera, touch the place in your image that you want to lock in the focus (so your camera doesn’t take over and control this) and then wait until the YELLOW AE/AF LOCK block comes on. Now your focus and exposure are locked. Oh – And don’t forget to turn it off later – that could seriously mess your images up when you’re not thinking about it the next time your using your camera.

When you have a choice of close or distant objects to focus on, and it picks close, then the rest of the image will be out of focus. When everything is distant (on a similar focal plane) then the camera will generall y be able to put it all into focus. But when you can CHOOSE what the focal point will be and learn how to use it, it can isolate items in your image, pull your attention to whatever it is you choose to ‘pop’ that element out with focus, then the creative powers are in your hands now! You can choose close, mid distance, far away, or far enough away that its all in focus.

HeadHunters Headshots melbourne
Longer depth of field
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Shallow Depth of field

Quality & Direction of Light

Light changes all the time. But there are 3 things to ‘focus’ on (pardon the pun) when it come to assessing and using.

Quality: Have you noticed that the light looks different from sunrise to mid day to end of day? The color cast (warm early and late – cool daytime and in the shade). Even the seasons from winter to summer vary. Color cast is very important when considering light. Shade is cold, blue, and end of day is a golden cast. Tuck that away in the back of your mind for a bit.

Quantity: Night, Day, Inside & Out.  Natural vs Strobe/Flash short vs long exposure

Direction

Front Lighting – this is the most typical use of light.  The light source is directly in front of the subject. You get context, detail, colour. Its the most natural and obvious way to use light and what we’ve all been taught. To place your subject so that the light falls onto the face, or object.

HeadHunters Headshots melbourne
front side back side front

Side lighting you get shadows and texture. Try looking at your skin lit from the side. Its not particularly flattering really. It brings out every little bump. Thats the texture. But it is dramatic!

Backlit is an extraordinary form when used correctly. Its all about shape. You can use backlighting in daytime and expose for the subject but everything else will be over exposed and blown out. You can have some gorgeous sunbeams and filters. Or you can have the dark Film Noire feel when used at night to focus only on the shape and form.

Ghoul Lighting. All I can say to this is unless you are doing a horror movie – dont bother. It’s so unflattering and unnatural. Our eyes are not used to seeing things lit from below and its very strange and awkward and unpleasing to the eye. Creates tension for sure.

Patterns & Broken pattern

HeadHunters Headshots Melbourne

Pattern gives our eyes something to follow, direction, and purpose. Its identifiable, geometric and strong. Close attention to patterns can create a feeling of a bigger picture. What lays outside the frame. Our eyes recognize patterns very quickly and so its great to use in marketing design (think of the big rows of vegetables at your local veggies stand and how appealing and yummy they all look (if they are well organised as well).

 

 

 

 

jkahl10@flickr
jkahl10@flickr

On the opposite side of this you’re breaking the rule. Broken Pattern. Use it, but know WHY and HOW. Try and use this with color, placement, and focus. Give the  broken pattern even more impact. The one glass thats empty versus all full, the open window of the apartment building all the rest closed, or the post painted a different color than the rest, the red car in a sea of silver. The main point here being emphasise your broken pattern. Use it to your advantage. The eye will search and find. Let your image do the work for you.

Next Up…more design principles and how to incorporate them into your business!

Todays Exercise. Go out on your lunch break or around the office and LOOK for the direction of the light, where its coming from and then search for patterns and broken patterns and upload your images to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag: #headhuntersmelbourne.

I cant wait to see what you can find today!

iPhoneography for your Business – Part I

mobile ready web Head-Hunters Business & Corporate Images Photography

Using your smart phone for business is not only a necessity these days, but can be a great way to initiate business, connect, engage and market. This iPhoneography series is going help you ‘create’ conversations with the flick of a finger.

Iphoneography

You have a very powerful phone under those fingertips of yours. Im going to give you some PRO tips to really maximise your images, create stunning imagery for your potential clients and help you engage them more often. Give them what they want and keep them on the hook. In this 3 Part Series I’m going to teach you how maximise your smartphone, image making, post production and marketing. 3…2…1…GO!

(quick disclaimer – this is geared towards iPhone users, but is applicable to ANY smartphone – so stay tunes Galaxy and Google users!

Here are technicals on your phone – all good things to know about using your iPhone 5

Your phone has a WHOPPING 8 megapixels, front facing camera. Thats about what most professionals used to use use 5-7 years ago with their fancy DSLRs. It takes amazing pictures to be sure.

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credits: www.photigy.com
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Credits: www.photigy.com

In fact I recently saw a comparison between a medium format camera and the iphone and I have to say that I could barely tell the difference. Check out this comparison of an iPhone vs a Hasselblad over here at Photigy.com

Now the other thing worthy noting here is that your Front Facing camera (for FaceTime and selfies) is only 1.2 Megapixels…so you know which one is going to be better now. And for the geeks out there – (you know who you are) the aperature is 2.4. Pretty amazing…but we’ll get onto that later.

Social Media Image Use Statistics

headHunters Social Media Ok its number time…INSANE Number time to be exact. Any question as to HOW many people are using images now and how the big brands are asserting their marketing dominance in images?

  • Twitter: 58 Million tweets per day / Now you can add up to 6 images per tweet  to reach out to those 650 Million users
  • Facebook: 350 Million photo/day (48% users share ‘selfies’)
  • Instagram: 60 million photos per day @1.6 Billion likes. Brands Nike, Starbucks, NBA. 50 Top brands have 1.5 Million viewers.

 

 So What Your Phone can do now?Headhunters_iPhone

Here are a few things that you may or may not know – Give them a try!

  • You can swipe to open from lock screen
  • Turn on Grid View (Settings/Photo&Camera/Grid Slider on). This will come in handy when you are trying to figure out what the heck the ‘Rule of Thirds’ is later on in this tutorial
  • Use hort burst mode by holding your finger DOWN on the camera button and listen for the glorious artifical clicking sound to rattle off. Watch out. These pictures will EAT up your memory fast so remember to delete them as you go.
  • Set Focus and Exposure (tapping) (moving to lower light and back up – foreground & background choice)
  • Lock the Focus and Exposure (AE/AF Lock yellow image will appear at top of screen)
  • Try the HDR Photo (High Dynamic Range – takes the lightest parts and merges them with the darkest so you get ALL the detail of the image) Be careful about the Auto On/Off feature of this. Otherwise you will be snapping 2 pictures EVERY time you use your camera.
  • Did you know that you can take photos with volume buttons – comes in handy for those selfies!
  • Take secret photos with using your headphones as a shutter release button! Give THAT a try!
  • Geotagging  – pretty cool feature where you add the GPS information into your images so that later you can give up your complete Privacy about where you’ve been (or let Big Brother follow you around).

 

Image Orientation

Headhunters_heashotsHeadHunters Photography - Nikki Ellis-5 HeadHunters_Headshots Melbourne panorama

  1. Portrait
  2. Landscape
  3. Square (Instagram)
  4. Panorma

So you have many options for orientation on your phone. Choose what works best for the image and composition. Zoom with your feet. Leave cropping as a last option!

So there you have it. Part I of iPhoneography…Now you know what your iPhone camera  is capable of…next down the line are Photography Design Elements. This is where we REALLY dig into creating great pictures…Then to top it all off is the final “Piece de Resistance”, APP an post production awesomeness! See you soon, and get that phone out at least ONCE today and post something to your Social Media Pages! Engagement is the KEY!