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.

850x1067xiphone-vs-hasselblad-studio-shot-example-2.jpg.pagespeed.ic.SnFyDq7Krs
credits: www.photigy.com
850x1000xiphone-vs-hasselblad-studio-shot-example-1.jpg.pagespeed.ic.CLj2Frb-vv
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!

Top Tips for Selfies

2013 was proclaimed the year of the Selfie. So Let’s learn how DO IT RIGHT!

Headhunters Headshot melbourneHere are my Top Tips for the perfect selfie

  • Ladies- Pump up the volume on your hair
  • Hold your phone above your head @ 45 degrees FOR look slimmer & trimmer YOU
  • Forget the lip pucker. You are not Kim Kardashian.
  • Leave your tongue out of it. You are not Miley Cyrus
  • Watch out for your background. You don’t want to be upstaged.
  • Use a filter APP to wash out the lines after a hard night of night clubbing

 

 

So use the  selfie for your Facebook profile but leave your website, blog,  and LinkedIn to the professionals. Your first impression is everything and part of your personal brand, so make the best out of it!

 

The Best Tips To Creating a Great Profile Image for Yourself.

When was the last time you thought about the message your personal profile image is sending to potential new employers?

Lets start with a question: how many Social Media sites do you currently use? 2…3…6…10? Lucky you! You are part of the masses using Social media on a daily basis in your home, at the office, on your mobile and in the toilet.

Bonus! If you’re reading this article you obvious believe that leveraging social media is an absolute need for both personal and business these days.

Next question: Who believes that first impressions are important? *(Yes that was rhetorical) and I think that goes without saying…

Listen…We’ve all seen the terrible – cringeworthy profile shots that people use on their LinkedInFacebook, Twitter, and other Social Media Networking sites. For me its like nails running down the chalkboard. I want to email them at midnight and ask them – Do you realize how unprofessional you appear, how you are devaluating your personal brand, and immediately eliminating yourself as a candidate for that new position JUST by using the profile image you are currently displaying? NO employer wants to see a picture of you cropped from a larger image (with the ex or party buddies), yellow, dark-underexposed, on vacation, in a bar with your sunnies on, playing footie with your mates, with your dog/girlfriend, LARPING etc. And trust me – they WILL Google you. And they will find you on Social Media – it’s  part of standard HR vetting practices now. Imagine your whole life  – exposed in a click…good and bad. So it’s time to start scrubbing up your online profile.

You may have just graduated from Uni, are entering back into the work force after being a full time mum, or had some life changing event that has propelled you back into the job hunt. Perhaps you are upwardly mobile cosmetic surgeon, barrister, CEO or Executive – consider dropping a few bucks into your local photographers pocket (I personally think that the value you receive from professional headshots will well overtake the monetary investment in the long run if your talking about a 20% pay raise into that new position). If you INSIST on doing it yourself – here are some tips to help you get a great picture.

Consider the Message of Your Profile Image

Does your image show that you are a credible professional, a leader, an authority, an artist, athlete, or just serious partier travelling the world? Take some time to consider what you want to tell people visually in your image; something about you, something personal, something about your story.

Personal Presentation aka Grooming

You need to appear clean, neatly combed and coiffed, ladies – light makeup Dress as your own best representative – are you the modern fashionista the contemporary blog writer, professional athete, powerful corporate lawyer or dental technician? Avoid Loud Patterned shirts, casual t-shirt with rude saying – goes without saying. Try wearing clothing that won’t date as quickly, a simple dress shirt and blazer, muted colors, company logo on your high vis wear.

Location or Background

Do you want to have your picture taken in the Park or the office – Inside vs outside? Both have different lighting and send a different message. An office will seem much more professional, but an athlete may want to portray themselves in the elements in which they are all the time. Environment brings more credibility to an image. Eliminate distractions to the eye like very bright colors, animals, children, signage, building unless they provide some type of context to your story. And remember always – YOU are the single subject of the image. Keep it simple.

Post processing – what you do AFTER you take your image.

Orientation – portrait  (tall), or landscape (wide) or square. Portrait is the more traditional orientation for profile, square is more modern, fun and geared toward social media. Do not use filters or cross processing APPS. Keep your image clean and real. Along these lines as well do not use boarders or text. If available make sure to use meta tags, alt_tags, hashtags, and links if available in your uploads as they will add to your SEO and SERPs

The Final List of No-No’s or ‘How to get a nasty email from me at midnight after I check out all your profile images over the next month:

  • No party pics
  • No vacation pics
  • No family pics ( unless it’s a family business)
  • No pics with gf/bf
  • No sports
  • No events
  • No flash!
  • No sitting in front of your computer generated images

Just a simple focused image with YOU as the primary subject, appearing clean well dressed with no distractions in the image. This will give you a leg up, build trust and confidence in your profile and might even make the difference of you getting that foot in the door initially. Go ahead – use your iphone, ipad, pocket camera, DSLR. Whatever takes pictures for you…But whatever you do remember the KISS Rule. Keep it Simple (Silly).

Want to get the BEST bang out of your BUCK with Social Media?

Social Media on a Budget

Let’s face it. You could spend a TON of money on social media, Google AdWords, CPC’s trying to get unqualified leads to turn over to your camp all the while begging for the conversions and leads. It doesn’t need to be this way. AND you do have to put some time and energy into this to find some cheaper (read: YOU) labor to get your campaigns running full tilt as well as pinching your pennies and minutes as a small business owner (I say this from experience).

I have some ideas for you that you can work on during your weekends and evenings so that your days stay free to help your clients and customers and help pinch a few pennies. SEO Social Media guys are running rampant these days. Everyone wants a guru on their team and little do they want to pay the going rate for these media magicians. NEWSFLASH!! You can do most of this yourself! If you have the inclination, and there aren’t THAT many of you out there that ENJOY this like me (lest I blog on more…) so lets start with some pretty easy ideas that you can implement over the next month.

social media cloud image

Twitter

Did you know that you can pay to promote your Tweets? Ya. That was a bit of a jaw dropped recently for me. Here’s how it works: Pay for tweets when you want the added exposure. Again. Be careful about what you are paying for. You want to make sure that you have amazing content that someone is going to want to engage with and share and drive more traffic to your website, have coupons, offerings and have sales and giveaway campaigns. Pick your promotions carefully because your tweets WILL show up clearly as a PROMOTED Tweet, but they can be engaged with, shared, favourite and retweeted just as any other ordinary tweet.

So make it stand OUT…we need to go beyond the ordinary on this one! If want to work on brand recognition, you can use this method for your blog, content marketing (YES!), partner marketing, events and even more brilliant to connect with key influencers in your marketplace.

Use your hashtags, your tinyurls, @’s, .’s Here are some best practices for your tweets

Facebook Campaigns

We all know that Facebook is a great place to be. Its free to join, free to post, free this and free that. This has been fabulous up until the past 6 months where your posts are getting buried faster and more furious as the lifespan of posts is shortened dramatically.

The reason? Facebook WANTS you to spend money with them on campaigns, to get higher visibility, for more impressions and oh ya lay your wallet out for all the ads. Of course it’s a money making adventure. Mark Zuckerberg aint no dummy and either are its stock holders, so prepare to pay dearly these days to run a well seen campaign either for your branding recognition or campaign offers. AND…there are some less expensive options for the world’s largest Social Media site. Just a few dollars a week and some GREAT CONTENT will really engage people, get them talking, conversating…staying…and pushing that LIKE button for you. The more they engage, the more your posts stay up top, the better your Edgerank, and the circle perpetuates.

So pick perhaps 2 posts a week that you want to get some traction on and throw a couple of dollars at it. IT WORKS as long as you are asking great questions, and providing excellent content.

**Make an offer for a check in like a little chocolate heart this week in honour of Valentines Day?

Blogging

There are hundreds of reasons why you should be blogging, but in the interest of keeping this readable on the train or in between coffee breaks, Ill keep this short and to the point. Blogs help you spread, your content, ideas, help far and wide. They establish your authority, you can use them to post across all your social media to bring in new followers and its GREAT for your SEO and SERP (Web ranking). Find a plugin like Squirrley SEO (my personal fave) that will help you optimize your articles for content and SEO and get posting!

 

YouTube

Did you know that YouTube is now the worlds largest search engine? Google aint no dummies here. Chew on this Jim:

• More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month

• We have more than a million advertisers using Google ad platforms, the majority of which are small businesses (http://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html)

Paying even a few dollars for your videos can return awesome results. But you have to optimise your YouTube videos. James Wedmore is a personal guru of mine and if you follow his simple steps, you will be the king of your niche in a very short time.

Instagram

“MarketingProfs reports that 67% of top brands are now using Instagram, reaching more than 100 million active monthly users on the network. That’s a 500% increase in users since last year, according to research from Simply Measured. “   – Cursive Content

Do your research and find people of influence in your niche and tag them. Find some great partners to work with and tag back and forth to encourage and cross promotion traffic FOR FREE!

“Include captions that show your humour & wit, or to add some context to your photo.” – Independent Fashion

Pick your hashtags in your niche and really stick with them. Pick 3-4 and all your images should be relevant to those standard hashtags. Be unique. Use your images to show your behind the scenes, your clients, your experience. People want to see something artsy and gorgeous.

Link up your social media to Instagram so it automatically reposts for you.

Use images that tell a story.

Ask your customers to take pictures of your business and post them for you with your tags. As an added incentive to them make them an offer for a check in. I like to offer a free print to my clients for any social media check in.

Foursquare

Four square are the leaders in the location based marketing business. The first step is to optimise your profile.Then consider how you can leverage your social media contacts to drive traffic both directions and boost your online marketing efforts. It’s a great way to add value to your neighbourhood, encourage local traffic, and cross promoting with complimentary businesses.

Pinterest

Although there isn’t any way to directly promote your pins, there are some great tools to maximise your scheduling, analytics, and by the way they are all free! Some of them work via Chrome Extensions (love using these) and the rest are stand alone APPS, but all worth investigating for different reasons. ViraltagPinpuff, PinBooster, PiqoraReachli

Here is my last piece of advice. Get yourself a social media manager. HootsuiteSproutSocial – there are MANY of them, for free to trial and paid subscription once you realise how valuable they are to you for saving time. But they will help you time, track, and aggragate your posts. And they will be a lifesaver.

money flying in the air

Think of all the time and money you are going to save!

So there you have it. Some great rather inexpensive ways that you can get some great reach, increase your visibility, gain followers and really start to leverage your social media juju!

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: shutterstock
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: shutterstock

Erin loves to putter away with social media, tinker with SEO, and blog up a storm. Her photography business has helped many small businesses get on their newly branded feet and her love of the internet has her clients playing well with APPS.

Do you think Your Website Images Need an Update?

Ideas, Images, Infographics, Style and Design are rapidly changing, and you are trying to keep up with a market segment that is pouring more resources and time and digital energy into their website every day.

website restaurant image for business

So how does your website keep up let alone compete? Why do consumers choose your business  over theirs?

With incredible, creative, relevant images. And its not as hard as you might think!

As a small business where can you effectively put your limited resources into the get the best bang for the buck or for your larger entities your ROI?

Great images can help you drive sales, grow your business and build your online community.

For the uninitiated photography newbie, there are a few little tweaks that can help you retain your clients and start to get longer stays and better more qualified conversions for your business.

What are the best images to use for your business and how do you get them?

THE best images that you can use for your business are images of – you guessed it  – YOUR business! People want an experience. They are BEGGING for it! What better way is there to sell yourself and business than showing them what you do, and how, and why? From a spa style dentist office to boutique restaurant to florist, show what you do best. Have a professional photographer come and bring LIGHT to what your business is about. A second option is to use stock images (istock.com, shutterstock.com, getty.com). They are great. They can supplement your personalized images, but don’t make the mistake of using the same image that the dentist office down the street is using of the girl with the pearly whites…these types of images are overused, impersonal and not representational of your business.

How can you use photographic images to create some buzz?

yelling man image

Its a great reason to announce on all your media platforms that you have relaunched your website. Its free PR! And YOU will be top of mind next time they need a wax, a haircut (before and after for beauty services), financial service, or their car fixed. It’s also a great way to announce that you are committed to improving your business, offer new services, and a reason for them to come back and check you out again. A few more things to consider using images with: newsletters, mailing list, direct mailings, and emails are all great ways to use images to enhance all your fulfilment procedures.

Where to use images to get the best ROI and conversion rate?

Front page of your website and landing pages would be the key ingredients here. When you figure out where people are landing and where you want them to go…you leave them a trail of breadcrumbs (images) to lead them around…

Environmental images and services will have the greatest impact on retaining hits. Great images will bring people to your website from social media, online listings, associations etc. When people are doing their snooping and investigating, their eye will be drawn to the pretty picture, and light spaces first, so plan your media images to draw the eye.

It has to be said. Responsive websites and devices are what you need to be working towards. There is no point in having a great image on a poorly designed mobile device that wont scale properly. Goodbye customer – immediately, and never to return. Experience is everything on mobile devices and 45% of us use them for surfing these days and this is growing rapidly. So there is no point in building a site that sits statically on a mobile device.

Use Infographics!

Coolinfographics.com has a great list of Infographics. Lets make statics EXCITING! When you need to use numbers in your business presentation, Infographics are a great way to go.

tall_infographics

 

 

 

 

(The Tall Infographics design from Randall Munroe at xkcd literally made me laugh out loud.  As he mentions in the text: “‘Big Data’ doesn’t just mean increasing the font size.)

Images that kill your experience and send them running

There are lots of great examples of things that dont work well, and here is the far end of the spectrum that need no explaining: cigarette packages, surgical procedures, awkward family shots…well I think you get the ‘picture’. When it comes to medical services, people are nervous enough, so less is more. Think END product.

Some other things that dont work well would be irrelevant imagery. People want to see pictures of your business. Not a picture of the outside of your building thats located in an industrial park, or a stock image of a pretty smiling face with a head microphone. It feels fake, and Im sure your not in the business of selling what you are not.

Consider that your images need to work well with your website as well. That means color tone and crop work for your banners, pages are places relevantly and they are consistent within your messaging in site.

There are multitudes of things to consider when chosing how to design your business images. But know that a consistent, well designed message and images help you meet the coherent message that you want your viewers to see and conversions will go from a trickly to a pour.

See you online!

Erin Pimm

www.head-hunters.com