Locking down has tough for everyone; whether you’re a parent juggling work and school from home, can’t work at all, or are busier than ever as an essential worker. Whatever your situation, hopefully, you’re on your way to establishing your new ‘normal’.
If you haven’t yet sat down purposefully to reflect on your unique lockdown experience, now is a good time. Taking stock enables us to process new ideas and opportunities, resulting in clarity and improved goal setting.
12 questions for effective reflection:
- What was your biggest fear about heading into lockdown?
- What three words sum up the experience for you?
- Who were the most influential and supportive people for you? Why?
- What three things from this experience are you most grateful for?
- What do you wish you’d done more of?
- What do you wish you’d done less of?
- What new skills have you learned over lockdown that you intend to utilise moving forward?
- What skills should you develop or stretch?
- What will success look like to you this year?
- Have any goals or priorities changed since lockdown?
- What is the most valuable thing you learned about yourself?
- What are you most proud of from the last few months?
You could also share these reflection questions with your team or family to help them reset their focus and goals for success in the coming year.
If you need help clarifying and resetting your goals, get in touch.
When you’re already really busy doing your job, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, or forget to post images of behind the scenes, selfies or product photography. Often, it’s random. Sometimes you might have lots of images to talk about, and other times you can’t think of what to post.
At times like these, its really beneficial to have a bank of stock photography images in your camera roll. Ready to put into use when you can’t think of what to post. By looking at your branding style, your existing content and where the gaps are, a stock photography library can be created.
I’ve written this guide to help you create a stock photography plan. Whether you go on to use a professional photographer or do it yourself, this list will help you get some clarity. So you’re content can go from OK to AWESOME and you can feel smug as a bug.
Firstly, do a little research on what posts and imagery your followers already engage with the most on social media.
There are two sources to look at:
- Your own insights/analytics
- Your industries or competitors posts.
What works and what doesn’t work?
Keep this in mind when you’re planning content – but also remember that comparing yourself with competitors does not mean copying their stuff or feeling rubbish that your posts aren’t as good as theirs. It’s important to be your own unique brand with your own stock photography image style.
Do keep your brand style in mind with each photo. Consistency is a great way to become a recognisable business and will put your own stamp on your social media posts.
Getting a list together will help with your work flow and thought process. If you plan ahead you can set up your scenes and create all the planned imagery you need, in batches, rather than rushing to do random setups on an ad-hoc basis. If possible try to plan a half day when you can get all your photography done. Some images can be shared across more than one media too.
Here are 12 ways you can use your on brand photography images.
- Your website blogs – Look best when they are consistently on brand. The blogs are usually displayed next to each other so they should ideally be the same size, and have the same on brand (or similar) overlays/fonts/colours to have a neat look. Create a template that you can reuse and just change the text and image.
- Website pop-up / Lead magnet – Usually done as a call to action to get people to sign up to your newsletter to get a discount code. You’ll want to have a very engaging image alongside your written offer.
- Email newsletter – add your imagery into your newsletter. You might need a selection of sizes to fit the spaces. It you have an automation set up do you need a collection of images along the same theme?
- Welcome Pack / Downloadable – send out a welcome pack when you onboard a new client, or create a downloadable and use your best, most inspiring photos of yourself or your offerings.
- Pinterest – A great platform for creatives, but you need lots of gorgeous on brand images to stand out from the crowd if you want to be successful. It’s useful to post your blog image on Pinterest with a link back to your website.
- Header/banner image – For your website, Linked In, Facebook or Twitter header. A really gorgeous image that will give the vibe of your brand. It’s likely to be the first image your visitor will see. You’ll need to plan for an extra wide image here. Or you can stitch a few images together in Canva. You also might like to add your logo and contact details onto the final image like below.
- Instagram – Pretty flat lays work great. You can keep your setups simple or get really creative by adding on brand props and brand colours. How many can you create with the similar set up and props but in different positions? (these images can also work on facebook and your website too). Dont forget your hashtags!
- Social media behind the scenes – You can also do some story telling by showing the behind the scenes of your workspace. Perhaps your desk or work bench, your hands, your equipment or tools. All are very engaging for added content on social media and can be used on your blogs or website about page too.
- Selfies and portraits – I know you might want to avoid being in front of the camera, but people love to see YOU, especially your smiley face (and I don’t want to hear 100 reasons why you’re not photogenic- just take some selfies!) Your customers will engage more with your smiley, authentic selfies, so don’t get worried about being ‘perfect’. You can use them as profile pictures, and within your other content.
- Seasonal – What images will you need to help promote your Christmas, Easter, Valentines, Mother’s day offers? Can you add some seasonal props to your setups (or yourself :-D) – it can be very simple to add in a few sprigs of holy or berries whilst you already have a set up. Come October, you’ll thank yourself for being so organised.
- Ads/campaigns – Creating extra space in your image to make room for graphics/logos and text to be placed later. Maybe think about leaving space for an offer, motivational quotes or testimonials that you can place in the middle of your images later. Alternatively you can add a transparent overlay to your images in Canva, and add the text to that.
- Flyers and business cards – not as popular as they once were, but still an option for you to consider. Especially if you like to network in person or go to events.
Of course you can still do ad-hoc photos too, but this plan really helps to keep your brand consistent and it will be one less thing to worry about.
This blog is an extract from my online photography for business courses. To find out more about my Product photography, Stock Photography and Selfie photography courses click here