How to Create Product Photos

still life photo of glass bottles at monark virtual services

If you’re selling products online, it’s essential to learn how to create beautiful photos that inspire the shopper to actually buy the item. Taking photos that get results requires practice, education, and little imagination .

You can do it yourself, or you can hire someone. At first you’re probably going to want to do it yourself to save some money. Remember that you need to factor in your time. If you can make more money producing more products while paying a professional photographer to take the photos, you should at least consider it.

In order to create inspiring product photos you’re going to need the following:

1. Camera – The type of camera you get today isn’t really as important as you might think. You can take excellent product images with your smartphone.  If you need to move up to a more powerful camera, you don’t need to break the bank to take excellent and inspiring, product pictures.

2. Tripod – Consider this a must have tool.  Using a tripod to hold the camera extra steady while you take your product pictures will ensure that you get the best image for your products.

3. Check the Background – Use white poster board or mat board. You can get large, seamless background paper that photographers like to use from most photo supply stores, or craft stores. If you use white, make sure it’s a bright white color.

4. White Foam Board – Purchase this at a frame shop or art store like Michaels; you just need various sizes that are about the same size as your product. This will be used to bounce light onto your product.

5. A Standard Table – A nice card table that you can cover with a white sheet or paper that is large enough for your products is all you need. You can use milk crates, strong cardboard boxes and drape with a sheet.

6. Tape – You’re going to need to tape down your board so that it stays where you want it to. You don’t want to set it up just right, and then have something cause it to move during the photo session.

7. Well-Lighted Room – The more natural light you can get in the room, the better. If it’s not a windy day, you can even move everything outside to get the very best light nature has to offer.

8. Lighting – You can get the lighting you need from any home store like Home Depot or Lowes. Just buy three floodlights with reflectors, daylight 30-W fluorescent bulbs from them, and don’t forget stands for the lights. This type of lighting will best showcase your products.

Finally, set up your product to be the center of attention. It can also be a good idea to put something for a size reference near the product for one of the pictures at least, so that the audience knows how big your product is by sight. Even though you will put the measurements of all your products in the descriptions, seeing is believing.

 

Revamp Your Marketing Plan

email marketing

If you’ve been doing the same thing in terms of marketing and not getting the results you thought you would get, then you may need to probably revamp your marketing plan.

As technology changes, so do marketing methods and needs. In fact, every time you create a new campaign you should be revamping your plan based off the metrics from the last marketing campaign.

Check The Metrics

Depending on your marketing campaigns, you’ll need to watch your metrics.  The important factor is to look at the numbers and make some changes if something is not working after a month. When something is “off”, it’s a sign to take a good look at your metrics, study what isn’t working and replace it with better content or images.

Adjust and Make Changes

If something isn’t working, revamp your marketing plan again. Change your sales page headline if it’s not converting. Try different words to encourage purchasing. Ensure that the technology is working. If you have a lot of traffic but no sales, it’s likely a tech issue.

The 80/20 Rule

Not only will 20 percent of your work lead to 80 percent of your sales, it’s also true that 80 percent of your product is usually purchased by 20 percent of your audience. That’s just a statistical anomaly that has been proven to be true over and over again. Focus your campaigns to clients who have already purchased and move them through your product funnel for a quick boost in sales.

Look for New Opportunities

Be open to new ideas, new technology and a new way of thinking. Imagine how many business owners are really upset that they did not get into blogging and online marketing a lot sooner. Stay on top of technology that affects your niche to avoid trying to sell outdated and old products and services to your audience.

Be Consistent

With marketing, persistence is the key. Write a blog post as often as possible at least 2 times a month.  Send out more than five announcements about your new products or services to your audience. Send the announcements out in a variety of ways, too.

Be consistent on every marketing channel that you join, whether it’s your blog, social media marketing, and more. Don’t post once then give up. Keep on marketing to different channels and platforms.  If you know where most of your audience hangs out, be sure to post there often.

Some marketing you do may not work every time. Some will work spectacularly one time, bringing in many sales. Then next time you try it, it may not work.  Don’t be discouraged!

Just try new things because sometimes you discover something that works so great that it actually works every single time.

4 Steps to Convert Prospects into Clients

convert prospects to clients and hand shaking in agreement

How do you Convert Prospects into Paying Clients?

What steps do you follow and why is this important? The entire point of lead generation is to have prospects and convert them into paying clients. If you have a prospect (or lead), it’s important that you start this process straight away.

As a service provider, having clients is your “bread and butter”, and the income coming in pays the bills.  So, you should always be working on your pipeline, get leads, even when your clientele list is full.

Ideally, you want a waiting list of potential clients. That’s why you continuously market and network to build a list of prospects.  Don’t wait until you need a client to fill a spot. Start from the moment they sign up for your list. This way, when a vacancy is available you’ll have your choice of ideal clients to choose from.

handshakeBuild Trust

Be transparent and provide all prospects with information and education freely without trying to sell to them.  When someone signs up for your email list or reads your eBook, they are trusting you to deliver a certain quality. Seek to exceed their expectations in order to build the trust they’ll need to further open their wallet and choose you as their service provider.

Solve Their Problems

If you can describe issues that your audience has and tell how you can solve those issues, then you show them that you can provide solutions for them. In other words, you don’t sell a transcription service; you sell time. By transcribing for them instead of them having to do it themselves, you are giving them more time to work on more ideas and projects than they could without you. They have issues that you can solve with your expertise.

Become a Resource 

This might sound strange, but there will be prospects that you really can’t help. But, you may know someone else who can help them. It’s important that you refer them to other qualified people because:

  1.  You’ve just made yourself a resource to your audience and
  2. Those whom you refer will remember the kindness and return the favor.
  3. Only recommend them to people you know who will do a great job because next time that person needs work that you can do, they’ll contact you again.

Provide a Fresh Perspective

Sometimes potential clients come to you already frazzled. They need so much done that they don’t even know where to begin. Take charge of the call (or email) and help your potential client make a list of what needs to be done so that you can determine if you are right for the position. Help them think through the actions and work needed to reach their goal. Focusing on the goal will help your client focus too.

Finally, if you don’t convert them to a paying customer at the time of the first call, ask them to be part of your email list, so that they can receive more information. In addition, whether they’re part of your list or not, follow up with them in a couple of weeks or a month or two to find out how things are going for them.

If you want to continue researching this topic of how to turn your prospects into paying customers, here’s an article I found that has 8 more tips.  It’s an older article, but basically the same information. Click here to read more.

Also, you can learn more about nurturing your leads and convert them to a buying customer by simply focusing on a specific niche, need or promotion you have. Download your free copy of:  

3 Things you need to Turbo Charge Your Leads into your Sales Funnel.

Turbo charge your leads ebook cover

Click Here!

 

 

 

 

 

Promote with Sales Landing Page

sales landing page

One of the best ways to promote your product or service is to have a Sales Landing Page.

Why would you need to have a Sales Landing Page? Because a sales landing page is specifically designed to have your visitor take a single action. Usually, button to click such as: “Buy Now” , “Book Now”, or “Consult Now”.

Your sales landing page is a page dedicated for your promotion. It should avoid any distractions, such as navigation menus, or sidebars.

Your Sales Landing Page should be ATTRACTIVE and CAPTURES their ATTENTION

Address their Pain Points

When writing the content for your sales page, you’ll want to address their specific problem. Mention the problems that may be getting them stuck in their marketing journey. Maybe it’s technology or advertising digitally.  Or they don’t know how to get traffic to their site.

You also want to add a solution along with a gentle persuasive message on how you can help get it fixed.

Get in Touch with Email Marketing

One of the ways to direct people to your landing page is through email marketing.  This is why many marketers will emphasize to build your list.  You’ve heard the saying, “the money is in the list”.  It’s

You will want to start collecting email addresses for those readers who stop by and visited your site.  Stay in touch and send your subscribers email occasionally.  Then, when it’s time for you to promote your specials let them know and add the link to your sales landing page.

Social Media

Utilize the power of advertising using social media.  Add your events to social media and direct people to your page.

Write Blogs

Another option is through a blog. When you write your blog article, make sure you have a link that directs your readers to your page. Let them know about an upcoming product, launch, sale or promotion.

Add a Call to Action (aka CTA) button that says “learn more”, in your blog, which also leads the readers to your sales landing page.

Give them a FREE Offer

Provide a free offer in your website’s sidebar or in a blog content.  An example of a free offer would be a downloadable eBook, cheat sheets, checklists, etc. With the free offer, you can add your readers to a specific mailing list.

Send Welcome Email Series

If you have an email or autoresponder service, send your subscribers a series of emails and continue to share great valuable content and tips every week.  This way, you stay in touch with your prospects and start developing relationships with them.  Eventually, as you form relationships with your new subscribers, you can direct them to your sales landing page to introduce them to your product or service.

If you plan on creating the landing pages yourself, I would recommend OptimizePress. I have been using OptimizePress for about 3 years now.  OptimizePress is a one-time payment. You buy it once and if you want to continue to get support services, you renew your subscription for a nominal fee.

Hope the brief information was helpful and if you have any questions leave a comment or use my contact page here.

Ebook Cover Turbo charge your leads

 

If you are interested in learning more about how to Turbo Charge your leads, I’ve got a free ebook that you can download for free.  In it, your free Ebook download will help you understand sales funnels, landing pages and some of the digital tools to use! Learn more by clicking here.

Content Marketing Success

review marketing plan

Content Marketing may take up a lot of your time, but it’s a form of marketing that pays off over and over again, year after year.

Creating content isn’t only about marketing, but also about educating and engaging your audience, too.

Content Marketing is also a simple concept to understand and implement for marketing success.

Follow the five steps below to content marketing success.

1. Have a Website for Your Content

You want to drive all traffic to your website. Any content you put anywhere should drive traffic to your website. It doesn’t matter if you have a bricks and mortar business or a strictly online business. Driving traffic to your website will ultimately drive traffic into your store to buy or to purchase off your website.

2. Create Optimized Content in Multiple Formats

The content that you create should be, as mentioned previously, engaging, and work to educate your audience about your products or services.

Repurpose content into different formats to stretch the life of any content that you create. Some ideas are blog posts and articles, both on and off your website, short reports, eBooks, videos, podcasts and more are all types of content that you should produce and promote for effective content marketing.

3. Build Your Email List

The key to successful content marketing is building your email list. Use content to build your email list by writing keyword-rich content to attract your target audience to your website and directing them to sign up for your email list.

Once they sign up for your email list, you can market your other content to them, educating and engaging with them.  You’ll be encouraging them to purchase your products and/or services. This will be easier because they’ve given you permission to market to them.

4. Use Social Media

Social media is a great way to market your content in a way that your audience can share with others. Share all your content on social media, including your blog posts, articles and more.

social media icons for content marketingAdd clickable buttons in your content so people can also share your content to their social media networks. This gives you an opportunity to attract the friends of your audience so that you can build a larger following.

Finally, simply keep repeating the above throughout the marketing cycle. If you plan in advance the content that you want to create for every product or service that you’re marketing, using a publication calendar or editorial calendar will make easier to create  content on a regular basis.   Content marketing that is educational and engaging gets the results that you desire.

5.  Organize and Keep Track

When you start to create more content, whether it’s for social media or your blog, you should also keep them organized.

Another way to organize and keep track is to use a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet should contain data for keywords, social media platforms, list names and publication dates.

But you don’t have to create one, since I’ve done that work for you!

How to Market to People with Short Attention Spans

using internet on iPad

According to data specialists, the average attention span of most people is about eight seconds.

Trying to capture your audience’s attention online is a problem because you have to get your message across within the eight second time frame.

You have to shorten your marketing content or do something new every 8-seconds to continue to grab their attention again.

Breaking it Down

  • What are your objectives?
  • What is the underling goal that your business needs to accomplish? Include an objective from each sector of your business.
  • What are your goals? (in terms of measurable results).
  • What are your strategies? Describe for each of the goals, in one or two points, tasks that will be completed to meet each objective.

When you answer each question, try to do so with only one or two sentences. The idea is to keep it short and to the point. If you can’t keep it to the point now, it will be hard for you to do so when you’re creating your marketing campaign.

Things to Remember

  • You can focus on one objective at a time.
  •  You can focus on one goal at a time.
  • You can choose one strategy at a time.

You can make a list of each and create a series of advertisements that fit together to answer the first list of objectives and goals that you created.

Start with only one objective. Get one completed, launched, and measured before moving on to the next.  Then watch your metrics to measure which are based on your clear and specific goals. This way you can ensure that you are on the right track and gauge how you’re keeping the attention of your audience.

Once you have everything organized, it will be a lot easier to follow and succeed in marketing to people with short attention spans.

You’re going to find that using this method will help market to all sorts of people, whether they have short attention spans or not. It’s probably better to assume that 99.9 percent of your audience has a short attention span and work from there.

How to Maintain a Schedule When You Work from Home

time management

One of the hardest parts of being an independent contractor as a service-based provider  for others is maintaining a realistic schedule for balancing work and personal life.

Most people start their business believing they’ll work at least 40 hours a week.  Soon they learn that nothing could be further from the truth.  Fear not, you can organize and craft a schedule that allows you to work more efficiently and make the best of your time.

Your ideal client

Like with most things to do with your business, it’s imperative that you know who you want to work with. What types of client will you get along with best and what services can you realistically perform? Start with the client and then solve a problem for them with your services.

Know Yourself

Are you an early riser or do you like to stay up late at night? Most of the time people are one or the other. If you are a person who doesn’t like to keep to a particular schedule, you’ll need to develop tasks that are deadline focused instead of time centric. For instance, if you don’t want to have to do a task at 8 a.m. each morning, don’t offer that service.

Considerations When You Have A Family

What kind of schedule does your family have and how much can you rely on other members of the family to take your work seriously? Even if they don’t take your work seriously right now, you can still create a business around your family’s schedule. Communicate in the beginning what’s expectations they have from and what you can expect from them.

Create A Schedule

appointment calendarTake in account, the importance to develop a set schedule of when you will be performing your client’s work. Even if the time you come up with is from midnight to 6 a.m. It’s still possible to have a service-based business as a contractor. Figure out what time(s) works for you.

Create Your Business Schedule for Yourself

Don’t forget that you’ll need to set aside time for working on your own business. You will still have email lists to maintain, content to create, sales pages to craft and so forth for your own business. Not to mention billing, invoicing and bookkeeping.

How Much Time It Takes

As you work on creating the services you’ll offer, keep track of how long each tasks will take and then match them to the other things that you’ve got going on with your family, and the type of schedule you can maintain. Knowing what goes into providing a specific deliverable will go far in ensuring you create a business that works for you. You can use a free app called Toggl to keep track of each tasks.

Schedule Everything in a Calendar

Don’t assume you’ll remember something, much less everything. When you have multiple clients, you need to have a calendar. Not only will you need to calendar the work you are doing for yourself and clients, you also need to include in your calendar anything you really want to make time for – including date night.

Use a Project Management System

Don’t skimp on purchasing and investing in tools and software that will help your business run more smoothly. Tools like Basecamp.com, FreshBooks.com, and Trello as well as others can help you do more in less time.

Maintaining a realistic schedule requires you to be mindful about the time you have available and the type of work you really like to do. It might sound great to be working from 8am to 5pm, but it’s quite different in practice when working from home as a contractor.  You really need to be disciplined and prioritize your work load.

 

 

* I may receive compensation for recommendations of certain products. Your price of the product does not change at all. Please read more here.

How To Improve Your Productivity by Having a Good Workflow

flowchart

Without a system in place that includes a workflow, it can be difficult to keep up the with momentum and taking on more clients or projects. Establishing a good workflow can help with efficiently completing projects, working smarter and better time management.

Your Deliverables 

Establish the scope of the project and write your deliverables first.  List all the things that you need to complete. Then start with first things first, using your checklist to make sure you didn’t forget anything including timelines.

Craft Your Workflow

Seeing your workflow visually can help you identify areas that you left out or forgot. You can actually use the checklist for a generic project to create a workflow. You can use a mind map, or draw on a whiteboard the work flow.

For example the workflow for publishing an eBook might look like this:

Researching the niche, create a topic, craft a title, outline the book, write the intro, write the table of contents, design a book cover, etc. When you draw it instead of write it, you can easily see the the tasks can be done in order.

A nice tool to use for free in creating a visual mind map is Mindmup. Using Mindmup has helped me create website re-designs that include, themes, colors, images, links to products, carts, payment gateways, marketing to different platforms, etc.  Without having a workflow to help you see visually when moving from one task to another, can be daunting.

calculator, paper, pen in black and white vector imageCreate a Packaged-Price Rate

One of the best things you can do for your business is to try to develop a pricing package rates for your work. This will have you avoid having to track your time. Time tracking for multiple clients is time consuming and an interruption so try to avoid it, if possible.

Create Checklists for Each Project 

When you do the same types of project over and over again, creating a checklist to that guides you and others who work with you through each project. This helps keep you on task for every project. Just like pilots have checklists in place to ensure all systems are working properly.  That’s a good checklist to use before take off! So, before executing that the project is complete, use your checklist.

Using a Project Management System

Use a project management system like WrikeTrelloBasecampAsana, or Teamwork which helps getting yourself, team members and your clients organized from day one. These systems already has some ways to organize the work so that you don’t need to actually create everything from scratch. Many of them provide free tips from their websites in getting more organized and having workflows. Asana offers one of the best free version. With the free version of Asana you you’re able to create more than one project. You can add teams, upload files, images and message within the app. (Free at the time of this writing).

Google other workflows

Use a Google search for workflows that are already written. You can search in a similar area of topic and use them as ideas for your own use privately.

Your workflow will change and not set in stone.  You can always change your workflow as the project comes along or if you found a smoother transition from one tasks to another that saves you time.

As technology improves, your workflows will evolve. Over time, your workflows can only get better and more efficient.  Workflow design is essential to your success as a business owner or contractor who takes on projects from multiple clients. Testify that you develop your workflows based on the services that you offer so that your project management practically runs itself over time and more efficiently.