How to Price Your Work

If you cringe when you hear terms like “cost of doing business” and “cash flow” and “bookkeeping”, you are a  completely normal creative entrepreneur.  If you scramble at the end of every tax year to scrounge up enough information to make it through the paperwork, you might be a completely stressed creative entrepreneur.  If you have no idea what to charge for your services and cringe whenever you put words to that number, we’re pretty sure your world will be rocked by this fifteen minute video course.

PLUS, click here to access the FREE download we have for you. Hint: it’s an accounting tool that will help you remove the emotion from your pricing and allow you to confidently share your prices without fear.

Take Better Instagram Photos

How to Take Better Instagram Photos

Have you ever looked at someone’s Instagram feed and bemoaned your inability to take such beautiful photos on your cell phone?

Have you ever thought about buying a “real camera” just for your Instagram feed but aren’t sure you know enough about a camera to reap the benefit of it?

Have you ever wished you had more photography skill so that you could showcase your product and life in a more beautiful way?

Welcome. I’m so glad you’re here.

Tools for Better Instagram Photos

You don’t need a fancy camera in order to take better Instagram photos. In fact, the best camera is going to be the one in your hand; whether that’s a DSLR or an iPhone, a camera is useless unless you’re using.

While I did take all these photos with my DSLR (I’m a photographer, after all): each of the photos being taken will be used on a real-life Instagram feed. Yes, that’s right: you don’t need a fancy camera in order to have excellent photos for your feed.

The easiest way to take better Instagram photos is to learn to use your cell phone camera. Remember: you’re smarter than your camera so the more you control the camera and tell it what you want to photograph, the better your photos will be.

(Pro Tip: Tap on the screen to indicate where to focus and then most cameras, even those a few years old will let you adjust your the brightness of your image! )

Lighting for Better Instagram Photos

The best photos will be taken with natural, diffused light.  Sounds intimidating? It’s not. Take your photos in front of a large window (or sliding glass door) with all other lights turned off and you’ll be able to easily create that soft, effortless light that makes for an excellent photo.

Example: these two photos were taken in exactly the same place and with automatic settings.  The photo on the left is using my sliding glass door as my light source with all living room lights off,  the photo on the right has the living room lights turned on.
Same scenario in the photo below: one photo is yellowed, shadowed, and unflattering.  The other is evenly lit without distracting shadows or yellowing.  One photo has overhead lights on, the other has only the diffused natural light.

  • Remove distractions for better Instagram photos

 

Only photograph what you want your viewer to see and don’t let your photo distract the viewer from seeing your art.

Change angles to avoid cluttering objects, move unnecessary objects out of the photo, photograph on a solid backdrop.

The easiest way to eliminate distractions? Create a white box! Buy a couple pieces of styrofoam poster board at your local craft store ($2-3 each) and use that as your background. I prop up my poster board pieces on a chair in front of the sliding door for soft light and three-way white space.

Here you can see all these tips in use:

1 – In front of the window
2 – On a whiteboard backdrop
3 – All distracting elements eliminated

    

Final thought: even if you don’t have a set of white poster board, moving 45 degrees and turning off the overhead lights can make a world of a difference.

How to Take Better Instagram Photos

If you’d like customized help, contact us for a Instagram mentoring session! Chelsea is an excited student who’s Instagram game is wildly improved: “The  [instagram] training has given me confidence that I can post consistently and build my brand effectively on social media.”  

If you want confidence online, reach out and let us help!

Don’t Let Social Media Rule Your Life

Do you feel like social media is a life-sucking, time-wasting, all-consuming beast? Do you spend hours scrolling Facebook wondering “how is this helping my business?” Do you wonder why you aren’t growing as fast as that other brand? Do you post regularly on Instagram and then see no benefit to your business?

Social media might feel like it’s ruling your life, but it doesn’t have to. In fact, the power of social media is most effective when it is an extension of who you are and not a definition of what you do.

 

To use social media well for your business and to see results immediately, try implementing these tips.

1. Ask yourself honestly: “Why am I on social media?”

Some people consume social media while others use social media to accomplish their goals. Yes, scrolling Facebook is a mindless pastime and a nice mid-afternoon break, but it doesn’t usually help you gain traction or business success.

Choose to spend time on social media with purpose. Maybe that means setting a timeline for yourself to avoid over-consuming. Maybe that means only getting on social media to strategically post what you’ve created. Maybe that means focusing on conversation via social media and not just mass distribution of content.

Each time you open a social media application, know why you’re there.

2. Give yourself an actionable, measurable goal.

Do you want to grow followers? Set a target number, start creating strategic content, and take time to interact on potential followers’ accounts. Track your progress and adjust your strategies as necessary.

Do you want to attract clients to your business? Identify your target audience, strategize how you want them to think of your business, and start building content that will inspire them to move from passive followers to active clients.

By implementing measurable, actionable goals and tracking progress religiously, you’ll be able to see movement even when it’s slight. Plus, by carefully watching your momentum you’ll be able to tweak your strategy quickly when you see areas you could improve.

3. Social media starts in real-life.

Social media should be the virtual extension of the real-life world you are crafting. Apply the same principles to your virtual life as you would to your real-life. Welcome people professionally, answer comments and questions promptly, create an online world that mimics your real-life location.

Creating an online presence that showcases your business’ ideals and personality effectively will help ensure that you representing yourself in a way that will attract your real-life client well.

Don’t let social media rule your life. As you spend time online with purpose, it will no longer be a mind-sucking time-warp and will instead allow you to flourish toward your goals.

A well-planned social media strategy will help answer how much effort you need to be putting in online, but will also eliminate the creative-block and posting-panic of last-minute social media posts. Need help creating a social media strategy? We are here for you. Email for more information on a personalized social media strategy.

How to Switch to a Business Instagram Profile

If you’re on Instagram representing a brand or experience or business, then you should switch to a business Instagram account. The End.

Full disclosure, though: I was a nonconformist. Despite implementing a social media strategy on my account, I waited over a year before switching my personal account to a business account. In a series of logical-to-me reasons, I delayed the switch and I regret it.

Switching to an Instagram business account was a simple, seamless process and the benefits have been numerous.

Instagram Business Profiles Means Easier Contact

By having a business account, my prospective clients can call or email me directly from my profile. (If I had a physical location for clients, they could also easily access directions!)  The added touch point means my new client can email me directly from Instagram without all the clicks to get from Instagram to my website to my contact page to the form.

Instagram Business Analytics Are Awesome

I’m not sure how I managed without Instagram Business Analytics.  By switching to an Instagram Business profile, I know how many times my images have been viewed (not just how many times they’ve been “liked”!), a snapshot of who my followers are (men or women? Age range? location?) and which of my posts have been seen the most!  If no other benefit existed, this is why I would recommend switching to Instagram Business.

Create and manage promotions on Instagram

Instagram’s main reason to switch you to a Business Profile is, of course, your newfound ability to create and manage promotions within your profile. By paying for extra visibility, you are able to reach more potential customers through the promotions option.

Auto-Posting is Now an Option

The newest benefit (and possibly the only reason you’ll ever need!) of a Business Profile is the brand-new ability to schedule auto-posting to Instagram from platforms such as Hootsuite and Tailwind.  Batching your instagram post has never been easier!  Businesses and social media managers everywhere have been dreaming of this option and now that it’s here, switching to a Business profile is even more beneficial. Imagine not having to manually post ever again!

How to Switch to an Instagram Business Profile

The actual switch is remarkably easy: visit your profile on the App, click “Edit Profile” and then “Try Instagram Business Tools”.

Truly, it’s that simple.   Instagram will walk you through a few options and a brief tutorial and then you’re done, ready to see analytics and manage promotions and auto-post!

When you made the switch to Instagram Business Profile, what benefit did you notice the most?