Selfies with Substance | 5 Tips How to Create Amazing Selfies

Like it or not selfies are now part of our culture. While originally defined as just an image of ones self…it has now morphed into being defined as any image that you take (you or a group) by your “self” with your phone or device.

While it is a bit nutty to be compelled to constantly document everyday life, it is not all bad that we have the technology in the palm of our hand to capture things as they happen to share our lives. It is actually quite amazing that we can tell our story visually and share it with people all over the world.

But how do you separate yourself from all the crap out there? Well create them with some substance. What I mean by this is be intentional about what you are taking selfies of and take some steps to make them the best quality you can.

Check out these 5 tips to create amazing selfies:

#1 – Think Before You Click

This is first because I personally feel that knowing why you are capturing an image is important. You are going to be likely sharing this with the world, so taking a quick moment to ask, “Why am I taking this image?” or “What is the purpose?” is important.

So yeah, I am coming at this from as a marketer and photographer, but really if you want to have images that are amazing and have some substance behind them….all it takes is a few moments to think it through.

Sure there are moments in time you have to just jump in and capture. There is something fun to spontaneity. However if you train yourself to think a moment before you click before most selfies…you will also be taking some time to think about the story you are telling.

#2 – Where You Stand…There You Are

Selfies are not usually just about the people in them, they are also about what is around you. Most of the time it is about an exciting event, fun experience or an amazing moment in time and the background helps tell that story.

But all you have to do is Google bad selfies (or maybe just don’t and save yourself) to see some of the epic fails captured when people are paying attention to themselves and not what is going on around them.

Again…take a moment to stop and think before you click. Sometimes a simple adjustment is needed to take an awkward image to an amazing one.

man and woman standing in front of a dumpster...what not to do for a selfie...be mindful of your background
Yup…Dumpster Love

And for all that is holy STOP taking images of you or your group in the bathroom. Not only is it gross…the lighting is terrible and you are basically associating yourself with what goes on in the bathroom.

woman taking a selfie in a bathroom mirror...what not to do for a selfie...be mindful of your background
Get Out of The Bathroom

 

#3 – Creative Angles Do Not Make for Better Images

Just because you twist the camera one way or another, does not improve your image because it is more “creative”. Often it actually can make your image look weird or even unflattering (up the nose, double chin, etc…).

Instead choose to take images that are well composed and balanced. Look straight on at the camera and leave some space around you to capture you in the moment. Have fun with different textures or framing behind you.

Here is a great article (although it uses landscapes for examples…the rules apply to all images) about composition technique: https://petapixel.com/2016/09/14/20-composition-techniques-will-improve-photos/ 

woman taking a selfie it is at a low angle...what not to do for a selfie.
Up the Nose…

#4 – Lights…Camera…Action

Lighting is critical in taking amazing selfies…this can make or break an image!!! But is can also be fun to play with shadows and light. this is where you can be creative!!!

If you are inside try to find the best light possible. Natural light is best. If you find a window…stand facing it and take the image. This works most of the time if the light is not too intense. If natural light is not an option, a nice pool of light from a lamp can do the trick. Also colored light can sometimes be fun. Overall with interior shots just be aware of how the image looks.

For outside, the best images come out on a cloudy day (which is pretty often where I live), but if that is not case then opt for a nice shaded area. Why? This keeps you from having harsh shadows. If there is not a tree in sight, then you have a couple of options depending on the time of day. Really it comes down to how the image looks. If you face the sun and it is not so much you are squinting, then you get a bright and brilliant image that pops. If you have the sun behind you it can offer a softer backdrop or create a cool silhouette look.

#5 – Use the Right Tool for the Job

Selfie Stick: Invest in a selfie stick if you are going to be regularly documenting your adventures. They are often very affordable and easy to take along. This will help you have better control over the composition and angles of your shot. Click HERE to check out the best current options.

Flexible Tripod: This is great for taking an image while using your timer. It easily wraps around a wide variety of objects to give you a steady shot. Click HERE to check out some options.

Photo Editing App: Often these are free, but even if it costs a small amount it is worth it to have the ability to tweak an okay image into something beautiful. Click HERE to find some of the best for 2018.

 

Hope you found this helpful. I am passionate about helping others learn how to better tell their story and selfies really are part of that now. When you layer intentional thought, a splash of creativity and tools to help up your game, you can create some stand-out amazing images!!!

 

man kissing a woman on the cheek in a selfie
Good Selfie!!!

 

What’s the Difference Between a Facebook Business Page & a Personal Profile?

If you are on social media at all, then you almost definitely have a Facebook profile. And if you own a business, then you likely have a business page or at least you have thought about it getting one.

I am often asked, especially as clients are ramping up their visual storytelling, what is the difference between my Facebook Business Page and my Personal Profile?

Well they both have their place and you should manage them in their own way…but they are both being seen by potential clients.

Many people think that if they “lock” down their personal profile, that they have a bit of safety in posting more personal opinions and content. That their personal profile will not really impact their business page.

Well this could not be farther from the truth!

Whatever you put out there online is out there…all of it.

It is not just friends and family that will look at your personal profile. Current clients and potential ones will snoop and find out who you are. They will look at your business page and compare it. Why? Because people want to connect personally with those they choose to do business with.

So what does this mean? Well it means that as a business owner that is marketing online you need to be intentional about what you post anywhere online.

This does not mean that you can’t share personal things on your personal profile. You should do that…however you may want to hold back a bit on sharing pics that might not be in line with an image you would want your business associated with. Or maybe keep some of your stronger opinions for in person conversations.

Whatever you choose to do, just be mindful of what you put out there in the world wide interwebs.

Why Are Reviews on Social Media Important?

There are many ways that you can attract clients and more business, however what impression are you leaving with your digital thumbprint? Through your website, social media, local listings and digital content (more in future posts on these specifically) you can have quite a bit of control over the story you are telling. A key element you can leverage are the reviews on your social media.

There are many ways that you can attract clients and more business, however what impression are you leaving with your digital thumbprint? Through your website, social media, local listings and digital content (more in future posts on these specifically) you can have quite a bit of control over the story you are telling. A key element you can leverage are the reviews on your social media. Why not ask clients to share their experience. It is proven that prospects typically base their decision to use a business or give to an organization based on what others say in reviews. Think about how you make these types of decisions.

Below are a few step-by-step instructions for the top three social platforms.Take control of your branding and story, this can help you attract more clients and build a solid community of followers. In a later post we will explore reviews on your local listings.

Facebook Reviews
We will start with Facebook, one of simplest platforms to request reviews for. To get a link to send.

Don’t have a branded (or Vanity URL as they call it) click HERE for a how-to.

Facebook Reviews.JPG

Google Reviews
Google is an important one to keep tabs on. Why, well it’s Google and this is something that will pop up when someone searches your business. So kind of important!  Here are the official steps that Google provides to help you create a link for reviews:

google-id

LinkedIn
There is not a way to create or send a specific link that directly takes someone to recommend you on LinkedIn, but you can send them a link to your profile. Written recommendations are at found at the bottom of your profile. To encourage recommendations, send someone to your profile (use the public or serial ID URL) and ask them to scroll (or hit Ctrl+End) to go to the bottom to see your recommendations.

If you have not already, you should brand your LinkedIn URL so that your community can easily find you. Click HERE for a link on how to do that. If you have customized it, the link to your public profile is www.LinkedIn.com/in/YOURBRAND.

linked-in-branded-url

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Marketing Yourself While Being Realistic

As a small business owner you wear many hats. You do the work, manage the books, pull the trigger on your marketing….it can be a lot. One of the first things have my clients do is to tell me what they are doing for their marketing and then we talk about what makes them happy…and what is purely a chore.

Marketing your business is different for everyone and there is no magic formula. The key to figuring it all out is to look at what is realistic for you. What? Realistic…what does that mean? Well that means you need to access the time you have, what you enjoy doing and what you can leverage to others. This may mean you need to pay someone to pick up the tasks you do not like or do not have time for, but by taking the time to think it through you can make an educated decision.

Marketing Yourself

Here are a few tips that will help you along the way to make this assessment:

  • Social Media: Do you like social media, know how to use it and have at least 2 hrs a week to manage it? Keep in mind, you do not have to be on every social profile, choose what fits your business and ability to use.
  • Email Marketing: Do you have a way to capture customer contact information? Do you have content that you can send regularly (bi-monthly or monthly)? Do you have the ability to pay for a management system?
  • Digital Ads: Do you know how to do basic design? Do you understand Google Ads, Facebook Ads or any other ad platform? Do you have at least 45 minutes a day to check in and manage ads (this can be less on one and more on another)?
  • Blogging: Do you like to write? Do you have the unique content needed to maintain regular blogging? Do you have at least an hour a week to manage this?

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Content is King: Create Your Own Meme

Part of this fun journey of blogging for 29 days is to provide some quick tips on how to create unique content to tell your story.

Original content is so important to have in your social media and digital marketing. Do you like those images with text…or better known as meme? You can easily create these with your own photos in a very simple way. Follow these steps and you will be on your way to creating fun, inspirational and informative content for your business.

Meme
Sample Seasonal Meme from Original Photography

First…Identify your Screen Capture Tool

PC = Snipping Tool

  • Locate Snipping Tool in Accessories (Start Menu Search) and Open
  • A communication window will appear
  • Click on arrow next to choose the type of snip you want. Rectangular Snip is best for memes
  • Once you have the item you would like to capture prepared, click “new”
  • Drag cursor over area you want to capture
  • Save as the image format you want

Mac = Command (⌘)-Shift-4

  • Press Command (⌘)-Shift-4. You’ll see that your cursor changes to a crosshair pointer
  • Move the crosshair pointer to where you want to start the screenshot
  • Drag to select an area. To adjust the area, hold Shift, Option, or the Space bar while you drag
  • When you’ve selected the area you want, release your mouse or trackpad button. Or to cancel, press Escape (esc)
  •  Find the screenshot as a .png file on your desktop

Second…Create Meme in a Word Doc

  • Open Word Doc
  • Go to Insert tab and select Picture…this will allow you to import the image
  • With image selected go to Format and click Wrap Text and select In Front of Text
  • Click on Insert tab and select Text Box…this will give you the option of which text box you want to use
  • Double click on Text Box content and then type the quote you want on your image
  • Make certain that Text Box is still selected and click on Home tab. Highlight the text you just added and format using all the Font formatting tools
  • Make certain that Text Box is still selected and click Format tab. This is where you will select Shape Fill (none) and Shape Outline (none)
  • With box selected drag the Text Box to where you want it on the image.
  • Use screen capture tool to capture and save as either a png or jpg

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