Trying to find good quality pictures online can be really disappointing. Most of them are generic, distasteful and undyingly awkward.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We did some research and found seven places you can go to get high-res, good quality images to decorate your website, emails and marketing material. We also forgot to tell you the best part, they’re all free.
Unsplash allows you to have access to ten photos to pick from, free to use, a day. Most of them are of beautiful landscapes. The theme of their photos are sort of dreamy an mysterious. Good for featured images on blog posts or backgrounds for an infographic. They do require attribution, so make sure you leave credit and/or a link to their site.
PicJumbo has a huge library of really beautiful shots. Their food photography is exceptional but they also have photos of desktops, cities and activity that are easy on the eye. Their content is free but they offer a premium subscription for $6 a month and you don’t have to worry about the populous ads that cover the page. With the subscription, you also have access to some of the most high end galleries. Most of their images do not require attribution.
Pixabay is best for easily finding stunning photos. They have a simple, easy-navigate search engine which makes it easy to organize which photos are best for you. Most of their images do not require attribution.
IM Free has fresh, crisp and bold photographs that will make your website turn heads. Their categories consist of templates, people, business, icons, technology, health, food and drinks, sports and fitness. The list goes on and on. Most of their images do not require attribution.
Made by the artist and web designer, Ryan MgGuire, Gratisography has many fun and experimental shots that you won’t find anywhere else. There is also a nice blend of modern images and vivid nature shots. Most of their images do not require attribution.
Mourgefile doesn’t have the most populated library, but they do rank pretty high when it comes to variety. They have simple and statement worthy photography.Most of their images do not require attribution.
New Old Stock is a vast collection of interesting pieces taken by government agencies or found in estate sale briefs. All the photos are in the public domain and often just fascinating. They are fun to use to add a vintage layer to your marketing material.
Do you have something about your business that you think is special enough to be announced on tonights news or next month’s issue of Marie Claire?
Do you plan on hosting an exciting event? Do you wish the whole town could hear about a new special product or offer you are selling? You might want to look into creating a press release.
What is a press release? Well according to Webster’s dictionary, it’s …
“An official statement issued to newspapers giving information on a particular matter.”
Of course, nowadays newspapers can be online as well. But basically, it’s an official way to announce something new about your business that deserves a lot of attention. You can do it through the medium of text, video, audio or even photographs.
You can turn your press release into to the media (i.e. news, magazines, blogs etc.) If you are managing your own PR and marketing, it’s wise to be able to draft a press release that stands out and can help you get the word out on your business.
How to craft the perfect press release
Set really clear intentions
What do you want to announce?
Make sure you’re clear on exactly you want to state to the public. You should be prepared to answer all and any questions about it in detail. You want to make sure your intentions are clear
Who do you want to see this?
Consider which outlets you chose to send your release to. Your ideal client should be on your mind. Where is she/he shopping? Where is she/he reading? Where is he/she getting their news from?
What would you like your result to be?
Set a goal for how many leads you expect this press release to give you. Decide how many transactions it will take for this release to be worth it. After you’ve done the math, figure out what the juiciest parts are about what you have to offer. Write them down and then prepare for the next step.
Crafting the headine and body text
Create a catchy headline
Imagine being a stressed out journalist and needing to find something to write about that will turn heads at the office. What headline would make them put aside reading the other releases just to view yours?
Now, of course you want your headline to be relevant, but you also want it to make a statement. Shorter headlines are better. Using unusual adjectives can spike curiosity. You want to stay away from way to general words like “amazing” or “incredible”. Go for words like “revolutionary” or “irresistible”.
Your headline should be big and bold (literally). Make your headline bold and make sure you capitalize at least the first letter in the first word (and needless to say, and proper nouns in the title).
BONUS: As a business woman, you always want to use the freshest available descriptive language as possible. You cannot over learn that in good business.
Forming your subtitle
If you can write a catchy and telling sentence about your release, use that for your subtitle. Whats nice about the subtitle is that you can get a lot in one sentence and use it as momentum for the reader to carry on into the body text of the release.
Form your body text
Just like any other formal documentation, make sure you include the date and location you are sending from.
You cannot afford to make your first sentence dry. Catch their attention right away by pulling them right into interesting information. To take the pressure off, one trick I use, I learned from James Altcher, is to just write a regular opening statement and then delete the first sentence. Sometimes trying to force a good first sentence will cause it to never show it’s self, it’s better to flow into your writing and then read over it to delete the generic bland stuff.
Making it absolutely perf.
You do not get into detail.
Just get straight to the point and talk about the good old five W’s. Who, what, when, where, why. Sure, you can add some cutesy jargon but don’t go overboard. (It can be a slippery slope). Avoid repetition and run on sentences. Skilled journalist don’t need to know every thing about your hosting/offering in order to know if the release is worth sharing. It’s their job to find out as soon as possible, don’t get in there way.
You can share nice and dry facts. Like statistics, number of sales, goals. Just make sure it’s quick and for the love of louboutin, accurate!
If you feel like it would be appropriate you can add a sentence about why you feel like that particular outlet would benefit from sharing your release. Just make sure it’s a reason that will really resonate. Even you have to do a little research about their readers/viewers, it might be worth it for both you and them.
For example: “I wanted to share my workshop on eating healthy for pregnant women because I recenlty read that 40% of your readers are pregnant women who are interested in eating healthier.”
Format of your headline, subtitle and body text
Your headline and subtitle should be centered and your body text should be aligned left. As stated before, make sure you headline is big and bold. Your subtitle can be the same font as your body text. You can put it in italics for an extra dash of professional.
Leave your contact information
Make sure you leave all your contact information. You can either place it in the order that’s best to reach you or match the medium in which the press release was sent. Like, if you sent it in email, you can put your email down first. Or if you sent it via snail mail, you can leave your physical address first. This is your call. Whatever feels best for you.
Just make sure you leave your email, phone number, website and social media links so they can research you as much as they’d like.
You’ve just made your press release!
Now that you have this as guidance, you can craft your own perfect press release and continue to do so in the future. It will help your business get more exposure.
Pitch your release to magazines, newspapers, television networks, news shows, popular blogs and more.
It seems like since social media has gotten popular, people have forgotten the importance of in-person business relationships. Sure, having a network of people available online is valuable, but why settle with only that?
Your local community surely has to have groups of business people who you can benefit from knowing. If not, you can always start your own.
If I’ve learned one thing in business, it’s this: It always helps to know people.
Here are five ways you can expand your local network:
1. Optimize your search ability by listing your business on Google, Yahoo and Yelp
Even though this is about meeting people in person, your potential customers and network affiliates will still most likely find you from looking for you online first.
Did you know that Google and Yahoo! offer a way to list your business in their business directory that will help people find you when they search using those engines? They encourage all business owners to enter their business information so that they can help find what people are looking for (that’s sort of their job). It’s a win-win deal. You show off your business more, and their search engine is further optimized.
Check out how to list your business on Google here: https://www.google.com/business/
Check out how to list your business on Yahoo! here: https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/local-listings
2. Invest in some local online ads
With local listings, you can find the keywords of your potential customers way easier than a general online based business can. Why? Because whatever they are looking for, they will also enter the town or city name. That’s money in your pocket, because all you have to do is purchase ads that will come up first when people search for a business like yours in their location.
Now, Google ads and other online ads can work amazingly for some and not so much for others but, the odds of you finding out are in your favor. It’s better to experiment with online ads and figure out if it works for you then never testing it out. Right? There are many business owners who have had their clientele double, triple and even quadruple with the help of online ads. It’s totally worth a shot.
Here is the link to Google Ad words: https://www.google.com/adwords/
They will teach you all about how their ads work. Yahoo, Yelp and Facebook also offer local ad listings.
3. List an offer on Groupon
Just when you thought it couldn’t get better. Listing a business offer on Groupon can expose you to thousands of people who may have never heard of you before. Plus, not only will they learn about you, but they’ll learn that you’re offering them a deal, so they are more inclined to listen!
There have been countless success stories of people gaining new loyal and happy customers through the first experience they had when they received a service or good with a discount. The point of this offer is to find the right people and get them hooked! There are people out there who need what you sell but they may not be willing to try it unless it’s put in front of them and/or offered with a discount!
Check out this inspiring story about how Groupon changed this woman’s business forever!
4. Get some pretty paper work to post
It may seem a little old school but the power of paper advertisements you see in cafes and lounges still work. The trick is, you want your ad to be enticing and to catch people’s attention from across the room.
How can you do that?
- Use a beautiful high-res photo.
- Make sure your font is legible and is contrasting from the background.
- Invest in good quality printing and paper
Also, be mindful with which locations you decide to post your business flyers. Hang them in places where your ideal client hangs out.
5. Stay on top of the local business events
Today, there are so many sites with local business events, there is simply no excuse. With sites like meetup and eventbrite you can fill up your schedule with a networking event once a week if you wanted to. Not only that but you can plan an event yourself and use those platforms to encourage people to attend!
It’s important with attending these events that you arrive open minded. Don’t go just to try to sell something. Focus on getting to know more people and becoming more comfortable with your socializing skills. Mastering those two things will bring more money to you then anything else so don’t underestimate it.
Who doesn’t appreciate a really well made info-graphic? Have you made one or two for your business yet? You should have. These things work wonders.
Don’t know what an info-graphic is? It’s basically a really cool graphic that gives information.
Pinterest and Facebook have taken this trend to another level. What’s so amazing about it is that they can float around on the internet and they can really add a layer of sophisticated branding to your company.
What I love about info-graphics is that you can use them to teach things about all different kinds of topics. If you are a hair dresser, you can make one about particular hair styles for winter or summer. If your a cook or nutritionist, you can use one to explain the best foods to eat for abs or a recipe for an easy meal. The possibilities are literally endless.
Please check out the one I made below. I made it in about ten minutes using Canva.com. We spoke about it before in a previous post that you can check out here. I encourage you to spend some time today to make one of your own. You can then post it on your instagram or webpage. Remember, empowering and educating your customers will always help you!
Being a soloprenuer can feel really well….like you’re solo. Taxes, marketing, sales, research- all of it has to be done with your limited time and energy. The #BOSSBABES who realize when there is just too much on her plate, knows when to scrape some of it off. What am I really trying to say? They know when to outsource.
The good news is that everyday the internet has literally millions of people who you can connect with that will do the business tasks you don’t have time for for you.
How much easier would it be if you could find a developer, editor or tax expert within minutes? Prepare to be mind blown. Here are the best places on the internet to hire people for outsource work.
Freelancer.com takes seconds to figure out and it’s a very dependable source. You post up a specific job that you’d like done and within fifteen minutes you will usually receive a good handful of people bidding over the job. You can look at peoples’ profiles and their job experience. You also don’t have to pay any money until you are completely satisfied. There are thousands of freelancers that range from coders, to writers, to advisors. Once you hire a freelancer and you like/trust them, you can hire them again and again. Doesn’t it sound like #BOSSBABE heaven? Pretty much.
Fiverr.com is pretty popular. If you haven’t heard about it by now, it’s a place where you can hire people to do things for five-freaking bucks. It’s unbeatable. There are people who will comment on your blogs, shout out your social media sites or sing you happy birthday in German just for five Washingtons. It’s a very dependable site and just like freelancer, you only pay when the services you’ve received meet your standards.
oDesk is very similar to freelancer but it’s a little less fast paced for those of you who like to take thier time in finding a good prospect for their project. You are allowed to interview, hire and work with freelancers that have expertise in many different fields.
4) The #BOSSBABE Netwerk
Don’t forget about the Netwerk! Here there are plenty of people you can message or email and ask about doing outsource work for you. We have consultants, web designers, marketing experts and more. Also, if you find yourself not having the best budget for outside work, try to barter your services?
What is bartering?
When you trade your products or services in the exchange of someone else’s products or services. If you are a financial advisor who needs a logo designed, try to find a graphic designer and see if they’d be interesting in trading a logo for a consultation. Imagine how much money you wouldn’t have to spend if you were able to barter out some of your services?
Also, here’s a head’s up….
You always want to be careful about who you share your personal or business information with online. Make sure that you are using websites and or programs that have safety and quality guarantees. Any banking information, credit card numbers or emails and passwords should not be given out unless there are very particular circumstances.