Create a New Twitter Header in 3 Easy Steps

My friend Kelly Kingman joins us this week to talk about the changes up ahead on Twitter. Discover how to adapt your Twitter header and profile images to take advantage of the new format. Questions? Ask away in the comments! – Pamela Wilson

Twitter is rolling out its biggest-ever redesign this month, and the new look will remind you a lot of the shift that Facebook went through a couple years ago with their cover photos.

But it’s not just about bigger photos — a couple of these changes might transform the way you think about the content you post to social media.

Right now, this new design for your profile is opt-in, but by May 28th, 2014, all profiles will be switched over to the new look. Below, we’ll hit the highlights of what’s new as well as give you a super-fast way to give your Twitter profile page a fresh makeover.

Read article …Create a New Twitter Header in 3 Easy Steps

The Right Way to Use Images to Market Your Business

Your brain processes images differently than words. And when you use both words and well-chosen images in combination, you activate both parts of your viewer’s brain, which helps them remember your message over time.

But you can’t use just any old image. To use images effectively, first understand the two basic categories of images: literal and conceptual.

In many cases, literal images are perfect, and very appropriate. Literal images depict something as it is, in the best light possible. They work best for:

  • Product catalogs
  • Location shots
  • Headshots

Images that are considered conceptual encourage the viewer to make a connection or fill in the blank between the image and the words you use with it.

See the video for a few examples. This category of images can powerfully cement your message in your viewers’ minds.

How about you?

How do you use images in your marketing? What do you find challenging about it? Let me know in the comments.

You can learn how to create website and social media images with the free resource found in How to Create the Best Web and Social Media Images.

How to Use Visual Hierarchy for Clearer Marketing Materials

Visual hierarchy sounds complicated, but it’s not.

It refers to the idea that information on a page should have a clear sense of order. That order is imposed by you, the person who’s designing the page.

Why Your Reader Needs to See Visual Hierarchy

When your reader first encounters your page of information, their initial impulse is to ask “Where do I start?”

You can make this clear by establishing the most important item on the page through design. It might be an image, a headline or a coupon. Whatever it is, make it larger, bolder and brighter than the rest of the page.

After that, their eyes will move around the page seeking what to look at next. Make it obvious by using the next-most-important image or text a little smaller. It shouldn’t call as much attention to itself as the main text or image.

And finally, most pages have some necessary-but-not-crucial text or images. These may be disclaimers, footer text on a web page, or a map to an event.

These items should be smallest of all. You don’t want them to compete with your main image/text or your secondary image/text.

When your page uses clear visual hierarchy, your information will be absorbed in the order in which you intended, and your reader will find it easy to understand.

Practice Information Discrimination

Get into the habit of stepping back and classifying your information before you start setting it up on your pages. Visual hierarchy may not come naturally at first, but the more you practice it, the easier it will be to use.

How to Design Your Pages with Grids

Grids are all around us.

Our street systems use grids, and so do the walls of our homes (have you noticed how all your windows and outlets align?). Grids impart a sense of order to our world. Why not use them to impart a sense of order to your pages, too?

There are a couple of ways to approach creating a grid you can use to align your page elements.

The low-tech way to create a grid is to grab a pencil and paper, and sketch out the shape of your page. Add your grid lines, then sketch in where you’d like to place your images and text along those lines. Use this sketch for inspiration as you place elements on your page.

The high-tech way to create a grid is to use a graphics program (like Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign), and use the built-in grid function. Set up columns like I demonstrate in the video, then use those to snap your images and text into place.

Do You Use Grids?

Have you used grids before? Do you plan to use them? Let’s talk about it in the comments.