“I’m not an artist.” “I don’t have time.” “I don’t know where to start.”
Excuses, excuses, excuses.
We all start out as artists. The difference between the art we made when we were kids and the art we make now is:
- When we were kids, we didn’t care about whether our drawing “worked.” We enjoyed creating it, and that was all that mattered.
- When we first started drawing, we hadn’t been placed in the “artist” or “non-artist” box. We just knew making stuff was fun.
- When we were younger, we didn’t have as many demands on our time. We could spend hours doodling, thinking with our pencils, and exploring colors without feeling guilty we were “wasting time.”
How to revisit your carefree image creation days
There’s no time like today to revisit your inner artist. And there are good business reasons to start making marketing images now.
Read on to learn how you can get back in the image creation groove, and use the results to market your business.
Block out time
Recreate those carefree days by blocking out time for image creation. Some people like to “warm up” with images as the first thing they do when they get into their office in the morning.
Others identify the times of day their minds seem to need a break from writing words or doing calculations, and they use those times to create images.
In my business, I jump between writing and creating images all day long. I look at my to-do list and check in with myself: “Am I in the mood for writing, or creating images?”
Incorporating some time for image creation several times a week is one of the fastest ways to feel more comfortable and get better at creating them. Put it on your schedule now, and use the time as outlined below.
Begin with a plan
The reality for most of us is that we don’t have unlimited time. We can’t fill our days with fingerpaint and crayons and no real purpose. If we’re going to work with images, it’s because images need to work for our businesses.
That’s why it’s best to approach image making with a plan in hand. What exactly do you want to accomplish with your images?
When they’re created for marketing our businesses, our intentions fall into common categories. We want to:
- Entertain: these images provoke smiles and spread goodwill
- Educate: these images share information and build authority
- Provoke: these images surprise and prompt an action
- Inspire: these images encourage and uplift
Decide what you want to communicate, and choose from one of the categories above as a vehicle for your message. Having this information in hand will make it easier to get through the next step without wasting time.
Search for elements
Don’t skip the planning step before you begin your search.
There’s a special kind of Internet “rabbit hole” we fall down if we start an image search without purpose or intention. The possibilities are endless, and we can spend hours just looking without actually creating.
Remember your brand
In the midst of your searching, keep your brand in mind. Make sure the images you choose and any fonts you might combine them with are accurate reflections of your brand personality.
(Not sure what your brand personality is? Take this ten-minute brand personality quiz.)
Ideally, the images you create for your marketing should all have a similar style. People will see your images over time and in different places. You want it to be obvious that all your marketing images come from the same organization. Consistent image styles and fonts will help you achieve this effect.
Practice on social media
Ready to release those images to the world?
I know, it’s scary. But I have some advice that will make it easier.
Use your early attempts at creating marketing images on social media. Social media — whether it’s Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn or Twitter — is like a flowing river. You can throw an image out there, and in an hour or two, it will flow down stream and be out of view.
This can be frustrating for social media marketers, but why not look at the bright side? Placing a marketing image on social media is a low commitment exercise: it’s going to wash away soon.
That should make you feel more comfortable about sharing what you create for your business. Drop your marketing images into the social media stream, and watch to see which ones get the best reaction over time.
Free! Join me for Impressive Images You Can Make Yourself
Want to learn more about making marketing images for your business? Join me a free Brown Bag Webinar, Impressive Images You Can Make Yourself. Kelly Kingman and I share additional guidance and a step-by-step system for creating social media images you can use to market your business.
To watch this — and all the other Brown Bag Webinars — click the button below.