Episode 40 – 5 Ways to Rock Your Summer

Hey Rebels!  In this episode Caroline and Kelly talk 5 Ways To Rock Your Summer!!  Who doesn’t love a rockin summer?!  Summer is the best time to tackle things in the shop that get forgotten and sales are usually slower.  So sit back, enjoy a cocktail on the porch (or inside if you hate the heat) and get ready to rock your shop for the summer!  What you do now will affect you in 3-5 months for the Holiday Season!

5 Ways To Rock Your Shop:

  1. Free Course-CBR Rock Your Summer Challenge
    1. Download the 6 FREE PDF’s
    2. Listen to the Rock Your Summer Playlist
  2. Plan
    1. Get a calendar out, plan releases, upcoming promos, courses and your holiday schedule.
  3. Work on Projects That Do Not Normally Get Worked On
    1. Update your shop listings
    2. Clean up the office
    3. Update photos
    4. Get finances up to date
  4. Pick a Project
    1. New Idea to Help Grow Business
    2. Organization
    3. Social Media
  5. Take Some Time Off-Switch Your Schedule
    1. Step away from the computer
    2. Change your hours for working during the day

 

Quote Love from Caroline & Kelly

You are not doing yourself any favors if you are working on vacation -Caroline

Sometimes not having anything on your schedule is exciting -Caroline

Spend your summer getting things in place & you will totally thank us later -Kelly

What you do now, will affect your shop months from now -Kelly

 

Follow us on instagram (@creativebizrebellion) and use hashtag #creativebizrebellion for a shop shout out!!!

Enroll in our FREE course:  The CBR Rock Your Shop Summer Challenge!

If you have a second please jump over to iTunes and leave us a review! Click on the link and then click on “view in iTunes” to leave us a review.  We give you all the virtual fist bumps.  Thank you!

JOIN THE REBELLION! Signup for our newsletter and get our fave list of Instagram hashtags FREE!

YOU CAN FIND KELLY ONLINE AT:

www.helloworldpaperco.com
www.kellyparkersmith.com
www.helloworldstamps.etsy.com

YOU CAN FIND CAROLINE ONLINE AT:

www.carolinecreates.com
www.carolinecreates.etsy.com

SHOW YOUR REBEL SPIRIT WITH SOME AWESOME GEAR FROM THE CREATIVE BIZ REBELLION SHOP:

www.creativebizrebellion.com/shop

*This post does contain some affiliate links*

Do’s and Don’ts for Product Photography

Hey there, Rebels! (I’ve always wanted to say that.) As a follow up to my interview with Kelly and Caroline on episode 38 of the podcast, I wanted to share with you my do’s and don’t for photographing your products. Let’s dive right in!

Do: Show Close-Up Shots of Details

As I mentioned in the interview, leaving out detail shots of your products can subconsciously make a potential customer wonder if you’re trying to hide those details. When it comes to styling your photos and shooting them – be sure you aren’t leaving out any of these important close-ups. I’m talking zippers, buttons, fonts, patterns, the back of your products, the hardware, the imprint, the size. All of these things need to be considered and photographed so that you are portraying the entire visual story to your customer.

Do: Pay Attention to Clutter


Can you guess which of the two photos above is the “do” and which is the “don’t”? Trick question! They’re both don’ts. Let me explain: as part of the general composition of your photos, you want to pay close attention to how your products and props are spaced in relation to each other. The top photo shows my props very tightly clustered with little white space surrounding. You may not mind how this looks – it’s a lot up to personal preference – but I like to let the subjects of my photo breathe.The bottom photo shows a very minimal clustering of objects. With only two props – the coffee and the book – and a lot of white space, it can look too bare. Again, if you like a super minimal aesthetic, this could be fine. But personally, I think this needs something more (though the texture of the quilted duvet helps).

Do: Be Aware of Your Main Subject or Focal Point

This is a very important tip to keep in mind, especially for product photography. You always want your product to be the focal point! In the top photo, the focal point, or subject, is the cup of coffee. The surrounding props – the book, the matches, the flowers – don’t distract from the subject, but they add texture, context and color.

The way the props are arranged in the top photo, the eye is naturally drawn to the coffee (see how the flowers point to it, literally leading your eye there?). The way the props are arranged in the bottom photo, there is no clear subject and none of the props lead your eye towards anything specific. The coffee is supposed to be the subject, right? So why is it on the edge of the frame? This photo makes it look like the book is the main subject – which it shouldn’t be. Also, you can only see the end of the fake flower, and it’s typically not a good idea to show your props are fake.

To keep your subject as the main focus, keep it clearly within the frame of the photo and allow the surrounding props to point towards it, rather than draw the eye away. Use the rule of thirds to help with this!

Do: Keep in Mind the Visual Weight of Objects

Visual weight is a tricky thing and it has nothing to do with the actual weight of the objects in the photo (usually)! In the bottom photo, the dark pillow takes up a whole corner of the frame and draws a considerable amount of attention. It’s the first thing my eye goes to, instead of the little vignette (or cluster of images) in the center.

If an object is much darker than the majority of the other objects in your photo, it will naturally draw the eye towards it. Dark draws more attention (and feels visually heavier) surrounded by light objects and vice versa. In order to counter this, I only placed a small amount of the pillow in the top photo, at the edge of the frame, and it points straight to the book vignette.

Do: Watch Your Spacing

I’m constantly surprised by how different photos appear in front of my eyes from how they appear on my camera screen. Without fail, I’ll think that I have props placed close enough together and then I’ll review the photo and they’ll look miles apart. So this is definitely something that you have to adjust as you go.

The top photo shows all of my props displayed uncomfortably far apart from each other. The size of the book and the center position of it would give the impression that it’s the subject of the photo, but then what are all of those props doing? What purpose are they serving? It’s impossible to tell when they have no physical proximity to each other.

The bottom photo handles spacing better: the matchbox and candle are close together, which makes more sense given that’s what matchboxes are for. The weight of the photo is clustered around the right side with plenty of white space on the left side to balance it. Your eye knows where to focus and the props make sense in context.

Do: Play with Height Variation

This whole post has been basically about how to draw the eye to your photo’s subject, and this is no different. Playing with the height of objects can create a sense of depth within your photo, which keeps the eye going.

In the top photo, you can see the coffee mug and candle are both on the book, making them about the same height. While you do have some height variation with the flowers, book and then coffee and candle, the two tallest objects are right next to each other – so the eye is drawn there and stops. The coffee mug and candle being the same height (and both on top of the book) can feel awkward. First of all, the context doesn’t make sense. Why would a mug of coffee be right next to a candle, and why would both of those things be on top of a book at the same time? One or the other, but not both.

In the bottom photo, the height variation is more balanced and clear. With the coffee mug and candle on different planes, there’s no visual competition between them. Your eye can start at the bottom of the photo and be drawn upward. That feeling of the photo going on and on – that’s depth.

Whew – that was a lot! The most important thing to remember about photo styling is that it takes practice and persistence to figure out what you like and don’t like. Keep with it! If you’d like to see a list of my favorite styling props – check out my styling guide here!

 

Kristin Vermilya is an editorial photographer and – when not listening to true crime podcasts – educates bloggers and creative biz owners on how to build a stronger brand by conquering their photography fears. She takes the “DIY Hard” approach to life – messy and imperfect with the determination of Bruce Willis chasing down Hans Gruber.

WHERE TO FIND HER

Website |  Instagram | Photo Styling Guide

 

 

 

Episode 37 – Selling Digital Products with Kelsey Baldwin

Hey Rebels!  Today we chat with Kelsey Baldwin.  Kelsey started Paper + Oats as an Etsy shop and a freelance design studio in 2013. It has since grown into a brand + blog that teaches creatives how to organize, design, and market their digital products, so they can share what they know + look good doing it. She is a single mom to a crazy 2-year-old and a big fluffy dog, and is also an advocate for women learning to sustain themselves + gain independence through online business.

Quote Love From Kelsey:

“Educate the customer on what they are actually getting”

 

Links from the show:

Design Field Guide
Paper and Oats Roadmap

Where to find Kelsey

Website |  ETSY

 

Follow us on instagram (@creativebizrebellion) and use hashtag #creativebizrebellion for a  shop shout out!!!

If you have a second please jump over to iTunes and leave us a review!  Click on the link and then click on “view in iTunes” to leave us a review.  We give you all the virtual fist bumps.  Thank you!

JOIN THE REBELLION! Signup for our newsletter and get our fave list of Instagram hashtags FREE!

YOU CAN FIND KELLY ONLINE AT:

www.helloworldpaperco.com
www.kellyparkersmith.com
www.helloworldstamps.etsy.com

YOU CAN FIND CAROLINE ONLINE AT:

www.carolinecreates.com
www.carolinecreates.etsy.com

SHOW YOUR REBEL SPIRIT WITH SOME AWESOME GEAR FROM THE CREATIVE BIZ REBELLION SHOP:

www.creativebizrebellion.com/shop

*This post does contain some affiliate links*

 

Episode 34 – Simplifying Manufacturing and Business with Emily Ley

Hey Rebels!  Today we chat with Emily Ley.  Emily Ley is Founder and Creative Director of Emily Ley Paper & Gifts. She is also the creator of the bestselling Simplified Planner – a daily agenda for what matters most – and author of “Grace, Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy.” Raised in Pensacola, Florida, Emily graduated from the University of West Florida with degrees in English, creative writing, and public administration. She would later become the executive director of the city ballet. From there, she worked in nonprofit management and public relations before launching her brand in 2008. Emily has been recognized with numerous awards, including Best New Product at the National Stationery Show as well as being named a Top 10 Designer to Watch in 2015 by Stationery Trends Magazine. Emily lives with her husband and three children in Tampa, Florida. For more information, please visit www.EmilyLey.com.

Quote Love From Emily Ley:

“Eventually we got to that sweet spot”

“A sell out is not a bad thing”

“It’s crazy to see what taking a leap of faith will do”

Links from the show:

Playbook
Use Code: REBEL25-FOR 25% OFF

Emily’s New Book -Open for Pre-Order: A Simplified Life

Where to find Emily Ley

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter
Follow us on instagram (@creativebizrebellion) and use hashtag #creativebizrebellion for a shop shout out!!!

If you have a second please jump over to iTunes and leave us a review!  Click on the link and then click on “view in iTunes” to leave us a review.  We give you all the virtual fist bumps.  Thank you!

JOIN THE REBELLION! Signup for our newsletter and get our fave list of Instagram hashtags FREE!

YOU CAN FIND KELLY ONLINE AT:

www.helloworldpaperco.com
www.kellyparkersmith.com
www.helloworldstamps.etsy.com

YOU CAN FIND CAROLINE ONLINE AT:

www.carolinecreates.com
www.carolinecreates.etsy.com

 

SHOW YOUR REBEL SPIRIT WITH SOME AWESOME GEAR FROM THE CREATIVE BIZ REBELLION SHOP:

www.creativebizrebellion.com/shop

*This post does contain some affiliate links*

5 Ways Your Online Shop Is Working Against You

I love running an online shop. It is such a rewarding experience to put something on my online shop and have it purchased by someone I do not know. While running an online shop can be rewarding, it is also quite challenging, especially when you are just getting started.

What most online shop owners do not think about is how their shop is working for them. I like to picture my shop as an actual brick and mortar. People come to my homepage or through the door and then they begin to browse. So what makes them buy? How can you encourage them to get to that checkout?

First you need to make it easy for them to shop and you need to make your online shop work for you, not against you.

Here are 5 ways your online shop is working against you:

  1. There is no easy way to click and buy from the homepage. You need to spell it out for people. Have a button that says shop or even better, highlight some products on the homepage that your customers can buy directly.
  2. You do not have your policies and procedures laid out for your customers. I can not stress enough the importance of a policies or FAQ page. Before your customers buy, they will have questions. Be sure those questions are answered in your shop.
  3. Everything is lumped together. Be sure you have your items categorized or the ability for the customer to sort them. Perhaps they are only looking for a specific type of design or color. Create sections for easier browsing.
  4. There is no contact information listed. You must have a way for customers to contact you. Email works fine, but be sure you have a contact page. Also, be sure to have other ways your customers can connect with you such as links to social media. My favorite places are in the footer and then of course on a contact page.
  5. There are not enough pictures or the pictures are too dark. Computer screens can be straining to the eyes. Don’t make it worse by horrible photos. Be sure your online shop and photos are visually appealing and easy for long term browsing.

Remember, we all have to start somewhere. My shop didn’t always run so smoothly! Making small changes will make a huge impact down the road. Take it one step at a time and your customers are sure to notice!

I created a quick checklist to guide you through the must haves for your online shop. From there, you can from an action plan to improve and totally rock your online shop.

GET YOUR FREE ONLINE SHOP AUDIT DOWNLOAD HERE!

 

Creative Biz Rebellion Shop is Open!

Hey Rebels! Now you can show your rebel spirit with some awesome gear. We have designed tshirts, tote bags, mug and more to cheer you on as you take on your product based biz. In addition, any purchase you make is going straight to supporting the podcast and keeping it up and running. We truly appreciate your support of Creative Biz Rebellion!

                      

We are also excited to be bringing you some great resources and downloads include the Retail Product Sales Planning Calendar.

We can’t wait to see how you rock your rebel gear! Go shop now and be sure to tag us on Instagram and use #creativebizrebellion.

Later Rebels!