Art and Words: A Match Made in Heaven

Art and Words: A Match Made in Heaven

There’s no dispute. A well-crafted story gets more sales every time. Convince your reader to know, like, and trust you, and you have a recipe for success. Continue to offer well-written stories to your loyal customers and you’ll continue to see sales. It seems simple, but there’s more to storytelling online these days, particularly when it comes to incorporating imagery into the text. Let’s take a closer look at why pictures plus prose is a match made in heaven. Why the Combination? If you’re anything like me, you have an appetite that could make a soldier blush. Food is my love language. Specifically, ice cream. After all, I live in the hot Arizona desert, so it makes sense that a cold treat is my go-to comfort food, right? When I look for new flavors to tantalize my taste buds, I do what anyone does these days – I go online to search for places in my area. When I land on a website to check out a restaurant, I expect to see something to get my taste buds tingling, like on this website:

Photo Credit: TheScreamery.com

NOTE: I have no affiliation with this restaurant other than I L-O-V-E their ice cream.

In this specific image, those ice cream cones look ready to dig into with a spoon, don’t they? They’re the perfect amount of melty combined with the perfect amount of crispy in the waffle cones. And those colors! You can almost taste the flavors looking back at you, right? But nothing about this image makes the ice cream any different than the Baskin Robbins down the block. What does is what’s written above it. When you read the copy placed neatly on top of decadent looking image, you get a sense for why you should choose this ice cream shop over the dozens of others in the area.

  • Not only is the business local but so is their pasteurization process (read: it’s fresh).
  • They use grass-fed dairy and natural ingredients, so you’ll never get that chemically taste like you get from other ice creams.

If that’s enough to get your mouth watering, the next step is to pick your flavor. The call-to-action lends itself perfectly to that, allowing you to see their full menu in one click. It’s not the image that sways you. It’s the combination of storytelling over a delicious looking picture of rich, flavorful ice cream that gets you wanting a scoop or two. This effect doesn’t only work with food. If you’ve ever looked at a puppy or kitten and said, “I just can’t handle the cuteness!” then you know the feeling of image overwhelm. It takes over your senses and you have a sudden urge to squeeze those adorable animals until they pop. At least that was the case for participants in a Society for Personality and Social Psychology study. People almost “lost control” when looking at adorable, squishy faces of cats and dogs. The cuter the picture, the more likely the study’s participants were to pop bubbles on bubble wrap. They physically couldn’t control their excitement over the adorable animal. When it comes to your creative website, don’t you want to inspire the same knee jerk, can’t-help-but-melt/squish/consume, reaction? Yes. And to do so, you need to combine images with your words. Images That Tell a Story Here’s an interesting fact– the image you choose matters a lot when it comes to determining the reaction you spark from the reader. In that same Society for Personality and Social Psychology study, participants were shown neutral looking animals (an older dog with a serious expression). Their bubble popping reaction decreased substantially. Yes, it was cute, but was it the kind of image that sparked an almost uncontrollable response? No. That’s probably not earth shattering information, but it’s important to note. When it comes to pairing your images with your copy, you need to choose the right one for the job. The image you choose depends quite a bit on where you’re adding imagery. Here are a few ideas to get you started sprucing up your copy. Photographs

Let’s start with the obvious one, shall we? Photographs are an easy way to get your reader to want to take action.

I already covered the reasons why above but here’s a quick synopsis (for those of you scanning, which is totally fair). The photograph you choose catches the eye and inspire an illicit response. The words you use differentiate your image from your competitors, giving people a reason to choose you over any other Joe Schmo in your industry. If you’re writing content for SEO, adding images can break up the monotony and make your posts feel more personal and enticing, rather than written to please a robot. Sprinkle these in and you’ll get more of a reaction from your reader, which in turn will make Google a little happier to feature you on page one. Infographics

Screenshot: Hubspot.com

Sometimes, the story you want to tell is based around numbers. Numbers of subscribers. Numbers of customers. Numbers of members. Numbers of attendees. Whatever the number, using an infographic to highlight the text and make it easily digestible is complementary to the copy you’re using to frame the story.

Here’s a great example from HubSpot. This company offers software and uses social proof to sell their concept. Just listing the numbers in the copy wouldn’t have a strong impact. Showcasing them in this way draws the eye and immediately generates trust. Anytime you have complex or bulk information that you need to break down into an easy-to-consume format, use an infographic. Gifs

Gifs are the latest Internet rage. Why? Because you can tell such a strong story with such a short snippet of movement. There’s no audio. There’s just imagery conveying an emotion. The use of this imagery doesn’t have to be limited to Facebook comments and text messages. It can also be used to enhance your copy.

If you want to draw your reader’s attention to a part of your blog post or a fun sales page, this is the type of image to use. The movement catches the eye, but the lack of sound or lengthy engagement keeps the person reading your content. It’s the image that sucks them in and the words that tell the strong story to keep your reader interested in learning more.

Where to Put Your Images Sold on putting images into your content? Great! But now the question becomes where? As a creative, you know the importance of not plopping images haphazardly into content. There’s a strategy behind it. Here are a few rules of thumb to follow as you start. 1. Align Right When You’re Complementing the Text

Looking to make your story stand out? Align right when you’re using an image to complement the text.

As humans, we naturally read from left to right. If you break the pattern by putting your image first, you could disrupt the reading experience and lose your audience’s attention.

Case in point: Check out where I inserted that complementary picture of the adorable puppy in a mug. It’s there to add context but the real meat of the text is next to it. 2. Justify Center When Illustrating a Point

If you’re using an infographic, justify center and don’t wrap any text around the image. That’s because, the info in the image is the main takeaway – not the image itself.

Infographics are great for showcasing a lot of information at once. They can easily stand on their own.

3. Or, Justify Center When Aiming to Stop a Reader in Her Tracks

Sometimes, you want to attract attention to a part of your text. Sometimes, you want to get the people scanning your content to stop and pay attention. In these cases, GIFS are excellent imagery to use. But because of the movement in them, they can stand alone.

Put your GIFS in a line all by itself to stop the scroller from scrolling and get her reading your content instead.

A Match Made in Heaven

Words support images just as images support words. When used right, this tandem approach can add more punch to your copy and more possibility to your content.

What ways have you found to incorporate images into wordy pages?

  AUTHOR  

 Kimberly Crossland

Kimberly Crossland

Owner/Operator, Savvy Copywriters

TED Talks on Creativity

TED Talks on Creativity

Creativity can be hard to find and even harder to inspire in others. The popular media company, TED (short for Technology, Entertainment and Design), strives to do just that, inspire and spread ideas that ignite change and innovation. Their motivational talks have been viewed millions of times across the globe. Lecturers range from artists to icons, from models to engineers, and the topics they explore are equally as diverse.

Whether looking for the inspiration to bring an idea alive or simply looking to pass the time, listen to these 15 talks sure to spark your creativity curated by the editorial team at Invaluable. Each talk featured below was chosen from the plethora in existence for their passion and correlation to the art community. They are each concisely summarized to help narrow your area of interest.

  AUTHOR  

Taylor Poppmeier

Taylor Poppmeier

Editor, Invaluable

Taylor enjoys reading about the arts and history as well as keeping up to date on pop culture trends. You can usually find her at trendy pop up art shows attempting to blend in.

Designers Anonymous: Seeking Help And Knowing What To Ask

Designers Anonymous: Seeking Help And Knowing What To Ask

The air conditioner is set to a cool 65 degrees, but you’re sweating profusely.

You look around the room. Can they tell you’re sweating? Probably not. Everyone is secretly worried about themselves. Your hands are shaking as you take one last look at what you’ve brought in. Self-doubt looms over you like a dark cloud that won’t go away. Well, it’s too late to turn back now.

You stand up clutching your project. Everyone is staring at you. You can feel them judging every drop of sweat that pours down the side of your face. There’s no point in delaying the inevitable any further.

“Hello. My name is (your name here), and I’m looking for design feedback today.”

Asking for feedback is scary for everyone. You’re showing your work to people whose opinions you value, and there’s a chance they might negatively criticize your design. Seeking help leaves every designer in a vulnerable position, and it’s frightening to imagine.

But don’t be scared. Feedback is a wonderful thing, and even negative feedback can still be used to improve your work. The idea of asking for feedback is often much scarier than it actually is. You just have to know who to ask and what to ask them.

Feedback Is Crucial

Your artistic freedom is important, and you put so much time and effort into tweaking every minute detail of your project, you can’t help but become attached to it. Showing it to others, then, can be daunting. What if they disapprove or offer negative criticism?

However, you still want to improve as a designer. You want to challenge yourself and take your designs to new heights. This is why feedback is so important.

All types of feedback, both positive and negative, are helpful. It’s easy to get tunnel vision when you’re working on a design. Hearing other people’s perspectives and opinions on your work will open your eyes to all kinds of possibilities. Maybe there’s something missing from your design, but you can’t put your finger on what it is. Someone else might be able to look at it through the lens of their experiences and tell you what you need to hear.

Sometimes asking for help will not only improve your design, but it’ll change your perspective on future designs. Just be careful of whom you ask.

Avoid Fellow Designers

Let’s pretend you’re the CEO of McDonald’s. All of a sudden your McNuggets aren’t selling nearly as well as they used to. Would you go to Burger King or Wendy’s and ask them what you should do? Of course not. Burger King and Wendy’s each have their own unique way of making products, so their advice won’t help you.

Take caution when you ask for help from other designers, especially if they’re working on a similar project as you. They might be so wrapped up in their work that they don’t see your design for what it is. Instead, they’ll only give you specific things they would do, and this might completely change your design.

Designers can definitely help your design. Just make sure you differentiate feedback that’ll help elevate your work from feedback that’ll change everything about the design. After all, it is your design.

Ask People in Other Fields

Designers might be looking for specific elements of your design that other people might not necessarily care about. It’s important to get feedback from all types of people who work in completely different fields.

What is the purpose of your design? Are you designing a logo for a pet shop? Ask for feedback from pet store owners and customers. They might have feedback that isn’t specific to the creative process of making the design. Instead, they might give you suggestions based on the brand or people who visit the store.

Try to seek feedback from marketers. They know what people respond to, and they might give you suggestions that’ll get more people emotionally involved in your design. Marketers often work with graphic designers to bring ideas to life, so they’ll know what to look for in your design.

Look For Constructive Feedback

When you start asking people for feedback, you’re going to get a lot of different opinions. Some might be vague like, “I think it’s great,” or “I don’t like it.” This feedback should be ignored because it doesn’t help you improve.

Always look for constructive feedback. Even if someone absolutely hates your design, hearing the specific reasons why they hate it can help you in the long run. If someone loves your work, getting specific reasons why they enjoy it will help you implement the same features in your next design.

All feedback is helpful if you can learn how to find the golden nugget in each suggestion.

Ask For Negative Comments

Elon Musk specifically asks for negative feedback. It’s worthwhile never to doubt Elon Musk.

Much like how you might be scared to share your work with others, other people might be scared to give you their honest opinion. They don’t want to hurt your feelings, so they’ll passively tell you they like your design.

You can take this pressure off them by asking for negative feedback. Ask them what they didn’t like about the design. Let them know they’re in a safe space and can be honest. Once they feel comfortable enough to give you negative feedback, you’ll get a lot of helpful information you might never have received otherwise.

Find a Mentor

One reason why you might not be getting honest feedback is because you’re sharing your work with people in your safety bubble. These are people might be close friends or family members who will compliment you no matter what.

Find a mentor that’ll tell you what you need to hear. This person should be more experienced than you are and have a good understanding of your design style. They should also get to know you as a person so they know the motivations behind your designs.

A mentor will share their knowledge with you and help you improve as a designer.

Trust Your Gut

Feedback will take your designs to new heights but know when to listen to it. You should ultimately trust your gut and produce work only you can do.

  AUTHOR  

Lexie Lu

Lexie Lu

Designer and Writer

Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She constantly researches trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

Money and Mindfulness by Lisa Messenger – A Book Review

Money and Mindfulness by Lisa Messenger – A Book Review

One day at the library with my daughters I stumbled upon a book called Daring and Disruptive by Lisa Messenger. I had never heard of her before but this book was such an easy read that I became an instant fan. The message of that book left a lasting impression in terms of how now choose to live my life and also how I chose to conduct my business.

Soon after I discovered that Lisa Messenger is also the founder of The Collective Hub described as ‘a monthly entrepreneurial and lifestyle magazine that brings together entrepreneurial and creative minds across the globe… The Collective aims to inspire and inform’.

In her most recent book, Money and Mindfulness Lisa openly shares her challenges, stories of the past and actions taken that have helped her to create the global publishing business she has today.

The book makes for an easy read with inspirational quotes, images, and stories that have you laughing, cringing and feeling relieved.

Talking about money openly can be perceived as crass, greedy or taboo. This book is most definitely not a financial business manual nor is it a guide to instant abundance. What Lisa does hope ‘is to make you an expert in one important skill set – understanding your true value, including investing in yourself and not being afraid to want money in order to help create the life you want.’

Chapter 1 gets straight to the crux of things by talking about Money and Mentality. Uncovering your own money childhood and influence stories that now have you living the way you do. It also talks about how valuable your time is and a new perspective on how to value your worth.

As a left-brained kinda gal, I loved the chapter on Systems and Strategies which can help you build the foundations to make things so much easier for you in life and business.

Other chapters I adored were Risk and Resilience which deals with risk-taking and discovering that failure is a great way to learn. Generosity talks about how you can incorporate giving into your business model and how that doesn’t need to be financial either. And finally a chapter on Should Money Change You.

Being the clever entrepreneur, Lisa has also created a series of playbooks to go alongside most of her book titles. The Playbook for Money and Mindfulness is something I wished had been available at the start of my own entrepreneurial journey. However, having said that it is incredibly useful for review and revision in the context of money for anyone seeking more positivity in their lives and businesses.

There is free room for creativity with exercises designed to unlock what’s holding you back and much more. As this playbook is about being honest and moving forward living the way you wish to I encourage you not to hold back. I keep my copy close by as a reminder and promise to myself.
As Lisa says:

If you were searching for a serious, suited-and-booted spreadsheet, this isn’t the book for you, but if you’re searching for a place to explore your money dreams, ideas and realities, all wrapped up in your sense of purpose, then read on…


Have you recently read a book that you would love to tell others about? If so, we want to know. Submit your reviews here.

  AUTHOR  

Yvonne Morrison

Yvonne Morrison

Founder, The Business Boutique

Yvonne Morrison is the founder of The Business Boutique, where female entrepreneurs learn to understand their business finances and their money mindset.

Through working with Yvonne they will demystify finances and build a strong foundation to support the businesses and lifestyles they desire. Designing an action plan to get traction to grow versus trying to keep up with the to-do list.

Click here to visit Yvonne's Website

How to Get The Most Out of Pinterest at Christmas

How to Get The Most Out of Pinterest at Christmas

10 Tips for the promotion of your business & your Christmas products on the run-up to Christmas.

#1 – Most importantly, ensure you have linked your Pinterest images with your website, Twitter or Facebook page. The success of Pinterest is that potential customers from all over the country and world are led to your buy your products with one click of a button!

#2 – Ensure that the website/Facebook page/Twitter page you are sending your Pinterest followers to contains all the relevant information to ensure you make buying as easy as possible for your customers.

#3 – Leading on from this, ensure all of your images (pins) have an accurate and detailed description including the price, P&P details, and how and if they can be personalised.

#4 – Ensure you have an accurate and interesting Pinterest bio and profile photo to encourage users to follow you.

#5 – Organise your boards and ensure each board is labelled correctly – you want your potential customers to know straight away which boards are YOUR products and if and how they are available to buy.

#6 – Split your boards into categories to ensure your Pinterest page is easy to buy from and accessible to browse.

#7 – Change the cover photo of each board to ensure your best selling product attracts followers to your boards.

#8 – Engage and connect with other users by following their boards and pinning one or two of their pictures on to your boards such as your ‘Things I love board’.

#9 – As with Twitter, the best way to thank someone for repining one of your images is to repin one of theirs. By organising your boards, as suggested below, you have the potential to do this without confusing your customers.

#10 – A great way to start your Pinterest page is to have boards displaying your items (as many as you like and need), a ‘Things I love Board’, ‘My Facebook page’ board where you can post pictures/information of giveaways and celebrations and ‘My Facebook and Twitter connections’ board to once again engage and connect with your audience.   If you would like to know more about Introtweet head on over to the website, perhaps we can help you make a success of Social Media this Christmas!

Happy Pinning!

  AUTHOR  

Laura Brown

Owner, Introtweet

I am a qualified Secondary School Music Teacher turned Owner of Introtweet - a Social Media company set up to help businesses maximise the potential of Social Media for their business I have very successfully worked with a number of clients, ranging from Handmade Retail companies to printing services & pet groomers. All services have seen great results and an amazing increase in my clients Social Media presence & knowledge. Click here to visit Laura's website.