==== Newsletter Archive ====

In this e-mail I’ll show you how to whip up some images that sell, build confidence, and display your products or services using no existing images, and things you already know how to use. Let’s get to it!

Sometimes you need images for your business and you have no clue how to represent a non physical digital concept like coaching or an ebook. You also don’t want to pay a graphic designer every time you need images like this.

You may have seen a few options out there, like video stills, 3d perception changes, big boxed calls to action, fancy icons, and images that look like binders or stacks of magazines.

All that stuff looks complex, but with the right tools, they are trivial to make, and will create a visual appeal that really works.

You don’t even need existing pictures, just some key tools, know how, and something to sell.

1. The Screenshot
So much can be done with a screenshot it should be considered an absolutely essential business skill to have. [especially in this particular case] I hate to be harsh, but shame on you if you don’t have this learned already.

If you want to demo a product, a protected page, a video download, a PDF, etc – showing others what it will look like on their computer is the online equivalent of putting it in their hand, an age old selling technique.

Mac – How to take a screenshot
Windows – Download Shotty, free screenshot utility

Example of a screenshot of a PDF, perfect on a sales page.

2. Screenshots with Edits [for Product Display]
Once you can take a screenshot, your world really opens up. Add a reflection, a tilt, text over top, or a tool like BoxShotKing to add a display like richness or suggestive physicality to your product. See the examples below.

Example using Picturesque [Mac app] and a screenshot of a video opened on a computer.

Example using BoxShotKing [Web app] and a screenshot of an opened PDF.

3. PDFs/Presentations to Images to Collage [for Product Display]
Take a PDF you’ve created, and a web application like the Document Converter linked below and make each page an image, then use those images in a collage tool to display the entire product in an interest peaking way.

The images will be too small to steal the content, but provide a display of what’s provided.
*If you use Apple Keynote, you can export direct to images.

Example collage of an ebook PDF turned into a collage display

PDF to Image Tools

Images Collage Tools

4. Icons to Paint a Picture [for Sales Page Headers]
Icons are great for services because they tell a story quickly and invoke emotion.

We navigate in cars around the world entirely using symbols, many people are already trained to respond quickly to them, so they work well.

There are hundreds of thousands of symbols to use, here’s one of my favorite packs that cover a huge variety.

Use them individually or stack them together like the example below.

Example of an icon stack to explain a service

5. Word/Pages to Screenshot [for Calls to Action]
I get the question “how do I make graphics when I don’t know anything about graphics” all the time. Here’s a quick way to get the images you need, exactly how you want them, quickly, without any graphic program knowledge.

Use the applications you already know to position text and boxes for your sidebars or page headers, then take a screenshot.

Word and Pages don’t have very good export options for uploading to a website, but screenshots do. It’s not much different than how graphic designers have a “designer PSD” file, and a saved web version.

Word and Pages even come loaded with several preset image effects and easy ways to create calls to action. Here’s a screenshot highlighting a few effects and several of the tips in this e-mail at once.

Example of an ebook PDF turned into a collage, edited with Apple Pages to have a reflection, frame, and shadow. Click to enlarge.

While these exact tools may change from time to time, the ideas are what work – put the product in your users hands, invoke emotion, create the sense of something physical, craft an experience of what its like, show as much as you can without giving it away.

Forward this to a friend who can use it, many people struggle with images.

I sincerely hope you found this useful and want to know if it wasn’t!

—> There’s more info like this in the IT Arsenal course “Logo, Header and Image Basics for Online Business/Wordpress


PS. I hope your Thanksgiving was great, I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to respond to this e-mail for support, I reply to every e-mail!