Promotional pictures can be a great marketing tool when produced correctly. They can be used for a countless number of things like sales, announcements, events, giveaways, and much more. While promotional photos are useful in most any field they are arguably the most effective when implemented in your website and social media. The Steps below will help you create your very own quality promotional images.

1. Arm Yourself

Your pictures are only as good as the gear you use to take them. Creating professional promotional images doesn’t mean you have to break the bank on camera gear, but it does mean you should be using something other than your smartphone. If you don’t have the necessary equipment yourself, look into renting it, or go one step further and hire a professional to help turn your idea into a reality.

2. Starting Point

While some have the ability to take a professional grade picture thats unique and relevant to your idea, most of us do not have the ability or equipment. An alternative is finding a good stock photo online to start with. It is important to remember when searching for stock photos that different photos may be registered for different uses. When creating promotional photos you are going to want something that can be built upon and changed. Check the photos registration before you decide to use it. You dont want to be halfway finished with your image only to find out you are violating its usage rights.

3. Software Please

Choosing the right picture editing software is very important in the process of creating your finished promotional picture. There are a wide variety of tools available online and offline to pick from. If you have room in your budget to purchase some professional tools, shop around and research the different options to ensure you find a match that works for you. If instead you are looking for a free option try a few of the tools below. There are plenty of tutorials online to help get you started once you decide.

  • Gimp
  • Fotor
  • Photobucket
  • Pixlr
  • Lunapic

4. Target Acquired       

Before you create anything you need to take some time to target your audience and better understand who they are and how to connect with them. You can never do enough research when it comes to customer discovery. Understand whats trending within different audience groups, and find out which ways may be best to make an emotional connection with them. Try and discover what your audience is connecting with whether it’s comedy, something touching, tear jerking, inspirational, or something completely different. Researching your audience and understanding these factors will help you create a more effective promotional image.

5. Whats the Game Plan?

The design of your picture or image may change slightly over the course of its production, but you are going to want to have an overall idea of how you want the end result to look before you start. This will largely be based off of how you decided to connect with your target audience, which we discussed in step four. Here you will also want to think about effects, fonts, graphics, boarders, and coloring in general. Create a list of everything you would like to include and be sure to have two options for each in case the first doesn’t work out. Don’t worry if you find yourself having to change factors of your image multiple times, this is largely trial and error and weeding out the bad options will help you discover the best ones.

6. Effects or No Effects, That is the Question

Depending on your overall plan, you may or may not be adding effects to your image. A well-placed effect or two may greatly improve the appearance of your image, yet subtlety has its own benefits as well. Finding the right balance is up to you and your promotional plan. If you do decide to add effects remember that in most cases less is more. Overloading an image with effects can transform something tasteful into something tasteless. Get in the habit of constantly saving your work when adding anything to your image. Nobody wants to start from scratch after three hours of editing, so do yourself a favor and become best friends with file-save.

7. Write, Read, Repeat

Now we are ready to add text to your promotional picture. Always remember that the text coloring should be easy to read against the background. You want to avoid anything that strains the eyes or can be easily lost in the clutter. Font is a huge part of portraying the emotion in your image. There are many different resources available online to obtain a variety of different fonts. You may find yourself paging through hundreds of fonts before you find the right one. Whatever you do dont rush through this step as the wrong font can completely ruin the validity of an image.

8. Dot the Is and Cross the Ts

Once you have the finished product, make sure you check it over multiple times. Call in as many colleagues and friends as you can and have them look over your work and give you feedback. Every opinion is important and credible when it comes to promotional photography.

9. Showtime

Now that you created your professional promotional image, you are ready to put it to work in the field. Depending on your method of delivery you may want to print or send out a few test runs. Even though you should have thoroughly checked your work before its always a good idea to get the physical copy in hand and give it a once over.

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