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Blogging, Social Media

5 Easy Food Photography Tips Using Your Smart Phone

June 17, 2015
food photography tips

Hi there Danielle fans! My name is Lindsay Cotter and I blog over at Cotter Crunch. So happy Danielle is letting me share her space today!

Anyway, about me. I’m married to a former pro triathlete (now full time endurance coach). I’m also a Nutrition Specialist for Endurance Athletes and Gluten-Free eating. My blog is a gluten free guide (for all). Basically I like to FUEL others with EASY and DELICIOUS gluten free recipes. I also do my best to share proper nutrition tips and tricks as you work to keep your body and life in balance. Just consider me your gluten free house wife with food as fuel to support.

Now, about that food. We gotta make it look pretty right? I mean, that’s half the fun (in my opinion). So today I wanted to share my tidbits on food photography. Only this time it’s not with any fancy camera, nope, it’s with a SMART PHONE!

Easy Food Photography Tips Using Your Smart Phone. These tips have helped me become a better photographer in general. But regardless, having a great smart phone camera is KEY!

food photography for smart phones

Oh instagram, how we love thee! It’s definitely the most popular social media platform these days. And I would agree, it’s my favorite, probably because you don’t have to think much. You don’t need 140 characters or less, you don’t have to state your “status.” You don’t even have to say a thing. All you need is a picture. And for many, that picture is their creative outlet. It’s a glimpse of their passion. It’s a way to express their style. It’s a way to see the world’s most amazing places without even leaving your house.

Well, that’s my reasoning for liking instagram, or any other form of photography. I love to edit pictures or create a story. And I love to use my camera and/or smart phone to capture moments that are worth “savoring.”

smartphone photography moments to savor

I know I know, corny. But it’s the truth.

And you know what? Using a smartphone for food photography has made me a better photographer in general. It’s almost like you get to practice before the real deal, ya know?

So with that being said, let’s talk ways to improve your food photography with a smart phone. I may not be an expert, but practicing these tips sure have helped me find new creative ways to photograph food –>  simple and engaging.

FIRST –> Find good light!

Continue Reading…

Business, Social Media

Are you using social media as validation of your worth?

May 27, 2015
social media as validation

It’s so, so easy to get caught up in the hype of followers, likes, retweets and so on with social media. This can be especially challenging when you’re starting your business and want to gain attention.

Here are common concerns I hear from my clients:

  1. Should I buy followers? – NO. Absolutely not. These are usually fake accounts or people who have little to no interest in what you’re doing. It’s not worth it.
  2. Should I delete a post if it doesn’t get enough likes? – No. This is too much work. Learn from these posts and move on. Spend those few seconds thinking about why it didn’t connect with your audience.
  3. How can I find out who is unfollowing me? – There are apps and websites for this, but again, that’s so much work. Does it really matter who unfollowed you? If you’re playing the game where you follow every person who follows you, then I want you to stop right at the beginning. Follow people you genuinely connect with and are interested in. Let’s not make this a numbers game.

While these questions may seem important, to me they signal that my client is focused on the quantity and not quality of their following.

It doesn’t matter if you have 1 million followers if no one is signing up for your course, buying your ebook or enrolling in your coaching program. twitter icon

There’s also a deeper issue here with social media. We are using it to validate our worth, and when you tie this in with your business, it can become a major problem because it’s such a huge part of your life.

Realize that those numbers are just feeding your ego + entering you into a dopamine rush cycle. twitter icon

That small high you feel when you see the notifications on your phone is great, but don’t lose focus on your intentions as a business owner (+ for life in general). Social media is merely a tool to communicate with your audience and share helpful information. The likes can help you know if you’re on the right track with content, but they should not be the determining factor in your success. Your success is based on how you want to feel + how you want your clients to feel.

Why is this validation a problem?

Continue Reading…

Social Media

7 Super-Simple Social Media Contest Ideas to Gain More Followers

April 29, 2015
Simple Social Media Contest Ideas

I find myself recommending social media contests to clients more and more lately, so I wanted to share some quick ideas.

Social media contests are a great way to gain followers, connect with your audience in a fun way, increase interaction, and promote a new product or service you’re launching. There are apps and websites out there that can help you set up separate Facebook tabs or whatever, but there’s beauty in simplicity too.

Let’s look at some super-simple ideas that can jump start your interaction and following:

Instagram

  • Ask readers to post picture of them reading your content/listening to podcast/etc. and hashtag your customer contest tag or tag your company
  • Like and tag friends for a chance to win
  • Repost photo and tag company

Social Media Examiner has a great round-up of ideas and how-tos for Instagram contests here.

Facebook

  • Caption contest for a photo
  • Likes vs. Shares and choose a random winner

Take a look at this list of 30 Facebook timeline contest ideas, plus how to structure your post for the highest conversion.

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Blogging, Social Media

3 Quick Tips to Keep Readers Engaged With Your Brand

April 15, 2015
Quick Tips to Keep Readers Engaged

Once you’ve gotten readers to your blog, you want to keep them engaged. You want them to start clicking around and interacting with you and your content, getting to know you, and getting as much value as possible in each visit.

This list is short and sweet so you can start employing these right away without getting overwhelmed.

1 | Link to your other posts in your blog post.

3 Ways to Successfully Use Internal Linking:

  1. Use keywords within your post to link to related blog posts. Make sure the links are natural and valuable to your audience, and only include three or four.
  2. Manually add your own in a list at the end of your blog post.
  3. Install a plug-in to do the work for you. I’ve used Yet Another Related Post Plugin, but there are many options out there.

Continue Reading…

Social Media

4 Social Media Tips You Should Already Be Following

August 11, 2014
social media tips(1)

Just a quick post today, guys. I get really into providing super longs lists with as many resources as I can find (because I love sharing), but bite sized chunks are probably more helpful. Instead of bookmarking this or pinning it for later, implement 2 of these tips this week. If you’re already doing all of them? Great! Share this with someone who isn’t. Continue Reading…

Blogging, Social Media

10 Free Tools to Create Quote Images + Increase Social Media Engagement

May 21, 2014
create free quote images

Beautiful images with quotes are everywhere these days. Think Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, Blog Photos, etc.
You get the picture. It can take a long time to create your own, and let’s face it, not everyone is gifted in
graphic design. It’s also a great idea to make a graphic of your blog post title. Every social channel allows a
featured image and it’s proven to grab readers attention. Continue Reading…

Social Media

34 Tips for Using Instagram for Business

May 14, 2014
34 Tips for Using Instagram for Business

Instagram can be an excellent social channel for brands. It’s a great way to make your brand more personable, and visual content is super-important in your online strategy.

A post from HubSpot on why you should include visual content in your marketing cites:

  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text.
  • 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text.

Instagram is especially popular among lifestyle blogger, like fitness buffs, recipe creators and fashion lovers, but we’re seeing a huge increase in use across different industries.

Before signing up and snapping away, take a few moments to think about your overall strategy.

There are 4 basic content groups you can share from, and I’ve included a few ideas for each below. Your strategy might include any mix of these, or all of them.

4 Content Groups on Instagram:
  1. Behind-the-Scenes: sneak peeks of what you’re working on, your office or work location, a day in the life, what you’re loving lately.
  2. Education: bite-sized tips related to your business and industry.
  3. Inspiration: anything to make life a little better, a it’s not secret people love quote images. Tie it back to your overall brand if you can, and use high-quality images.
  4. Community: feature clients (in-person, their work, etc.), work from peers, local events.

34 Tips on Using Instagram for Business: Continue Reading…