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How 360° Product Photos Can Elevate Your Online Store

Brands and retailers are adding 360° product imagery to their sites every day and increasing online conversions by as much as 47%. If Google Trends is any indication, interest in 360-product photography peaked more than 15 years ago. The idea then (and now) is to replicate the brick-and-mortar environment where customers can see and handle a given item.

In the last ten years, we saw reports suggesting from 5 percent to 40 percent increase in sales with the adoption of 360 product views,” said Dimitri Bir, founder of Webrotate 360, which makes agencies who provide 360-degree product images to their clients a gold mine of a resource.


3 Brands That Are Owning 360 Spin Product Photography

Apple: If you’re on Team Apple and have shopped for a new cell phone in the last 2 years you’ve realized that their site is more fun and dynamic now more than ever to shop on. Especially when viewing the new iPhone as it spins in almost section of the product page.

Rolex: A new watch isn’t usually a big deal. But for most, a Rolex is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. Obviously, you’re going to want to see it before you buy it. Rolex doesn’t just give users a nice view of their luxury watches. They provide a beautiful 360 viewing experience that’s as much a work of art as the jewelry it depicts. 

BMW: The first car brand to adopt 360° product imagery surely set a high bar for every other car company when they started allowing online viewers to spin the car around in any direction and even take a virtual 360° tour of the interior.

What about your not-so-well-known eCommerce boutique?

Staying competitive in the online retail landscape is harder than ever after the pandemic and many retailers were forced to go 100% online. If you sell similar products to 1000’s of other businesses how can you give your shoppers a better customer journey than your competitors?

We hear a lot about engagement these days. It seems like it’s a buzzword that’s everywhere. And there’s a reason for it. Customer engagement can be a huge benefit to your business. Customer engagement is about encouraging your customers to interact and share in the experiences you create for them as a business and a brand. So let me them experience your products.

Delivering the next best thing to a showroom experience by allowing shoppers to virtually “pick up” and spin the product around and even “lean” in (zoom) on a product’s fine details as if they were holding it in their hands can rapidly take a prospect from being lukewarm to a new client. In today’s highly competitive world, you will never get a second chance to make a lasting first impression. 360° product photography is an effective aid in convincing your buyers of product quality and authenticity, increasing trust, breaking down barriers, building brand loyalty, and ultimately increasing conversions and revenue.

Currently, Unglitch.io offers 360° Product Photography (as well as stop motion graphics) for our clients. Want to see what we can do? Click here.

Digital-Gurus

Top 10 Other Digital Gurus That Inspire Me

#1. The Futur

I cannot express how much The Futur has changed my life and how I run my business. If you are a graphic designer or web developer you HAVE to start watching them on YouTube now! CEO, Chris Do goes over fantastic tips on pricing, sales, getting leads, and everything you didn’t learn in college or design school. All the things that creatives hate doing in their business he gives course info out for free that honestly would cost you $1000s of elsewhere!

#2. Charisma on Command

Now I don’t care what industry you are in; everyone needs to watch a least a few videos from Charisma on Command. No matter who you are or how much you’ve achieved, everyone can benefit from taking their charisma to the next level. I’ve loved it through the years as it helps this introvert with sales and pitches…my least favorite thing about my creative business. They have popular videos such as How to Be Charming Without Trying and How To Stand Up For Yourself Without Being A Jerk. Check them out!

#3. Justina Blakeney

I find Justina Blakeney so inspiring. She is the founder and creative director of the home décor brand, Jungalow®, and the author of The New Bohemians book series. Her creativity, confidence, and joy are contagious. Not to mention I would love a house full of her decor and her art as wallpaper!

#4. Sorelle Amore

Sorelle Amore is an Australian/Polish photographer living in Iceland — best-selling author, YouTuber, and recently an ethical investor. Her course: Advanced Selfie University is crucial if you are trying to organically market yourself with beautiful photos but don’t want to hire dozens of sessions from a pro photographer. She has traveled to so many places as a digital nomad and her success story is very inspiring. Sorelle’s personal YouTube channel is great, but for all those reading I would highly suggest her new Sorelle Amore Finance channel. She goes over some great finance tips for solopreneurs like off-shoring, saving smarter, and many more things that are fascinating.

#5. Jona Jinton

Another Sweedish digital creator with the same vibe a Sorelle Amore is Jona Jinton. Jona is a photographer and singer and her videos are downright meditation sessions as she highlights her minimalist lifestyle in Sweeden and photography tips with stunning footage and relaxing music.

#6. Baumgartner Restoration

Now this one is purely a personal preference for entertainment and relaxation. Baumgartner Restoration is a YouTube channel that showcases the painting restoration process. In high school, I couldn’t decide whether to be a graphic designer or art curator. At the time I went with the most lucrative career path as art curator positions were few and far between. The museum snob in me still longs to work for The Smithsonian or The Metropolitan Museum of Art, however. His content is purely a relaxation enjoyment for me!

#7. Christine McConnell

If you’re a horror-nut like me who also likes to DIY as many crafts and projects as possible you’ll enjoy Christine McConnell either on Patreon or YouTube. She’s a baker, crafter, artist, actress, and creator that you may have caught on Netflix’s The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell. I love her vintage lifestyle. She’s like your grandmother who loves all things 1950’s and haunted houses!

#8. Bailey Sarian

Another content creator that is specific to those who love true crime and makeup is Bailey Sarian! In just 1 year she sky-rocketed as the top YouTube creator of 2021. Her Murder Mystery and Makeup series is a hit and she recently released a new show called Dark History that chronicles that dark true crime history that we never learned in school.

 

#9. Christy Gior

For all the mommies out there, Christy Gior is a great YouTube channel to watch! This might be a little “inside baseball” but as someone who is very interested in adopting one day, I can’t get enough of her sweet and honest chronicles of her family’s life as a foster mommy and adopting mom.

#10. Tony Robbins

Now, of course, I can’t make this list and not include Tony Robbins. He has inspired us through his life coaching for decades, but honestly — he is a great content creator for business owners. Any issue that you to become inspired for, he’s your guy!

 

 

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Why Your Sales Funnel No Longer Works

Wait, what…?

I get kind of a twisted kick watching the reaction of people in the digital business world when I say this. I have always said this. The sales funnel is inappropriate for professional services. My stance always creates quite a stir. Turns out the sales funnel is central to the way most people think about how to acquire new customers.

Now I’m a millennial and if anyone who was alive in the ’90s and early ’00s remembers all the old diet supplement websites we fell for. “Just pay Shipping for Dr. Smith’s Fat Buster Pills!” These terrible-looking websites were the original basis for platforms like Cl*ckFunn3ls™ and other similar funnel platforms that are still being peddled by influencers today who have affiliate links to promote with.

This exact template is still being used by modern coaches and funnel enthusiasts alike.

Aside from these websites just making users fell gross… The idea of a sales funnel is not just useless in the world of professional services, it is a distorted and misleading model. The sales funnel model causes otherwise smart people to do the wrong thing when trying to drive business development.

You know the sales funnel. Everyone does, and that is part of the problem.

At the wide end of the funnel are prospective customers who are believed to be primed to buy your product or service. Leads are filtered. The uninterested are culled. The rest are pre-qualified, pitched, and (hopefully) closed over time.

When selling consulting or professional services, the goal is not to find leads then process them like your digestive tract. The objective is to identify a community and position yourself to serve that community over time.

The Math

Now I’ve said it before I’m bad at math, but even I questions the traditional sales model numbers. When managing sales, traditional sales funnel theory tells us to measure yield from one step to the next:

  • 20 of 100 leads result in an initial meeting (a 20% yield).
  • Half of those meetings lead to an opportunity to make a proposal (a 50% yield).
  • 2 of 10 proposals yield a sale (a 20% yield).
  • So, the overall lead-to-sales yield is 2% (20% × 50% × 20% = 2%).

2%! 2%!? What a waste of time…

And from the consumer’s end, millions of dollars are being gained by attracting them in with a small offer. An offer that any TikTok marketer will tell you only takes the professional a bit of time (ex. Record a video of professional tips) to make. Charge for that video and never work again as all that passive income comes rolling in every time someone pays and automates the already recorded video. And to the consumer, they often are getting sub-par info or info they already knew. By 2021, consumers are onto you AND seeing sales funnely website or offer, feels gross.

But instead of jumping into a sales funnel business model what should you do instead?

Are you selling a product?

  1. Start with quality leads: Know who might buy your product. In addition, have someone who can separate themselves from the business pick the products. (Ex. If you’re a boutique owner who loved the color yellow and you end up only stocking yellow products, you won’t sell much). Gather intelligence. Ideally, interview someone who used to work at a company that you want to emulate. The object here is not complicated. You are trying to amass a list of human beings you might call on who would be in a position to authorize the purchase of your product. Keep a list of those people.
  2. Sell! Sell! Sell!: This is where previous sales experience is essential. Which I know is hard to hear if you’re starting your eCommerce or brick-and-mortar boutique. If you do not have sales experience either find another business to run or hire a salesperson to run it for you. Selling is a conversation. The goal is to get a customer to express a “felt need” for which the salesperson or shop can propose a solution. If you have products that can be bought elsewhere, you won’t make sales that can sustain you full-time.

Are you selling a professional service(s)?

We all know that consulting and professional services are sold differently than products. Expert services are sold on reputation, referral, relationships… not selling features of the service. The purchase of professional services requires a leap of faith beforehand.

Despite this, the temptation is to pretend the purchase of expert advice or services is the same as buying office supplies. We’ve been encouraged to accept that the funnel and step-by-step sales process is appropriate. It’s not, and here’s why:

  • The number of relevant leads is limited in a funnel
  • The duration of relationships between client and professional is often long, which causes issues when you are constantly thinking of the client as a new lead to toss back into a new funnel
  • Each client is special, your measurable client data will change per client and the progression of your relationship with them cannot be reduced to anywhere in the funnel process

The super-salesperson is a myth when it comes to professional services. Now there are tons of people online. You see them in Facebook ads and everywhere else convincing you with great charisma to buy their course. You buy. You start the course. You learn nothing. But that person still sold the hell out of you in the beginning, because he’s a salesperson, not a professional service provider. Focusing on the meeting and the art of the sale suggests that some people have some special way with others that causes the target of their affection to bend to their wills. Make sense!?

Salespeople who are thought to be really good with people often come off as just inauthentic and slimy. Call it the backfire effect. I myself am a terrible salesperson. I always have been. I’m here to provide professional creative services, not sell you something you don’t need or want.

The sales funnel assumes that you first create awareness, then uncover interest and desire, and finally that you manifest action. (This is the “AIDA” model of client engagement to which you were exposed in undergraduate marketing.) But what if you stumble on desire first which causes you to get yourself in front of a prospect (awareness)? You decide to do a pilot (action) that leads you to lift the stone on what turns out to be their real problem (interest).

In short for professionals… Do good work for a client. Stay in touch. Keep a long-term relationship with them. It’s that simple. Don’t toss them into a garbage disposable known as a sales funnel.

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12 Things to Look for When Hiring a Social Media Manager

Thinking about hiring a social media manager or agency? Congrats!! Outsourcing your social media to a professional is a big step in growing your business long-term. 

There are SO many social media freelancers/agencies out there – so how do you choose the right one for your business? Here are some of my tips and questions to ask when considering working with a social media expert.  

  1. Look at the agency’s or freelancer’s social media accounts. Do they do a good job maintaining and connecting on their own social media?
    No? Run!
  1. Are they up-to-date with the ever-changing world of social media?
  2. How often will they post? I usually advise posting a minimum of 5 times per week on both Instagram and Facebook (more for Twitter + Pinterest if you choose that option. Anything less and you probably won’t be able to see much growth.
  3. Do they plan? Certain events in the news or trends can change a monthly content calendar — but it’s imperative that your SMM expert have a content calendar. Your SMM expert needs to be open to their clients wanting to promote something that day and shift the content calendar accordingly.
  4. Is your SMM manager a graphic designer as well? Or at least have access to a graphic designer… Unique, original graphics for your post is a must. If your SMM manager is using apps like Canva your posts will not look unique.
  5. How often to communicate do you expect to communicate with them? How do you want to communicate with them? Asking these questions prior to starting an agency or manager can prevent issues down the road. If you’re wanting to communicate every day via text, and they’re expecting 2x a week via email, you might want to look elsewhere. 
  6. Will they handle community management (replying to comments & DMs & engaging with other accounts? Some clients prefer to handle this in house. Especially if you are a service-based business and need to chat directly with customers to schedule them or answer questions. If you’re comfortable with them handling it, be sure to provide them with an FAQ list so they can quickly address customer concerns. 
  7. Have they worked with similar brands in your industry? Typically, some experience with your industry is preferred, but it is not necessary. 
  8. Are they managing your social media for at least 1 month? Anything less WILL NOT WORK. If you hire someone to just do a week’s worth of social media managing and marketing — you’re wasting your money.
  9. How will you be charged? There are three main pricing models I’ve seen: hourly, flat fee, and a percentage of sales. There are pros and cons to each, so make sure you choose what’s best for your business. If you anticipate requesting a lot of edits and changes, hourly might not be the way to go. If you’re killing it in sales already without the social media agency, maybe don’t consider the sales choice. I charge a flat rate to avoid any of these issues.
  10. Do they have any testimonials from past clients? If they don’t, this is a huge red flag! Ask them about the similar brands they’ve managed – like what you see? That’s a good sign!
  11. Where are they based? The great part about social media is that they can essentially be located anywhere. However, it is typically beneficial for your time zone to be the same (or similar!) for communication purposes. Also, if they are doing any photography for you, it might be best to keep this done locally as shipping fees can get expensive.

Be sure to do your research when reaching out to social media agencies and freelancers and then ask them any of these questions if you couldn’t get them answered prior to reaching out.

And if you’re looking for a one-woman social media maven? I’d love to work with your brand. Let’s chat!

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3 New Instagram Features You Need to Know About in 2021

Working in an ever-changing industry can be a lot to keep up with sometimes, especially after a year like 2020. No shame, homie! I totally get it and are here to provide you with a few new features you should start taking advantage of if you haven’t already.

Keyword Seach

I always emphasize the importance of being strategic with your name and username on Instagram because they were previously the only fields that the platform considered in search queries. Well, drum roll, please… Instagram has now enabled keyword search! Users can now search a phrase and results will include posts featuring those keywords. FINALLY! This will shift discoverability on the platform and the emphasis will move slightly away from hashtags and more onto SEO in captions.

Now I know what you’re thinking! I just got a hold of hashtags! Now this! This is why during this changeover it’s going to be important to bone up on SEO, if you do not have the time…find an SEO expert. Pssst…

Instagram Guides

Consider Instagram Guides as comparable to a mini blog post (like this one!). They were created as “a way to more easily discover recommendations, tips and other content from your favorite creators.” Each Guide features curated posts paired with commentary and tips. Soon you can check out my first-ever Instagram Guide here, where I’ll re-purpose one of my older blog posts (p.s. idea for your first guides). Remember that a major goal of social media is to provide value to an audience and Guides are a perfect way to do just that!

Reels

Reels can be used to grow an account and boy did I find out! I used Reels with a client of mine and she gained over 3,000 followers in only one month on Instagram as a result of their exposure and reach from the Reels alone. Think of Reels as Instagram’s version of TikTok. You essentially share short videos paired with existing audio. For a physical example, you can check out some great example Reels here. They’re so much fun to make AND show results! I would 10/10 recommend giving them a try!

I hope this blog post was helpful for you in discovering a few new features to incorporate into your Instagram strategy! For more social media tips, follow me on the ‘Gram.