Create Killer Content With These Apps - An #Instabetter Way

Create Killer Content With These Apps - An #Instabetter Way

As of March 2017, there were 2.8 million available apps at the Google Play store and 2.2 million available apps in the Apple's app store, crazy right! 

No wonder we get completely overwhelmed while looking for new ones. 

Read More

Creating Graphics? Why You Should Use Adobe's Spark

Creating Graphics? Why You Should Use Adobe's Spark

If your business requires you to create any kind of graphics or videos for ANY social media profile, you need to look into Adobe's Spark, like now. Especially if you're a creative already on a Creative Cloud membership because then, Spark is FREE. Super affordable for those that don't, it's only $9.99 a month!

Read More

Social Media Marketing is Confusing

BUT IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE! (Let me help a lil)

If you own a small business, if you're a creative, a blogger or maybe an influencer you should most definitely have at least one social media profile in 2018.

Why?

Because 2.3 billion people are on social media every day which is a gigantic market to tap into and help you with long-term business growth. And it's all free unless you choose to promote your posts with ads, even then, social media advertising can be one of the most cost-effective ways to reach new potential clients. 

Social media marketing will drive sales, allow you to connect with your audience in real time, build relationships and raise awareness for your brand or business.

As a photographer and a small business owner myself, I've had to educate myself about marketing and social media, today I'd like to share some tips I've learned that have helped me with growing my social media channels.

Platform Tips

Remember that it's way better to be amazing on 1-3 platforms than be mediocre at best on ALL of them, so to help you decide here are the most popular platforms right now in 2018.

QUICK FACTS:
- Facebook is today's version of the Yellow Pages.
- YouTube is where you upload video content.
- Twitter is the news feed, what's everyone up to?
- LinkedIn is your professional social media profile.
- Pinterest is a search engine, like Google in a sense.
- Instagram is the fastest growing platform.
- Snapchat hosts a younger generation.

Posting Tips

Don't post something just to post, have intent, a goal and include a call to action, have a strategy. An example would be "visit my store", "grab your discount code", "Comment below" and so on. I like to use images to enhance the stiry being told in the captions.

Be consistent as much as possible, not only in your time schedule but in your voice, your style of writing, be yourself.

People love being entertained and learn a thing or two so try to include one or the other, even both in your posts and boost your engagement.

Find your style of writing, your voice. Will you be quirky, funny, dramatic or friendly? Find one adjective that best describes you and run with it.  The most important thing you can do for your business is to know yourself and be you. 

Helpful Tools

Save time for better things and raise your graphics game with these FREE tools. I've used all of them and I can vouch for them being useful and easy to use.

GOOGLE DRIVE - Helps save photos and documents and easily transfers everything from your computer to your phone and vice-versa.

CANVA - Create stunning graphics in no time and with no experience in graphic design.

PHOTOSHOP - My personal favourite for creating high-resolution graphics and logos.

ANIMOTO - Create free videos.

QUIK - An app that lets you create videos and has the Instagram Stories format.

BUFFER - Save loads of time and schedule your posts in advance, Buffer will automatically post for you.

LEETAGS - An app that finds the most popular hashtags on Instagram, automatically choose the top 30 and easily lets you copy and paste into your Insta post.

INFRAME & UNFOLD - Two apps that basically do the same thing. They let you create graphics and frames for your images, your Instagram stories instantly look original.

SNAPSEED - An app created by Google and personally my favourite mobile photo editor. Packed with a bunch of presets, it helps you create an overall constant style with your images.

Top Unfollow Reasons

- Too many promotional messages.
- Information shared is not relevant to your services, product or brand.
- Posting and tweeting too much.
- Too quiet, posting too little and getting lost in the masses.
- The slang being used isn't fitting your brand.
- You never engage or respond back to your followers and fans.

Final Thoughts

Just remember that you'll get better overtime, experiment with different types of visuals and see what works best.

Always check your analytics, learn who your market is, what kind of content do they engage with the most, what time and day do you get better engagement, things like that. When you know what works best, do that. 

It's not necessarily about how many followers you have, it's about how engaged your audience is with you. You want at least 10-20% of your total following to engage with your posts the same day it is posted.

One last tip is aimed at those who choose to feature curated content on their accounts. A good rule to follow is that for every 3 pieces of curated content you post, you should have one that is created by you.

If you need ideas about what kind of things to post, visit this blog post and get 31 fresh ideas!

SIGN UP WITH YOUR EMAIL FOR A FREE WORKSHEET TO FURTHER HELP YOU DECIDE WHICH SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS TO CHOOSE.

Until next time, peace & love my friends! 

Tina

Photographer & Designer - Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, Canada - Pixels by Tina

31 Content Ideas That Will Grow Your Following!

31 Content Ideas That Will Grow Your Following!

Knowing how to promote yourself, your brand or your small business is essential if you want clients. Once you've figured out what your services are and how you differ from the others offering the same, it's time to start reaching people and my favourite way of doing so is on social media. 

Read More

3 Fantastic & Free Photo Editing Apps for Android Users

Photographer & Content Creator - Alberta, Canada - Pixels by Tina
 

657 Billion.  That's the estimated number of photos being posted online every year. It's also estimated that 85% of those photos are posted online using smartphones. In consequence, mobile photo editing applications have become popular and almost a necessity for most users and photographers, including myself.

This list is really short because I don't believe in editing too much, I rarely use Photoshop or anything else than my digital darkroom which is Adobe's Lightroom, and I don't recommend anything I haven't previously tried myself, I'll never steer any of my readers towards unhelpful tips and wasted time. I write these posts because I love helping people. 

Note: I didn't include Adobe Photoshop Express on this list because honestly, I think the app is terrible compared to so many others, in the sense that it offers very few tools. I really don't understand why they can't offer a better free app. Another little thing, if you just love creating memes, quotes on pictures or anything of the sorts, check out the app Textgram, I use it for quick thank you posts on my social media, great app.


1) Photo Director Photo Editor App

 

My personal favourite and I the app I currently have on my phone. Created by CyberLink.com it has 10 million downloads to date with a rating of 4.6 on the Google Play Store. Powerful but easy, this app has everything all in one, I absolutely love it! It can modify color channels, it adjusts the tone, the white balance and the saturation, it has live effects, a collage maker, you can remove objects, it has an HDR mode, a vignette setting, it can blend, it has overlays and blur tools and it lets you easily save and share your final image! (Wow!)


2) Snapseed

 

Created by Google Inc., I knew this was a great app before downloading it. It has a rating of 4.5 on their Play Store with around 50 million downloads. A complete app that includes professional tools like RAW develop, tune image, details, crop, rotate, straighten, perspective, white balance, brush, selective colour, vignette, text, curves, lens blur, tonal contrast, and HDR to name a few.  I've used it in the past and I really loved it, but I wanted a more... fun app for my phone.


3) Photo Editor by Aviary   

 

"Aviary is a powerful photo editor which we created because we wanted a quick and easy way to edit our photos on the go with no fuss. 
We’ve included all the tools you need, in a super intuitive interface so you can get right to editing.
Features:
+ One-tap auto enhance
+ Gorgeous photo effects, filters and frames
+ Fun stickers
+ Color balance
+ Crop, rotate and straighten your photo
+ Adjust brightness, contrast, colour temperature, and saturation
+ Sharpen and blur
+ Color temperature ("Warmth")
+ Color Splash
+ Focus (Tilt Shift)
+ Draw and add text
+ Create your own memes
+ Cosmetic tools: fix redeye, remove blemishes and whiten teeth"


-> What's your favourite editing app? Leave yours in the comment, I would love to know!

Peace & Love,

Pixels by Tina - Photographer & Content Creator - Alberta, Canada

REVISITED: Where to Get FREE Stock Images Legally (37 Free Sites + 3 Free Trials)

REVISITED: Where to Get FREE Stock Images Legally (37 Free Sites + 3 Free Trials)

Listed below is a curated a list of beautiful websites for free stock photos. I did verify that each website was what it claimed to be and that the quality of the images was on par with my own. Before we get to the list, there are a few things you should be familiar with if you're using free stock photography libraries.

Read More

How To Right-Click Protect Your Squarespace Website

Photographer & Content Creator - Alberta, Canada - Pixels by Tina

It's a question that is always at the back of every digital artist's mind when creating a new website, "will this platform protect my content from being copied and pasted?" 

I know some sites offer you an app to protect your content, but with website builders like Squarespace, a little coding knowledge is an asset. 

I for one, am extremely protective of my content, and this little code has made me a happy creator! It's easy to inject into your web pages, below is a step by step tutorial. Note that you have to inject it into every page you want to protect. 


1. Open your page configurations using the little gear icon.

Pixels by Tina _ Photographer & Content Creator _ Alberta, Canada

2. Click ADVANCED and scroll down to PAGE HEADER CODE INJECTION, where you will enter the following code: 

 

<script language=JavaScript> var message="Function Disabled!"; function clickIE4(){ if (event.button==2){ alert(message); return false; } } function clickNS4(e){ if (document.layers||document.getElementById&&!document.all){ if (e.which==2||e.which==3){ alert(message); return false; } } } if (document.layers){ document.captureEvents(Event.MOUSEDOWN); document.onmousedown=clickNS4; } else if (document.all&&!document.getElementById){ document.onmousedown=clickIE4; } document.oncontextmenu=new Function("alert(message);return false") </script>

Pixels by Tina _ Photographer & Content Creator _ Alberta, Canada

3. Hit the SAVE button and you're done. 
 

To show you what it looks like afterwards, I went to my website as a visitor and I tried right clicking on the page and this is the message I was prompted with.

Pixels by Tina _ Photographer & Content Creator _ Alberta, Canada
 

If you don't have Squarespace, just locate your page header injection code input and you're good to go! What kind of tweak did you do on your website? Know any cool tips and tricks? Share them with the rest of us! 

Don't worry, be awesome!

Pixels by Tina - Photographer & Content Creator - Alberta, Canada

Popular Instagram Hashtags

Photographer & Content Creator - Alberta, Canada - Pixels by Tina
 

There's really no magical recipe for gaining a following on any social media platform, if you're told using popular hashtags is part of the solution, you're not being fed proper information.

Gaining a following of genuine people and people being genuinely interested in what you're doing takes dedication and time,  you have to be passionate about what it is that you're doing, naturally. 

These hashtags are meant to be helpful in reaching people interested in your visual art, no matter your medium. Some are popular and some aren't as much, but use a mix of both. If you're always using over the top popular hashtags, your images will get lost in the masses and if you always use some that are unknown to the masses you'll barely get noticed. It's a wicked game but it's fun if you do it right. I've not only gained new followers with these but I've also discovered some great talent!

Find accounts that will feature you, for example, tagging sharecangeo gets you a chance to be featured by Canadian Geographic. 

Okay, enough rambling... I'm also writing this at the same time I'm caring for my two tikes, one is in timeout, the other is bugging me to watch TV, and I'm in the middle of making spaghetti sauce for dinner! If anyone is able to multitask, it's me. LOL

Here is my list of hashtags I use for different images and posts, I hope this helps you! I've made it into a graphic for you to share, so please do!



List of Popular Instagram Hashtags

Follow me on Instagram @pixelsbytina!

What kind of helpful post would you like to read next? Tell me in the comments and I will help you! If you enjoyed reading please consider sharing with your friends and anyone who may benefit, I'm forever grateful for you reading my blog, thank you for your support! 

Quick Beginner's Guide to Photo Composition

Quick Beginner's Guide to Photo Composition

Alright, so we all know photography is more popular now than it ever was before, with millions of pictures being uploaded somewhere online every few minutes. With that in mind, I thought writing a post to help others to, simply and quickly, take and make more amazing images would be a nice thing to do. 

Read More

10 Tips to Easily Improve your Smartphone Photography Skills

10 Tips to Easily Improve your Smartphone Photography Skills

There's no doubt smartphones have changed photography forever, whether we like that or not, it has. In 2015, two billion people on the planet used smart phones with 90% of them taking pictures and 85% of them sharing those images on social media sites like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Those are some pretty big numbers and I'm convinced those numbers grew bigger in the last two years.

Read More