Since the beginning of advertising, images have been used to sell products, foster emotions, create connections.

Coca-Cola is so tied to imagery, they drill into your brain the shape of their bottle so that image sticks out when you walk past the cooler in the store. Good images increase revenue.

Well newspapers make sure their best photo shows up on the front page “above the fold” so they can be seen in newspaper racks. In fact, the only reason J.J. Jameson exists in the Spiderman dynasty is because he’s looking for a good image of Spiderman to put on the front page of the paper.

In all honesty. . . do we really know that cave paintings were diaries? Or might they have been billboards in the community

However it wasn’t until Pinterest that we really started thinking about the value of images. Though even after seeing the power of Pinterest, 90% of all blog posts just contain an image that compliments the text (look at the image in this one). That’s it. It serves no other purpose. For all intents and purposes, that’s a mistake. Images create traffic, fans, sharing and revenue.

So how can you use images to improve your business and your clients’?

Creating the Image

Whenever you’re posting content make sure you spend close to the same amount of time crafting the image that goes along with it. I’m sure you’ve seen infographics. They’re the epitome of this concept. An infographic is an image and original concept rolled into one. Often times infographics are blog posts and other times they’re used to compliment the information in the article. Either way, they’re pinnable, shareable, infectious, fun and useful.

If you put that kind of time into your images, you’ll get the same results. Looking at Pinterest’s most repined images there’s actually a formula you can follow to create viral, pinnable images that will increase traffic and engagement on your site and within your social network. The formula can be seen in this Pinterest board featuring recipes. And it goes a little something like this:

  • Choose an image that’s clear, single in focus and easy to understand in thumbnail format. Make sure it is bigger than 175 x 175 pixels.
  • Save the image to your computer with the keyword you’re looking for. Make sure the photo isn’t’ saved as Pic10933.jpg. Instead resave it as Soccer-Drills.jpg (or whatever the keyword is.)
  • Add text to the photo in a large font. Choose a font that represents the tone of the image. You can use a free program like Gimp.org to do all kinds of cool photo editing. (Learn how to become a Web Graphics VA Specialist using Gimp here)
  • Make sure the text compliments the image. If the image is of a marbled chessecake, then choose text that says it’s easy to make, or contains 8 ingredients or can be made in 10 minutes. Don’t type “marbled cheesecake” on the image. That’s just redundant.
  • Create a caption that adds even more value to the photo. Perhaps the time it takes to make it, the number of people it serves or whether other information that will add even more details to the image.

I can’t stress about how important it is to add value anytime you get an opportunity.

Turning the Image into Traffic

Most of the time the images we use are complimentary to the text in the blog post (just like I did in this one). But don’t just add it like normal, take a moment to make it really improve the bottom line. Add the “Pin it ” button to your blog posts and put it near the image as well as at the top of the blog post. Don’t expect your readers to pin it out of the goodness of their hearts, ask them to do so.

Load the image up to your Pinterest account as well as the site’s account and any other account you manage. (Also make sure to comment whenever you see the image on any other board). Load the image up to your Flickr account as well. Make sure on Flickr to include your url in the description. And title the photo upload with your keywords. Flickr is highly searchable. There are tons of great groups in Flickr so find applicable groups and request that your image be included in the group. If you have a mastermind group or share tasks with other VA’s send out a request to get folks to “favorite” the image.

When you get several images done for a similar subject load them up to Animoto.com and create a quick, free video. Have Animoto send the video to YouTube and all your other social sites for viewing. If you have Ping.fm or OnlyWire, make sure you blast out the photo to all photo sharing sites like Tumblr, Instagram, Stumbleupon and Picasa. Also put them together in vertical “Photo Booth style” and you have yourself a second Pinterest pin on the subject. Images alone can be “slides” in Powerpoint, so take your small handful of images and create a quick slideshow you can load up to slideshare as well.

Now don’t go neglecting Facebook. Make sure to add “upload the photo” to Facebook as well. Even if that means adding it to your tickler to do so in two months when all the hubbub about the image has been gone.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’ll spend our next time together showing you how to pin 100 different images and have all the clicks go back to your main page. We’ll also talk about increasing engagement, driving the click and making money with affiliates. And how to use Instagram to improve the bottom line. Make sure to stop by and pick up our video on Making Money With Pinterest and we’ll keep you up on all the cool ways to leverage images online.

Dan R Morris is the founder of LettersFromDan.com, a website dedicated to improving your revenue stream from online efforts. Dan is an infomercial producer, niche website owner, product developer, author and Mastermind leader. Dan actively encourages marketers to take that extra step so that “Hope” doesn’t become the marketing plan.

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