What makes an image good? High-quality materials? Branded fonts? Happy people or nice scenery?
While all these things may play a role in creating ‘good’ content images, the most important element is the ability of the designer/photographer to communicate with the viewer. It should be able to tell a story through its composition, lighting, and subject matter.
Every brand, business, and individual is trying to stand out. How can yours?
Choosing Your Color Scheme
A brand needs a color. UPS owns Pullman brown. T-Mobile owns magenta. Tiffany owns Tiffany Blue. UT owns Pantone Color #159. The list goes on…
It’s time you chose your color and picked 1-2 other colors that complement it well.
You can use a website like Coolors to find yours.
Picking A Look
I have no idea what the count is, but there are likely hundreds of thousands of free stock images out on the web. Even more when you get into paid subscriptions.
Designing similar images and videos is the least of a creator’s concern when they begin their online marketing journey. They put all their time into the contents of a blog, video, or podcast and slap a generic picture as the featured image.
Imagine a jeep with the back window covered in random stickers. It’s obnoxious. And this is what your content strategy looks like.
If you’re using a stock website like Pixabay, Unsplash, or Pexels, there is almost a 100% chance that the picture has been used before by someone else. However, there are ways around this – keep reading.
4 Ways To Create Standout Images
How can you stand out?
The short simple answer: A little bit of photoshop.
After all the time you’ve put into creating your offer, article, or video, don’t let basic images water down its’ worth.
Double Image Merge
This is probably one of my favorite techniques because you can use either paid or free stock images to build a 100% original image. Make sure you have the rights before you go to editing because it could lead to some legal trouble.
This image may seem unique and branded, but it’s really just 2 images put together with a little bit of text. On the left, you have a generic image from Unsplash after searching for “black laptops” and on the right, you have an image, again from Unsplash, after searching “paint splatters.”
Then, I added a diagonal, charcoal-colored overlay over the paint splatter images and finished it off with text. Finally, I coated the text with a charcoal-colored stroke (color surrounding the text) to make sure it stood out on both the left and right sides of the image.
Once you’ve created the branding image ONCE, you now have a template for every piece of content in the future – if you so choose. Save the file as a PSD and make changes for specific promotions or products.
Hue changes are simple to make and will only take a few minutes in photoshop. Click CTRL + U to open the Hue Menu and use the sliders to adjust the color of your image.
It’s extremely simple to make black & white images by dragging the saturation slider to the left or make them much more vibrant by dragging that same slider to the right. A perfect solution for brands that are going for a neutral color tone.
Exhausting every generic stock image is inevitable if you’re a content creating machine. By the time you run out, you should be making a decent amount of money to afford a subscription website like PlaceIt or FreePik.
PlaceIt offers thousands of mock-ups, promotional/intro videos, and more. I highly recommend you give them a look because it has simplified my life immensely.
I picked up a subscription with FreePik recently, and I haven’t been disappointed. The number of images I would’ve had to pay for individual trumps the amount I pay for a yearly subscription by a long shot. Every article you see on this website since last 2019 uses isometric illustrations available on FreePik.
There are subscription options for pretty much anything you’re trying to do visually, so hit up Google and do a little research for yourself.
Paying for yearly subscriptions will be a cheaper option in the long-run. However, specialized logos/videos/images that are above your paygrade or not available on a free/subscription website should be hired out.
Head over to websites like Fiverr or Upwork and become good friends with the search bar. Be sure to go through reviews once you’ve found someone that looks promising. The last thing you want to do is waste your money with someone that is providing you with generic images.
The basics of better design are well within your reach. By paying attention to successful creators and using Google when in doubt, you can upgrade your visual content to a level that will leave viewers in awe.
You don’t need to drop $1,000 today on subscription websites and freelancing. Grab my most popular free digital download that lists over 100 resources for creators.