First things first. I have not been sponsored for writing this post about Photoshop. I just love this tool so much and believe it’s one of the best investments a budding entrepreneur can make. Keep reading to learn why!
Let's talk about social media for a minute.
So you have your social media accounts set up (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.) but what happens after that? You need to share and post to one or many of those accounts. Yes, having a lot to say is key to sharing what you know about your business, but you’ll need to include an image with it to get viewers interested.
Did you know it's ILLEGAL to pull other people’s images from the internet and use them as your own? A lot of folks don’t know this, but artists and designers are hyper-aware of it… especially those who have had their artwork ripped off before.
Some images are not copyrighted and are free for personal or business use, so be cautious and do your research. But in my opinion, it's best not to pull other's images and use them on your business page -- the page where you hope to earn a customer that pays you for your services -- because it’s really risky. You never know when you’ll get caught and asked to remove an illegally shared image, be blasted on social media by the creator, or get fined.
But what if you could create your own images with your brand fonts, colors, patterns, and photography and never have to worry about copyright law again?
Say it with me: Original content is key.
If you own a business, it’s incredibly important to keep reminding your audience of your products and services, and how they can hire you. But it’s odd (and stale) to keep reposting the same logo or image over and over again on Instagram. You need to switch it up and differentiate your content.
This is where investing in basic Photoshop skills comes in handy. Having these skills will allow you to use your own images and regularly create new graphics.
When you’re in the bootstrapping phase of your business, have limited funds, and are pulled in every which way to get your business up and running, this is one of the best ways to keep your marketing plan rolling.
Don’t be intimidated! Yes, it can be daunting to get your hands on a big, fancy program like Photoshop. But trust me, using just a few of its features will get you what you need. You don’t need to be a Photoshop expert to reap the benefits.
Case in point: I've been working in the program since 2002 and I will never know all the things it can do. A lot of the time, I learn as I go. Yes, 16 years of fiddling has taught me quite a bit, but because this software gets updated on the regular, I keep up and learn as needed or when I have free time. You can, too.
How much does it cost?
Several years ago, Adobe started offering a subscription service for their software. This is much more efficient than purchasing a giant software installation CD every time you needed an update (which I had to do for a long time). Now the subscription service is all cloud-based, and when the software updates, it prompts you to update it on your computer (similar to an app on your phone).
If you don't have Photoshop, you can download a free 30-day trial here: https://www.adobe.com/products/catalog.html. The download comes with a help guide which covers the basic steps on how to use this product.
To purchase Photoshop, create an Adobe Creative Cloud account and select a basic subscription of Photoshop for $9.99/month with an annual plan. This is the most basic plan offered within Adobe software products and rightly so, because it's the most basic program to start with for making images. Not too shabby, right?
If you are willing and able to pick up some basic Photoshop skills for posting consistent, on-brand images to social media accounts, this investment will pay off. Pinky promise!