The Ultimate Guide to Invoicing for Influencers and Content Creators

You just wrapped everything up with your latest brand partnership (congrats!). The content is approved and it’s in Tailwind’s Instagram scheduling tool, ready to go live soon.

Now you just need to send an invoice to the brand to get paid… But important questions can slow down this process:  Who do you need to send the invoice to? Was there a PO number? What were the payment terms again? My payment is late, how should I communicate this?

If invoicing and getting paid sometimes feels like a chore, don’t worry – you’re not alone.

Unless you have an agent taking care of invoicing and payments for you, it can take time & energy and get awkward. This guide is written to provide tips and tricks making invoicing easy in order to minimize payment issues.

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Always send an invoice

Sending your invoice should be the first step to getting paid. Always. Even when a brand, agency or influencer platform says you do not need to, it’s important to send your own invoices. But why?

As a creator, you are running your own small business. It’s important to have a record of all your earnings for tax purposes and what’s owed to you so you can get paid. Marketers work with dozens or even hundreds of influencers. It’s not uncommon that payments are sometimes late or forgotten!

Tracking your invoice is equally as important as sending it. If you’re only sending a few invoices you can manage tracking in excel or Google sheets. A perfect creator-built option for invoicing brands is a tool called Lumanu. It also tracks your invoices for you. Freshbooks and QuickBooks are great if you want more advanced accounting functionality like the ability to run receivable aging reports.

No matter the choice, it’s important to capture the basics when tracking – invoice number, due date, amount, and of course the brand and contact info of who’s paying. Keeping track of these basics will ensure a smooth invoicing process for you and your brand partner.

Agree on payment terms before the collab

Payment terms should always include:

  1. When you are going to be paid. A standard term is “30 days after content is posted” (i.e. net 30 after content goes live). Although most freelancers would love to be paid immediately, it is standard for AP departments at most large companies to put in place a net X days process (typically 30, 45 or even 60 days).
  2. How you are going to be paid. Make sure you are getting paid on your terms. Add a simple clause in your agreement that reads something like –> “creator will be paid per remittance instructions on invoice.” Common issues creators face include a) A required sign-up process with a payment software that isn’t brought up until it’s time to pay you (adding days until you get paid) and b) When a brand insists on paying via PayPal and does not cover the fees.
  3. When (and who) you should invoice. Make sure you are sending the invoice to the right person and at the right time.  It’s common for brands to lose track of influencer payments and for them to get lost in the email inbox.

Brands are more and more flexible when it comes to paying freelancers, especially social media influencers. Top brands realize that collaboration is about partnerships and flexibility can go a long way. It is a good idea to propose the payment terms and methods you prefer when engaging with a brand. Ultimately when running your business, you are going to want to choose how to manage your accounting. This starts with invoicing brands through your chosen solution.  

What to include in your influencer invoice

There are some basics to get right when creating a professional invoice. You can setup an invoice template, download a free invoice template, or use a software solution to create and send professional invoices (e.g. Lumanu, Freshbooks, Quickbooks). The nice part about software is it will help with tracking invoice status as well as providing fast payment processing options.

If you’re using a software solution, they will handle these for you. Here are standard fields you should include in all your invoices:

  1. Invoice number and date: Include the date your invoice is sent along with a unique invoice number at the top of your invoice. A unique number will ensure you can track payments and be helpful for tax purposes.
  2. Your full name and contact information: Include your full legal name or your business name. Also include your mailing address, phone number and email address. These are typically needed by your partner to set you up for payment in their system.
  3. Your client’s contact information: The company name and payor contact information (name and email address).
  4. Description – campaign name or post title: These fit well as line items in your invoice. Make sure to follow any instructions sent from your partner or ask how they would like this presented in the invoice. Line items can state the campaign name, deliverables and additional information referencing your sponsored posts. Some line item subtotals you can include – monthly cost, hourly rate, or per-post cost. If you have time tracking to include to be paid hourly then include the hourly rate and the subtotal. 
  5. Amount: Near the bottom of your influencer invoice, add the total amount in bold.
  6. Payment terms/ due date: Make sure you invoice per the agreed upon payment terms. Incorrect payment terms are the biggest reason invoices are not paid. Terms are usually Net X Days or a specified due date. ALWAYS include the actual due date to eliminate confusion.
  7. Payment methods: Automated software will provide a variety of ways to pay (ACH, PayPal, credit card, etc.) If you are using your own invoice template then spell out remittance instructions at the bottom of your invoice. Offering brands several payment options helps ensure payment with less hassle.
influencer invoice example

When to send your influencer invoice

As a general rule you can send invoices when you complete campaign deliverables or upfront (when you sign the agreement). What you actually do will depend on your negotiations with your partner. Understand your partner’s AP process as you may need to adjust timing to fit into their process or they may adjust their process to fit your timing.

Some typical terms for influencer marketing collabs are:

  • Net 30 days after campaign deliverable complete
  • Net 30/ 45/ 60/ 90 days from the invoice date – can sometimes work with your contact to invoice prior to campaign completion with the due date falling after expected deliverable date
  • 50% upfront and 50% net X days (per above)

Keep your invoice email concise and to the point. In the subject line, be sure to include the word “INVOICE”, your name and a brief description. This will help the recipient identify your email and know to prioritize it. In the email include the amount and due date.

How and when to follow up

Chasing down payment can be frustrating and awkward, another reason to use a platform like Lumanu which will automatically follow up on invoices for you and give you visibility into the payment status of outstanding requests.

Before your invoice is due – Make sure your contact received the invoice. Ask for confirmation of receipt when the invoice is sent.

When your invoice is due – Send a gentle reminder leading up to the due date, a reminder that payment is due in 3 days helps ensure on-time payment.

When your invoice is overdue – Late payments happen for a variety of reasons. Accounts payable departments manage cash flow and often have a payments system in place. It’s important to follow up with details including when the payment was due and payment options.

What to do with “add ons” and changes in scope

Awesome, your brand partner wants to pay you more money! Or they want to ask for more stuff that’s outside of your agreement for free – it doesn’t hurt to ask.

When this happens you have a couple options – create and send another invoice or cancel the original invoice and update and resend with the expanded scope and new dollar amount. You’ll want to make sure you create a new invoice number and send a cancellation for the old invoice so that you are paid the correct amount.

Recommended influencer invoicing solutions

Purpose built for creators: Lumanu was built from the ground up to meet influencers invoicing needs. It’s iPhone friendly and they’ve made invoicing as simple as Venmo. Plus, we love their year-to-date earnings, tracking and clean dashboard to easily track payment status. It’s free to create and send invoices and they charge a processing fee that’s lower than PayPal, with payments sent directly to your bank account. Lumanu Payments is “invite only”, Tailwind is happy to offer special access to Lumanu Payments.

Lumanu Pay influencer invoices

Advanced features for the small empire: Freshbooks is worth a look if you need full fledged accounting software and bookkeeping. We’re talking accounts receivable aging reports, general ledger entries and full P&L reporting. The extra bells and whistles will cost you a low monthly fee along with higher payment processing costs on the invoices.

For the do-it-yourself freelancer: Most online “free” templates you find through a website will then charge for payment processing (have to make money somehow). If you want to create and send your own templates, we recommend grabbing an invoice template from Microsoft Office in either word or excel. You can always open in Google docs as well if you are not an Office user.

Example Microsoft template:

Microsoft Invoice Template

Invoicing made easy

Managing your small business as a creative freelancer just got easier – we hope! By running a consistent process to make sure payment terms are agreed to upfront and accurate invoices are sent, you’ll spend less time worrying about chasing payment and more time creating. There are plenty of resources available to help you grow your business and ultimately your brand.

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Struggling with invoicing and getting paid on time? Increase your professionalism and minimize payment issues with our easy invoicing tips and tricks.

Why You Should Be Using Facebook Stories

Image of Brookhaven Boutique Facebook Story featuring woman in yellow blazer dress.

When Facebook deprioritized marketing content in news feeds to focus more on delivering friends and family content, it caused problems for marketers depending on getting visibility in users’ organic news feeds.

In its announcement, the social media giant said it was highlighting “meaningful interactions” versus branding messages.

What did that mean? Essentially, even if users liked and followed your Facebook pages, it didn’t mean they would see your carefully crafted content.

Today, however, Facebook Stories represent a huge opportunity to get back in front of Facebook users.

Stories appear at the very top of the news feed in the most prominent position on the page — whether you’re viewing on mobile or desktop. Updated content shows first in prime real estate to get noticed!

The stats are great, too. More than half a billion people access Facebook Stories daily. Even more Stories are shared on a linked Instagram!

TAILWIND TIP:  You can share Stories on Facebook and Instagram at the same time to increase your exposure.

Facebook Stories gives you the opportunity to post real-time updates, drive traffic to blog posts, or expose users to limited-time offers. Plus, the time-sensitive nature of Stories creates more engagement as users know the content will disappear in the next 24 hours.

What Makes Facebook Stories Work for Businesses?

First, Facebook Stories give you a place to share business messages in a video format. Even if you are using still images, you can quickly add motion, transitions, and text to tell a story that transcends a typical slideshow!

Second, interactivity makes a big difference in engagement. You can quickly add additional content to your photos or video, including:

  • Text overlays
  • Music
  • Polls
  • Locations
  • Stickers
  • Event notices

Adding native elements like GIFs, camera effects, and stickers can make your Stories pop.

A polling sticker, for example, has been shown to increase engagement by three seconds in 90% of tested campaigns.

Related Reading : How to increase customer engagement on social media

Facebook’s research shows that Stories move people to act.

58% of Facebook users say they have gone to a brand’s website after viewing a Story. And half of those said they went to the site with the intention of making a purchase!

Finally, nearly a third say they have visited a retail store after seeing a post in the Facebook Stories format.

What Do Users Want to See in Facebook Stories?

When people were asked what they are most interested in seeing from brands, here were the top three things they cited:

  • Stories are quick and easy to understand (52%)
  • Introduction to new product offerings (50%)
  • Stories that offer tips or advice (46%)

An effective technique for showcasing new products or service offerings is by using the carousel format which lets you add additional images or videos within a single ad.

Each piece of content can have its own link, which can drive users directly to landing pages for individual products.

You can also use the carousel format to tell a story that develops as each card in the carousel is displayed.

Facebook Story from Kayla Itsines promoting info about low impact exercise

The Brand Objectives mode uses the native Stories carousel where additional content appears automatically.

This can keep users engaged longer without having to take any additional action. The Direct Response Objectives mode includes an expandable Facebook Stories carousel. This allows users interested in your content to opt to view it even more!

What Makes Facebook Stories Effective?

Nielsen Catalina Solutions recently studied the impact of various elements that drive conversions and sales. The study wanted to analyze the percent of contribution each element made to a sale. Here’s what they uncovered:  

Creativity was far and away the number one factor driving sales.

  • Creative (47%)
  • Reach (22%)
  • Brand (15%)
  • Targeting (9%)
  • Recency (5%)
  • Context (2%)

Every element on this list is important, but creativity takes the top prize. So how does a Facebook Story fit in? It’s in the name: it tells a story. And, stories can be told in highly creative ways without spending a fortune on production.

The mechanics of creating an engaging Facebook Story is pretty easy.

The hard part is managing the creative aspects in a strategic way that aligns with your brand.

Creative Ways to Use Facebook Stories

Here are some of the ways B2B and B2C brands are using Facebook Stories.

Reuse Images from Other Platforms

One easy way to cut down creation time on Facebook Stories while still delivering a branded, polished image is to reuse social images from other platforms!

Holly Homer, owner of and a 3.5 million follower Facebook page, talks about how she uses her Pin images or blog post images to create a fast, effective visual on Facebook Stories in the clip below:

Hear more tips on “How to Make Facebook Marketing Work for You Without Paying for Ads

Update Customers in Real-Time

Once Facebook Stories become active, they only stick around for 24 hours — which means they always contain current information.

When something pops up in a Story, users know it’s not something from last month or last year like some of the other posts you may see so they tend to click on things they’re interested in before they’re gone.

You can use Facebook Stories to build anticipation for an event by counting down until launch or giving them fresh content while they’re waiting for your announcement.

You can promote flash sales, today-only coupon codes, exclusive discounts, or limited-time giveaways.

Looking to hire?  You can use Stories as a recruiting tool as well!

Brand Awareness

Facebook Stories are a great way to create brand experiences to engage customers (and potential customers). Stories are not just about pushing products. Providing interesting facts, behind-the-scenes-stories, or How-to explainers can position your brand as an authority.

Humanizing your brand by showcasing your employees or — better yet — your customers can make a lasting impression. This helps with brand awareness and creating emotional connections with your brand.

Drive Traffic to Your Website or Blog

When you add content to your website or blog, you can let users know by highlighting it in Facebook Stories.

Not only can you drive Stories users to specific landing pages, but you can also use a button overlay to make them stand out. Some of the more common buttons include:

  • Shop Now
  • Book Now
  • Get Directions
  • Learn More
  • Call  Now
  • See Event
  • See Job
  • See Offer
  • See More
Business Stickers for Facebook Stories

Best Practices for Creating a Great Facebook Story

Social media works most effectively when you create content designed specifically for social. Rather than duplicating a blog post or website content, optimizing your content for a Stories-first approach will improve performance. If you do need to repurpose content, add context and captions to clarify your value proposition.

Here are some of the other best practices for the creation of engaging Stories.

Embrace the Vertical Format

Facebook Stories are designed to be viewed full screen and in a vertical format. They were designed to encourage users on mobile phones to share content, so your content needs to be in a vertical format as well.

Need help sizing your Facebook Story? Check out all current the info about Facebook Story image size.

TAILWIND TIP:  You’ll need to be aware of potentially cropping out important assets in the vertical format, especially if you are converting horizontal images.

Be Creative, But Don’t Go Crazy

It can be easy to get carried away with stickers and elements. If your brand is all about fun, you can get away with more. If your brand is serious or authoritative, less is often more. You want to be creative without being overwhelming.

Pay Attention to Speed

People consume Stories even more quickly than posts in their news feed. Think about pacing when creating your narrative. You need to grab their attention quickly and tell a story to hold their interest. A series of product slides by themselves probably won’t get the job done.

Top-performing Stories ads have shorter and quicker scenes. Research shows that Facebook Stories using scenes that average 2.8 seconds per scene perform much better than scenes lasting 4 seconds or longer, for example.

Fast-paced narratives tend to hold attention better and get the most engagement.

Use Motion

If you’re using a static image, consider adding slight motion effects to the image or use motion with copy or call to action elements. Motion catches the eye and holds attention.

Adding motion has also been demonstrated to increase purchase intent by as much as 76%.

Use Mixed Formats

Using multiple formats within the same Story can also work to your benefit. Instagram research shows there is an 86% chance of campaigns with mixed assets driving better performance. Use a mix of still images, motion, video, and effects within your Stories.


When it comes to brand awareness, consider using persistent branding in every scene. Users may only engage with your content for a few seconds, so waiting until the end to drop in your logo is a mistake.

TAILWIND TIP: Keep your brand visible throughout your content for the best results. This doesn’t mean you need to keep your logo on the screen the entire time but you should try to include product shots, text overlays, or title cards that represent your brand.

People vs Products

If you’re trying to influence people with your Stories or create an emotional connection with your brand, people will be more influential. People-focused creative performs significantly stronger in testing and recall than products. If you’re trying to sell now using direct-response techniques, you can still use people but keep your focus on the product or service you are marketing.

Grab Their Attention and Deliver Your Message

In marketing, getting the right message in front of the right people at the right time has always been one of the keys to success.

With people inundated with so many marketing messages every day, and the difficulty in getting organic reach for your content, Facebook Stories allow you to creatively grab people’s attention and deliver your message.

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Just like Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories can play an important approach to connecting with your audience on Facebook. Learn how here!

How to Use Facebook Groups For Your Business in 2021

The title of a private Facebook Group and the group header image of Tailwind Pinterest GetTOGETHER Pop-Up Grou

Five years ago, Facebook Groups were a goldmine of untapped potential. 

Every entrepreneur and small business jumped at the opportunity to get all their raving fans in one place. While organic reach for Facebook Pages had started to drop, the reach within a private group skyrocketed.

Even beyond creating their own group, businesses started to discover where their ideal clients “hung out” through these highly specific Facebook communities.

Suddenly, validating business ideas and new products became easier and faster. Creating a free download became an effortless way to build your email list, attract new leads, and become a recognized expert in your industry. 

Five years ago, it seemed obvious that Facebook Groups were the path to success. But, as the platform continues to evolve and organic reach drops, are Groups still the holy grail they once were?

Even though Facebook Groups may not have the reach they used to, they can still be a valuable part of your branding and marketing funnel.

Let’s explore how to use Facebook Groups for your business in 2021.

What Are the Benefits of Facebook Groups?

If you’ve been on Facebook for a while, you’ve probably belonged to a few groups before. 

Facebook Groups are a convenient way to bring together like-minded people and form a community. Posting in Facebook Groups can help you find solutions to problems, get advice or input, receive recommendations, and more. 

For a business, Facebook Groups can offer a ton of information about what their ideal clients are looking for, what problems they’re struggling with, and the language they use to talk about it. Often, you may even find your ideal customers in Facebook Groups asking questions and looking for solutions that you can easily provide.

However, depending on the size of your brand, creating your own Facebook Group for market research likely isn’t the best use of your time in 2021.

Even though Facebook Group posts are shown more frequently in people’s timelines than organic posts on a personal or business page, these posts still don’t reach everyone unless they’re actively visiting and participating in your group. 

That’s why, in 2021, new Facebook Groups are often best used as a container to support and manage private clients, courses, and paid groups.

Creating a small community of dedicated fans and delivering customized content to them through your group can keep customers engaged in your program and your brand. Plus, the group provides your customers an opportunity to connect and bond with each other. 

This makes Facebook Groups a powerful tool to help you grow a committed community and expand your following with slow, steady growth.

How to Build Community Using Facebook Groups in 2021

Gone are the days of inviting everyone you know to your Facebook Group. Now, growing your community requires a more nuanced approach.

We know that everyone on Facebook is served ads left and right. By the time they arrive at your group, your social selling can fall on deaf ears.

These days, when you’re growing your business with Facebook Groups, less is more. A more intimate group can create the community you need to help your business thrive. Creating that intimacy and closeness helps clients feel more connected and more inclined to refer your work to others. 

One of the best ways to use a Facebook community is to include it as bonus content in a program or course.

This gives customers a place to direct questions and gain access to you or your support team.

Facebook post from group moderator teasing a new presentation in Facebook Group for business.

If you sell physical products, a Facebook community can be the right place to announce private sales, give first looks at new products, and offer behind-the-scenes content to your most valued customers.

Jumping into the group and doing Facebook Lives can incentivize members to frequently check back or turn on notifications for the group.

Starting engaging discussions on relevant topics can help keep your members coming back for more. 

Encourage your dedicated fanbase to use this space for any and all questions, thoughts, or reflections related to your industry. Then, you can show your unique expertise and let your members share their experiences as well.

Facebook Groups are a great way to keep your current customers and long-term fans engaged with your brand. But, how do you bring in new potential customers?

Where Do Facebook Groups Belong In Your Marketing Funnel?

A few years ago, it was common to see marketing funnels leading people to join a Facebook Group. Now, however, that technique often falls flat.

So, where does a Facebook Group belong in your marketing funnel?

If you’re creating a new group for a specific offering, group membership makes for an awesome upsell.

Offering an opportunity for dedicated attention in an invite-only group on a lower-ticket sale can be a turning point that shifts an engaged customer into someone who eagerly buys everything you create.

For more expensive offerings, a support group may be considered standard. In this case, your community can be a valuable bonus that turns a ‘maybe’ into a resounding yes.

Example of About This Group description with link to accompanying webinar series

For example, Tailwind founded the Pinterest GetTOGETHER group to offer continued support and engagement for attendees of the Pinterest GetTogether Webinar Series!

You can also add a Facebook Group link on your thank you page. This keeps your group limited to people who have already purchased something from you, no matter how valuable.

There are plenty of ways to bring new people into your Facebook Group while providing the experience of exclusive access to you and your team, but one of the most powerful isn’t even in your funnel. 

Creating an affiliate program can empower your dedicated fanbase to bring new clients into your group for you.

Affiliate programs can create even more committed customers because they earn a commission from advertising your offerings and bringing new customers into your program and Facebook Group.  

Ways to Use Facebook Groups Effectively

Facebook Groups have evolved to cater to business needs. That means there are a ton of helpful features that can make running your business even easier.

Here are a few key features that you won’t want to miss.

Delivering Courses with Guides

The Guides feature is a powerful way to deliver course material and track progress. To get this feature, you need to change your group type to Social Learning in the Edit Group Settings area. 

Instead of paying for a separate platform to deliver your course content, uploading video and documents onto Facebook is a breeze. From there, you can easily drip content to ensure your students don’t get overwhelmed with too much information.

Adding different units can guide customers through the content they purchased at their own pace, with no direct intervention needed from you.

Even if you aren’t selling courses, you can still use Guides to deliver helpful information and gauge member interest in different initiatives.

For example, if you’re a retailer with an affiliate program, you can offer introductory information about your affiliate program through Guides. Once a member has read the affiliate information, you can automatically provide more information through Guides or contact them directly to discuss the next steps. 

The Guides feature also offers a quick and easy way to add Facebook live content to your course content. This is a fast method to repurpose content and get new eyes on something you recorded live before, as a group workshop.

Running Virtual Events

The logistics of running virtual events are enough to make you and your team’s head spin. 

Thankfully, Facebook has added some helpful tools to make promoting and running virtual events easier. 

Instead of tracking down emails or projecting your live video call into your Facebook Group, Facebook has now developed their own video chatting platform called Rooms. The Rooms feature allows you and 49 other people to video chat directly through the Facebook platform. 

Recording your Rooms session is a great way to easily share your content with anyone who missed the live session within your group. No more downloading huge Zoom call files and waiting for them to upload into your group!

A new Facebook Group feature also lets you schedule future live, virtual events in your group.

When your event is scheduled, an announcement is posted to the Facebook Group that allows members to apply for the event. Then, when you go live, the members who wanted to attend can join and participate in your event. 

This feature also lets members add scheduled live events to their calendar and receive reminders. While they don’t replace impromptu Facebook Lives, a scheduled live event is perfect for scheduling support calls, presenting a topic, or hosting an event with someone else.

Expand Your Business with Facebook Groups

Even though Facebook Groups have changed, they are far from dead. In fact, they can be a powerful tool to offer exclusive content to your audience and deliver your services or products. 

Using Facebook Groups to grow your business depends on creating a vibrant, engaged community. While creating an impactful group takes time and dedication, it’s an effective strategy to strengthen your brand and improve your reach within your Facebook community.

How are you using Facebook Groups to grow this year? Let us know below in the comments below!

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Curious how Facebook Groups complement your business, and if they're worth the time? Read the benefits and our tips for marketing with Facebook Groups!

10 Tips for Great Product Photography in 2021

All eyes are on ecommerce like never before. We are in a time where anything and everything is at our fingertips, and we can purchase with a simple tap of a button. It’s hardly surprising that more than 75% of people shop online at least once a month. With a pool of potential customers that big, how do you ensure you’re not only capturing the attention of your target audience but driving them to purchase?

It’s simple: your visual content. 

Think of your product photos and videos as your resume. No matter where your consumer first comes across your brand, your content is your photographic first impression. Your visual content is their introduction to who your brand is, what product you’re selling, and how it will impact their lives. In the scrolling era, it’s vital to any ecomm business to have content that stops the scroll and encourages customers to learn more. 

So, how do you get scroll-stopping content?

Here are 10 things to consider when creating your content in order to reach maximum effectiveness, no matter what platform you use:

1. Make a plan

Before diving into creating your content, it’s incredibly important to create a plan. This means doing a little introspection and analysis on what content you currently have, how it’s working, and where you want to go next. It’s not as daunting of a task as you might think! Start with answering these questions:

  • What is currently working? What is not working? 
  • What goals do you want to accomplish with your new content?
  • What type of content is missing? Do you have product-on-white? Product-on-color? Lifestyle?
  • Is there a primary location this content is going to live? (Think: Amazon has specific requirements that you don’t have to follow for social media or Shopify.)
  • Do you have group or collection shots?
  • How effectively do you feel your images are telling your product story? Could it be better told with use of a model or fresh ingredient props?
  • From social media, to paid media, to website, to email, to other selling platforms: is your content consistent throughout the entire customer experience?

Once you have your answers, you’ll have a pretty good grasp of what content you’re missing and what content you’ll want to capitalize on. From here, you can create a mood board and shortlist to organize your thoughts and execute on your new vision.

2. Be Consistent

Have you ever been scrolling through Instagram and seen a product image that stopped you in your tracks? You’re suddenly so excited to learn more about this product that you’re almost ready to purchase without investigating further. You go to the company’s profile and see more amazing images that are ramping up your excitement even more! You get to the website to purchase and you’re not seeing those same awesome images but now you’re questioning if this is too good to be true. You begin to doubt the company and feel like you were duped.

This is why consistency is so important.

Online shoppers operate on blind trust, which is why making the sale can be so difficult. One chip in that trust foundation and you may have lost that customer before having the chance to prove the value of your product. Having consistency throughout your entire customer journey gives consumers the feeling they are purchasing from a company they can trust.

3. Tell a story

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, which is more than enough to tell your entire product story.

We’ve all heard the phrase “product storytelling” being tossed around, but what does that actually mean? At the most basic level, it means you are setting expectations of your product.

Through your product photos and videos, you should be demonstrating exactly what your customers can expect when they receive your product, from texture to smell to durability to functionality.

Look at your current set of photos and videos. What message are they sending? What feelings are they invoking? If your answer was nothing and none, then it’s time for a content update!

4. Engaging the senses

One of the easiest ways to ensure you’re conveying a message and inspiring a feeling through your content is to engage the senses.

Imagine you have a new moisturizer. If a customer was shopping for your product in a brick-and-mortar store, what would they do before purchasing? They would test it. They would check out its consistency, its texture, how long it takes to absorb, how it smells, and how it looks on the skin after being rubbed in.

According to BigCommerce, 58% of people don’t purchase because they aren’t able to try a product. When shopping online, customers don’t have that testing luxury, which means it’s up to you and your content to bridge that gap for them. Having photos of the moisturizer next to a beautifully styled set of ingredients provides the shopper with a mental connection to what it will smell like.

This is also where video becomes a big player. Showing a model applying the moisturizer will answer all those pre-purchase questions a shopper might have. It’ll give them confidence that they know exactly what to expect when it arrives.

Learn more about how to engage the senses with your content here.

5. Introduce color

Product-on-white is a necessary box every ecomm seller has to check. It’s a great place to start with your product-only shots. It’s distraction-free and simple. But it’s not always memorable. That’s why product-on-color can be a great tool.

Product-on-color serves the same purpose as product-on-white. It can showcase your product in a simple, clean way. The biggest difference is, product-on-color allows you to show off your brand personality more than a blank background.

You can experiment with colors, too! Adding in two or three complimentary (and on-brand!) colors to your backdrop can change the dynamics of your content in a big and valuable way. 

6. Play with props

Props are a great way to add depth and show context to your content. They also serve as supporting characters in the story you’re trying to convey. Let’s say you have a line of spa products. You want to send the message that your products are the must-have for ultimate relaxation. To do that, embrace earthy, stress-reducing colors and feature one of your products styled on a soft, textured towel surrounded by driftwood and a pale green air plant. 

7. Explore lifestyle shots

Lifestyle shots are the one-two punch that can take someone from browsing to purchasing. These kinds of shots engage the senses through props and show your product in use and in context. Talk about painting the full picture for your customers!

The best way for someone to imagine your product fitting into their life is by showing them. 

8. Get the fam together

Similar to product-on-white, product-only shots are essential to your ecomm business. But, oftentimes, group and collection shots are forgotten. Mixing and matching your line of products together helps your customers think bigger about what they need. Maybe they came to you for shampoo, but if you show them you have shampoo, conditioner and a heat protectant, they’ll be more inclined to purchase the entire line.

Group and collection shots are also a key component to holiday gift buying. If your products can be used as a gifting opportunity, you may be leaving money on the table by not including collection shots in your marketing.

9. Add movement with GIFs

Did you know? According to a recent report published by Facebook, adding subtle movement to your digital ads can improve your conversion rate by 17%? That’s a huge leap for hardly any extra work! Adding GIFs into your marketing strategy is a great way to stop the scroll and highlight some of your product’s best features. 

10. Optimize for mobile

No matter what content you have or create, it must be optimized for mobile. These days, shoppers are buying more often through mobile devices than through computers, and that balance is only going to continue to lean more and more toward mobile shopping.

“As users get more used to digital tools and products due to the pandemic they will get better at interacting with ads and demand a better user experience. That means no broken links, confusing CTAs, slow pages, or desktop-only websites,” says Google’s brand manager, Bruno Delfino. 

In other words, buyers have a new standard of what they are willing to deal with when it comes to their online shopping experience.

The great thing about content creation is, you don’t have to do it alone! Working with companies, like soona, that specialize in professional photos and videos can make the content creation process so much easier. 

soona is the fast casual content revolution you’ve been waiting for. soona makes creating professional photos and videos easy and affordable. 

If you’re located near Denver, Minneapolis, or Austin, you can book an in-studio shoot. Not near one of those cities? soona also offers virtual shoots that are changing the content creation game. All you have to do is book your shoot, ship your product, and join your shoot live from anywhere.

You can collaborate with your soona crew and provide live feedback as you watch your images appear in your soona dashboard in real-time. Photos are $39 each and videos clips and GIFs are $93 each, and you only buy what you love. Once you checkout, your edited content is returned to you in 24 hours. Learn more at

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The Beginner’s Guide to Pinterest Story Pins

Pinterest Story Pin on green background

Did you know that since the pandemic began earlier this year, Pinterest has grown its monthly active users from 335 million to over 420 million?

Big changes have been happening at Pinterest to keep up with all the new ways Pinners are interacting, and we are loving all of their newest features, including Pinterest Story Pins.

Today you’ll learn all about Story Pins including what they are, who can create them, how to view them and how to make them.

Important note: not all Pinterest accounts have access to Story Pins yet, but more business accounts are expected to have access to Story Pins soon so keep on the lookout!

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What Are Pinterest Story Pins?

Story Pins are multi-page Pins which give creators a chance to tell a story, engage their audience and even gain more followers!

The beta version of Story Pins launched to select Pinterest business accounts in March 2020. The feature will continue to roll out to more Creators like you!

That said, all Pins, including Story Pins, can be seen by more than just your followers. By creating a Story Pin, it encourages other Pinners to follow you while boosting your reach!

With up to 20 pages of photos, videos, and text, Story Pins are a way for Pinterest users to create more amazing content and showcase multiple products or ideas in one Story Pin.

A Story Pin helps creators share behind the scenes moments, quick tips, recipes, craft ideas and step by step tutorials.

Users can swipe through the pages and find information such as an ingredient list, materials needed for the project, and other details!

Story Pins are all the craze right now on Pinterest and unlike Stories features on other platforms, Story Pins don’t disappear after 24 hours!

Who Can Make Pinterest Story Pins?

Some creators have access to Story Pins already, but if you don’t, you can apply for Story Pins here.

Pinterest is still rolling out Story Pins, so if you don’t yet have access, hang tight!

For now, keep reading to learn all about Story Pins so you are ready to create them as soon as you’re accepted.

Are Pinterest Story Pins Good for Engagement?

We’re so glad you asked. We set out to test this new feature and find out if it was worth the fuss. After all, driving traffic from Pinterest is a goal for a lot of Pinners, and regular Pins in the feed are great for this!

However, we don’t recommend you skip over Pinterest Story Pins, based on our brand new study.

We took a look at 20 million Pins published from February 12 – March 12 sent through all methods (Stories, Image Pins, Video Pins, etc.) and found some fascinating clues about how Story Pins fit into your marketing strategy.

In our study, we found that Story Pins get 41x more saves than static image Pins! Important distinction – these are for Story Pins that you create yourself. Saved Story Pins do not perform well at all, which makes sense if you think about it. Story Pins are intended to connect the Creator to the Pinner!

The downside of Story Pins is that you can’t link to your site. However, they’re really helpful for attracting a growing, engaged audience because all those saves and interactions are creating more distribution than static Pins that have a link.

Another interesting fact? Story Pins seem to be an especially strong engagement vehicle for accounts with more than 10,000 Pinterest followers. ️‍♀️

Although Story Pins may not perform best to drive traffic to your site, they still have immense value in engagement and community on Pinterest. That’s why we recommend if you haven’t started exploring the feature, make the leap and experiment now!

How to View Pinterest Story Pins

Story Pins are noticeably different than regular Pins.

Notice the numbered icon in the upper left corner? That’s how you recognize a Story Pin!

To view all its contents, just click on the Story Pin to swipe through and get inspired!

And bonus: Story Pins are also a bit longer with a 9:16 ratio, so they may stand out more in the Pinterest feed.

How to Make Pinterest Story Pins

If you have access to Story Pins, you can follow these simple steps to create and publish your Story Pin!

  1. Click the “Create” tab when you are logged into your Pinterest business account.
  2. Click “Create Story Pin”. If you don’t have access to Story Pins yet, you won’t see this option.
  3. Select 1-20 images and/or videos to upload. Videos should be no more than 60 seconds in length.
  4. Design your pages using the features provided. There are different font and color options to choose from. Adjust your layout or add more pages.
  5. Click “Next”.
  6. Pick a theme for your Story Pin.
  7. Add details such as an ingredient list or materials needed.
  8. Click “Next”.
  9. Add a Story Pin title.
  10. Choose a Board for your Story Pin to publish to.
  11. Select up to 10 Pinterest tags related to your content.
  12. Click “Publish”.

Need some helpful tips to get started on creating Story Pins that work on Pinterest? Check out this list of amazing tips from the Pinterest Business Community.

How Brands Are Using Pinterest Story Pins to Connect With Their Audiences

Brands and creators are getting creative with their Story Pins! Want to see more Story Pins in action? Here are some examples of brands totally rocking it!

Amy Shamblen, a creative photographer and owner of a styled stock photography membership, does a great job at showcasing her work while providing tips for maintaining creativity.

The House That Lars Built created this beautiful step by step tutorial for pressing flowers. What a great way to encourage Pinterest readers to follow you or check out your blog!

Tastemade does a fantastic job being really thorough with the recipe ingredient list and directions. Who wouldn’t want to follow them to discover more Story Pins like this?

When creating Story Pins consider how your content can inspire your Pinterest audience. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy and complicated.

If anything, your Pinterest audience wants to learn more about your brand and what goes on behind the scenes. As always, keep Pinterest creative best practices in mind. And if you’re stuck, use the 5 Dimensions of Inspiration to help you tell a positive and inspiring Story with your Pin!

Pin Me For Reference:

How to Make Facebook Marketing Work Without Paying for Ads

Photo: Courtesy of Holly Homer

If you want to learn how to market your business on Facebook without paying for ads, there are few better people to talk to about it than Holly Homer.

The straight-shootin’ owner of Kids Activities Blog and leader of the 3.4 million-follower strong Facebook Group Quirky Momma knows a thing or two about how organic Facebook marketing works.

She’s a self-professed queen of trial and error, and on any given day you can find her gleefully sorting through analytics and numbers on the backend of Facebook to find out exactly what’s working…and what definitely isn’t. All of her findings funnel into a fun, experimental approach to making organic Facebook content that sticks!

“Once you flip from being mortally offended that Facebook doesn’t love you, things change. I’ve been there like, ‘Okay, Facebook, you’re smart. I’m smart. Let’s see what we can do together.’

And truth be told, Facebook needs me. Facebook needs you. Facebook needs quality content creators.”

Holly Homer

If you need some inspiration for getting your Facebook marketing game in gear – and maybe a bit of a kick in the pants along the way – you won’t want to miss this episode of Marketing Unleashed. In this episode we discuss:

  •  The biggest challenge with marketing organically on Facebook
  • What the algorithm actually considers spam (it’s surprising!)
  • The real reasons people buy from ads
  • The biggest mistake people make in Facebook marketing
  • Tools and tips to gain traffic and reach audiences on Facebook

And so much more!

Watch the full episode here!

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On the biggest challenge of marketing organically on Facebook…

I think the biggest challenge is that we lose sight so often when we are promoting something that this is a social network. And algorithms are getting better and better at eliminating spam. Spam to an algorithm is not like what we think of as spam. Spam to an algorithm is anything that doesn’t get engagement. It’s just going to mark it off the list. It doesn’t have to show it in the feed. 

The problem is if you’re doing something at all salesy or promotional, you’re just not going to get any conversation going on it because this is a social network. 

We have to figure out how to get people talking around what we’re talking about or starting conversations and continuing conversations. Otherwise, we’re just going to be lost in the feed.”

On not being too salesy…

“I have almost gotten to the point where I throw out salesy. I don’t even think it works. People can see it a mile away. You’re better off trying to promote it like a catalog.

The thing is people don’t buy products. They buy from people and they buy solutions. So all you really need to do is figure out what problems you’re solving and why other people would want that and have conversations around those things, where you’re meeting and connecting with other people on a true level.

It doesn’t have to be like “Oh, we’re soulmates.” It’s more like, “Hey, I know that Holly girl; she makes me laugh” or “She’s just like me because X”, or “She reminds me of my sister cause she’s so nuts and oh, she sells stuff that I need.”

And so then it’s not a sale anymore. It’s a match. Because if you know, like, and trust me, and you know that I have something that’s going to solve a problem, that’s not even a question. You’re going to be like, “Hey Holly, what is that thing you sell? Because I want some, because I know you and I trust you.”

On why you should be giving away stuff for free…

“I have everything in the world that I’ve ever taught for free on my blog. I have 13,000 blog posts on my blog. I have 150 YouTube videos. I have thousands of hours of Facebook Live video. The truth is if you wanted to know everything I know, you could just follow me around on the internet and watch all that stuff. The thing is, who has time for that? I’ve accumulated that over 15 years.

What we’ve got to stop thinking about is that you’re selling this thing. You’re not selling this thing. Like if you have an informational product, you’re selling information. But actually what you’re doing is selling “Hey, tune out all this information and just do this because if you Google things now, you’ll get over 17 million results.”

We have a lot of information in this world. What we have a lack of is clarity and very concise steps to get there.”

On pricing for value…

“When I take on coaching clients, I’m not pricing that as “It’s going to take me three hours to do this” because that’s not what it’s valued at. The value is, this is an area where I can literally shorten your journey by five years.”

On staying motivated…

“Who is going to succeed if it’s not me? I have thousands and thousands and thousands of hours I’ve invested in this platform, which is what the price of free is.

There is a point where I could get frustrated and I have walked away and said “This is not worth it. This is absolutely not worth it.” But then I’m like, “Okay, is it worth it to see if it’s worth it?” And so that’s generally what I go through. I use everything as a kind of laboratory. I do some tests to see if it’s worth it. 

On the biggest mistake marketers make…

“The biggest problem is really that whole definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. That is never going to work.”

On what to post on Facebook…

“What you need to do is post something. I don’t even care what it is. Go see if Facebook liked it. If Facebook liked it, post that and something similar to that. And again, if Facebook didn’t like it, try something else.

It’s an algorithm. It’s not a judge. You’re not figure-skating here. Once the numbers align, you just keep doing it.”

On pacing yourself…

“There are cycles and if you’re just always doing what you think is best, looking at the data, making adjustments, pushing forward, seeing whats working (even if it’s only working a little bit at that point), things start to pay off because you were one of the few people doing that. You’re not touching lightning in a bottle. Slow and steady wins the race. It’s not glamorous being the turtle, but it’s a good turtle.”

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How to Create Ecommerce Product Photos That Drive Sales

Image of flat lay of earrings and a close up shot of a woman wearing jewelry as examples of ecommerce product photos

In Ecommerce, a product photo doesn’t produce a thousand words; instead, it hopefully produces thousands of clicks resulting in sales. 

Getting product photos right doesn’t need to be difficult, expensive, or time-consuming, but it’s essential for business growth. About 93% of consumers value visual appearance as a key deciding factor in their purchase.

Regardless of whether you’re snapping shots with a phone on the fly or working with sets and a fancy camera, these product photo basics from our friend Ray Ko at Shop Pop Displays set the foundation for sales success.

Light it right

Consumers want to have confidence in your product without touching it. A product shot can do that, and lighting the item properly is the first step. 

The great thing about lighting? You don’t have to buy it. Just use natural light!

If you’re new to product photography, avoid working with flashes. It’s a subject that can get very technical and complicated. As you work with natural light, remember these basics:

  • Place the product on a table as close to a window as possible. You can also shoot outdoors or in a garage with the door wide open
  • Place the display at 90 degrees to the window, adjust as needed
  • Turn all the other lights off in the room off; light mixing is an image killer
  • Avoid direct sunlight on the product; it creates a harsh glare
  • Early morning and late afternoon are the ideal times

Go with a white backdrop

A clean white backdrop works for all product types, and you can play with context shots later. If your business sells on Amazon or creates Google ads, for example, a white backdrop makes it easier to stay within guidelines.

To make your own white backdrop, start with a white poster board. Tape it at the end that’s on the table and place the table against a wall or something else that creates a 90-degree angle.

Then, tape the poster board on the wall so that the board arcs cleanly up the wall. You’ll want to adjust the table so that the arc is subtle enough on the table side of the poster board so you can place your product in the center. Some people also create photo boxes with white walls. Either way works, as long as the backdrop is white.

Steady shots, angles

A tripod is not necessary, but some people will either make their own or invest in one to keep the camera steady. If you’re using your phone, consider a bracket that attaches to the end of a table.

When you don’t have the lens locked down in the same place, so to speak, your products might look unprofessional because they’ll be shot from inconsistent angles.

You can also play with the right angle for the product. A 45-degree angle is common for showing depth, but you can adjust your product to see which angle is best. Some products may require a flatlay, or overhead, shot, too.

Adding, subtracting light

It’s a hack many pros use. Get some inexpensive black and white corrugated cardboard (the thicker kind that doesn’t bend) and cut it into roughly page-size (8.5- by 11-inch) pieces.

These cards add (white) and subtract (black) light. When you hold the white card at an angle to the object you can add light to remove shadows. A black card absorbs the light and can extend a shadow, if needed. Some also use a diffuser to scatter light. Experiment with any of these tools.

In addition, if you can adjust shutter speed on your camera, try it—you’ll allow more light into the shot the longer the shutter stays open. Some cameras allow you to adjust this feature so you can see what the product will look like in a preview screen ahead of time.

Snap abundantly

It’s important not to paralyze yourself with information. Once you have good natural light and a stable white backdrop, be liberal with the number of shots you take. Compare images, experiment with angles and shadows, and get a grasp of your capabilities to reflect and absorb light with your white and black cards.

Product display

When it comes to taking great product photos, it’s important to display your product in an interesting way that grabs the attention of your audience.

Display aids like risers or boxes can help users better visualize your product images while adding some interesting visual elements as well.

There are plenty of ways to use display aids to create creative product images.

Take the image from Mitch Payne for example! Risers are used to highlight the product and create a more visually interesting, eye-catching image.   

Photo editing

Once you settle on the photos you like, you’re going to want to retouch and edit. There’s plenty of online content to teach you some photo editing basics that covers subjects such as proper cropping and aligning, as well as adjusting exposure, tint, brightness and a variety of other photo elements.

Conclusion: Explore and learn

Like anything else, you will refine your technique, angles, lighting and work area as you go. It’s also important to keep learning by studying products and brands you appreciate. You’ll start to find manufacturers that may be using the same techniques you are.

Remember, perfection comes in time. Chances are you’ll stumble across ways to improve photos you’ve already published. You can always update those photos. It’s important to just keep snapping and growing your knowledge base. And as your knowledge grows, sales will, too!

Psst… This Pin was made in seconds with Tailwind Create! Try it for yourself!

Stumped on how to take high-quality Ecommerce product photos that inspire sales? ShopPOP Displays share tips for taking product photos to the next level!