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How To Make The Most Of Your Visual Skills As An Entrepreneur
Visuals are everything. They’re one of our crucial five senses, and we process information with our eyes before we do with our brains.
Visual imagery can be used to communicate, to educate, to evoke emotion, and so much more.
So how can you, as an entrepreneur, leverage your visual skills when you’re starting a fledgling business?
Why Do Visuals Matter?
It’s widely known that visual content is deciphered and processed quicker than text — up to 60,000 times faster, in fact. And 40% of people interact with and respond better to an image than text. The fact is: visuals matter.
How can you use visual content for your brand?
Entrepreneurs can integrate visual content and assets into their business in a number of ways.
Facing the challenges and changing situations you experience as an entrepreneur means you have to be creative to survive and adapt. You might find that when it comes to mapping out business growth and resolving problems, visual thinking can help you reach solutions quicker and easier.
Visual thinking is a learning style in which thoughts and ideas are navigated and understood through the use of images. A large proportion of the population employ visual thinking in their day-to-day lives.
For example, how many presentations have you been in where the speaker has employed a mind-map to show how something works?
Converting abstract thought into tangible visuals lets you navigate between ideas and concepts with ease, a crucial quality when you’re starting a business.
Some examples of how visual thinking can be used as an entrepreneur are:
Infographics are excellent for conveying information visually. One look at them and the viewer can easily grasp what could otherwise be confusing facts and figures, essentially rendering them ‘idiot-proof’.
This makes it perfect for quick pitches to potential investors, especially if you liven them up with a splash of color too.
Similarly, if you’re conducting a PR campaign to raise your business’s profile, you can include infographics in your comms to journalists and bloggers to easily and succinctly summarise your success and growth.
Mood boards are essentially collages, a collection of images that embody or build up to a concept or idea. They are frequently used to illustrate a creative path that designers or artists wish to take, however they can be equally as useful for businesses and ventures.
Every entrepreneur needs a business plan, a clear map of your basic business concept, your value proposition, your market, and your expected path for the next five years. This might involve writing a lot of words and phrases on a whiteboard, and then staring at them until they make sense.
Image Breanna Rose
However, you might find that creating a visual idea of where you want your business to go is more beneficial to you. Gather a collection of things that reflect what it is you’re trying to achieve with your business. These could be photos of inspirational people, Pinterest images, screenshots of websites you liked, anything. Free-associating between these images can serve as a starting point for where you want to take your brand, and therefore what your business plan will entail.
The quality and accessibility of video has exploded in the past decade, with even a simple smartphone being capable of capturing good quality video at the touch of a button.
With this level of near-universal accessibility, video can — and should — form part of your business development.
As your business grows, you will take on more and more staff. You may inevitably need to train these new starters in things such as company policy, internal processes, company values, and so on. You can can streamline this process by creating your own e-learning resources, available to your staff online.
These can be used repeatedly, and can be developed and added to as your business progresses.
Videos are also perfect for any budding entrepreneur looking to pitch their business product or service to potential investors.
If you’re selling a tangible product, you can easily record a straightforward product walkthrough in your garage with a half-decent video camera.
But what if you want to make a tutorial for a computer programme, like payroll or HR software? No problem. There’s a number of easy-to-use screen capture tools out there that let you create quick and simple tutorials, straight from your screen.
Video editing doesn’t need to be taxing either. You can find simple and intuitive editing tools online for relatively little outlay, making it easy for you to create your own videos at home.
Photos and images
When it comes to using images and photos for your business, there’s a lot of scope for what you can do with them. From business cards to presentations, they’re a core part of any business.
If you can, try to use wholly original content. If you’re a dab hand with a camera (or you know someone who is), try taking your own photos. However, if you’re not as confident or lack a good camera, there are a number of stock photo sites where you can source good quality images for your business.
These can be used throughout your business’s journey. For example, content with photos and images receive 94% more views than content without, and can really boost your online presence via your blog or website.
You can also use photos to create a slick ‘about me’ page for your site. When potential business opportunities find your website, a personal photo will put a professional face to your enterprise’s name.
Visual Content on a Budget
If you’re working on a shoestring budget, you don’t need to let that impair the type, quality or style of your visual content. There are a number of easy to use tools out that are entirely free, or at least relatively cheap.
For example, there are plenty of royalty free images online, and sites like Giphy and Memegenerator can provide you with free quirky content for your marketing campaigns and social media feeds. And if you want to make an infographic but lack the necessary technical skills, Design Bold is a great free tool that makes it easy, regardless of your knowledge level.
You should know by now the value of visual content as an entrepreneur. There are a variety of visual formats and styles that you can use throughout your business, for your website, pitches, meetings, and marketing.
About the Author
Victoria Greene is a freelance writer and marketing maestro. She has helped a number of ecommerce entrepreneurs achieve success with their ventures, and shares her knowledge on her blog, Victoria Ecommerce.