So I have a few DIYs coming your way later this week but they're taking a little longer than expected, so today we’re going to talk about creating images for your digital templates.
Creating attractive, eye-catching pictures of your products is one of the most important steps in creating your online empire. Not only is it crucial that you show your products in the best light so you can attract potential customers, but you also need to spend a lot of time and energy on branding your images, because here is where you’re going make yourself stand out from the competition.
Any experienced Etsy seller will tell you that having killer images makes all the difference between having no sales and having your shop blow up.
Images are that important.
But these are digital templates we’re selling and we don’t actually have a physical product to photograph, so what do we do?
Create a digital mockup
While it’s possible to print your templates and photograph them like you would any other physical product, creating a digital mock up is, in my opinion, a million times easier. Digital mockups require some experience with photo editing software, but they’re much better in the long run because you eliminate the need to print and photograph actual templates and then edit the photos afterward. You can also reuse the mockups by simply cutting and pasting your new products into existing backgrounds.
Now in full disclosure, I create my mockups using Photoshop and I have been known to buy fancy background images, textures, and props from places like Creative Market and Etsy to make my pictures pop. But I’m going to show you how to do this using free software like Canva and without having to invest in fancy backdrops or digital elements.
How to Create Digital Mockups
CREATE A PDF AND TAKE A SNAPSHOT
Open your template in Word and go to FILE > Save As. Under the Save As Type drop down select PDF.
Next, open your PDF and zoom out until the you can see the full page on the screen.
Click Edit>Take a Snapshot. Click the cursor anywhere in the gray area surrounding the document and you should see a “flash” as if you just took a picture, this will save a copy of the document to your clipboard.
SAVE AS A JPG
Open Paint. Use CTRL+V to paste your screen shot into a new document. Then click File> Save As and save the image as a JPG.
CREATE A Background IN CANVA
Go to Canva. If you don’t already have an account create one (it’s free!)
Click the Use Custom Dimensions button and type 1000 * 750 px in the fields > click Design!
An empty work space will open. Click the tab on the left hand side labeled BKGROUND and select a background that speaks to you -- some images cost $1 but there are some free options as well.
You are allowed to play around with the paid images to see if you like them before plunking down your credit card. When you select a background image it should appear on the right hand side of your screen. Once you’ve selected an image, use the click on a corner to resize the image or the bar in the middle to change the orientation. Stretch the image to fill the entire screen.
Upload your TEMPLATE image
Next click Uploads > Upload Your Own Images and select your template JPG from your computer.
Your template will appear on the left hand side of the screen. Click on it and it will show up in the workspace on the right. Resize the image until it fits.
Add some accessories
Click Elements and type the word “Pen” in the search field. Select an image and resize it so that it fits the scale of your template.
Create A drop shadow
Click Elements > Shapes. Click on the square
Drag the corners of the shape until it’s the same size as your template.
Click the drop down carrot and select Transparency. Move the slider until you get to 10% transparency. For darker backgrounds, obviously you’ll want a higher transparency, and with lighter back grounds it should be lower.
With the shape still selected click the box that says “Back” until the shape disappears behind the template. Now use your up/down keys to move the shadow over and slightly down until you can just barely see it. Continue adjusting the transparency as needed. (Psst: your shadow should be subtle. Don’t make it too bold or you run the risk of it looking pretty cheesy).
Here’s a closeup of mine:
^^See how you can hardly see it? Subtle^^
Add a call to action or benefits BUBBLE
Anything that might stand out to your customer or entice them to click on your listing should go in a text bubble.
Click Elements>Shapes and select a shape. Click and drag a corner until you get the desired size. Change the color and transparency if you like.
Click Text and choose a text size (Heading, subheading or body). Type directly in the text box, then drag the text so that it is within the shape you created earlier. Adjust the text size and font by highlighting the text and making your selection from the menu that appears.
Save Your Changes and Download Your Image
Go to File>Save to save all your changes
Then click Download>Image: High Quality (PNG). It will ask you to purchase your premium elements, so enter your credit card information and hit Make Payment. Then it will let you download your image.
From here on out you can simply update this image by opening the file in Paint, then opening a JPG copy of the new template simultaneously. Copy and paste the new image over the old image, adjust it so it perfectly covers the old template and save as new.
* * * * *
So that’s how we create images for our listings.
Like I said before, it’s really important that you spend a lot of time thinking of ways to make your templates stand out. Look at other listings on Etsy and see what those sellers are doing, then do the opposite. Even if it’s just a little different, it’ll do wonders for your sales and help your shop take off.
Ready for the next step? Go to part 4 to learn how to launch your shop.