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Course Pictures With Tools and Work

Introduction – To Course Main Photo

Choosing the primary sales image for your course is a very important step.

The thumbnail along with your course name may be the biggest content that potential students will see when searching or browsing available courses.

This article talks about some of the different types of course photos you can use to help advertise and ultimately sell your course.

What Are Your Different Options To Include

You can include a variety of things in your photos. In addition, you can include one or multiple elements in your photo.

Here are some of the key concepts you can include in your course photo:

  • A professional picture – like a picture of you
  • One or more tools – like cricut craft machine
  • One or more tool components – like the fine hairs at the end of fine art fan brush
  • A creator photo – like a professional face shot or pro in front of work
  • One or more works – like showing a created wedding dress
  • One ore more work components – like closeups of different 3D charatcter models
  • A background or environment – like colored background or home office

A Picture Of Your Tool

Showing a picture of just your tool is a pretty good option because it may be exactly the thing that the student wants to learn.

In some cases, the student may get confused and take pause that you are showing a Sony camera, and they have a Canon camera, so this may not be the course for them.

When your class is generic across any number of tools, you can use a photo of your tool that doesn’t focus on a brand name, like a photo showing the lens on a camera or the needle of a sewing machine. If you need to, you can also remove or crop the brand name on the tool.

Try not to create a course image that looks like a generic product image on a typical shopping site. These pictures are often very sterile and are on a white background. Ideally, you want to make your photo and course pop when prospective students are scrolling through all the class options.

Close Up Of Tool Part

In some cases, it may be helpful to show a close-up view of part of your main tool. This can be especially helpful to intermediate students in advanced courses.

Here are some examples:

  • The digital menu on an advanced sewing machine
  • A screenshot of using a complex software tool like Illustrator to create bezier curves
  • The pedals or controls on a MIDI piano keyboard
  • The settings on a KitchenAid food mixer

Showing Your Course Tool In Action

Showing a photographer taking a photo in front of a scene is a very effective course photo. It helps the student imagine that they could one day take an amazing photo like this by taking this course.

While your still image may not show movement, an action shot can help you show how the tool is used to create something. An action shot doesn’t have to be a blurry moving image, it can simply be a mid-step photo within a bigger process of creating something.

Here are some examples of photos of tools in action:

  • A sewing machine in use adding a ribbon to a shirt
  • A stove top with a specific pan and utensil cooking the final touches of a fancy Italian meal
  • A wacom tablet used to draw in Adobe photoshop
  • A video editor layering several scenes and audio tracks to create an indepedent movie

Showing Your Tool And Professional

A very popular and successful course photo option is to show a picture of the professional holding or using the tool. This may be a photographer holding a camera, or a master seamstress behind her sewing machine.

These kinds of photos connect with the student imagining himself or herself being as confident behind their tool.

You can also choose an appealing environment like work office, home office, field, on set, school, etc.

This type of pro with tool can have a wide range of looks so you can be creative in coming up with a photo that works for you. In many cases, this is approach is better than just a photo of just your camera or sewing machine.

A Finished Work Product

A course showing a finished product can be a very effective sales tool. For example, showing a newly sewn little girl dress or an amazing sunset photo with a great landscape.

If the finished product alone doesn’t convey the full story of your course, you may want to supplement it with a small picture of the tool you are teaching about. You could place the tool as an overlay or in a circle on the corner.

Zoom Into A Finished Work Part

For some classes, it may be beneficial to show how you help create specific results.

This is often the case in advanced classes, where you have to accomplish complex creative tasks.

Showing a picture of a completed hard step within a bigger project could really resonate with some of your buyers.

Here are some examples:

  • Sewing – Creating a detailed embroidered pattern
  • User Experience – Styling CSS text within a complex HTML object
  • Crafting – Connecting metalic parts of costume jewlery
  • Visual Arts – Creating a realistic glowing fire texture or effect

A Collection of Finished Works

Sometimes showing several finished products together as a collage or organized together will really help tell the story about what you are teaching. It will give prospective buyers a range of what they can build after taking your course.

It may also trigger the exact “a ha” moment when they see exactly what they want to do within your sample set. For example, they could be an artist, but see that you teach face and hand sketches and that is exactly what they want to do. Imagine the same thing for sewing, where they not only see a quilt but a quilt with the exact pattern that they are desiring to make.

Using A Solid Or Gradient Background

Sometimes your tool, work, or face is too busy or the centerpiece of your course photo. When that happens, one option is to use a simple physical or digital background that is one color or has a slight gradient.

You can overlay the content on the simple background on the center, side, or even across edges.

Including Your Face In Your Course Photo

Some teachers may decide to include a face photo in the course. This can look very professional if done well, however, we recommend using your photo as a secondary photo behind the primary photo of what you are teaching. So you’ll want the main part of the photo highlighting your tool or output, with an optional smaller secondary photo of you showing your professional look or wisdom or a recognizable photo of you from your blog.

Some course platforms already support a teacher bio picture, so this may suffice for you if you want to advertise your image or leverage your personal brand profile. This way you can use your primary course photo for the maximum sales boost combined with a secondary bio picture for an extra personal brand boost.

Photos For Collections Of Courses

If you have a collection of courses, you may also want a want to use a common motif across all your course images.

Like maybe in your adobe lessons collection, you use a similar layout, but change the software icon for each course.

Another example is if you have lessons for different cameras like Fuji, Canon, Olympus, you use a similar course image, but change out the camera photo for the specific model that you need.

A/B Testing For Courses

A/B testing is when you have a current thing (like a sales page or course photos)that is prefeorming OK, but you may want to bring in a new image that may perform better.

You can use A/B testing to test and improve all sorts of things like:

  • A Sales Page heading like “Learn How to Sew Costume” vs “Create Your Own Costumes”
  • A Button like Buy Now, or Learn Sewing now
  • A sales photo showing your 3D program like Maya versus a fully renedered 3D cartoon scenes

Once you have a currently performing contender, with some statistics like visits to your page or sales for a few months, you can then try a new challenger image that you think may perform better.

In some learning systems, you may be able to automate A/B tests so that 50% of your customers see one image and the other 50% of your customers see a new challenger image. After a week or month, you can compare stats to see which image converted better, and then make that your new course sales content.

Conclusion – Good Course Photos Help You Stand Out

Choosing a good course photo can help your course stand out among the many courses that may be available for your niche.

Depending on where you are in your course business journey, you may want to make a decision if it is more valuable to show a sample of your amazing work or well-known face.

One of the most important decisions will be if it is better for you to show the tool(s) like cooking pans, or the tools creating the product like fish cooking on a pan, or a highly desirable end product like perfectly seasoned pasta and fish on a plate.

We know you’re artsy which means you already think differently, so pick a smart cover for your course!

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