Last week I shared how you could whip up a super easy opt-in page in Squarespace. Opt-in pages are perfect for building your email list and email lists are perfect for growing your business. This week I wanted to share how you can utilize your FREE stock photos to continue to build your email list around your opt-in page all while creating a beautiful online business. 


Not on the list for FREE stock photos?! Sign up below and get 15+ FREE photos instantly! 


If there is one thing we can all attest too is that often times there just isn't enough time in the day to do all the things. Whether it's in life or business, we don't have enough time or brain power to do everything that life often throws our way. The great thing about using styled stock photos is that it gives us back time. You can save time and look amazing when using styled stock photos. 

So, let's get to it. Here are 10 ways to use your styled stock photos.

1 | Create a pop-up or opt-in page to grow your email list. Find out how to create a super easy opt-in page here

2 | Refresh your website with a hero image or a wall-to-wall banner. You'll knock the socks off all the new traffic landing on your site.  


3 | Create stunning blog posts images, perfect for Pinterest too. Remember that teachable content is ideal for getting people on your email list. The image is going to draw them in and you're going to hook them with your amazing content. 


4 | Refresh old content by updating your blog post with a new pin-worthy image. Creating vertical images is ideal for Pinterest as they draw the eye and are more clickable. Often times some of our oldest content is driving a majority of our traffic. Refreshing that content will create a lasting impression for your new audience. 


5 | Add multiple places for new traffic to sign up for your email list including your blog sidebar with a beautiful sidebar image. 


6 | Create an eye-catching header image for your newsletter. Now that you've worked hard on creating your opt-in page, refreshing your website, and adding multiple places for new people to sign up for your email list, you can now create a stunning newsletter. 


With your email list in place, you can focus on; 

7 | Announcing your next big sale or an upcoming holiday promotion. This is perfect for Instagram and Facebook too.


8 | Add your designs, ebook, or service product for a beautiful mockup. Ideal for showing your customers how your products will serve them.

9 | Tee up your next few Instagram posts with Later. There's nothing better than saving time and looking amazing while you're at it. 

10 | Being able to serve your audience in more ways then one way is perfect for building brand trust. Share your favorite resources or podcast on Instagram to help serve your audience.


BONUS: Bring your customer's experience full circle and refresh all your social sites; Facebook, Twitter, any platform you can think of with a new banner image. 

Adding styled stock photos to your brand is the perfect way to save time and looking amazing! Share how you are using your styled stock photos and tag us with #elahtree. xoxo! Samantha



When I finally decided to serve and grow my email list instead of trying to frantically grow my  Instagram, things in business got easier.  It's not that growing an email list doesn't take work, it does. But the amazing thing about growing your email list is that it is not dictated by changing algorithms of another platform. You don't run the risk of your audience not seeing your posts, you don't run the risk of losing out on potential new customers. When you grow your email list you're letting people know, "hey I want to serve you. I want to help you to thrive in your business and in life."

Instagram, Facebook, and  Pinterest are all great social platforms, and I believe the best way to use them for your business is as a funnel for your business. So how do we do that? We create an opt-in page that lets your potential clients and customers know that your goal is to serve them. And getting on your email list means that you'll be serving up lots of great content and deals that help them.  

Ready to create your opt-in page? Let's do this! 


Create a freebie or download that will serve your audience. It's one thing to ask someone to join your email list just for the heck of it. It's a whole other thing when you serve them first. So, as you begin the planning stages of creating your opt-in page think of a few ways that you can serve your audience first. Here are a few ideas to get your juices flowing. 

  • A discount code for your shop
  • A free digital good from your shop 
  • A downloadable list of your top recipes
  • A downloadable list of your favorite business resources 
  • Your favorite business apps
  • An Ebook

Once you have a freebie that is going to serve your audience then you can say, "hey, sign up for my email list and download your FREE list of business resources." Providing a FREE item for your audience lets them know you're ready to serve them. 


Squarespace makes it crazy easy to create an opt-in page. It's actually been one of the easiest pages for me to create. To get started you want to create a new page that is not linked. Once you click the little plus sign to create a new page, select Cover Page. You can check out my Opt-in page here, I used the cover page layout "card." I'm partial to this layout as it's very clean, simple and allows me to include all the important components.  



Once you have the editing panel open to your opt-in page you can begin customizing your page to perfectly fit your brand. One of the first things I do is add an image. Simply click the "media" panel and you can add your favorite eye-catching image. Don't have the perfect image for your opt-in page? Sign up for our email list and download 10+ FREE stock photos! Sign up right here! See what I did there? ;) 



The next thing you want to do is customize the text for your opt-in page. Most cover pages have limited space for text so you want your message to be clear and concise. People usually don't have a lot of time to spend reading your website either so you want to make it as easy as possible. Every cover page allows you to choose to upload your logo or keep everything in text. I choose to not to use my logo because I want the header of my opt-in page to highlight the free download I'm offering.  You'll see below how I used text in the "logo" section, followed by the headline, "Download 10+ FREE Stock Photos," followed by the body of the text. I use the body of the text to let people know why it's such a great idea to use the FREE stock photos. 



This is maybe one of the most important components of your opt-in page because this is where you collect all your emails. Here you will customize the "action" of your cover page, or what you want your customer to do. For our action we want them to sign up for our email list so you want to include the form name, which is what people will see when they click to sign up. 


Next, you want to edit your form. This is just a few simple clicks. Most forms start out with four fields; name, email address, subject, and message. I keep my form simple and only include name and email. I've known a few people that were hesitant to include the name field as it includes both first and last name in fear that people wouldn't sign up because they don't want to include their last name. I totally get that. But nobody actually has to include their last name or even their first name. They can put their initials, they can put their first name and their last initial, it's completely up to them. 

how to create an opt-in page

After you have built your form you want to determine where you're emails are to be stored. If you have an email service, like Mailchimp, you can sign in right within your form and designate where you want your emails to go. If you don't have MailChimp you can have your emails stored in Google Drive or sent directly to your email. This is one thing I really love about Squarespace, they make it so easy to start right where you are. If you're not ready or haven't figured out MailChimp yet you can still start growing your email list. 


One of the final steps within your form is the advanced section. This section takes your customer experience one step further. You can do one of two things. You can include a post-submit message thanking your new subscriber for signing up and giving them any details about their free downloads. Or you can include post-submit HTML. Post-submit HTML is ideal if you want to send your customers to another page. I use post-submit HTML to send my customers to a thank you page. This thank you page brings their experience full circle. 


Want to know the exact HTML I use to direct my customers to a new page? Download yours below! 



Alright friends, your final step for creating your opt-in page is the customize the style. This step is perfect for creating an opt-in page that matches your brand perfectly. Within this step you can change the colors, change the font, and adjust the placement and positioning.


Creating an opt-in page and growing your email list doesn't have to be scary or hard. It's a few simple steps and it's the perfect way to let your customers know that you're here to serve them. I know you are going to create something amazing! Share your new opt-in pages in the comments below so I can see what you created and sign up for your amazing content! xoxo! Samantha



Are you on a budget? Is your business on a budget? One of the best things about starting a business now is that it can be as easy as starting a Facebook page, starting a blog, or even getting started with Squarespace. You can still make waves with your business even on a budget.

Are you with me? 

At the beginning of this year, I decided to get really organized, super organized. And while I would have liked to purchase a few items to get organized I wanted to find a way get organized and save money too. So I went on the hunt for some free printables. I found some really great stuff too and I'm excited to share them with you!

Are you a fan of Emily Ley or Cultivate? Me too. I went straight to some of my favorite brands and found their FREE resources. Best decision ever.

Emily Ley has 30 downloads to choose from! Some of my favorites include; 

  • Simplified Planner Weekly Pages - perfect for every day.
  • Monthly Planner - I love these for meal planning.
  • Perpetual Calendar - Perfect for setting quarterly goals. 
  • Braindump checklist - When you're overflowing with ideas. 
  • Spring cleaning checklist - I love that I don't have to even think about what needs to be done with this one. 
  • Gratitude List - Perfect for remembering everything you're grateful for. 

Hop over the Emily Ley sight, enter your email and download your favorites! 

Next download my favorite Cultivate What Matters printables

  • Action Items - I use these in tandem with my goals. 
  • Download list - Another great printable to get everything out of your head.

Getting organized is as easy as finding your favorite free printables. Where are some of your favorite places to get free printables? xoxo. Samantha



A year ago I would have cringed at the idea of writing a post about Instagram. I was okay on Instagram, but I sure wasn't great at it. The one thing that really changed things for me and Instagram was determining the Purpose Instagram had for my business. A year ago I really had no idea what purpose Instagram had for my business. I understood that people used Instagram to promote their work, connect with others, grow their following, etc.  But I wasn't sure how I was supposed to use it. I would post pictures, like and comment on other peoples post, but what was I really doing? 

Have you ever felt the same way? 

The idea of determining the purpose of my Instagram used to feel obscure. It wasn't until I really thought about the purpose of the business that that purpose began to spill over into all facets of the business. Long story short the goal of Elah Tree is to serve others through styled stock photos and organizational business tips. Nearly every time I prepare content I ask myself how I can serve others through the content I'm creating. 



Want to know my 4 other Instagram tools I use for success!?  Download yours below! 



Let's talk about Instagram because it's been changing a lot lately. There really isn't anything we can do about these changes, except to embrace them as they come and learn to roll with them. I think one of the best ways right now to engage with your audience is through Instagram stories. Think about some of your favorite brands. These are the brands you love to follow no matter what. For the most part, they could post just about anything in their stories and you would want to watch, right? They are bringing you along in their story. You are getting to see what life is like for them. Whether it's a bit of their personal life or business related, you get to be a part of it. 

There used to be a debate about whether businesses and brands should be sharing personal and business stuff in the same feed/account. I honestly don't think it matters, especially if said business is small. I feel most connected with other business and brands when I do get to see parts of their personal life mixed in with their business. Because I feel that way I try to do the same in my own business. I share personal and business highlights because I love getting to know the people behind the business I follow.  

All that to say; Instagram can be a wonderful platform to use for your business and with the right tools it can be even easier. One of my favorite tools EVER is WordSwag. WordSwag is a super user-friendly app that lets you add super fun text to your photos. 

Are you wondering why you would use WordSwag when Instagram has a new text feature? WordSwag has classic options that are timeless. This means you can create brand-specific images to share in your stories that are unique to your brand.

WordSwag has preloaded photos and backgrounds, but you can also upload your own (like your Elah Tree Free stock photos.) Once you upload your image you can crop to a variety of sizes and then add text. It's so easy and my favorite part is that with just a few clicks you can have high-quality Instagram story images.



Want to know my 4 other Instagram tools I use for success!?  Download yours below! 



Starting and getting your business off the ground doesn't have to be overwhelming. Spend a little time planning, strategizing, and learning and you'll be on your way to success! In need of more business tools? Download one of our free business checklist lists here. xoxo! Samantha