A picture is worth a thousand words.
It may sound cliché but especially in this day and age we totally get the truth of this statement.
You cannot expect to reach your customers and sell your courses simply through your marketing copy, no matter how great it is.
You have to show them something, show them your product, compel them to desire it
“But how can I show my courses?”, I hear you asking.
“Aren’t all my stock images enough?” Perhaps yes, but you can do better.
Wouldn’t it be better to show an image of someone actually studying your course? Like a real person sitting in front of her laptop, ready to buy one of your beautiful courses?
Or how about an iPhone showing your great looking course page? (after all, your LearnWorlds school is mobile-friendly!).
A course within a course! That’s very “meta” and kind of reminds you of this movie.
Placing your product into a real-life scenario can be a very powerful way to showcase your wares. And this doesn’t only work for physical products and traditional e-commerce stores. This works in an equally powerful way with digital products like online courses and ebooks.
What is a mock-up?
In technical terms, a mock-up refers to a prototype for displaying a finished product. While a mock-up can take different forms, usually it represents a graphic material – such as an image or a photograph that constitutes a design on what the finished products will look at the hands of your clients. This design can be digitally manipulated so that it depicts use cases of people actually using the product, in as close to real-life conditions as possible.
Why use mock-ups?
Using mock-ups surely has its benefits. For starters, professionally-looking Mock-ups can generate more attention for your digital products. They encourage people to take a look into what you have on offer and can make it more likely to share your social media posts, buy your product or even write a positive review about it.
As research shows, 60 percent of consumers are more likely to consider a business that has an image showing up in the local search results. In addition, 67 percent of customers prefer value a high-quality image over reviews and product descriptions. Mock-ups cannot only make images, photographs and other designs more beautiful, but can also display content in a very attractive way. And we all know that adding images of attractive people increases the conversion rate, right?
Using a mock-up saves you a lot of time and money and can produce a far more attractive result than the usual boilerplate stock images makes. Ideally, a mock-up can also provide a nice way of showing your students how they expect the learning environment they sign up for to look like. The best thing is that mock-ups are simple and easy to use and navigate.
How to use mock-ups?
Mock-ups can be used in many ways.
For starters they can be used in your landing pages, blogposts and newsletters, as featured images, for promoting your learning material, courses and other course-related products.
You can also use them in your social media accounts for crafting attractive posts. Showcase your course, add some marketing copy or inspirational quote and, boom, you are done. That’s the kind of content especially loved in Pinterest and Instragram.
You can even use them for creating attractive social media ads with minimum effort.
For e-learning, the most long-term effective use of mock-ups is screenshots of your school and your courses. Taking screenshots of your school and courses, gives a more comprehensive idea to prospective students on what you are currently offering. This provides customers an insightful view on what a student of your school will see. Not only that, but it can be used to feature your courses or create a step-by-step guide on course descriptions and your promo material.
Lastly, you can use mockups for branding purposes. For example, mock-ups can be helpful in logo design, business cards, letterheads or tags. Also, if you use stationery products or any other items that can promote your academy, you can use mockups of your courses to give them a distinct character.
Creating your own mock-up
So, regardless if you are a seasoned online instructor or a fledgling wanna-be edupreneur, using mockups is a great idea. In this case, you are faced with two possible solutions which are a) go the hard way and create your own mockups using Photoshop or any other web-based application or b) take a shortcut and use a mockup generator for equally great results with minimun effort.
Up next, we are sharing tips and advice on how to do both, so whatever you choose, you can benefit from this article’s resources.
Ready? Let’s go!
If you don’t want to spend your days and nights creating mockups in Photoshop and have no intention of paying extra money for professional mockups, your best option is to use a free mockup generator and create stunning visuals within minutes.
Choosing a mockup generator isn’t difficult if you know what you are going for. It might take some time experimenting around the different options available, before you find the one that matches your needs and personal preferences.
The process of creating a mock-up is easy and is pretty much the same across all mockup generators:
For your convenience, we gathered for you this comprehensive list with the top 10 free mock-up generators, along with a short description that you can use to compare them and find the right one for you:
This mock-up creator offers more than 155 items, which you can use for desktop, laptop, tablet, phone and other products including apple watch, outdoor signage, business card, frame, billboard, TV and paper book. It provides a large palette of image size resolution and the ability to crop a screenshot after your upload it. Also, it enables screen reflection and the function to choose its opacity and mode. Image format is PNG.
Smartmockups offers over 150 mockups which you can use for desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone and watch. For easier and faster navigation, the site divides mockups in device categories and uses tags to help you out. With this tool, you can edit and print your mockups. Choosing premium unlocks the 700+ mockups that offer advanced features.
Graphictwister uses an online beta mock-up creator platform and it’s completely free to use on the market with online templates. With over 20 mockups available, this tool offers both freemium and premium PSD mockups for commercial use and on personal projects. The image format is PNG, with a 1200px resolution, and offers the ability to crop the image before it loads into the mockup.
Magic Mock-ups is amongst the best and most popular mock-up creators and offers more than 25 mockups for laptop, phone, tablet, iMac and wall frames. The image format is JPEG and can be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes. The graphs come at a large range of resolution from 950px to 5000+px. For those who are new to mockups, the site offers some basic but useful tips on how to use real-life mockups.
Mediamodifier offers a few free products (10+ mockups) but covers a big variety of environments such as magazine cover, newspaper, mug, iMac, billboard, brochure, card and paper. The image format is JPEG and resolution is at 2400px. Search for free mockups in ‘All Templates’ after narrowing down the search to price: low to high.
This tool offers more than 100 mockups for smartphone, laptop, desktop, watch, tablet and TV. MockDrop processes screenshots and other type of visuals really fast and it’s competing for the title of the fastest device mockup generator you can find. The image format is in JPEG and the resolution at 3000+px.
MockUPhone offers more than 80 mockups on iOS, Android, Windows phone, laptop, desktop and TV. What’s great about this tool is that it provides mockups for different iPhone device models from 7 and 7 plus to 5C models. The downside to using this tool is that it doesn’t offer very realistic backgrounds. This tool supports JPEG, PNG and PSD when uploading screenshots and recommends the recommended size for each device. In order to download your image, you will need to provide your email.
MockupsJar offers 20 free mockups for iPhone, Android, MacBook, frame and browsers and another 10 for a monthly fee of 5 euro. The image format is JPEG and resolution is at 320px, 480px, 640px, 1280px and 2560px. On top of that, this tool offers the possibility of presenting your site or app on different browsers like Google, Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
In contrast to others, Dunnnk offers mockups on a range of environments such as iPhone, Android, MacBook, iPad, iMac and apple watch. However, there isn’t much variety for laptops and desktops. The image format you use is JPEG and resolution is at 2,000px.
With Frame, you can create a mockup in four simple steps. First you select the professional image you need, then you upload your screenshot or photo using the URL, you adjust the image with the in-build cropping tool, and finally you download it and share it on social media. Frame has over 35 different mockups with 9 device categories. The image format is in PNG and resolution at 1200+px.
Without a doubt, a mockup generator can make your life a lot easier and help you promote showcase your products in a positive light and attract more people to your site.
Ready to create your own mockups? Feel free to share your creations with us. We will be happy to provide feedback on them and we will showcase the best of them on our blog.