What do your pictures say to the world? Nothing…nobody, same, same, same…
Why be boring when you can stand out. When you can use the uniqueness of you, your staff and your clients.
Be a presence in the world and shine!
You work hard in your business. You find ways to save money where you can, and one way you may be doing this is buying and using stock images…. STOP! Please stop
It seems to make sense, as a small business you are all about doing more with less and staying cash flow positive, we get it.
Stock photos are easy to access, cost next to nothing or can even be free. Sounds great doesn’t it? … And whilst many stock images are well shot, there’s a hidden cost to your bland (cough) sorry BRAND!
When building your brand you’re should be looking to:
- Be unique
- Stand out
- Connect on an emotional level with your customers
- Bring your personality into your business.
- Tell your story
This is incredibly hard to do with stock images, especially if you use images of people.
The 3 major drawbacks of stock photos:
- They’re over-used
The best stock images are used repeatedly. Your competition and other industries will likely be using the same images on their sites and in their marketing. The best stock photos are everywhere, as they appeal. What this means is that the images you use to establish your brand, are also images others are using to establish their brand. Definitely not a great strategy if you want to stand out and be seen as unique.
- They’re generic:
These images don’t tell your story. They can’t truly represent the story of your business, customers or people because they aren’t of you. The result is your audience still doesn’t know who you are, what you do and how you are different. Your business becomes “same same” and not an independent entity.
- They lack relatability:
By nature, a stock image is made to appeal widely so more sales are made from that image. The images are often set up and “staged”, coming across as highly clichéd.
We see groups of workers looking “model perfect” with big cheesy unnatural smiles, giving the thumbs up and choosing poses that are definitely over-acted. The use of models and “staged” situations makes the photos seem unnatural and makes it hard for your audience to see themselves in your images, which is a barrier to connection which is crucial for business success.
Creating a Brand That Is Unique and Stands Out
Visual content is a cornerstone of almost all branding campaigns. If you want to create a personal brand you have to consider how this will look and what message you’re sending.
The images you use to communicate your brand need to convey and speak to your message and your people. The key components should show:
- Your story
This is incredibly hard to do using stock imagery. There is no substitute for having authentic images of your business. SME’s hold a unique position for creating tribes, communities, the corner store connections big business will never ever have.
The brand you are building for your business is too important to undermine and dilute by using stock images that are over-used, generic, lack real emotion, aren’t relatable and don’t help to communicate your unique business.
By using stock images your marketing message is lost and there is a good chance you will be missing out on new leads and sales in your business. Before using more stock images in your business, ask yourself, “Is it worth the cost?”
Useful tools to create consistent looks for your posts