It's no secret using images in branding increases just about everything: clicks, open-rates, sales, engagement... I could go on.
Images can say so much more than words. Plus, people are visual. We like to see things! Posts with images get more clicks for a reason. And, whether it be for yourself or your business, you need to use images in branding... personal images, not stock photos.
Don't get me wrong, I love stock photos. I could look at them all day long. One of my favorite things about blogging is choosing them, but I should focus on them less... and you should too.
I have some stock photos for branding on my website, social media, and blogs. But do you know what works better? Using your photos for branding.
I'm in the process of updating some of the images on my website, social media, and marketing materials to show my audience more of me and my brand.
I recently teamed up with Sally Butanowicz of Timed Beauty in South Florida to get some more personal, branding pictures done. For these pictures, I chose a red dress (because the Media Maven color is red) and two graphic t-shirts (because I love graphic t-shirts) that basically spell out what I do - public relations and blog.
This is why I think you should start saying no to stock photos... not all of them, just some of them:
Your brand's personality
Even though stock photos are beautiful, they are common. They tell the story of your industry, but not your brand because they don't show you, your product, your service, your customers, your clients, etc. Pictures say a lot, but personal pictures showcasing your brand say more.
Your marketing materials
People do business with people they know, like, and trust. Because of that, you need to show them that person, whether it be the people behind the brand or the person who is the brand.
There is no competition. Anyone can use a stock photo, but no one can use a picture of you or your business. That's your brand. It's what sets yourself apart.
Branding is so much more than pictures. It's font, colors, slogans, messaging, etc.
When I started my business, I knew what my brand looked like in my head, but I didn't carry it over to everything I created, posted, or printed. Now, I'm focusing on making everything look cohesive, so it's recognizable. If not, what's the point of having a brand?
This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.