Personal Branding Photography

Are You Still Using Stock Images for Your Small Business?

Two business women sitting at a table talking with a laptop in front of them

July 3, 2023

I’m Alison.
I live for chocolate, usually wearing three layers (I feel the cold), and can't wait to travel overseas again.
Oh...and my obsession is creating beautiful, quality imagery that helps you communicate your personal brand story.
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Are there more stock images on your website than there are images of you, the face of the brand?

If so, you’re not alone. It’s an easy and cost-effective solution, and more than a few business owners rely on stock imagery either for their website, their social media content, or both.

But stock photos, while convenient, can actually end up hindering your brand’s success in the following ways:

  1. They make your brand invisible

Stock images are widely available and are also often used by other small businesses, which means your brand will blend right into the crowd when you use the same kind of photos as everyone else.

Your brand is one-of-a-kind, and it deserves to be represented with unique visuals.

2. They make your brand untrustworthy

Stock images can come across as generic and impersonal, which can undermine your brand’s authenticity and alienate you from your target audience.

Using photos that show the people behind the brand helps to instill trust. One image of you, the business owner and face of the brand, will take you ten times farther than even the best stock photo.

3. They make your brand inconsistent

Stock images can make it difficult to maintain a consistent brand identity across all your marketing channels.

A brand with cohesive visuals is going to be memorable and will stay top of mind with your audience.

4. They make messaging generic

Stock images are pre-made for broad audiences, limiting your ability to customize them to fit your brand’s needs and messaging.

Strong brands don’t try to appeal to everyone – they’re specific and unique. Your visuals should clarify your messaging, not dilute it.

5. They can’t be used in every situation

Stock images have specific terms of use, and you open yourself up to potential legal issues if you don’t follow those terms exactly.

Not to mention, you can’t always be 100% certain that a photo is not stolen – even if it’s one you find on a stock image or royalty-free image site.

Ultimately, using stock images may seem like an easy solution – one that’s pretty harmless. 

But if you’re interested in growing your business, gaining a loyal following online, or simply getting more clients each month, then stock images are working against you.

Instead, work with a professional to create custom visuals that accurately reflect your brand identity and messaging. Your brand is worth it!

Ready to create the photos that truly represent you and your brand?

Book a complimentary 15-minute consultation so I can let you know what kind of images will be most effective for your business.

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