4 photos of Sarah Bradley working in her garden

In this final part of my four part series about possible unintended consequences of the images you use, I’m going to talk about using stock images.

If you are only using stock images for your business you may be communicating all the wrong things

We are all told about the importance of our values and what we stand for and the part that plays in our business and attracting the people we want to attract. One of the things that people strive for in their marketing and in attracting new people to their business is to stand out and be unique in a sea of sameness, so they get noticed.

Images are so important in how you communicate to your audience. People buy people, but why do they buy from a certain person?

While stock images can be useful in certain circumstances, if you are only using stock images for your business you may be communicating all the wrong things.

One of the greatest benefits of having your own photos taken is that you can show people something they have never seen before. With stock images, your competitors could be using the same photo or even if it is not exactly the same photo it registers as something people have seen before because it is so generic. Stock photos are designed to appeal to as wide a market as possible and not the specific audience you want to connect with.

3 photos of MyPower employees

Your own photos will go a long way to helping establish your own, unique identity and the image of your company that you want in potential customer’s minds.

No matter how professional the stock photo, it will always be someone else’s vision and someone else’s interpretation of the idea or emotion, that you want to get across. With photos you have commissioned, you have control over what ideas and emotions your images convey.

Whether it is for an individual or for business, emotions and feelings always have an impact on decisions. Commissioned photography is so much stronger than stock photography when it comes to showing the thoughts and emotions that your audience are really going to respond to.

4 photos of Michelle Wright footcare specialist, on a cerise background

The other thing to be aware of is that although you may think that using highly polished stock images would impress your audience, there’s a risk these images could make you look inauthentic. Your audience might question why you are not showing your actual business. It might raise a a doubt in people’s minds about how genuine you are.

So what I have tried to do is make you aware of some of the unintended consequences of relying solely on stock images and the impact that has on your brand and business.

Are you exclusively using stock images for your business?