I talk a lot about how important visual branding is. Visuals are the basis of any great blog or business, and can really be the difference between finding success and almost finding success. But, no matter how long you work on your visual brand and how beautiful it is, it can’t make up for ugly photos. Not everyone uses photos in their branding, but if you’re going to, they have to be good.
While I don’t usually use photos in my blog feature images or branding materials, things changed when I opened my shop. I bought a stock photography subscription and spent a tonne (way too much) time going through photos and choosing demo images that I could use to display my logos. After I found over 200 that I really loved, I spent hours and hours going through them one by one and overlaying my logos onto them. I wanted to give my potential clients the opportunity to see what their designs would look like in a real environment, and I knew that photos could do that. I also knew that good photos could be the difference between making a sale and losing a customer.It's better to use NO photos than bad ones. Images can make or break your visual brand. Click To Tweet
In my opinion, it’s better to use NO photos than bad ones. Bad photos can really turn people off. Not only do they look bad, but they make people question how serious you are about your business. Bad photos mean you weren’t willing to hire a photographer, or buy stock photos, or at the very least work hard to take photos yourself. If you aren’t willing to invest in your biz, why should they invest in you?
On the other hand, good photos can take your brand to the next level. Good photos make people click through to your site. Not only do they look great, but they make people want to purchase the experience that the photo provides, beyond just the product or service itself. If you were willing to invest in your biz, your product must be worth it, so they’ll invest in you!
We all know this from personal experience, whether we realize it or not. No matter where your shopping online, photos make a difference. Think of the last piece of clothing you bought online, maybe it was a shirt. If the shirt had one poor quality photo, and you couldn’t really tell what colour it was because the lighting was bad, and you couldn’t see the back because there weren’t any angles showing it, you’re not likely to buy.
On the other hand, if you’re browsing through a retailer, the great picture of the shirt is what catches your eye. When you click through, if there are ten different photos with great lighting, showing all the angles you need to see and making the shirt look like it would fit your body really well, you immediately want it. Photos are everything.
Luckily enough, there are tonnes of places to get stock photos. I’ve listed Ten Sites to Get Beautiful Free Photos here. Though some free photos aren’t great, there are lots that are really good quality and you can definitely find some worth using. The only issue would be that there isn’t a huge variety so you have to make due with what you can find, which also means everyone else who wants free photos will be using the same ones.If you invest in your brand, others see you're worth investing in, & they'll invest in you too. Click To Tweet
Another option is building your own stock library. I’ve written a post on The Best Stock Photos – Why You Should Build Your Own Library here. This is what I do every few weeks to build my own photo stock. Though I did use stock photos for my shop, I take my own photos for Instagram, and I take a bunch in one day so that I always have some to fall back on when I can’t get a great photo in the moment.
If you have a huge budget you can hire a photographer to take photos for your posts and promotional materials, but unfortunately this isn’t something that the average person can afford. The best bang for your buck if you do have some money to spend is purchasing stock photos. Since you’re paying for the photos you’re going to great quality, good selection, and be much less likely to see someone else using the same photo as you since not everyone can invest.
There are tonnes of places to find paid stock photos. There are huge services like BigStock which I used for my shop imagery, and smaller more custom libraries like Just Darlin Y’all. While huge libraries have a good variety, I love small libraries that offer great quality. Since they are usually run by entrepreneurs from within the community, they know what kind of visuals you’re building and what you’re looking for, and create images that are tailored to your needs.
Just Darlin Y’all is a new stock library service that is launching on March 1st. I love supporting entrepreneurial ladies in my community who are following their dreams (just like I am) so I knew I had to share their launch with you! You can signup for my newsletter below to download five sample images from their stock library until March 4th, and visit their site to get another five! And of course don’t forget to check back on March 1st to explore their full library and see what they can do to help you perfect your visual brand!
- image 1 from just darlin y'all
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- image 3 from just darlin y'all
- image 3b from just darlin y'all
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- image 4b from just darlin y'all
- image 5 from just darlin y'all
- image 6 from just darlin y'all