Monday Motivation: Finding (Legal) Images That Engage Your Customers

Sometimes the best jolt of inspiration comes in the form of an image, photo, or illustration you find on the internet. Yet a picture is usually worth more than a 1000 words. For this #MondayMotivation, we want to share not only how images can change your mindset and influence your customers, but also how to obtain those images legally.

In a session at the recent WBENC National Conference & Business Fair, we discussed how it’s important to think about where you’re fairly sourcing your photos for your marketing—so your customers always have a consistent presentation.

The first step is to know the basic ground rule: If you don’t know where an image came from, do not use it. This blog post from QuickBooks does a great job of explaining the basics:

1.    Never use an image without a license.

  • You could risk legal action and Google could lower your ranking if you are using copyrighted material in your marketing, including in e-newsletters or on social media.

2.    Buy stock art.

  • Instead of searching for an image on Google, instead turn to the seemingly endless options online to investigate licensed images. Two common options are

1.    Creative Commons materials, where artists license their work for specific use, such as Flickr.

2.    Stock subscription services, where you pay a company to provide you with licensed images, such as Adobe Stock.

3.    Use your own photos.

  • Your smartphone is a powerful device, and not just for selfies. Take your own photos or invest in a professional photography session (use a WBENC-Certified photographer for WBE-to-WBE support!) to capture your team in action or a special event you are hosting in your office.

Once you have a catalog of images or subscription service, it’s time to find inspiration. When choosing images for your marketing, make sure to pick images that fit your brand and follow your brand’s visual guidelines.

Not sure how to get started on brand guidelines? Here is a good breakdown of visual style guidelines from Canva.

Once you have the basics in place, you can find—and inspire your customers with images you believe in! 

Posted on August 8, 2016 .