Creating a business is like a woman giving birth to a baby. How do I know? I have done both, so I understand the pains that come with each. When I left the corporate world to pursue my dreams of being an entrepreneur, I thought I knew what I was getting into, but the truth is I didn’t. Which is why I try to help fellow small businesses as much as possible. Today I want to address a commonly asked question in the business world, “Should I use stock images on my website?”
Building a website is much like learning a new language and can be as frustrating as trying to force a square peg into a round hole. However, when the time arrives for the visual content on your website just say no to stock photography!
Choose to Be Authentic
Your website is the first impression potential customers have of you and your business. You only have a few seconds to grab their attention and showcase your brand. If you choose to place stock images on your site, you are following the same path as many other businesses, just like yours.
Stock photos are generally cheap and easy to obtain, but that does not mean you should use them!
Chances are if you find an image you love that you believe represents your industry, another company like yours is already using that same image on their site.
My supposition is that you went into your chosen business because you felt you could offer your service or product different than your competitors. Then why would you use images on your website that look like everyone else’s?
Instead, choose to be authentic with the photography on your website. When customers or clients visit your site, they want to feel as though they have a connection with you. Therefore, you need to humanize your brand and show the world who they will be working with.
Authenticity makes your business more relatable and gives your customers confidence that you will work hard for them.
You Get What You Pay for With FREE
Everyone loves free, don’t they? Well, of course, we do! However, you get what you pay for when you choose to follow the path of using content for your site that is free.
There are sites online that offer free stock images and graphics, but in truth, they are subpar.
As I said before, your website, as well as anything else that you use to promote your business visually, is the first impression that people have. All it takes is a quick glance, and your customers will know if you are using quality photography and graphics on your site.
Free or low-quality images give customers the impression that you are not serious about your business. Which then leads them to believe that you will not care about their needs either.
The best example I can give you to illustrate this to you is this, if you get a free coffee mug and break it accidentally, what is your reaction? Most likely, the same as mine, “Well, at least it was free, and I wasn’t out anything!”
Work With a Professional Photographer
“Ok, so if you do not suggest that I use stock photos on my site, what do I do?”
I’m glad you asked! My suggestion is to work with a professional photographer and a professional website designer, such as WNC Social Media Buzz, to create your online marketing platform.
Is working with professionals an investment? Yes, but isn’t your business worth it? Having professional photos on your website that are authentic to you and your business pay for themselves quickly by attracting new customers. A website is only as good as the content that is on its pages
A professional photographer will come to your small business and take pictures of you, your staff, office, and products. Part of showcasing your brand is telling your story so others can relate to you. Professional photography will give authenticity to who you are and what you do.
Your client base wants to meet you, so don’t be shy to show them who you are!
Never Give Up on Growing Your Business
I’m a small business owner, too, so you are not alone in this journey. I will admit there have been times when I just wanted to throw my hands up and quit. Some days are harder than others, but when I start fresh the next day, I always reflect on how much I love being my own boss and making my own schedule.
Being a business owner is stressful, but to me and many others like you out there, it is worth it.
Never give up on growing your business if that is where your passion truly is. However, if I can impart one piece of advice to you, it is this, INVEST IN YOUR BUSINESS! Part of that is hiring other professionals to help you with your business goals and presentation.
If you need professional photography for your small business, I would be delighted to help you share your story to help you grow. You can contact me here or learn more about my small business services here.
Never give up; instead, keep moving forward!