Picture this – you’ve put aside a day to create content that supports an upcoming promotion or new product. You’ve crafted together some beautiful copy that you’re proud of and can’t wait to publish. All you need now is to add imagery that will both capture people’s attention and support the content. So, you go to look through your image library and discover what you already knew… even though you have a large library of images, none of them represent you or your brand, and you’ve had the same three images of yourself on rotation for the past two years because they’re the only ones you can post without cringing… Ugh!
One of the most common reasons I hear people use to explain inconsistency in their brand’s content is a lack of images – but not just any images. When people don’t have images of themselves that they love, that reflect their brand’s message and values effectively, and portray them accurately as the experts and thought leaders they are, then they’re not confident to use them. And when business owners don’t have confidence in their content, they hesitate to ‘show up’ online. And that’s not great, because in order to connect with our audience we need to be consistently showing up and engaging, sharing our thoughts and offering value that’s beneficial.
But what about stock photography?
But Fi, you might say, I can use beautiful stock images for free these days! Yes, you can use stock images, and yes there are a number of sites that offer beautiful, fresh, free stock photography, but in today’s noisy online space when you need to use everything you have to connect with people, stock images no longer cut it. It’s a proven fact that, these days, authenticity plays a major part in how consumers decide which brands they like and support (source: Stackla, 2019). If you don’t come across as honest and transparent, people will quickly move on to find another brand that does – and stock photography does not earn trust. Using imagery that reflects you in an authentic way, while delivering your message, is essential if you want to build relationships with your online community and followers.
Just last week I was chatting to a digital marketing expert who needs to create a number of projects for one of her wonderful clients but only has stock photography to work with, so she’s really struggling to get started. And whilst I will say there is a time and a place for stock photography (I think they can be super effective when occasionally used for blog posts, presentations, and social media content), she knows that it won’t do her client justice – she needs unique images of her client that will show her in an authentic, relatable way, to create a connection with her audience.
The link between consistency and confidence
So let’s get back to the link between consistency and confidence! Authentic, on-brand imagery is without a doubt one of the most important investments you can make in your business. The benefits are numerous, but of all the feedback I receive from my clients, I’m most commonly told that having an amazing library of unique images that they love makes marketing their business so much easier. It gives them confidence in their visual brand, makes them feel proud about what they put out, and encourages them to share content regularly. The comments below are all straight from the mouths of my clients:
“I am blown away by the number of great images and am proud to use them everywhere!”
“I wanted a new look and feel for my business and knew that new pics were part of this. It’s made such a difference to how I feel about adding a photo to my linkedIn posts and our website.”
“…it’s made such a significant difference to the level that I play at in my business…”
In short, when someone has a library of great images, they have the confidence to post regularly and consistently online, secure in the knowledge that their visual content is enhancing and supporting their brand, not damaging it.
How’s your image library looking these days? Does your visual content help you show up online, or make it harder? If you don’t feel confident when you look at your images, then let’s see if we can change that! Get in touch for a chat, because creating on-brand images my clients LOVE, images that are useful and practical, is my passion!