Stock photography is a powerful tool to help new businesses, start ups, and solopreneurs kick start their digital marketing and simplify content creation.
Stock photography is captured to appeal to a wide variety of people. As such, it can be bland, inoffensive, and forgettable.
Generic stock photography fades into the background.
Your brand deserves to shine, front and center!
For service providers, coaches, and other entrepreneurs that sell an experience, not a tangible product, stock photos can be invaluable! Especially if you’re just getting started.
But eventually, stock photography stops helping and can even start hurting.
It can make you blend into the background and keep your dreamy, aligned clients from finding you, trusting you, and hiring you.
So, when is it time to ditch stock photography and invest in your own brand photography?
Here are my top 5 signs that stock photography is no longer helping your business:
#1. You’re struggling to find fresh, authentic images
Stock photo libraries are generic by nature, build to appeal to as many people as possible. But you’re not trying to appeal to everyone, you’re trying to appeal only to your dreamy clients! Using the same generic images everyone else is using is not the way to stand out and be remembered.
Stock image libraries are also notorious for showing almost exclusively white, thin, and able bodied people. If you or your target audience fall outside of any of these categories, you want to use images that honor those differences and let your audience feel represented.
👉🏽 A branding photoshoot gives you unique images customized to your brand and values so you can connect with your ideal audience and show them you understand them.
#2. Your clients don’t understand your brand’s values, process, or vibe
You already know that a picture is worth 1000 words. Which means that while your copy is doing the heavy lifting of expressing your brand’s vibe and values, your images have just as much of an impact of how a prospect understands your message.
A disconnect between your language and your imagery can erode the trust you’ve so carefully built with your audience.
Without trust, your clients will not buy from you. Mismatched messaging limits your earning potential.
👉🏽 A brand session ensures that your brand message is clear, and increases your trustworthiness. When you’re easy to trust, people are more willing to pay you because they know it’ll be worth it.
#3. You spend more time searching than creating or serving your clients
TIME IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE RESOURCE.
If you’re spending hours looking for an image that’s juuuuust right, you’re wasting time, time better spent delighting your clients.
👉🏽 A brand photography session gives you a gallery of purposeful images designed with your audience in mind, ready to be put to good use in just a few moments.
#4. Your clients are surprised when they meet you
If you work face-to-face with your clients, they should see your face before your first 1:1 interaction.
You should have a high-quality recent headshot (taken within about 3 years) that is an honest representation of what you look like. You shouldn’t have so much makeup on that you’re unrecognizable to the Zoom version of you, and you should be wearing clothing and a hair style that reflects how you typically arrive to client meetings.
And it’s not about looking “pretty” in your brand photos! It’s about your audience, not about your vanity. Just be honest about what you look like and your vibe and your audience will resonate!
Having a good headshot in a few key places (social media profile, email signature, and about me page) helps you start building trust and familiarity early on with your prospects.
👉🏽 A personal branding session will get you an honest and relatable image of you to use in strategic places to help prospects feel familiar with you before they meet you.
#5. Your visual strategy is chaotic, mismatched, and disorganized
Inconsistent branding is an easy way to lose or damage a prospects trust. It’s REALLY easy for your stock images to look mismatched and random on your website, and can make your otherwise polished and professional work seem amateur.
Capture a library of cohesive and strategic brand photos all at once at your branding session!
👉🏽 If you work with the right photographer, you should only need to refresh your brand photos once every year or so, or whenever a significant part of your brand, appearance, or offer changes
BONUS #6. You’ve lost the excitement for creating content and marketing your business
Marketing = money, and ensuring that you’re getting in front of your aligned audience is essential for your business’s success. You should at least tolerate it!
Marketing burnout and losing the spark can cost you sales and revenue.
When I work with clients, we do brand strategy exercises, mindset work, and more to reignite that spark!
Together, we rediscover your passion for your business and your dreamy, aligned clients!
👉🏽 Having a gallery of on-brand and useful images makes it easier than ever to create content, connect with your aligned clients, and grow your business!
Ready to ditch the stock? You have options!
Option 1: Take your own brand photos.
If you like to get your hands dirty and have the time, energy, and effort to spare, DIY brand photos might be right for you! Having control on shoot day might be exactly what you need to capture photos that will work hard for you.
If you work with a portait photographer or a friend with a camera, remember that you will have to become creative director on set to ensure you get what you want and avoid reshoots. Prepwork will be the key to your success!
Option 2: Hire a professional
Working with a professional brand photography (like me 😉) saves you time, energy, and frustration. The initial investment is big, but the return on that investment is JUST as big!
Do your research to find the right photographer! Hire someone that specializes in marketing photography and that has a process that will support your unique needs. Schedule a call with them to ensure you vibe and understand each other well.
Stock photos should be the background dancers, not the stars of your show.
Custom photography is your center-stage spotlight, showcasing your brand’s personality, values, and unique story.
Are you ready to ditch the stock photos and stand out from the competition?
Thank you for reading! All my love,
What could new brand images do for your business?
If you’re curious about learning more about my services, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
To be the FIRST to know about my next Bite Size Brand Sessions event once it launches, sign up here!