If you have spent any considerable amount of time on social media then chances are you have seen a stock picture being used by more than one brand.
I know I have seen a few images over and over again by lots of different brands. They are great images that represent and inspire cool feelings but unfortunately now I don’t even notice them when they come up in my feed as I have seen them numerous times before (even though they are sharing different pieces of information in different industries).
This is why I believe its far better to use your OWN photos in your online content where possible (and here is the caveat) if they are of high resolution and are clean.
Your own photos of you and your life are actually far more attractive to your tribe and build deeper relationships than any obvious fake stock image. You see people buy people not brands. Unless you’re a very large well-known company (for example Target) your customer is going to be buying you and your expertise. It’s that simple.
They want to know whom they are working with, investing with and planning on learning from.
They want to know the face that belongs to the voice on the other side of the teleconference or coaching session.
They want to know the person who will be helping them through their struggle.
The only way they will find this information is if you share it.
Besides the fact that you don’t have to worry about copyright and royalty laws when using your own content (which in my opinion is a HUGE benefit) being able to share your face will help elevate your authentic voice.
Of course there are some rules around using your own photos in your social media images that we should all remember including;
– Be sure to remove any location identifying or personal information (such as envelopes with addresses, street names, car registrations) from the shot to ensure your privacy.
– Keep the background clean and simple so as not to distract the viewer from your face. Use brightly lit spaces.
– Ensure you are using a camera that will produce a high resolution photo.
– Look presentable. You are your brand and people will only buy you if you embody what you are selling.
People are always looking for new content to share – we thrive on interesting information presented in new ways so if you take that on board and produce your own images (that can be used not only on your social media graphics but websites, landing pages and other marketing material) you are far likely to get the attention you deserve than your stock loving competitor.