If you want to stand out from the crowd on social media, you are going to need some amazing graphics. Something that is eye-catching and will really speak to your message. You can use these images anywhere from blog posts and social media graphics to ads and everything in between. Since visuals are processed 60,000x faster by the brain than text, its time for you to get some graphics.
New and even seasoned entrepreneurs can make some mistakes when using graphics that could get them in trouble or cause them to get some pretty hefty fines. Here are some tips to help you stay on the straight and narrow with your graphics appeal. Some of these tips can also help save you some money and ripped out hair too!
Do’s and Don’ts of Stock Images
1. Don’t go Google: You know how the answer to just about everything is to Google it? When it comes to graphics – Don’t! Searching for random images on the web to use is a big no-no. Those images do not belong to you and they could very well belong to someone else who has not marked the graphics with a watermark. They also could belong to a big stock company like Getty images that will not hesitate to sue you. They are great for reference, but not for business and commercial use.
2. Do watermark: Nothing is more heartbreaking than creating a great graphic of your own and someone steals it and places their information on it instead. The easiest thing for you to do is to always watermark any images that you make or get made for you. It doesn’t have to be some fancy pants logo. It can just be your name and/or website.
While it is not always feasible, putting the mark in a place that is difficult to crop will deter people from wanting to steal it. If they can’t easily clip your information off, they will most likely leave it alone. If you are going to use images in your blog posts, never just shove a stock image into the post, even if you paid for it. People will take your images that YOU paid for and accredit your website or sometimes don’t even both. Put the title of your blog post on the image and somehow watermark your brand onto it. I learned that lesson the hard way. If you notice on this website, all of the blog post images have the title and are watermarked.
3. Don’t forget to read: Even if you pay for images some of them only have particular uses so always read the fine print. This also goes for so-called “free” images. Sometimes these images start out as free, but are then given to a big stock photo company to sell. Now they can accuse you of taking their images. If you do use free images, note where you got them from and always read the fine print. Some require accreditation while others do not.
4. Do check the re-downloads: Just because you bought an image doesn’t mean that you have it forever. Well, it should. I learned the hard way that some companies only allow you a limited time to download your image. After that point you are forced to pay for it again. If you don’t have your images backed up to a cloud and your computer goes POOF so did all the money you paid for in images. From personal experience, Fotalia does not allow permanent re-downloads so I no longer use them. I love Bigstock because I can use them and know that I have lifetime re-downloads on what I pay for. If you would like to check them out head here. (this is an affiliate link which means I get a small commission to help support this website if you choose to make a purchase.)
What is your favorite go-to company for images?
Heather Santo is a certified Virtual Administrative Consultant with over 15 years of customer service experience. She also spent time in corporate America as a Human Resources Manager performing generalist duties and specializing in recruiting. She now enjoys using her talents to serve her clients and help them to operate their businesses efficiently. She specializes in Aweber, Pinterest, WordPress Thesis, Gratitude Concierge Work and social media content graphic creation.
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