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Cut it out with the stock photos, will ya?

If I see another cheesy stock photo on a thought leaders’ social feed, I’m going to lose my mind!

Yes, stock imagery is clean, well-composed and in most cases, makes sense with the piece of content that it’s being attached to.

But, it’s also a bit antiseptic, can be used by anyone with a membership to the stock site and is not inherently connected to anyone’s thought leadership in particular.

So, let’s call it what it is - a kinda, sorta, low-hanging fruit solution.

Sometimes, however, this fruit is a little higher on the tree than we would want it to be.

I know this might sound blasphemous coming from a photographer, but, I’ve worked extensively with stock images in the past when I was hired to produce a client’s Youtube video series.

Over the course of several months, I spent the majority of my time searching databases for the right stock photos to complement his narration, and that adventure was a gigantic time suck.  

It also wasn’t a sure-fire solution, because, in many cases, I simply made do with what I could find.  

Although that approach was acceptable for that project, “making do” is simply not how thought leaders roll. Period.

In order to create a major impact on people’s lives, thought leaders must live and breathe their authenticity in order to attract, educate and endear themselves to their tribes.

Do you think some random stock photo of a person smiling in front of a computer is going to create that type of resonance?

Hell no.

But, what if it was YOU who was sitting behind that computer, arms raised, excitement written all over your face, complete with a caption that tells a story of success related to your business?

Mmm hmmm, now we’re putting a face to those words that people can sink their teeth into!

When you are your brand, stay away from using generic images to tell your story visually.  

You’re already investing money into image content - why not invest in having YOU in front of the camera?

Leave that job to yourself - it will make a huge difference in the way your messaging is conveyed.  

What are your thoughts on this? Are you a proponent of stock images?  Why?

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

John DeMato2 Comments