Is It Okay to Use Stock Photos for My Brand?

Does it feel dirty or almost like cheating to use stock photos?

I mean, if they are available to everyone else, doesn’t it make them seem too easy to use?

We are massive believers in using stock photos for your online business (so much so that we started our own membership community!) but understand the need for stock photos you don’t see everywhere on social media.

Stock photos with an exclusive feel? That’s what we’re talking about! They save you time, energy, and money while giving you a unique look that you can make all your own without having to worry that every other person in your industry is using the same image.

Using stock imagery for online business marketing

Did you know that there are over 46,000 photos that are posted to Instagram every minute? That’s almost three million photos every hour!

No wonder we are all fighting to be seen on social media.

Gone are the days when we can post a simple photo of our morning latte and get hundreds of likes. With so much content being published online, we have to work even harder to be heard.

While it may feel like the cards are stacked against us, social media is still in its infancy! It isn’t going away any time soon, and because so many of our businesses depend on it, we have to be mindful of how we are creating content for each platform.

With so many other business tasks on your to-do list, creating consistent content might fall to bottom. We can’t let it fall by the wayside because it’s one of the best ways to get in front of new audiences.

How do you make more time for content creation? One way is to invest in stock photos.

What are stock photos?

Stock photos refer to photos that are captured by another photographer or content creator that can be freely used by other people. Check out the two examples below to see how it works:

Both people used the same stock photos from Get Found Stock in their Instagram feed (in the second row on the left and in the middle) but the images took on a completely different look and meaning because of how they used them. This is the beauty of stock photos!

It’s important to use stock photos within their legal limitations. Not every stock photo has the same license so it’s very important to understand how you can use each stock photo before posting.

Most stock photo websites have terms and conditions that explain the license for using their stock photography. We have one here which gives our members, customers, and readers an idea of how they can use our stock photos.

Some stock photo websites allow you to download photos for free in exchange for a certain type of credit, like a link back to their website. Other websites charge you for every single use of a stock photo and some have payments involved with utilizing the stock photos for commercial use. Others have limitations around how you can edit and crop a photo.

Before we make your head spin with all of the options, just know that all of this information can be found by doing a little bit of research into each website. Then you can legally protect yourself from wrongly using images without knowing it. Your lawyer (and wallet) will thank you!

While some stock photo websites have limitations, we keep our license terms and conditions simple and straightforward so our members are able to use our stock photos with ease. That’s the whole point anyway!

Why do stock photos matter for my online business?

Using stock photos has a wealth of benefits. Not only are you saving yourself hours of time by not having to capture and edit photos yourself, you’re also saving money by not outsourcing your brand photography or buying props on your own.

Most entrepreneurs don’t get into business because they want to take photos of their work. They get into business to do what they love, no matter if they are a florist or wedding planner or life coach or any other career in between.

When you find stock photos that match your industry and content topic, you are able to take advantage of an image that already exists and repurpose it into content that fits your overall marketing strategy. So we come back to this question…

Is it okay to use stock photos in my marketing?

The answer is a resounding yes! While some businesses focus on capturing all of their images themselves, many small business owners don’t have the budgets, time, or energy to do the same. That doesn’t mean your business has to suffer for it.

We still believe in the power of original content, but we love mixing in stock photos for a cohesive, unique look that you can proudly own.

We have three different ways to take advantage of our stock photos, which are intentionally created for creative entrepreneurs and lifestyle content publishers:

BEST OPTION: Stock Photo Membership Community: When we created Get Found Stock, much of our energy went into how we could create a unique and insanely helpful membership community that not only gave our members exclusive access to our stock photo library but also allowed them to simplify their content creation process. We’re excited to announce that our membership is now OPEN to new members! Click here to learn more about how to get content prompts, monthly editorial calendars, and 15 stock photo credits each month!

Free Instagram Course​


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