Finding great images for your marketing is both easy and difficult.
Easy, because there are so many sources to choose from these days.
And difficult, because how do you know which ones to use? Is it legal? Will you get in trouble for using this image or that one? Which stock sites are the best? …and on and on the questions go.
The accountants we’re talking to are aware of the power of great imagery. You know how powerful images are: they help your prospects take in information easily, retain the detail better, and help tell a story.
Imagery is even more important for accountants since much of the content you share with clients will be numbers based.
You’ll want to make the most of your charts and graphs, and include relevant images that resonate with your target audience.
You have a few options when it comes to finding images (which i’ll share below): but make sure you keep these points in mind:
- Make sure there’s a connection between the image and the content. If you’re sharing a blog post for architects, use blueprint images. For creative agencies, mobile phones and coffee shops..
- Don’t use ugly stock imagery. Here’s a list of 7 types of imagery we beg you not to use.
- Keep it on brand. If your style is modern, with a lot of photography – stick to that.
- Appeal to your audience. If you work with dentists or hotels tailor the image to things they’re familiar with and interested in
“When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.” John Medina, Brain Rules.
1. Use real images to build trust
You can get stock photos everywhere but some of them make it pretty obvious they’re staged. You’ll have seen them… a man standing in a suit and shaking hands, or lots of forced smiles around a table. These don’t build a connection with anyone.
Using an image which helps people connect to your content goes a long way in building trust. This is especially true when sharing your content on social media. You have a split second to grab your audience’s attention and get them to read your content.
You don’t need to spend a fortune on a photographer (although high quality pictures are super handy to have)!
Capture shots on your standard camera or iphone, of your team, your office, your location and especially any events you attend or exhibit at. Take pictures of your logo on the wall, collateral spread across a desk or a shot of your website on a laptop screen.
You could even hire a photography student and just see how it goes!
The extra effort goes a long way!
2. Free image websites
There are loads of free image websites out there: so many that it can be difficult to find reliable ones to use.
One of the top benefits of these sites is that you get high quality photographers’ images for free, and often there are no barriers on where they can be used. But what I really like is that you tend to find more unusual images that other accountants won’t be using.
Here are the top free image websites we use:
This is a great all rounder: includes photographs, vectors and illustrations.
Really beautiful high-res photography images. I love the inspirational and adventurous travel images. Be warned you’ll want to book a trip somewhere!
Great selection of business images, including most industries. The search function works really well for a free site.
3. Paid-for image websites
We also use paid sites when we need an image quickly, or that we can’t find on a free website. The paid sites have a much larger collection of images – from flat graphics to photography. The search function also tends to be a lot better so you’re bound to find an image which will work.
Large selection of images with a low cost payment option.
Well know site with a huge collection of images and videos. It can become quite expensive.
This is almost the same as Shutterstock but also worth checking out.
Points to consider to make sure you have the image rights
The majority of free image sites don’t have restrictions on where, and for what reason they can be used. This means you can copy, edit and share as you like, for any business purpose without asking permission.
However, do be careful and check each image before you use it as some may have a creative commons licence which will limit you.
Be careful with paid for image sites. Many have notes on saying for ‘editorial use only’ or you need to attribute the rights to someone.
If you don’t stick to the rules you’ll face a fine.
Oh – and never, ever simply copy or download an image from Google without checking the source. That’s illegal.
Tips to make the image custom to your firm
Now you have an image (whether it’s free or paid for), the next step to make it even better is to work with someone to customise it to fit with your content or brand.
This could be someone internally, if you’ve got someone on the team with design skills. Or use Canva, Fiverr, Design Pickle …or of course if you’re a PF client give us a shout.
Ideas on what to do to make the image yours:
- Change the font to your firm’s brand font
- Change colours of some areas to match yours
- Add text related to the content subject or target audience
- You could add a screenshot of your website to a computer screen in an image, or an image related to the content
At PF we often do this! Our image style is modern and uses photography so we often pick images with macs, ipads, iphones – that are positive. Then edit the screen to show some PF social media, screenshots of our website or change the colours to match our brand.
Learn more and share with other accountants
Join our free Marketing Masterclass to get tips from other accountants and the PF team. Share your ideas, feedback and ask questions. We’ll often share tips on there before we share in blogs so you’ll be the first to know.