I’m thrilled to have Cherry May Ward from Beach Babe Stock here to share how you can grow and enhance your brand through lifestyle stock photos.

Now, we’re all busy entrepreneurs, I myself am one, so I know exactly how easily the day can get away from you. If you’re not organized and productive with your time then you can easily end up wasting a whole load of it.

Stock photos can help you save hours creating content (warning: our beautiful images might even end up inspiring your next post!) while you grow your brand and spend more time on what matters most; engaging with your audience and marketing your business. Today I’m going to be sharing with you my 5 top tips on how you can use stock photos to grow and enhance your brand.

TIP 1: Using high-quality imagery, graphics, designs and animations to reflect the high quality of your own product or service.

I know that when you’re just starting out it can be really appealing to try and “DIY” all the things… however, going down this route may actually end up hindering your brand/product more than you think.  If you’re using low-quality images, graphics, or designs that aren’t professional then you might attract the same low-quality type of customer… or worse, none at all. The online business world is quite competitive and you need your branding to stand out against the online crowd here. 

TIP 2: Lifestyle images can help you relate to your ideal client more.

You want to be able to talk directly to your customers’ likes/dislikes, pain points and passions. Lifestyle stock photos can help with this. Whereas “styled stock”, you know… those perfectly styled, sometimes unrealistic images of desktop scenes; images that beg the question: When is your desk ever that tidy, apart from before you go on a 2 week vacation?! And… where are the crumbs? Or those images that seem a little too “picture perfect” with a woman typing on a computer with a colour coordinated coffee cup, top, skirt, pens, journal and even …nails? 

This is where lifestyle images like the ones we have on Beach Babe Stock are going to come to the rescue. I create images based on what I know my members and their ideal clients love to do, during work, and their spare time. This means that there are images that help you create engaging, relatable content for your audience, you might even find yourself creating some content that’s inspired by our images!

TIP 3: Think outside the box. (It’s not just for social!)

Stock photos aren’t just for social media posts (in fact, I think that’s where you need stock the least. Read on for my explanation on this below..). They can be used across all different online mediums. Think website banners, shop cover, graphics for your opt-ins, thank you and sales pages, thumbnail images for blog posts or product offerings, webinar slides, blog posts, emails, even mockups to showcase your products.

TIP 4: “Enhance” is the keyword here.

We want to use stock products (images, and done for you graphics) to *enhance* your brand on social media. The best way to do this is to mix in stock images alongside your personal images (be it selfies, photos of your products, you with a client, or your family). 

For personal brands (where you as the owner/founder are the ‘face behind the brand’), I recommend using a ratio somewhere between 1:4 or 2:3 of stock to personal images. This gives you a good ratio of maintaining a highly personal brand image, while keeping your feed imagery to a high quality to reflect the standard of service and price of your offering.

For business, corporate, and eCommerce brands (where you as a person aren’t the key/main component that people know about), I’d still recommend using less stock on social media than you might expect, I recommend 2:1 or 3:1 of stock to brand/personal images.

TIP 5: Make it your own and add your branding.

Once you’ve purchased stock images or graphics like ours on BBS, you can easily make them your own by adding your brand colour overlays, adding your brand logo, or website URL over the top, and adding your Instagram handle over the graphic, or so that if people do share, it links back to your website or profile.

Those are my top 5 tips on how you can use stock photos to grow and enhance your brand. Here’s a quick recap: 

1 – You want to be using professional quality images to reflect the high standard of your brand’s products and or services. 

2 – Using lifestyle images will help your brand feel more relatable to your customers and clients.

3 – There are so many different places you can be using stock photos, they’re not just for social media! Website, product mockups, shop banners, webinar slides.

4 – Remember to use stock in moderation, to *enhance* your branding. I recommend a ratio of 1:4 or 2:3 of stock to personal images for personal brands, and 2:1 or 3:1 of stock to brand images for business type brands.

5 – Make it your own, add your logo, website URL, or your Instagram handle to ensure that if your work is shared, it’ll link back to you.

With all this talk about stock photos and graphics, are you excited to try some out now? I’ve created a freebie just for you lovelies on Kate’s blog.  It’s 3 lifestyle stock photos and 2 done-for-you postable graphics. Click here to download.