Styled stock photography are images you can use without having to credit any photographers – you can use them as if they are your own. These images can be used for a variety of ways and depending on how you crop your images, you can often use the same one several different ways. Basically, styled stock photos are any biz owner + blogger’s secret weapon! Stock photos are a huge part of my biz and social media strategies, so I wanted to share with my ladies the Ultimate Guide to Using Styled Stock Photography!
Get your big girl panties on, this will be fun…
So why does your biz need styled stock photos?
Um, why in the world not?! Just kidding, there are SO many reasons why your business needs styled stock photos. The main reason I swear by stock images are because they save me time, so I can focus more on my business. Lord knows, I don’t have time to sit down, plan out images, have the props to use for them, etc. Styled images will also set your branding above others. You remember that saying that we have all heard, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” – yeah well, the person that said that probably wrote a sucky book, just saying. Your branding will be lit on fire if you use crisp, clean, bright, and branded stock photos. Imagine this beauty on your blog’s homepage and had coordinating shots throughout your site – so welcoming and intriguing, right?
What are the different uses for styled stock photos?
SOCIAL MEDIA COVER PHOTOS
Have you seen the FB update to the business pages? We can now see the entire cover photo, woop woop – no more being covered by text and buttons. Take advantage of your cover photos by including current news in your business, etc.
A PINTEREST IMAGE WITHIN YOUR BLOG POST
If you have been here a while, you know my deep love for Pinterest. Pinterest is my number one traffic driver to my website! If you want to up your game on Pinterest, include easy to locate – Pinterest friendly images within your blog post. Always remember to edit your photo’s ALT TEXT description so that your pin’s description matches. Remember, that Pinterest is the new Google, a search engine – so make sure that every single one of your pins has an SEO friendly description. To make things even easier for your readers, add a PIN IT button to your blog. Want to learn more about Pinterest (I totally hope that you do) check out this blog post that I wrote a while back, 5 Ways to More Repins on Pinterest.
THROUGHOUT YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED
Ahh, Instagram! IG is becoming one of my favorite social media channels. Have you upgraded to a biz account yet? I am LOVING the new changes and updates. 🙂 Anyways, stock photos are a must for IG. Are you stumped as to what you should be sharing on IG? If so, here are 5 content ideas for yours truly. Your Instagram feed should tell a story – your story. Choose photos to share that represent you + your brand and tell that story – we would love to hear it!
IN YOUR FACEBOOK POSTS
I have my AHS Facebook page and have recently launched a Facebook Group, Social Media Sisters. You’re in there, right?! Throughout both pages, I definitely include stock photography. Having Haute Chocolate’s photos readily available helps keep my branding on point and assures me that I will always have a gorgeous photo ready to use!
ON DIGITAL PRODUCTS
Whatever you’re promoting, whether it’s physical products, or a program or service, you can use the images from the Styled Stock Library to really uplevel your branding and create gorgeous eye-catching images in a snap! Keep these few things in mind when creating your graphics: Stay on brand with your color and font choices, add call to actions, intrigue them with your text, and make the graphics easy to find!
ON YOUR BLOG’S SIDEBAR
Your blog’s sidebar is a great location to insert promotional graphics. Take advantage of this space and insert branded stock photography that your audience can easily click on!
IN YOUR EMAIL HEADERS
Email newsletters are an amazing tool, that every blogger should be utilizing. I admit, that I haven’t jumped on this train like I should, but I do have this awesome email newsletter header created. 🙂 Who wouldn’t want to open pretty party mail?
ON OPT-INS OR FREEBIES
Us bloggers usually have an amazing opt-in or freebie for our even more amazing readers, am I right? What better way to promote these freebies than with stock photos? Here is a desktop mockup promoting my website, gorgeous right?! You can totally create images with text promoting sales, etc. using this approach.
ON YOUR WEBSITE’S HOMEPAGE
Your site’s homepage is the first impression that a reader has of you and your brand. Needless to say, it needs to look true, inviting, and flawless. I use Haute Chocolate’s images throughout my entire site, especially on my home page. The possibilities are endless as to how you can use stock images on your site + blog.
+ SO MUCH MORE!
Where to find affordable styled stock photography?
I know, I know you are ready to hear the news! Where is the holy grail of feminine stock images all in one place??
As a woman entrepreneur, you know how important it is to instantly attract your ideal clients & customers when they visit your website. You understand the importance of using stylish and professional images on your site and in your social media. Unfortunately, it can be nearly impossible to find feminine and chic stock images that will enhance your brand. Haute Chocolate’s selection of styled stock photos were designed with the woman entrepreneur in mind. Their images are both stylish and affordable. Best of all, they’re all high resolution files so you can use them as large website headers, or small instagram photos without a hitch. Use them to easily and beautifully communicate the quality & creativity of work that you do.
By becoming a Styled Stock Library Member, you’ll have access to hundreds of professionally styled photos at your fingertips. Use the library as your resource when you’re branding your website, need an image for a blog post, creating social media images, or want a cohesive look for your online shop and products.
HERE’S A PEEK AT THE 4 COLLECTIONS THAT RACHEL ADDED TO THE STYLED STOCK LIBRARY MEMBERSHIP THIS MONTH
The Don’ts of Stock Photos:
There are a few “rules” for using stock images – don’t worry, they are super simple. Don’t use styled stock images just for the sake of using them – if they don’t match your brand, don’t use them. For example, if you’re style is farmhouse chic, a stock photo that is full of bright, neon colors probably wouldn’t fit the bill. Also, don’t over edit or add unnecessary graphics to your photos – less is more! For every stock photo that you purchase, or stock library subscription, you need to read the rules of conduct. For example, a lot of times stock images are NOT meant to be printed – just check with your creator.
Lastly, I am not sure if this is a legit “rule” or not – we can call it a pet peeve of mine. Hunny, even though I try to tan in the summer months – at the end of the day God made me a white southern belle. With that being said, don’t you think it would be strange if I used a stock image that shows a woman of color in it? Please don’t get me wrong, these photos are GORGEOUS, but just use your common sense here. We all try to make stock photos seem like we took them or had them taken at a bangin’ photo shoot – so nobody is going to believe that my booty spent months in Jamaica and I came out looking SUPER tan! Just a little thought for the day…. If you’re in need of images with darker skin, you’re in luck because Rachel at Haute Chocolate has you covered! 🙂
Want to see what else is in the Styled Stock Library before becoming a member? Get a preview here.
What are your thoughts on styled stock photography? Do you live by it and swear by it like me?
DON’T FORGET IT : PIN IT!
All images were provided by Haute Chocolate, all opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.
Want to see more of my thoughts on the Haute Chocolate Stock Library? Take a look at these posts from yours truly…