A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Picking the right photos can greatly enhance your marketing message, but using an image from the wrong source can result in a few words no one wants to hear: take-down notices, fines, and legal action!

A common mistake made my inexperienced business owners is using images that they do not have the legal rights to use in their marketing. The most common offense is simply doing a Google image search, and then slapping these images on a website, blog post, or brochure. The problem here is that when you use an image without the owner's permission, it can land you in hot water with copyright laws. While many people have gotten away with this in the past, the corporations that own images for sale are getting better at detecting illegal use of their images, cracking down on enforcement and issuing hefty financial penalties in the hundreds of dollars to offenders.

You obviously want to avoid using illegal images on your website or blog, so where should you go for photos instead?

  • Professional photography. By utilizing someone experienced with a camera, shot composition, lighting, and framing, you can produce amazing quality images that showcase the personality of your practice. While this can be a costly option, there is no comparison to the quality of images that can be produced by a skilled photographer.
  • Provide your own. If you're on a budget, you might provide your own photographs for your website or blog. Simply pick up your digital camera or smart phone and start snapping photos! Just make sure that any images you use are in focus, engaging, and devoid of blood or open wounds. Remember, you and your staff may be comfortable seeing medical procedures in action, but that doesn't mean your potential clients are.
  • Stock photography. If you do not have access to our own images, high-quality stock photography can be a great substitute. While you sacrifice the personal touch that comes with providing your own photography, you can still use stock images to paint a compelling image of your business personality. Make sure you purchase your images from a reputable stock image site so you won't have to worry about legal issues.

Written by Will Lindus, director of project management for Beyond Indigo.

Need help with your online marketing journey? Take advantage of our free, one-on-one consults by visiting or call Melissa Neff at 877-244-9322, etc. 100.


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