As a freelance writer, it’s our job to convey to prospects and clients the value of strategic digital marketing.
To put it more simply, many businesses aren’t savvy to online marketing tactics like social media or content promotion.
So, to make sure we become an integral part in their marketing plan, it’s best to have some tricks up our sleeves as a way to stand out from other freelance writers.
It’s our job to convey to prospects and clients the value of strategic digital marketing.
One way to do this is to find images for your clients.
The Value Images Have on Blog Posts
According to Jeff Ballus, blog posts with images receive 94% more total views than those without an image!
That’s pretty convincing.
Content marketing is turning to more of a visual field. Places like Pinterest and Instagram rely on visual content for their platform – people are attracted to great looking images.
So, what happens when a client asks you to find images for them? How do you find the right one and where do you go?
Not All Images are Created Equal
If you are new to blogging, you might think you can just grab a photo from Google. I mean Google does have an image search, right?
But, not all images are free to use, distribute or modify.
According to Social Media Examiner,
You’ve heard the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, but when that picture is protected by copyright, the picture is only worth three words: cease and desist.
If an image is copyrighted, it means you cannot use it unless you have direct authorization from the owner. It’s there to protect the owner and he or she can sell or transfer the image to you for use.
If you don’t know if a picture you found is copyright protected, err on the side of cation – it probably is.
Are there images that aren’t copyright protected? There are many other images to choose from and these have specific licenses, so here are the important ones to consider:
1. Royalty Free (RF)
These refer to stock photos where you pay an initial user fee. Once you pay for the license, you have free unlimited use of that image according to the terms specified. No other royalty payments are issued.
Some royalty-free sites are:
These are a little pricy, but if you find you have multiple clients who require a feature image, you might have better luck paying for a stock photo than trying to find a free image to use.
2. Creative Commons (CC)
Images with a creative commons license are free to use, but they do carry some restrictions based on the type:
Creative Commons (Attribution 3.0):
Images are free to share and adapt for personal or commercial use. These images do require attribution, meaning, you need to give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license and mention if there were changes made. Here is a list of CC- Attribution 3.0 images:
Creative Commons (Zero): Under this license, photos are free to copy, modify and distribute (even for commercial use) without requiring attribution. These images are completely free to use on your personal blog and with clients. Here are some of the best sites for free images:
- Death to the Stock Photo
These are images for which the copyright has officially expired or never existed. They are free for personal and commercial use for just about anyone.
Be aware, the laws regarding public domain licensing are different for every country. So, before using an image, double check that it’s defined as public domain in your country and your client’s country.
Here is a list of US-based public domain images that can be used worldwide (some images may have restrictions so make sure to read the disclaimers on each image):
- Flickr Commons
- Public Domain Pictures
- 1 Million Free Pictures
- Free Stock Photos
- My Public Domain Pictures
Showcase Your Skills
Knowing where to find images and which ones to use isn’t public knowledge. Many start-ups and local businesses haven’t a clue about which images they can use.
When you can provide your expertise on image licensing and where to source images, you take the guesswork out for clients. They will come to lean on you for their visual content needs.
Many start-ups and local businesses haven’t a clue about which images they can use.
So, explore these sites, bookmark the ones you like the best (I love Pixabay since they have a huge index of both Creative Commons and Public Domain images) and become a strategic partner in your clients’ content marketing plan.
Over to you – tell us, which site is your go-to place to find images for your clients?