« Advice to students about getting a great first marketing job | Main | Summer music series: What YOU can learn from the music business »

July 28, 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I try to make my clients include images in their posts. But I also make sure the image can push the person towards the action the writer wants them to have.

For example I have a Restaurant that I have been struggling to have them put images of there complete menu online. On every occasion I post a picture of their offerings not twitter I get a spike in reservations.

I hope you had fun at Gathering of the Vibes! Would like to see a post on that experience.

Scott Clark

Photographs, even when they are not literally reflected in the text, give you a new dimension of metaphor, emphasis, and emotional context. And I'm not talking about the handshake in front of the globe from istockphoto.

I always recommend that just as people gather blog post ideas, they also gather thoughts about appropriate photographic images. Many times they can create the photograph they need on their own just by walking through a city with the blog concept in mind. Mildly adding photo effects can add another layer of visual interest (such as Instagram effects, sepia tone, etc.)

Even when a post idea is not present, one can gather photos that have "future metaphoric potential" while on holiday or even just around their home. It's surprising how quickly you can build a library of ready-to-use images of high quality when you just stop to grab images from daily life along the way.

David Meerman Scott

Raul - Yes, the restaurant should definitely do that - but they should be original photos, not stock nonsense. I'll be doing an entire week up music-related posts next week on the blog.

Scott -- you are so right about the emotional aspects. I need to build a library myself - good idea.


Original content is an important aspect that many businesses miss out on when they choose to use stock photos over taking the pictures themselves or investing in a professional photographer. I'm glad to see someone say something about it. Hopefully more businesses will learn this lesson as well.

Great post!

Bradley H. Smith

Could not agree more! People SEE before they read. I try to use as many visuals - ( generally humorous as my niche itself is humorLESS.) NOTE: I have a "scholastic background" in fine art photography so I am a wee bit biased towards visual content.

Silly examples > http://bit.ly/kREOjw , http://bit.ly/ejZcRp, http://bit.ly/fIUPNZ, http://bit.ly/gLalbc, http://bit.ly/obVnP6

Also, I am not anti clip art… just anti-LAZY :)
http://bit.ly/lhvYxK and http://bit.ly/it3KiR


Here's what I don't get: why do companies insist on using ridiculous stock photos for everything they do? A good photo certainly helps make a sale, improve reputation, and build connections with customers (amongst other things), but that doesn't mean you have to have entirely cheesy photos to get the job done.

Take all that money you've invested in stock photos and buy a decent digital camera and maybe a strobe flash or umbrellas and take the photos yourself. Or at least reach out to freelancers who have decent collections of real-life photos.

BAM: http://flickr.com/creativecommons

David Meerman Scott

Tanner - Because most marketers are lazy.

Register domain names

Yes, I agree with you. Selection of photographs are very much important. This photographs looks nice. Thanks for sharing.


I am a photographer so I couldn't agree more. However since the drop in the economy it seems clients dont equate better photography with higher costs. Most clients now want it for next to nothing. And many photographers give it to them for less than operating costs. If you hold out for what it is worth you dont get the job. There is no negotiating today as the client usually chooses the lowest estimate.


Good to remind people that professional stock images can't convey the quality or soul of any business. People need genuine. Overall, I think there's many bumps on the road for a small biz owner to hire a photographer on their own and understand the costs or what makes them look flattering or irresistible. Kind of like the professional carpet cleaner -- the quote is never what you pay, but the end result seems worth it when you see it.
Creating an editorial calendar to put in the hands of creative photog could get you 20-30 images during a one hour session that will really shine up their offerings online. Be sure to get images that include staff. As a business owner start by posting a request on Facebook or twitter for a photographer that is already a patron or the friend of a patron. Photographers enjoy interesting clients and making connections and will post the images they took of your business on their own blogs. So have some fun.
At a minimum, get a pro photo editor to enhance bio portraits and images you already own.
DMS, I am looking forward to seeing more images from you too.

David Meerman Scott

John and Pjcich -- thanks for jumping in. Glad to see some professional photographers jumping in with ideas on this post.


Great resource today from Jay Baer on easy and affordable video post production. He's using Candidio. Here's his referral link: http://candidio.com/?referral=jaybaer. )
Video production is a scary/expensive thing that usually ends up with a forced promo with an ugly backdrop and bad makeup melting under hot lights. Much more daunting than getting quality photos on your website. The attitude of the Candidio team to make your videos genuine casual interviews spiced up with some environmental footage and then they'll take care of the rest is exactly what I've been looking for to encourage my clients to take leap into adding video to their sites.

Sasha Grey

Visual arts and effects in any cases are always the best choice to attract more people

Evolve Media

Authentic articles is a crucial factor that many businesses miss out on every time they choose to use stock photos over taking the pictures themselves or investing in a professional photographer.

Master Photographer Bob Dale

You have hit upon a competitive advantage for many people writing copy for their website. Capture attention first, sell with words second.

The comments to this entry are closed.


Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

follow me

David Meerman Scott books

I want to speak at your next event!


David Meerman Scott e-books

David's iPhone and iPad apps

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 12/2004