Ethically Acquire Your Marketing Images

ID-10079579Google image search and other image tools have made it very easy to find amazing illustrations and photographs online for your marketing. However, the tools should come with a warning, most of those images are not free for the taking.

Many trainers, consultants, and professional coaches use images in correlation with blogs or social media posts. But if you don’t know where the image came from, it’s likely that you’re violating a copyright. A good tool for checking is If you paste the URL of an image into their search function it will display stock photo sites that offer the image. If your image shows up in a stock image collection and you haven’t paid for it, then it should not be used in your marketing. If you really like the photo, purchase it from the stock collection, otherwise keep looking.

There are many good stock image sites with reasonable prices but even if you have no budget for images that doesn’t preclude you from attaining them appropriately. We prefer Their license allows for free downloads of small low resolution images perfect for blogs or social media as long as their site and original creator is credited.

Be diligent about the images you use. It’s the ethical thing to do and will protect you from receiving a cease and desist letter if the stock photo company discovers their property used inappropriately.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

In Competition with . . . Yourself

Most trainers, consultants, and professional coaches have plenty of competition but some still insist on adding more . . . themselves. Pay close attention to your calls to action. If you find that your offers are too similar or promoted simultaneously, you’re probably competing against yourself.

We run into this primarily with two particular calls to action.

The first is events. It’s OK to promote events at the same time but there should be a clear differentiator like topic or location. The differentiator should not be subtle. If location is the differentiator then it should be significant, not a ten minute drive from one to the other. If the topic is the differentiator then the presentation should be touching on mostly unrelated topics.

If it’s not readily apparent to your audience, then you risk confusing them or dividing them. If you can’t clearly define the significant differentiator, you’re better served merging the events into a single event and promoting that to both segments.

The second is reports or whitepapers. The only time it’s OK to simultaneously promote different whitepapers or reports is if they are being offered to different segments. The same group of people should not be made an offer for new whitepapers simultaneously. Rather promote the first and get some mileage out of it and then promote the second.

There are only two exceptions to this rule whitepaper/reports recaps where the content has already been made available but a recap is listing all of the items that are available. The second is if one report should follow the second. For instance, if a report references another report it could be promoted as reference material.

If there is any flexibility, avoid promoting similar calls to action at the same time. If the timing of offers requires that more than one offer be promoted at the same time a clear differentiator must be made obvious. Otherwise your audience might skip an offer they would typically be interested in for the competition, your other offer. Worse yet, they might be unsure which offer is best suited for them and skip it all together.