It’s all about the image…
We live in an image-led world, and that’s no more obvious than in the world of massage, spa and wellness. When you’re selling your services, no matter if it’s in print or online, you need to find beautiful, appropriate images that match your business and brand. Oh, and if possible, inexpensively.
While it’s advisable to hire an expert to create your business branding unless you are experienced in design yourself, there are a lot of places that offer great quality free, paid and subscription-based images to help you with social media and more. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
There’s an old saying that ‘there’s no such thing as a free ride’ and although that’s not necessarily accurate when it comes to images, you need to take a lot of care when you’re sourcing freebies. Having said that, one website that is still good to use is Unsplash. There is a huge selection of lovely images, searchable by theme. They are free to use and excellent quality, but the artists ask for credit to be given where possible. They can be used commercially, but not resold. Be careful if you use an image with a person in; the rule of thumb here is to think about whether that person would likely be happy for their image to be used in the context you are using it.
Another well-known free site is Pixabay. While many people use the site, and there are some good, free images to be found, a word of warning; there have been problems. There have been instances of people adding a photo to Pixabay without the artist’s permission, and then the people who have unwittingly downloaded it have found themselves in trouble.
A newer addition to the block is Pixel Rockstar. These images are only for blogs, as they come via a WordPress plugin, but it’s worth checking them out if you’re a prolific blogger. They are popular and periodically stop taking new members so you might have to wait a while to join up.
In general, when you’re looking for free images, the rule of thumb is you should avoid using photos with identifiable people, private properties, logos or trademarks wherever possible.
A safer option may well be to join a site that you have to subscribe to. In that way, you have a certain amount of comeback against the seller of the images; you can assume that any models in the images have given their permission for their image to be used and the seller has release forms and all necessary legal permissions.
A good, inexpensive place to start would be Canva. The best thing about a Canva membership is that you don’t just get your images, you get access to a fantastic array of templates for on and offline designs. A monthly membership costs from $9.95 to $12.95 depending on whether you pay annually or monthly. Membership entitles you to use all of the premium images for free in your designs – along with any business branding, images, colours and logos. With 60+ million premium stock images, photos, videos and graphics you should be spoiled for choice, and they are all available for commercial use. The only thing you can’t do is sell them on unaltered.
For a vast selection of images, videos and vectors for designers, you could also sign up for Adobe. There are light use packages starting at 5 credits, or you may prefer a monthly subscription plan that gives you access to as many images as you need per month. It’s pricier than Canva but there are searchable collections that allow you to search by theme, size, orientation and more so it’s great if you do a lot of designing and creating.
These are usually themed – something along the lines of the Massage and Spa Success Content Club Memberships that give you a selection of images on a subscription basis, tailored to your business. These are great if you want tailored content, themes and images that are carefully selected to work for your business. They also have added value as the packages contain marketing materials, advice and social media posts as well as images.
There are new services and sellers popping up all the time online, so make sure that you do your research and find an image provider that works for you.