Launching a new business is a huge deal! Congrats! But now you have an Instagram to run, and you need photos, content, things to post – but how do you do that without many weddings or events of your own to post?
Some people search by hashtags, re-post photos they like, and tag the photographer. I would like to shout that THIS IS NOT OK. EVER!
There was a vendor team behind that image that was legitimately hired and they worked hard to bring a vision to life. But now, a random florist / rental company / hair stylist is posting that photo saying how much they love the style, or get bouquets like this one, or rent these linens from them – but none of it was actually their work!
Instagram stories are a place to re-share linked content for inspiration, promotion, things you love, etc – but your feed is YOURS. It is your storefront. It’s generally assumed that your posts are your own content. So don’t try and trick people. Don’t use a pretty feed that’s full of other people’s work to sell yourself.
If you really love the photo and truly feel the need to use it for your own marketing on Instagram, ASK the photographer + original vendors involved BEFORE posting. NEVER after. Need photos of gold forks you rent? Buy a stock photo and post that. There are tons of modern stock photo sites and subscriptions that are awesome for content. Take your own photo. Hire a photographer to shoot your inventory. But don’t use other people’s hard work as free marketing for your business. And don’t expect people to be flattered when you ask to use their photo – who has more followers? Which party is benefitting more from this? If it’s one-sided, say no and don’t feel bad about it.
I’ve been called nasty, mean, lots of things for saying no to people and WHY it’s a big no for new vendors to the industry – so take it from this nasty lady, think twice before using other people’s content for your own personal benefit.