3 mistakes wellness businesses make using images

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 drmichaela michaela bucchianeri health and wellness copy coach 3 mistakes wellness businesses make using images

When it comes to branding your business to market your private practice or coaching business, the images you select really matter!  I'm sharing 3 mistakes health and wellness business owners make using images, as well as my best website tips for small businesses. PLUS: I'm sharing a review of my top choice for styled stock images: Social Squares!


Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. VIDEO: 3 mistakes wellness businesses make using images
  3. Mistake #1: Using no image whatsoever
  4. Mistake #2: Defaulting to the status quo
  5. Mistake #3: Going too literal when pairing your images with your copy
  6. Review of Social Squares
  7. Claim your FREE GIFT! 🎁
  8. Recommended resources
  9. Let's take action
  10. Share this post



As a self-professed word nerd, my brain thinks in prose, not pictures. Even I can't deny we're living in a visual world, and it's true that the right image chosen with intention and purpose goes such a long way toward communicating your message. 

I am so excited to bring you this new series focused on navigating the tricky world of pairing images with your copy. We're kicking things off with three mistakes I see health and wellness business owners making when it comes to using images. 

As part of this series, I'm happy to highlight Social Squares, my go-to resource for style, stock, and images to use in your business. If you'd like to give Social Squares a try yourself, sign up using the link. Send me a message when you do, and I will send you a special gift, but more about that later. 

Now, before we begin, "a disclaimer", is the selection of images for your website subjective? Yes, it definitely is. You know yourself and your business and the people that you're trying to reach best. So always filter everything that I'm sharing through the lens of what you already know. 

These mistakes I'm going to be sharing with you are my own opinions, of course. These opinions have been formed over my experience working with many, many different health and wellness professionals, and the common mistakes that I see come up a lot that can really undermine your efforts toward reaching your people in the way that you want to. End disclaimer.  

Read on for the 3 mistakes I see wellness businesses make using images:

Please note: You can support my blog by using the affiliate links below! If you go on to make a purchase, I'll receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you! 


VIDEO: 3 mistakes wellness businesses make using images


Mistake #1: Using no image whatsoever

I think this happens for a few different reasons. Maybe you are really eager to get your website or your online presence up and running, and you haven't had a chance to book a professional photo shoot, maybe you're just not totally clear on what you want the visual identity of your website to be. 

Those are all really understandable reasons why you might not have included images so far. We want to move you past them because images play a very important role in supporting your copy on your website. They help command the attention of visitors to your site, this is vital if they're going to stick around. They help break up the copy that you've included there so that it's easier to digest. They facilitate the scroll down the page. They reinforce the identity of you and your business that you're wanting to portray online. They can bring an additional layer of meaning and nuance, helping communicate the core of your message to the people that you're trying to reach. 

In general, if you work with clients or patients, or if you're a service provider, I think it's helpful to have at least one professional image of you. Then some images of your space, or of you doing the work that you do, even if it's remotely. A core set of supporting images that can communicate your brand aesthetic, and the overall vibe that you're wanting to create for your people, can help highlight key points of the content that you're sharing on your site. 

By the way, that doesn't just go for your website. If you have a listing on a professional directory, like Psychology Today, for example, you want to make sure that your profile picture is a high-quality, up-close image of your face. Then you'll also want to use any additional space you're allowed to share images of your physical space or anything else that's going to help shape expectations and demystify the process for your people. 


Mistake #2: Defaulting to the status quo

Defaulting to the status quo is kind of the industry standard that is not really a standard but everyone just seems to follow it. A norm, an industry norm. We'll call it that. These are the kinds of images that you tend to see pop up again and again and again within a particular industry or niche. It'll depend on the type of work that you do specifically.  

I'll just pick on the therapy world because that's the world that I'm part of. In therapy and life coaching and even some health coaching, we tend to see a lot of images of a single drop of water on the surface of a lake and ripples coming off of it. We also see lotus flowers, images that are centered around the tree of life, and hands clasped together or open in all sorts of different configurations.

If you're reading this right now, thinking, "me and my ripples and lotus flower are feeling personally attacked right now". Please know I'm not picking on you specifically. There's a reason these are so commonly used. They're often stunningly beautiful images, and they also serve as really handy metaphors for evolution and incremental growth. Here's the issue with these images. When they are everywhere, they start to become scenery. They lose their potency and they don't have the intended effect. Even when you have labored over choosing these images, if they are too familiar, the market is so saturated with images of that type, then the person you're most trying to communicate with almost doesn't see them in the way that you are hoping that they will.

It's normal, especially when we're just getting started to look to other people in our field to guide our decisions. This is one area where you and the people you're trying to reach will be much better served if you take a step back and do some brainstorming about what goal you're actually trying to achieve with your images. What kind of feeling are you trying to evoke? Use what you know about your people and then consider all of the different ways that you could convey that same vibe, that same feeling, that same meaning.

Don't be afraid to draw a line in the sand and be unique because when you do, it's naturally going to create a healthy sense of polarity. Some visitors to your site will be drawn in, they'll be attracted to that. Others, it won't resonate, and that's exactly what we want.


Mistake #3: Going too literal when pairing your images with your copy

This is where the meaning of your image is just so bang smack on the nose, that you don't even need the copy there, it's that clear. I always think about old-school headache medication commercials. There's a guy rubbing his head and it's like pulsing red, and he's like, “Oh, my head hurts”. It's a very literal visual story that's being told alongside the actual ad copy for Excedrin. Other places we see this show up in the health and wellness world is the couple gridlocked in an argument on a couch to convey marital discord or an aerial shot of feet on a scale talking about weight. You also see someone staring down their reflection in a full-length mirror or a fragmented piece of a mirror to convey body image concerns.

What is the issue with these? I actually don't think it's always a bad idea to pair your images literally with your copy. In fact, in an upcoming video, I'm going to be sharing three different approaches you can take to pairing your images with your copy. If your only strategy is to pair literally every single time you run the risk of coming across more like a corporate brochure than a living, breathing, modern dynamic business.

Even as a non-visual arts person, I have come to learn through trial and error and experience that there is in fact an art to pairing your images with your words. That's why even when you select an image that might be the correct choice in terms of how it corresponds to the point that you're trying to make, by the time it reaches your client on the other end of the screen, it's actually devalued your message a bit. It's taken it down a few notches in terms of perceived quality, and terms of the nuance of the emotional tone you're trying to strike. So, when you're choosing your images, try to step out of that box, it has to look a certain way. Again, brainstorm all the different options you have for choosing an image that can support that message.


Review of Social Squares:

My very favorite place to draw visual inspiration is Social Squares, the premier-styled stock photography subscription with a catalog of over 6,000 images and growing. It gives you everything you need to create a polished, cohesive, and aesthetic online presence.

Some of my favorite features include the ability to curate your own custom collection of images based on your brand colors and specific keywords that you want to include. You also have a library of built-in tutorials to help you put your images to use in your business and a growing database of live marketing training just for members. Your subscription even includes an evergreen library of captions organized by theme, easy to access, and ready to be downloaded and customized to suit your own specific needs.


Claim your FREE GIFT 🎁:

Speaking of captions, as a longtime Social Squares user and a proud affiliate, I want to offer you a free gift. If you sign up for a Social Square subscription of your own and then send me an email to let me know. I will send you a super-secret, very special set of Madlib style, customizable captions written by me and ready to be used by you to promote your business online.

Again, this is kicking off a whole new series, so I've got lots of great content coming your way.



Recommended resources

Want to explore more ways to use images and copy for your website? Check out these blog posts:


Let's take action!

Ready to implement what you learned in this post? I like your style!

  1. Choose 1 of the mistakes in this post and review your site for your business.
  2. Curious about the Copy Challenge I offer? Come join us here! 
  3. Want more actionable tips + real-life examples to help you reach more of your dream clients? Subscribe to my email list! 

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