Photos and videos are the best way of showcasing your business. You are able to show off what you are offering. On the other hand, your clients can see what exactly they are getting.
The best thing to do when you want to use your client’s photo or video is to ask. Always ask for permission to use other people’s images. You need to ensure that you are not invading people’s privacy, violating their rights to publicity, or defaming them.
So, how safely can you use your client’s photos or videos you take of them for marketing your business?
Different countries/states may have different laws/rules when it comes to sharing photos/videos online. You need to find out what the law requires of you in your own area. Also, each social media platform has its own terms of usage. Make sure you educate yourself on that.
Here is a list of things that you should do when posting your client’s photos or videos online.
Ask before taking the video/photo
Part of the process of marketing your business online is taking videos and photos. For example, a video of you doing your client’s hair, nails, or even bikini waxing. You need these videos and images to showcase your work. But, is your client okay with being filmed in the process? You’ve got to ask.
Ask them before you set up your cameras. They have to be comfortable with it first. State your intentions for taking the videos or images. If they are not okay with it, stop. Put the camera away. On the other hand, if they don’t mind it, go ahead and film.
State Your Intentions
As discussed above, tell your client what your intentions are with the photos/videos that you are taking of them. Are you taking an image to mock your client? No one wants to be embarrassed on the internet. This is also why you should ask before publishing their images.
Ask before posting/sharing their videos/photos
If you take their image or video, and they don’t want you to share it, don’t. Always ask them for consent before publishing.
Remove Video/Photo If They Ask
After posting/sharing the images/videos and your client wants them removed, do that. Especially if they are identifiable in the image.
For example, the video is a behind-the-scene where we see the client and the work in process. If the client decides that they don’t want the video to be published anymore, you should ask why, and explain why you need them online. If there was an agreement prior to publishing, you could charge them before removing the images online.
Asking them why they want the images removed will help you come up with a win-win solution.
Publishing your work is a smart way of marketing your business. It’s an opportunity to get more clients. You don’t want to lose the ones you already have in pursuit of the ones that you don’t.
Create a social media policy with a legal team. Get started with a template and build ongoing rapport. This will help you and your employees adhere to responsible social media practices. Practices that will protect employees, clients, and your business.
The Law and Posting Unauthorized Photos
If you take your client’s photo and publish it without their consent, you can find yourself on the wrong side of the law. This is especially true if the person in the image is identifiable.
Invasion of Privacy
Posting your client’s private information without their consent is wrong. For example, their phone number, email address, social media handles, home, etc.
Don’t share clients’ information that could lead to them being cyberbullied, or even physically attacked.
Do not share images that make your client appear in a way that was not intended. For example, manipulating the images in a way that shows that they did something that was not okay in the public eye. If this results in the suffering of the said client or their family member(s), it can result in a lawsuit for you or your business.
Right of Publicity
Lastly and most importantly for you as a business owner, in this case, right of publicity. Taking and publishing a person’s image for commercial purposes without consent can lead to a violation of their right of publicity.
Right of publicity is designed to guard a person’s rights against “emotional distress”. It protects the commercial value that an individual has since acquiring celebrity status (in this case, the client). To violate this right, the public must be able to identify the person (client) in the published image.
Create a good relationship with your clients. Make sure they understand that you need the images to promote your business. They probably also knew about you from a social media platform where they saw images of other clients, making them choose you. If they agree to let you take and post their photos/videos, maybe provide a discount.
Be as transparent as possible and respect your client’s privacy. Remember, what’s important is retaining your client and getting as many referrals as possible.