This One Misstep in Your Legal Marketing Strategy Could Cost You Thousands

If there is one mistake I see attorneys and law firms making over and over again, it's that they are not completely familiar with the rules associated with using pictures. A well-intentioned attorney may understand the rules associated with copyright law fine and well on their own, but outsourcing content writing or social media scheduling to a freelancer, for example, could generate problems if the freelancer isn't on the same page about copyrighted photos. Hiring the right legal SEO writer is half the battle, but if you want to use images (and you should), you need properly licensed photos.

I've had the opportunity to work with law firms who have been served nasty cease and desist letters from Getty Images because they did not know that their outsourced freelancers were posting stolen content on their blog in the form of pictures. Simply googling "lawyer" or "courtroom" could turn up hundreds of thousands of possibilities in Google images but this doesn't mean they are properly licensed to be used on your law firm website or your social media channels.

Some people have even gotten into the business of profiting off of the misuse of their own pictures. I've even heard stories of individuals who are posting their pictures on royalty-free stock photo websites and then pursue legal action against the individuals who are unable to prove when the picture was downloaded or how it was obtained.

This makes it extremely important to identify a legal SEO content writer who has the experience identifying properly licensed photos for your blog. This will frequently involve their own membership to a stock photo website where they download pictures. This generates a clear receipt and chain of who had the picture and when it was obtained in the event that a question arises.

 

Make Sure Your Legal SEO Writer Freelancer Knows the Law

It also puts the responsibility on the freelancer to be clear about using things that are only properly licensed for commercial use. Certain photos, even on paid stock websites, for example, will have information listed that is only for editorial use so it wouldn't be an appropriate fit to take that same picture and put it on the cover of your paid e-book to promote your services on Kindle. No matter what route you decide to go, I strongly recommend a membership to a paid stock photo site or working directly with a freelancer who has an in-depth understanding of using properly licensed photos for commercial use. This could save you thousands of dollars or headaches from the law firm's perspective.

Bear in mind that this becomes even more important if you are considered a thought leader in your industry. Having stolen or improperly licensed materials on your website could generate problems you simply don't have time to deal with. Make sure you've done the proper research in hiring a legal SEO content writer who understands how to approach pictures safely and legally.