With the new reality of social distancing and isolation comes the challenge for small business owners wondering how to use your digital platforms to effectively communicate with your customers and clients. The last few weeks have been a challenging time for all small businesses – this is certainly the biggest challenge we’ve ever faced at Out-Smarts and judging by the calls we have been fielding from clients and our community asking about what they should communicate, how they should communicate and how to pivot to doing more business online, we are not alone. Continue reading →
Images are an excellent addition to your website, blog post or social media and can help you get more shares and interactions. However, not all images on the internet are okay to use since there are laws that allow people to have rights to those images. Using just any image you find on the internet can get you in big trouble and leave you with a hefty fine!
Image Copyright Laws in Canada
We live in a world where images are so easy to find with just a click of a button but we can’t use any image we find since there is a cost for ownership of most images. It’s important to be aware of copyright laws in Canada to ensure you don’t get fined for using content you find online. Under the law, any image taken by any device (camera, smartphone, etc.) is subject to copyright. This means that if someone takes a photo, it is their photo and anyone else that would like to use it has to seek permission from the photographer. The photographer is not required to register their work to have it copyrighted since when the photo is saved (onto a smartphone or camera roll) it automatically is subject to copyright and is protected under copyright laws. Therefore, it is essential that we learn to keep these laws in mind because if you get caught using an image that belongs to someone else- you could be fined!
How To Find Great Free Images
There are many ways to find images that are free and can enhance your content.
1. Create your own images: Grab your camera or even your smartphone to capture some images! This allows you to be in full control of what the image will love like and leaves tons of room for customization. Also, having your own images ensures that the content is original and authentic.
2. Find royalty-free images on Google: When you search on Google, make sure you’ve clicked the “labeled for reuse” button! This allows you to reuse the image. See below:
3. Use Creative Commons to search multiple platforms to find free images: This site allows you to search for images easily and helps you find free images from various platforms. Check out our blog post on Creative Commons for more information.
4. Find free images online: Using sites such as allthefreestock.com allows you to search for various free images, videos, music and icons that are royalty-free.
5. Tools such as Canva: Canva allows you to edit your images and it basically works as an easy-to-use graphic design platform. It also has a massive repository of free images along with fairly inexpensive images (approximately $1 for a high-quality image).
6. Buy images: There are sites that allow you to purchase high-quality images. Sites such as iStock allows you to buy images for as little as $12 per image. You can also get a subscription for $40 per month that gets you 10 images per month.
If you’re ever in doubt, you can always check where that image appears online through TinEye. You simply upload your image or paste a URL of the image and this tool does a reverse search to find out where that image appears online.
Keep these tips in mind next time you add images to your content!
Canadian Anti Spam Legislation comes into force on July 1st. After this date you will no longer be able to send electronic communication via Email, SMS, Social Media or IMS (basically any electronic communication means) and could face hefty fines if you do so unless they fall under the following:
CASL Recipient Exemptions
you are sending to people you have personal relationships with such as a close friend, family member (not everyone who likes you on Facebook though!)
you are sending to employees or contractors
recipients are business partners or service providers
they are current clients who have ongoing business with you
if a customer has contacted you in the last 6 months – then it is okay to reply
they are someone you have a legal issue with
if the recipient is out with Canada – there are 116 exempted countries
charities and not surprisingly, political parties are exempt (some of the worst offenders in my mind!)
if your communication is about a safety issue, warranty or recall pertaining to your products and services
if your communication is providing information about an account, product use, subscription or ongoing business relationship
if you are a digital firm providing updates or patches to users then you are good to contact them
if you have been referred – but remember to make it clear who you are, why you are contacting them and who referred you