The art of netiquette…what everyone needs to know

What is netiquette? Its a term I first came across a few years ago when I joined The Wellness Universe.

They had strict rules on the use of materials on your social media posts and website.  The coin has been termed from good manners (etiquette) on the interNET.  Basically you were encouraged to use your own images and if you were going to use another person’s artwork on your posts you had to credit them.

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Now this can cause some perplexion and headaches!  You may find yourself asking “Am I allowed to use this?”.  If someone wanted to use a picture of my artwork on a post I would be thrilled – what a compliment…but very disappointed if I was then not credited.  Same goes for the written word, video and music…not just artwork.

Lets face it we are all guilty of doing this at some point!  First starting out in business we may find some artwork we like and think oh I will just use that.  Think again.  This is breaching copyright.  If you are not a techie person you can do some artwork yourself and scan it to use for advertising materials.  These days we can take awesome photos on our phones and edit them very easily with apps such as Instagram that can then be used for print or social media posts.  Other useful apps such as Canva and Ripl also help you to edit photos and images, add text and make videos – all great for blogs, newsletters, websites and social media.

There are some websites were you can download free images to use (such as the one above) like stockfreeimages.com.  I suggest though that you use as many of your own personal images as much as possible as they carry your energy.  Especially use photos of yourself!  Clients want to see you.  Most people who come to me through my website comment on the images used on it.  Firstly my photo on the homepage (which was actually taken during my wedding vow renewals so very happy smiley energy).  Secondly the lovely animal photos taken by my friend Bob Slassor and the lovely logo and artwork/website design by Sam at Art of the Angels.

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I’ve also recently had other photographer friends who have helped me with portraits and images that I can use.  Its always worth investing in a professional shoot for photos to use for your business.

Don’t beat yourself up to much if you have done this just change your habits for the future.  Find yourself a good graphic designer/artist who you can call on for logos and branding.  Be wary…I have bought designed images in the past which I have discovered contain artwork taken from artists and copied and pasted into a new design.  Do your research!

When you share an image of artwork on social media always credit the artists and if possible even link to their facebook page or website.  I saw an image of a sculpture on a group I follow.  I knew who the artist was and actually commented who it was and why had they not credited her.  At that point the image had a 1000 comments and 350 + shares.  A great advertising opportunity for this artist…lost!  Just last week a popular person shared a post with no credit to the artist, again I happened to know who it was and commented.  There were also other comments asking that the artist be credited.

Thanks to Opulenz Photography and Blackwood Gallery for these images above.

So now you know what netiquette is…copyright is a whole other blog post!!

BIO

Hi there I am Angela Sessions, guess I’m an entrepreneur as I started my business aged just 23 back in 2000!  I am a Reiki teacher and Shamanic Practitioner/Teacher.  Drama therapist and Laughter Yoga Facilitator.  I write and teach workshops on many spiritual topics such as angels and crystal healing.

You can find me at Reiki Star where you can sign up to my newsletter for up to date info on what is happening and the buzz at Reiki Star HQ

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