In my opinion, good photos of you and your staff are paramount to presenting a strong quality brand and a level of respect towards your clients.
One of my mantras is that it benefits not just to have good photos, but to photograph pretty much everyone in your business or organisation; that clients and customers appreciate the well presented introduction of the people they will either being dealing with, or the people behind the scenes who form the business machinery.
I think presenting your employees on your website is a good thing but I have been challenged recently with a thought that had not struck me before. That being that if you showcase everyone, you make a statement about how big your business is which, however large you are, can suggest you are either too small or too big for a client’s needs. This concern has made a client think maybe having everyone photographed is a negative move.
It troubled me for a while because it undid part of, let me be honest, my sales pitch. I never hard sell, preferring to suggest options and benefits as well as needing to feel comfortable that I do believe what I suggest, or sell.
I think there might be fair argument in the above. Maybe some clients will decide on calling based on how many people make up the company. Maybe people don’t call me because I don’t directly employ photographers and have three studios. Maybe if I did, some people would be intimidated and seek a one person business.
Ultimately the decision rests with the individual business owner/manager. It is maybe more of a branding issue, a question of how you want to place yourself in your market and the type of business that you run, as well as perhaps the type of interaction there is between your staff and clients.
So what will be my response to the question next time?
Well, the first is that if you already showcase people then ensure the photos are top notch. If you aren’t willing or able to invest in having your people properly photographed, don’t showcase them visually. Better to have a clean text profile than a rotten photo. If budget or organisational constraints limit what you can do, concentrate on good portraits of senior management.
Secondly, however many people you do decide to have photographed, commit to the principle. Once you start don’t turn back. If you invest in good portraits only to mix in rubbish at a later date, for example when a new member joins the team, you may as well not make the commitment in the first place.
Thirdly, the reason I still think there is benefit to having everyone photographed is LinkedIn. If you decide to not showcase everyone you might want to consider that pretty much all your employees will be on social media, most likely LinkedIn.
By extension, particularly if they use their social media to extend your business, their level of presentation reflects directly on your brand. For example if you happen to run a recruitment agency and your staff use LinkedIn and other online platforms to reach your clients, you might want to consider the impact of their potentially under par photos.
It drills into a deeper strata of branding. I know of businesses that exert strict dress codes on staff, so as to maintain a highly professional image, but don’t pay attention to how they present photographically whilst on company business away from the website.
So I am still comfortable making a case for a business having everyone properly photographed, it is then just a question of how, when and where the photos are used.