Use Photos for Social Media – Not Proposals

Social Media is part of our daily lives. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube are great places for photos. Even business websites often use photos of their leadership team and include email addresses and direct phone numbers. The thinking is that people will feel closer to the business if they can see the working team and reach them directly.

Companies really like to feature their team if they feel their personnel are attractive. Maybe these companies think clients will be drawn to these people and want to do business with them. Unfortunately it just doesn’t work that way.

If your company uses photos on your website, what is your message?

  • We’re very professional?
  • We’re a lot of fun?
  • We’re diverse?
  • We’re a “mature” team?
  • We’re a “young and hip” team?

The advantage for the website visitor is they can identify individuals they may be meeting…or want to meet.


Please don’t use personnel emails or direct extensions unless the individual(s) are in the “Sales” or “Business Development” area. Even then, consider using a separate email such as so you can filter all the incoming spam. It’s also best to have a central phone number…again, to have a first line of defense for spam calls.

According to a study at the University of California, Irvine, it takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after an interruption. Let your receptionist filter calls to minimize those disruptions. Have them take a message and send through email so your team can return the calls when they have completed a task. Of course there is always an exception for the “Hot Lead” – but it’s better for the receptionist to interrupt you and let you know what’s coming. There is no way to get work done when you are answering the 40th call of the day, and it’s another spammer trying to sell you something your company doesn’t buy.

For those that write proposals, uninterrupted time is extremely important. You need a place where your thoughts can flow and not be interrupted before you get them on paper.


Photos may be fine for Social Media and even websites, but personnel photos should not be used in proposals. Evaluators will form an opinion when they see a photo. For example, does the person in the photo come across as:

  • Too old?
  • Too young?
  • Unprofessional?
  • Stuffy?
  • Goofy?
  • Mean looking?

…or do they remind the evaluator of an unpleasant experience with an ex? (YIKES!)

The reaction to a photo is subjective and may be positive or negative. Why take the chance? Describe your team using credentials. Tell the evaluators why you are the best company for the job and consider using a Features/Benefits Table to highlight strengths.


??? What were your thoughts when you first looked at the photo associated with this BD Tips? Note that he is a convicted felon.