When Team Members Don’t Want to Be In Your Insurance Agency Photos

You may be casually scrolling on your favorite social networks admiring all the smiling faces you see at other agencies and you think, let’s start getting pictures of our team out there. They are the engine to our whole business. You grab the camera and start trying to capture the true essence of your agency. However, what you find is people throwing their hands up in protest. Sadness sinks in—your team doesn’t want to be on camera representing the agency. So how do other agencies do it?

It may be surprising, but as we are working on brand guides, for many agencies that select a people-centric approach there is the same awkward conversation the owner broaches with us. “Now that we need a photo shoot, how do I tell my team?” Thoughts of walkouts enter our minds, but the reality is it’s not that bad; we just need to navigate the situation.

I remember when I told my mom I was engaged. She was so happy. Then when I told her the wedding is in 90 days, her immediate reaction was that she needed to lose 20lbs, and how could she do that in 90 days? Instead of being excited, she was in sheer terror of photos that will be seen forever not presenting her at her best. Your team can feel the same exact way. So as an insurance agency owner what can you do to encourage more photogenic personalities to appear?

Provide Notice

Many insurance agencies are run by busy working mothers. This means on any given day there may be a toothpaste stain or some deodorant remnants on a shirt. Or it could be a low on laundry week, and your awesome shirt was already used up 4 days ago. When people have some notice they can present at their best making them feel more comfortable.

Branded Clothing

To avoid the question of what to wear, think about providing branded clothing to your team. We wrote a post about how this can be a great way to turn your team into billboards. When they know what to wear and everyone looks incredibly swagged, your pictures come out better. Also, then you don’t have to worry about Betty in the back with a sequin onesie for an outfit.

Professional Photos vs. Candids

If you are using the photos for your insurance agency’s website or marketing materials – invest in a photographer. Interview the photographer to see how they make people feel comfortable in front of the lights and camera. Often they can show your team real time photos to get their buy-in during the shoot. Also, the right photographer has had to talk a nervous Nellie off the ledge a time or two and can make them feel comfortable.

For the candid shots, start with the people who aren’t camera shy! Once there are a few fun shots of birthdays, parties and holidays people loosen up. They see how the images are used, and they start to see the clients’ reactions on social media as being positive. Remember we are in insurance, so all we do is think about risk. In our minds after anything new is introduced, we go to the worst case scenario. In this instance it’s my high school ex-boyfriend will find me on social media and start cyber stalking me. Don’t worry—it’s super easy to block creepers!

Share Examples

Any time something new is introduced it can be nerve-wracking and uncomfortable. Sharing examples of branding where insurance agencies are using their people can lessen the discomfort. There is a great volume of content out there, but some of our favorite branding clients you can look up that use their people include: Paradiso Insurance, Harbor/Brenn Insurance, Spivey Insurance and Klinger Insurance.

Upfront Transparency When You Hire Someone

When you hire someone new to the team, ask in the interview if they are ok with being in agency photos. If they aren’t, you should think about whether they will make a great brand ambassador. Sometimes people can struggle with the concept, but if you have 2 qualified candidates and one is good with it while one isn’t, you know the choice.

Kelly Donahue-Piro is the Co-Founder of Agency Appeal and President of Agency Performance Partners.

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