Everyone of your team members has an interesting story to tell.
The real question you need to address is how much of this story should you share and in what way?
Your staff or team page on your website needs to accurately reflect your company culture, industry standards and your brand identity.
It cannot and should not be a "throw away" page that is haphazardly pulled together.
Your customers and clients want to know what your brand is all about, and, particularly early on in the awareness stage of the buyer's journey, they will be highly interested in the experience level and the personalities of those people they might be working closely with in the future.
Be thoughtful about how you build your staff page and individual biographies. Take the time to do it right and to make certain the team you present to the world mirrors the brand story you want to tell.
So, in that spirit, we offer 6 best practices for crafting your staff page and team member biographies.
- Get Your Team On Board and Organized in Advance.
Communicate with your team early and often and plan ahead. If a photoshoot is needed, set clear standards for appropriate attire, whatever you decide that to be. Give team members a lot of notice so that there are no excuses for missing the photoshoot date. In addition, set expectations for their participation in the bio creation process by requesting updated resumes, LinkedIn profiles and also giving them a heads up that they might be writing a rough draft of their own bio.
- Professional-Looking Pictures Matter.
Hire a professional photographer to take headshots and group photos. You won't get the look you need by having internal staff take headshots with their phones, or by manipulating old headshots from past jobs. The results will look unprofessional and inconsistent and this is the last thing you want.
- Know Your Culture and Brand.
To create effective team pages and bios, you need to understand your culture and brand identity.
- If you are not sure about culture and brand, take a step back and do that work first, then revisit your team pages.
- As an interim solution, you can simply list team members names and titles, or perhaps only create bios for senior leaders. Then, once you are comfortable with the culture and brand you want to project to the market, take another shot at a more expansive and inclusive team page and bios.
- Decide How Deep You'll Go.
There is no best practice for how many staff members to feature on your team page. It's best decided on a case-by-case basis.
- For large businesses with many employees, senior leadership is likely most appropriate.
- For a small to mid-size company, it's possible every staff member has a bio or that diving two layers deep is appropriate.
- You could show too much depth, and therefore create the perception you are too big and too expensive.
- Or, conversely, your bench could look too thin and your organization could appear top heavy with little or no experience at the lower levels.
The takeaway here is to think this through because it matters and has ramifications for how your business is perceived by the market.
Keep Your Bios Consistent.
Decide in advance what categories of information you want to feature. Every bio does not have to be the same length- in fact more experienced staff and senior leadership members should likely have longer bios- but the categories of information need to be uniform.
- For example, staff bios should always include current job title, role and responsibilities and past experience.
- Whether you decide to include items like education level, professional certifications, awards and personal information depends on your industry and the composition of your team.
- As an alternative solution, should your team have varying levels of experience from veteran to newbie, standardize the team bios according to your established hierarchy, i.e. senior leader bios include these categories, management includes these, and individual contributor and admin or support staff are completed in a specific, consistent way.
Again, the takeaway here is to make every attempt to be consistent with content categories across all bios, if possible.
- Get Team Buy-In.
It's very important to include your team in the process and to create a sense of participation. How much staff involvement is really up to you. At a minimum, it's important to allow each team member to review their bios prior to it being used online or in print. That's not to say every edit they suggest needs to be made, but it will help catch inaccuracies and limit the chance your valuable employees will be surprised by bio content after the fact.
To create an impactful team page and compelling staff bios, follow these best practices and you'll be happy with the results:
- Give advanced notice and set standards
- Invest in professional headshots and team photos
- Know your culture and brand
- Be thoughtful and strategic about which staff to include
- Be consistent with content categories
- Involve staff in the bio review process
We have a lot of experience helping businesses like yours successfully shape their brand story. Reach out. We're here to help.