All About You

You know, there isn’t very much modern information out there about how to write a good staff bio, so I thought I would contribute to the solution (I hope).

Every website has should have a Meet The Team page. Change the title to suit your company, but the important part here is that you have a way for potential clients, possible investors, and future team members to get to know who the people are that make your company work. If you’re a small company and it makes sense, list every employee with their bio. If your company is too large to list everyone, at least list the key management that leads your company.

The hard part, though, doesn’t seem to be in choosing who to list, but rather what to say about them. Do you keep it sterile and to-the-point to display your professionalism, or use over-the-top hyperbole to display your winning personality? Do you list the kids’ names, or the multiple degrees? It can be a little overwhelming. To take some of the frustration, here is the Visceral Concepts list of winning staff biography characteristics.

  • Written to the Audience – You have to know what your client base looks like, then you have to write to it. If you’re targeting Fortune 500 companies, you want to sound as professional as possible. On the other hand, if your market is consumers, write in a voice that shows your personality. Facebook is a great example. Their corporate site features bios that aim at investors in the company, while each manager holds a profile full of personality that faces the consumer public.
  • The Stats – Put together all of the important information – name, title, degrees, qualifications, core responsibilities – into an easy to digest “scorecard” that first identifies a category, then classifies the employee with brief responses. For example: Name – Joe Smith, Title – VP of Technology, Core Focus – Innovative, client-facing software deliverables, Degree – Bachelor in Psychology from Stanford, Years in Industry: 10.
  • The Overview – Include an overview of the employee’s full responsibilities, personality, and professional accomplishments. Never ever boast about them (or yourself) directly. When you want them to be known as a powerhouse, let the credible third-party sources do the boasting. Include references from publications and from organizations that have given the employee an award, excluding your own company. Check out the first paragraph of Owner Magazine CEO Chris Brogan’s about page for a great example of an objectively written bio paragraph.
  • The Picture – The picture is an absolute must, and should have a personality that matches that the overall site and the company.
  • Contact Info – Getting in touch with someone directly from their bio should be possible in smaller organizations. However, for the larger ones, this doesn’t always make sense, but can be great for publicity and reputation.
  • Brevity – Now that I’ve given you this whole list of qualifications that I hope you’ve been using to prep your bio, it’s the right time to tell you to be brief. It’s easy to put together a long list of things to tell your prospective clients, but most people won’t read it all. Your stats should include no more than 5 items, and your overview should be no longer than a paragraph and a half.

Remember, your staff bio may be the most important piece of your site. If they don’t like you and don’t trust you, they don’t buy from you. Make your bio the best it can be.

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards image and reputation building for small business owners.