If your website visitors take the time to look at your “About” section, specifically your team/management page, it’s probably because they’re curious about the people behind the company. Maybe they want to get a better sense of people’s credentials. Maybe they want to put faces with names. Maybe they’re hoping to get a “feel” if your company is the right fit. In other words, your team page matters and should be compelling.
So, be honest: how interesting, informative, and real are your team bios? Do they read like an enlightening feature story, one that will make people go “THIS is someone I want to work with?” Or do they read like tedious corporate copy laced with endless jargon?
Yeah, we thought so. :) Don’t worry. If your team bios are suffering from the blues, here are six ideas that’ll spruce them up in no time.
1. Write the bios like a story. Who says your bio needs to read like the ten million other boring bios out there? There’s no rule or law. This is not gravity. Get creative in how you tell the Story of You. If writing creatively is not your specialty, then hire a good copywriter. (Bonus points if the copywriter moonlights as a novelist, since this person will have the creative chops to write a bio that connects with readers.) Here’s the bio for copywriter Steve Tannuzzo, written like a fun story.
Note: the story format is just that—one format. You might decide a bullet point list works better, or a Q&A, or something else entirely. That’s fine—and welcome. Horny Toad Activewear has a great twist on the corporate bio.
2. Say no to dull headshots. If you already have professional headshots, you don’t necessarily need to axe them, especially if you paid good money for them (we know how pricy they can be). But consider softening their potentially “stuffy” feel by adding candid shots to the mix.
Show yourself—and your fellow team members—as real people enjoying and living life. It could be an action shot, a family shot, or even a shot from way back when (it can be a playful touch when everyone on the team has to include a childhood picture and fun caption). Check out the awesome candid shots for the folks at Leapfrog Innovations.
3. Keep in mind that design and layout can go a long way in livening up a page. You’ll need to rely on your web designer for this, but we almost guarantee he or she will love being given some creative freedom with this page. Even if the rest of your site is more staid, consider allowing some flexibility with the design and layout of your team page. Even small design flairs—like adding pushpin graphics on candid shots—can add a bit of panache. Remember, the team page is about humans, so it should sound and look human. Check out the fun team page layout for LEEZA Surfaces.
4. Add a “surprise” bio. After a long list of people in suits and silk blouses, it can be a refreshing touch to add an expected picture, like the office dog or cat. And yes, Fido and Fluffy should have their own bios. We love the info on the “Office Dog” at Moosejaw.
5. Consider adding videos. Let’s face it: words can only go so far. To really get to know someone, you need to hear the person’s voice and observe the person as he or she talks. Enter videos. These don’t need to be professional videos that you sink a ton of cash into. Smartphone and tablet video cams are high quality enough to produce the desired effect. Just make sure you have good lighting and sound. Simply give people the opportunity to introduce themselves (no more than 30 seconds). Here are examples from a type of business where you might not expect much deviation from the norm: a law firm.
6. If your company absolutely requires “formal” bios, see if you can provide a short Q&A section at the end of each one. We know not everyone is going to be comfortable with the suggestions we’ve made above. Change is hard, and people tend to feel safe and secure with “professional-sounding” bios. Fair enough. But if your company requires formal bios and traditional layouts, see if you can at least add a short Q&A section at the end of each bio. The questions can be simple:
- What’s your favorite part of the job?
- What do you like to do when you’re not working?
- What’s something about you that not many people know?
The goal is to show the human side. Nothing about the questions above are too playful, and the first can only help spread the company’s message about good service. (And, of course, you don’t have to go with these questions—customize them to fit your organization.)
Have you seen examples of clever company bios? What sort of bios do you have on your company’s team page? Share in the comments.