Wrong Ways to Use Staff Biographies (and How to Get It Right)

Wrong Ways to Use Staff Biographies (and How to Get It Right)

Wrong Ways to Use Staff Biographies (and How to Get It Right)
Photo by B Rosen

Wrong Ways to Use Staff Biographies (and How to Get It Right)

Staff (or employee) biographies are a great way to give your prospects and customers an inside look at one important part of what makes your company a great company: your employees. Your prospects get to learn about the values of your employees, what they enjoy, and why they love working with your company.

But when you take those staff biographies "over the top", you degrade their value. Prospects roll their eyes and lose confidence in your company.

What do I mean by "over the top"?

Here is an example of one line I’ve seen in the past: "Ann is amazed by how our company can [insert capability]."

Whether or not “Ann” is amazed by your company's capabilities is irrelevant; she works there so she’s bound to be biased. Making this statement shows how self-serving your company is, even if that’s not your intention.

What's even worse is when Ann has a greater connection with the owner (i.e., the owner's daughter). That’s even more reason for her to be biased.

The other reason the line is inappropriate is that it simply does not belong there. Every piece of the puzzle that you write has its own purpose. For example, a sales letter is meant to sell a product or service, but an employee’s biography on a website or on a piece of marketing collateral is meant to highlight the employee and his credentials. It has almost nothing to do with your company.

Another no-no is inserting your company's agenda in your staff biographies. Here is an example of what I mean by this: "John is so fortunate to finally work with a health care clinic that cares about its patients." Doesn’t that sound self-serving to you? That statement does more harm than good. It's unprofessional and out of place.

If your company is great, show it through your awesome products or services, or emphasize your company's uniqueness in its own biography and on your marketing collateral.

When writing an employee biography, or any written document for that matter, you have to consider what its purpose is. Each document has its own purpose and it isn’t always to sell a product or service.

So, what should an employee biography include?

An employee biography should talk about the employee's role at the company, the values he has, what he enjoys, and why he loves working with your company–no more than that. Keeping it free of company agendas will help strengthen your prospects’ confidence in your company. And more prospect confidence will lead to more revenue for your business.

Jody Calkins
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