Most medical professionals and healthcare facilities would agree that their team is an important part of the business, and a reason people come back to them. So the classic About Us page, with a group photo of the staff, or individual photos and brief bios, often makes sense. At least, it makes sense that it has become a classic. But there are times when that approach isn’t the perfect one:
- Your staff is fluid. Whether it’s a high-turnover field or you crew up for jobs as they arise, you may not be able to make a core list of staff that will last long enough to put on a page. If you only update your About Us page once every year or two, you may prefer to write more generally about your team, rather than including individuals. In that case, it’s important to make some general trust-building statements, such as, “All our staff are certified for lead management,” or “Our team is made up of experts in their fields,” or, “Our rigorous training process ensures that all our instructors meet the highest standards.” Back it up if you have some evidence: certification, the details of your training process, or degrees can do the job.
- Your staff is different from the impression you want to make. When we started, we avoided using our photos because we knew that we didn’t really fit people’s mental image of IT guys — most of our team members are women, for one thing. We didn’t want to discourage people from reading more about us just because they had a stereotype in mind. Times have changed, and there is more diversity among web firms now, so we’ve moved past that concern. If your staff is smaller than you like people to think, or you don’t want to trigger automatic objections to an overseas staff, or for any other reason you want to present a slightly different image, you can combine those general trust-building statements with stock images of workers.
- You want privacy. Maybe you’re running an online business on the side, and you don’t really want your employers to know. Maybe your team runs a lot of businesses, and you don’t want your online empire to be completely transparent to all visitors. Maybe you have more than one business persona, and you don’t want to mix them up. We’ve even had clients who simply felt that “people don’t want to know about us.” There are lots of reasons that a person might not want a lot of staff information on the About Us page. But the internet is all about trust, and being too shy and retiring at the About Us page can stir up suspicions. You can allay them by writing about your company as an entity: “Homefront has been providing in-home medical care for 17 years…”
Those are some ways to finesse the staff information. But let’s say you want to do the classic About Us page, complete with all the staff info. Here’s how:
- Keep the staff bios even. It’s fine to write more about the owner or the principal partners than about the office manager. In general, though, try to keep the paragraphs for all staff listed about the same length, and use the same visual format.
- Keep the information consistent. When eight of the staff members have degrees listed and the ninth doesn’t, readers will assume that ninth has no degree. Including family info for some of the staff and not for others draws attention to that difference. If at all possible, make the data similar. Having a little form for the staff members to fill out can help with this.
- Keep the paragraphs parallel. If you write one bio in third person, write them all that way. If one begins with the name of the staff person, they all should. If one is in past tense, they all should be. Some clients like to have each staff member write his or her own bio; if you want to do that, have someone clean them all up and make them sound more uniform.
- Keep the images comparable. Recently, we’ve had people send in images including some color and some black and white, some casual and some posed — one person sent a wedding portrait. It’s better not to have photos than to have a hodgepodge. Hire a photographer if you need one, or at least get everyone to stand in the same place for a snap. Group photos can be great, but they can make it more difficult to keep the page up to date, unless you have a large enough staff that it doesn’t matter.
Remember, the About Us page is for reassuring people that you’re trustworthy and competent, so they can feel confident about hiring you or ordering things from you. Make sure that the way you present your staff works toward that goal.