The team page on your website isn’t merely functional and deserves as much thought and attention as any other.
Done right, a good ‘meet the team’ section sends important signals to clients and prospects.
For example, even before anybody reads a word, it can make an immediate first impression of the size and ambition of your accountancy firm.
It can demonstrate the geographical reach of your firm, and provide opportunities for the purposes of SEO to organically mention multiple towns and cities – “Alex in our Cardiff office…” It provides an opportunity to show the breadth of your team’s knowledge – how many partners you’ve got and the niche knowledge they have between them.
And the content itself – the presentation of the information – tells a story about your brand and its values. With web copy, every word and image counts.
House of fun
If you want to position yourself as ‘fun’, for example (some accountants do) then this is a good place to do it.
We’ve seen firms present their team pages as Top Trumps cards, for example, and it’s quite common to see biographical entries include a quirky one-liner or fact: “Holly represented England in the World Crazy Golf Championships in East Sussex last year.”
Our advice is to be careful with this kind of thing, though, because it can all too easily tip from quirky to cringeworthy.
Even if your instincts are more conservative, you might feel under pressure to convey personality or approachability and that often manifests in simply listing hobbies and interests.
In practice, that means a lot of bios listing football, walking, and spending time with family – all perfectly pleasant pastimes, of course, but conveying very little unique personality.
When hobbies and biographies can help
Increasingly, UK accountancy firms see a benefit in focusing on a particular niche. (Just as PracticeWeb does, producing websites only for accountants.) They might specialise in medical professionals, for example, or charities. If your firm is following this route then there might be a legitimate reason to talk about what your partners do outside work.
If your practice is particularly keen to work with creatives, for example, then evidence that your team is engaged in the arts could be the factor that leads a potential client to choose you over a competitor. If your tax partner is a non-executive on the board of a local theatre or the organiser of an arts festival, it might be worth mentioning, for example.
Agriculture, tourism and sports are other obvious sectors where this can be an effective approach. If members of your team grew up in farming families, have partners who work in the industries you service, or play an active role in the management of teams or clubs, it makes sense to let people know.
As a rule, though, as with a CV or job application, you’ll want to demonstrate active participation rather than a mere interest in the topic. What you’re trying to say is, we know the world you operate in – we really get you and the challenges you face.
Keep team pages professional
If, on the other hand, you want to convey professionalism, you might avoid out-of-work chat altogether. Instead, focus on experience and expertise: what relevant accreditations or qualifications do your people have, where have they worked, and what do they know?
This is especially true if you operate in a particular specialist accountancy sector.
If someone has found you searching for ‘accountants for hotels’ on Google, for example, they’ll be more interested in hearing that one of your partners used to be the FD for an international hotel chain than discovering that they collect porcelain dolls.
And remember, even if your content is fairly business-like, the tone of voice you use can still convey warmth and approachability. One of the exercises we undertake with copywriting clients is to pin down how their firm uses words and punctuation the register it speaks in – formal, chatty, or somewhere in between?
The same goes for photography.
Having personality, and being personable, is about more than sharing personal details.
How many people need team profiles?
The trend these days is towards more detailed profiles for management with detail diminishing as you work through the organisation.
It can feel harsh to overlook less senior staff and, again, there may be benefit in showing the sheer size and diversity of your firm.
Pragmatically, though, having profiles for everyone means you’re making a job for yourself in keeping it up to date as staff progress in their careers. It also provides more information than most clients on the buyer journey will ever need.
(And most team members will breathe a sigh of relief when you tell them they won’t need to pose for a photograph.)
Here’s one example structure for a page that is both easy to maintain and easy for the reader to digest, while also providing plenty of scope to use keywords and convey brand identity.
Keep it together
One of the riskiest things you can do with a team page is delegate responsibility for entries to each individual in your firm.
It might seem efficient but you’ll probably end up spending more time chasing people for copy than you’d spend just writing it yourself.
It’s also quite possible for someone who is a brilliant tax partner to be a terrible writer, or to end up reflecting their personal brand more than that of the firm.
However you source the content, do spend some time ensuring it’s consistent in both writing style and tone, and that it meets your strategic needs.
Does it tell the right story about your firm? Will it contribute to convincing potential clients to pick up the phone? Don’t be afraid to edit and rewrite quite heavily – the image of the business must come ahead of the egos of individuals.
Think of the team page as your firm’s CV and you won’t go far wrong. First and foremost, it needs to answer the question “Why you?” and provide evidence of your firm’s experience and capability. Keep coming back to that guiding principle and you’ll be OK.
Contact us for help with copywriting and website content.