When it comes to writing content, I’m a big advocate of writing in the first person. It comes across as being a lot more personal and engaging when you write as if you’re engaging 1-to-1.
Your website is different. Your website is a powerful sales tool, comprising lots of different content that’s designed to engage people, qualify them and ultimately convert them down your sales funnel. To achieve this, often it’s necessary to have different styles, tone-of-voice, or people creating the content.
For example, if you’re blogging, you could have SEO-led pieces by-lined to the company, whereas more technical ‘How to…’ guides might be by-lined to the head of customer success or someone in IT.
But, your team page is all about showcasing the talent in your organisation. I believe this should be delivered from the company, therefore with profiles written in the third person.
What does the copywriting community think?
Content is always going to be subjective, which means there’s never going to be a right or wrong way to do something. Therefore, I asked this question to the copywriting community to see how they would advise their customers.
Here’s some of their responses…
“I vote third person. If you’re the reader, you’re probably researching so don’t know them first-hand. Therefore, it’s irrelevant for it to be read in first person.”
“There are pros and cons to both. I think it would be interesting to split test it. That way you can really reinforce to them why / if that change is going to be effective.”
“I think it really depends on context. Tone of voice, audience, industry all important to consider, but I’d say company size is the biggest factor: sole trader or companies of <3-4 employees using 3rd person sometimes comes off a bit inauthentic. For any bigger company, I’d go 3rd person almost always. There are some circumstances where 1st could work (very laid-back/irreverent tone, young audience, etc.) but generally if there’s profiles for 3 or more people, I’d generally expect third person.”
“On company websites, probably third person. Unless the idea is to make it sound like each person has written their own profile. If it’s a company of one, first person.”
“If it’s a small-medium business or bigger, then third person. First for solo biz folk or partnerships.”
“I’ve seen both done successfully. I’d tackle it from the point of view of how does it fit with the rest of the website?”
And there were a lot of fellow copywriters that joined in to support these answers.
So the general consensus…
If you’re a company of one, or writing on behalf of a very small business, stick with the first person as it comes across as more authentic and genuine…
But for medium-to-large size organisations switch to third person.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that ‘third person’ means ‘corporate’. You can still write in the third person and come across as personal, fun and engaging. As Ed Callow also said “It’s all about how you use the convention”.