I got an email from someone in a Texas law firm yesterday. She isn't a lawyer—she's an office manager.
I got curious about her based on something she said, so I went to the firm website by clicking on a link in her signature.
Once I got to the site, I quickly located the “About Us” page. That led to information about the firm and the attorneys. I couldn't find anything about her. I hunted around and concluded that the firm had opted not to include info or pictures of anyone other than the attorneys.
They've given this woman a title, an email address, and a phone. She's an ambassador for the firm. She's out and about online, and she's communicating with me. Like it or not, she's the face of the firm to some folks—to people like me. I was trying to find out more about her and the firm because I was curious about referring to them. When I couldn't find what I needed, I wandered away from the site and forgot about the firm.
I lost interest, and I lost my motivation to refer.
The firm should have included a bio about the woman with some basic information. It should also have included a nice photo. Having a picture and a bit of information would have turned my anonymous emailer into a full-blown person. I would have felt more connected to the firm. I would have been more likely to remember the firm and more likely to refer when the need arises.
Additionally, by failing to include her on the site, the firm diminishes her. It makes her less important than those featured on the site. That's a mistake—you should always seek to boost the credibility of your team by building them up and promoting them. Don't miss out on that opportunity.
You've set her free in the world. She is representing you. You've given her some authority and responsibility. You've given her the tools she needs to build her network. Now, you've got to back her up and present her on your site. Don't leave her off—it makes her seem small and you even smaller.
If you're going to let your people out in public, then you'd better let the public know about your people. If you don't, you're missing out on an opportunity to grow your business and generate more goodwill. Put up her picture and her bio and make it interesting. The benefits will come back to you.