If your business is just getting started – or you’re relaunching your website – it’s likely you’re having to write an ‘About Us’ page for your website.
By Brooke Hill
It’s the website page that is often the most challenging to write. And it’s no small wonder; it’s usually the most-visited page on your website, after your homepage. It’s also the page that expresses everything about your business; why your brand exists, what’s important to your company, the service or product it provides and why it’s different. All that, sprinkled with a little bit of back story, and written in the right tone of voice that speaks volumes about your brand. It’s a daunting task.
If you haven’t yet defined your why, take a look at Simon Sinek’s now-gospel Ted Talk. It’s the most important thing that you need to communicate, but it’s also the one thing that most About Us pages miss out.
Why does your brand exist? In other words, what is the purpose of your brand? Is it to spread joy and positivity? Is it to help ease a person’s struggle? Is it to empower people with information? Your answer to this question is not about selling your product or service, it’s about articulating why your brand will change people’s lives.
Once you know your ‘why’, write down what it is, and make it really simple.
Here’s an example for a company that sells knitted jumpers: ‘We believe everyone should feel warm and snuggly inside and out.”
Believe it or not, some people will skip straight past the words on your home page and head directly to your About Us page. Don’t assume that they know what product or service you are actually selling. Tell them what it is, and make sure it’s one of the first things they read. You don’t have to go into a huge amount of detail (and you can always link to other pages so they can find out more), but be sure to tell them what you do.
Here's an example: “We make knitted jumpers for pugs.”
People like humans. And behind every business is a person, or group of people, that have helped bring it there. Tell the story about the people who helped start it, or who make the business what it is today. If that’s you, be prepared to share a little about yourself: how you started the business, your values and even a little about your family and interests. If you prefer to remain private, that’s ok, but make sure you share what values are important to your business.
Here’s an example of getting personal: “Sandra fell in love with Alfie, her honey-coloured, squishy-faced pug, when she visited the local doggie rescue. He was twelve-and-a-half, underweight and under-loved. He also got the shivers nine months out of the year, and needed as much warmth and love on the outside as he did on the inside. Sandra knitted a jumper for Alfie, and so began a thread of an idea for a business.”
Too many of us – despite being professional, clever women who can also pack a lunch box whilst doing our two-minute-squats – suffer from a severe case of the cringes whenever you write something positive about you and your business.
Get over it.
Channel your inner-salesman, and write not just that your business or product is better, but give the reasons why. You need to clearly articulate why you are different to your competition.
Then get one (just one) trusted friend to read over it. It’s more than likely that those words that you wouldn’t normally feel comfortable saying out loud, are bang on.
Here’s an example: “We make the cutest jumpers for pugs going round. Made from 100% wool, they are non-scratchy and slobber-proof.”
People are reading your About Us page because they want to know more about you. So give them the opportunity. Let them know how they can contact you, or direct them to a part of your website where they can learn even more. Preferably both.
It’s easy. Just say: “Does your pug need new threads? Shop here <insert link to product page> or visit us at <insert location>”.
It’s true that writing your About Us page is challenging. If you have a brand strategy, you’ll find it considerably easier. But even if you don’t, the process of writing your About Us page will give you a really great insight into the kind of business you want to be. Make a start, and just remember – when you’re finished, it’ll be the elevator pitch you’ll use time and time again.