If you’re starting a business – or building a website for a business that already exists – you’re probably going to include an About page. These go by all kinds of different names: About, About Us, Our Story, What We Do, Who We Are (you get the idea). This is the place where you get to tell your story and the story of your business. And if you want people to engage with your products or services, you need to make the story a good one.
Many people mistakenly assume that no one is going to read this page. So, they slap up a quick bio, list their credentials, include their favorite Facebook profile pic, and that’s that. The problem with that approach? People actually do read your About page.
Let’s say you sell shoes. Any visit to amazon.com will assure you that there is no lack of options when it comes to buying footwear. In fact, there are so many options that a small business owner is likely to get lost in the mix. Sure, a well-made, high-quality, consistent product will always set you apart from your competitors. But you know what else gives you an edge in the market? Your product’s heart. That’s not just new-wave jargon, either. By heart, we mean why your product matters and what it means to the people behind it. That’s your story, and that’s why your About page needs to reflect who you really are.
Someone who needs shoes (and, we all do) might narrow their choice down to two companies that sell a similar product. One site has an About page with a lot of marketing language about how their shoes are the best. The other site has a photograph of two sisters in a workshop. They’re smiling. They’re wearing the shoes they sell. They’re telling their customer who they are and why these shoes are a project straight from their heart. Which shoes are you going to invest in?
Here are a few things to think about when you go about crafting your own About page:
- Don’t be afraid to be quirky. We love P.F. Candle Co.’s “Meet the Crew” page because it includes fun black-and-white photos of each team member, plus a one-liner about what he/she does for the company. We’re particularly fond of this one from a team member named Ase: “On the outside, I'm quietly pouring candles. On the inside, I'm headbanging to Black Sabbath.” In the picture, he’s headbanging. Of course, if your company is a law firm, you may want to limit the quirk to say, a mention of each attorney’s favorite novel. Still, no matter what your business, originality is always a good thing.
- Write your bio as a narrative. Include a story that shows not just who you are but how you get to be president of this company or founder of this non-profit. One of our current clients, a registered dietitian, is starting a plant-based nutritional coaching company that focuses on plant-based eating. What makes her story particularly compelling? She grew up on a cattle farm in Indiana where meat was a central part of her diet. How she got from that cattle farm to being a plant-based health coach is a story her clients will want to hear.
- Don’t forget the power of images in conveying your company’s voice and aesthetic. The great team photo on Durham’s Dashi site says, “Hey, we’re passionate about what we do, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously,” which is the perfect message for this restaurant’s authentic, laidback vibe.
- Write a great lede. We maintain that people really do read About pages, but they still need to be succinct. If you want someone to keep reading, start with a lede that makes them want to hear more. This one from Bombas Socks is a great example. The lede reads, “/Bom-bas/: Derived from the Latin word for bumblebee. Bees work together to make their hive a better place. They're small, but their combined efforts have a big impact on the world.” So, now you're wondering how exactly these socks make the world a better place. And that’s exactly what they want you to wonder. In the concise copy that follows, they’ll tell you.
Want help crafting your own About page? Get in touch!