How to write your ‘about us’ page and personal profiles

When I check my Google Analytics, I find my ‘About’ page is the second most popular link. I bet if you check your analytics, you’ll find your ‘About’ page is popular too. Why is that?

I think it’s because people do business with people. They don’t just want to know what you sell, they also want to know who’s who behind the scenes. They want to put a face to the name. They want to know what kind of business they are dealing with.

Dealing with organisations via the Internet is quite a remote experience. You want to express as much personality as possible through the screen, so customers understand what you do, trust that you can deliver it, and like your brand enough to buy from you.

As with all marketing communications, you have to decide what is the objective of your ‘About’ page; what is your Most Wanted Response.

External endorsements

If you want to engender confidence that you know what you’re doing, your ‘About’ page is where you do your shameless bragging. It’s not the place to be modest. Include external endorsements that prove your claims, such as:

– Testimonials, reviews or recommendations (see my Power of Social Proof article)

– Case studies

– Client list or logos

– Awards you’ve won

– Trade or professional memberships you hold

These may appear on the ‘About’ page itself, perhaps as a sub-page within the ‘About’ section, or even as standalone pages in the main navigation of your website.

Company history

When writing your company history, it’s natural to write something like: ‘We were founded in 1905 and then we bought this machine and then we grew and then we moved offices and then we launched this new product and now we do this, that and the other thing’.

My advice is to turn it upsidedown.

People get easily bored and may stop reading before they reach the most important bit at the end. Instead of writing in chronological order, write in paragraphs of decreasing importance. Start with what you do now, then go on to explain how you got where you are today, and end with the date your business was founded, if relevant.

Why choose

When your objective is to convince new customers that you’re the supplier they want, you can add a ‘Why choose us’ page as well as, or even instead of, an ‘About’ page. List the top 10 reasons to choose you, which acts as a shortcut to help potential customers decide.

Check that every statement you make passes the ‘so what’ test. Turn features into benefits. For example, a car has four wheels. So what? So it can help you get from A to B more quickly.

Meet the team

The most common ‘About’ pages include pictures of key team members with a brief biography and perhaps a link to their LinkedIn profiles. It’s a good idea, but note that this type of bio is not a CV. As when writing company-level ‘About’ copy, you should write in reverse chronological order.

Start with what they do now and end with their previous job history and qualifications (if relevant). You can also include a quote from them as their personal message to clients. I always recommend you include a sentence or two about their hobbies and interests outside work, to make them more approachable. I bet if you write that they always wear odd socks, once kissed Kylie and support Arsenal football team, that’s what new clients will talk about before they discuss work!

Letter from the MD

Another approach for the ‘About’ page is to use the ‘Letter from the MD’ technique. Include a picture and details of the MD’s personal commitment to customers. Maybe even give their mobile phone number, for added reassurance.

Personal profiles

As with a dating site profile, your aim is to be relevant, show personality and be appealing enough for your desired customers to contact you.

There’s an ongoing debate on LinkedIn about whether it’s better to write profiles in the first person (“I am a copywriter”) or the third person (“Jackie Barrie is a copywriter”). In my view, it’s far better to write in the first person.

On Twitter, you only have 160 characters to write your bio. These may be the deciding factor about whether someone chooses to follow you or not, so they are critically important!

Here’s mine:

“I specialise in writing without waffle. Why? To help businesses improve their marketing communications. Why? So they can make more money”.

In line with my advice above about writing ‘About’ pages, my Twitter bio says more about my clients than it does about me.

What does yours say about you?

I originally wrote this article for Fresh Business Thinking

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