Make a great big impression with an About Us page that tells a story.
When you’re 5’7” or so, it sometimes helps to know a few tricks for making yourself seem more imposing than your height allows you. Years ago, my friend Scott came up with a simple solution for when he was driving in questionable neighborhoods. Half-kidding, he demonstrated the “big guy look” to me one day after cutting off a fellow California driver. “Check it out” as he slid six inches up his chair so that his noggin was jutting above the headrest ridiculously. He puffed out the shoulders of his jacket to complete the effect. From the back he probably looked 6’10” and 250 lbs.
If only it were that easy to create an About Us page that could pump up your own organization (without deceiving anyone in the process.) I encounter this challenge all the time when writing websites. What follows are a few pointers for how to portray your outfit as an impressive, cohesive team when the reality is that your numbers aren’t what you wish they were.
Accentuate your positives. My goal in writing an About Us page is to shift the focus to the philosophy, history and ethics that define the organization, rather than the number of people they have on staff or the employment history of the leadership.
Tell a story. Avoid roster deficiencies and talent insecurities altogether by not creating an About Us page that reads like a resume or is comprised of a stack of bios. Instead tell a story. That’s what people read an About Us page for anyway—to know how you got where you are, what experiences influenced you and what values make you so uniquely qualified to satisfy their needs.
Find an interesting hook. Here are a couple of examples from sites I’ve written recently:
- For Memoriis.com, I told the story of the two founding brothers whose revelation during a family vacation inspired their company.
- With TownhousePartners.com, I focused on how the partners’ love for analysis led them to start up a boutique due diligence firm.
- For a third company, I crafted a story about the founder and environmentalist whose urban lifestyle inspired an unprecedented tree care service.
Don’t try to say everything. Just tell what’s important to the story and necessary to demonstrate your organization’s exceptionality and leadership.
“We” versus “I”. If you’re small and have part-time partners you work with (e.g., an admin, accountant, IT person or a copywriter like me) consider using “we” instead of “I”. Why? It inspires confidence and makes you sound like you’ll be more fun to work with.
Make it an “About You” page. That’s right. I know it’s supposed to be an “About Us” page, but don’t think for a second that readers are on your site for you. It’s always all about them. Tell them how you became the company you are in order to better serve people like them. (It’s true, after all—right?) Be selfless and generous in your About Us page and you’re sure to look like a big guy to your prospects.
Hope this helps, and remember if you need website copywriting that’s big on brand messaging, I’m here to help.