Who, exactly, is us?
You might think that the us of your about us page refers to—
- yourself as the site owner
- your staff, if you have any
- your company history
- and last, though never least, your company dog or cat
The Cambridge dictionary defines us as—
The person speaking with other people included
Us includes me and you
Us is an all-inclusive word that encompasses those nearby the speaker.
Now it might seem counter-intuitive to consider nearby when it comes to your website. Yet that is exactly the relationship between your website, the speaker, and your reader at the moment she is on your site.
Us makes us feel included—a part of the tribe. And I’m guessing you are part of the “we all want to feel included” tribe, too.
When we feel included, it is a lot easier to connect. And when your ideal reader feels connected she already has one foot on the path to know, like and trust you.
And people do business with those they know, like and trust.
The importance of your about page
If you’re anything like me, when you first encounter someone new, you lurk. No, not that kind of lurking—in an innocent and curious way. On- or offline, you check out the vibe before engaging.
Before we click a button to add our name to yet one-more-email list or to buy something off a website, we want to know more.
After your site gets potential customers interested in your products or services, they naturally head to your About Us page–often within three to four clicks–to make sure your company is the right choice to provide those products and services. That’s why your About Us page is often your website’s make or break page.—Jeff Haden, contributing editor, Inc
If you are Amazon, your website culture includes many reviews by customers. Reviews are social proof and a way for potential customers to learn more, which helps them acquire a level of confidence and trust in a product or company.
Both are important. Your buyer needs the confidence that you are going to deliver what you promise. And she needs to trust that you will provide something of value—that she won’t be taken advantage of.
When you’re Amazon or Zappos, your new site visitor is more likely headed to the return policy or FAQ pages to find out more.
Yet as a solopreneur or small business owner, your reader is likely headed to your about page for answers to questions like—
- Is this person, product or company a good fit for me?
- Can I trust her to deliver on her promise?
- Is his product or service going to solve my problem?
- Are we part of the same tribe?
- Do we hold similar values, for example: is the quality of a product or service important, are deadlines meet, or is environmental impact of concern?
Your reader wants to know, what’s in it for me? When done right, us allows your reader to feel seen, heard and included so she knows what’s in it for her.
Show your personality
Because we all enjoy hanging out with our tribe—let your site visitor “see” you. It’s not about over sharing. We’re on a first or maybe second date with our new reader.
- Be yourself
- Be relatable
- Be honest
- In a word, be human
Share the ups and downs of your story as it relates to your business and how your journey benefits your potential customer.
The ABC’s of an about us page that connects
Available—always be present
While most of us like to project into the future and rehash the past, it is only in being present and thus available, that we can connect with others. You can only have a conversation with your readers if you connect. Conversation is a core component of the about us page. It transforms pontification about me into a relationship about us.
Yes, [your about us page] is a spot for you to talk about yourself — but only in the context of how you serve your readers.—Sonia Simone, Rainmaker Digital
Brave—show your uniqueness
The about page on most websites, while a visible link in your navigation bar, is often rushed or an after thought. Boring content hurriedly written and thrown up on your website because you were told you need “one of those” pages.
Often, as solopreneurs especially, we are either too embarrassed to toot our own horns about how great we are or we toot too loudly and create an about me instead of an about us page. And let’s face it, expounding on the topic of “yourself,” while it’s tolerated (barely) in a presidential debate, isn’t what your readers want from your about page.
Instead, courageously share your focused and relevant story.
Convey the passion you feel for your company’s mission. Be sincere and personal as you tell the story of your brand. There’s nothing wrong with letting your personality shine through.
You can still appear professional while being casual, even humorous, in your writing.
And when you include social proof in the form of client testimonials, you can toot your horn without writing a word. Let your customer share how great you are and how you helped her succeed.
Share a behind-the-scenes look at you and your company. A bonus similar to a director’s interview or the extra scenes cut from the movie that are included on a DVD. It’s one way to help your reader feel special. Sharing something unusual about you not only builds trust and likability, it rewards them for taking the time to read your content.
Add sparkle to the information you are sharing about us so that your reader wants to curl up with a favorite glass of red wine (or cup of tea) and learn more about the story of us.
Remember, you are likely on that first date together and one way to deepen the relationship is to add a bit of sparkle.
The story about your cocktail party antics—what you remember of them anyway—may not be the best example of your creativity. Yet even sober and perhaps, if you’re a bit like me—inhibited, there are still creative and fun ways to turn a me-focused about page into an us-focused about page.
Stories that help your reader visualize your future relationship and how you can solve her problem. Stories that move the needle from unknown to known, then liked and ideally, by the time you’ve reached trusted, she will be referring others to your about us page.
Some additional creative ways to engage your reader in conversation include—
- A short introduction video that adds another dimension and lets your site visitor hear your voice
- An infographic that represents your company story
- A visual depiction of the company history as a timeline
- Images with captions that share your story in an appropriate and playful way
Want examples of about us pages that rock? Check out this HubSpot post for some great examples and why they work.
A few action steps you can do today to move the needle toward an about us page your readers will love—
- If you haven’t already, be brave and ask your client for a testimonial to include on your about us page. Not sure how? Listen to this two-part series on “How to Give and Get Exceptional Testimonials.” on Rainmaker.fm
- Set aside some time and head over to the HubSpot blog post on remarkable about us pages. You’ll be inspired and get some ideas you can implement on your page.
- Do a short survey or quiz so you can find the sweet spot between your expertise and your customer’s challenge. Weave that information into your stories. Your reader will see herself in your story and trust that you just might have the solution to her problem.
- Another way to find the sweet spot is to write down all the things you love to do or that you find easy. Use those attributes as a starting place to write about yourself in relationship to how you serve your ideal customer.
Feel overwhelmed about what to include on your about us page so it rocks?It is much easier to figure out what to write about someone else.
If you are struggling to write your ABC’s, contact me to schedule a free 20-minute chat. Together we can find the middle ground between tooting your horn too loudly or too softly.