Building a website and writing the About page for your business is no small shakes. Kudos to you for all the hard work you’re putting into it.
The first three months I had a website, I changed and updated its pages constantly. Every. Single. Day.
Often, I’d spend the whole day rewriting and rearranging the content on my website and my About page. As soon as I’d click “Update” in WordPress and leave my site, I’d think of two more ways to say what a great writer I am.
I spent weeks modifying and tweaking, tweaking and modifying. It was frustrating and largely a waste of time.
If I’d known the simple secret to writing an effective About page, I could have saved myself a lot of headache and hassle from the get go. I would have known why I was including certain information on my About page and how to connect it to readers.
If you are an entrepreneur or business owner who is building your own website, I can spare you the trouble I went through by sharing this secret to creating an effective About page:
Always connect whatever you say to how it helps readers.
No matter what information you include on your About page and regardless of whether you use writing, video, imagery or flying monkeys to get your message across, anything you say will be most effective if you connect it to how it helps readers.
This one little secret will guide you toward success. You can use it to create an engaging About page that inspires confidence and trust in readers.
Your About Page is One of the Most Important Pages on Your Website
Some people think their About page is simply an online resume. Others think it’s just a place to cut and paste their mission statement and be done.
Occasionally, people think, “Aha! A chance to finally share my entire life story!” They write a full biography or a painstakingly detailed company history. They think that to build credibility, they have to use formal language and list every accomplishment since they were two years old.
Nah. No way. Save it for your diary.
When people click your “About Me” link, they don’t really want to know more about you. They want to know more about how you can help them. They want to know what it is about you that will help you solve their problems, entertain them, and make their lives better in some way.
Here’s what your site visitors and customers are really like inside:
Your About page is where you can show off what makes you unique and how that benefits the reader.
Your About page is a chance to build rapport with your audience. It’s not a stale laundry list of your accomplishments and abilities. It’s a huge opportunity to connect with readers by showing your personality.
Your About page is a vibrant location on your website where people who are already interested in your business go to learn more. If someone is checking out your About page, it means you’ve already captured their interest and attention.
Only curious people click the “About” link.
Experienced copywriter Susan Greene points out that people who go to your About page are there with specific questions in mind.
In her article “How to Write a Killer About Us Page”, Greene says, “They’re trying to determine if they can trust you. They want to peek behind the curtain and see if your company is one they’d like to do business with. They seek answers to questions like these:
Is this a big company or small?
Is it a public company, private or family-owned business?
How long have you been in business?
Who’s at the helm?
Where are you based?
What makes your company special?
What are its core values?
Why should I buy from you and not your competitors?
Answering these questions is a good place to start when considering what to include on your About page.
Beyond that, there’s tons of good advice out there on what to include on an About page. Check out:
RocketSpark’s Why an About Us Page is So Important
These articles do a great job of describing different types of engaging content you can include on your About page. They also show why they work so well.
Recommendations for what to put on your About page include:
- Original photography
- Your unique selling proposition
- A story that connects with readers
- A timeline with images
- Customer reviews
- Employee testimonials
- Social proof
- Humor, wit, and so on.
I’m not going to rehash all the advice others have already given. That’s just boring. Besides, there’s no one right way for every business to create a fabulous About page.
The content you choose to include on your About page also depends on:
- whether you use writing or visuals to convey your story
- what questions your audience is asking
- your budget
What I am going to do is impress upon you the importance of relating any information you put on your About page to how it helps readers.
Keeping this one key point in mind will help you create an inspired About page that is not only interesting but also highly effective at communicating your value and winning over new business.
As we’ve said, people who read your About page are primed to learn more about your business.
Don’t squander the moment by talking about yourself.
This is the secret:On your About page, always tie whatever you say in with how it helps the reader. Click To Tweet
For example, that’s really swell that you earned three master’s degrees while working two full-time jobs, raising a family and maintaining a farm. Alas, readers don’t care all that much about how amazing you are.
Readers DO care how your dogged determination and focused commitment can help them succeed in their world.
Did you join a leading group or do you attend the industry’s most important events? Listing this type of information on your About page makes readers yawn.
What you really mean to say is that you’ve got your pulse on the industry’s latest trends. You stay up to date in your industry so you can help your clients stay relevant.
Whether you’re including a video describing your internal processes or a timeline of your company’s history, always ask yourself: Who is reading this and what about this information helps me help them?
Or, simply ask, “How does this help the reader?”
You might think a timeline is just a place for dry recitation of facts. That’s their entire point, right? What else could possibly go on one?
Look at the timeline on Moz’s About page. They don’t just announce the launches of Moz Local and Moz Analytics and let it go at that. They use the opportunity to let readers know how those features benefit them. It’s simple, direct and effective.
Airbnb doesn’t need to do anything more than write a couple paragraphs and share a few impressive statistics on a graphic to impress site visitors. Notice how they focus on sharing how they help their customers. They “connect people to unique travel experiences.” They provide “the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space.”
Mailchimp’s About page starts off immediately by telling readers how they’ll benefit by using its service. The first paragraph points out exactly what Mailchimp does for its users, undeniably and without hesitation.
There you have it! The simple secret to a successful About page for your business. If you need more help, you may need to enlist the services of an excellent copywriter. Hit the “Hire Me” button above now or check out my post Why Businesses Should Hire a Copywriter.