Story Telling: What is your about us saying?
What is the most visited page on your website? For many businesses and organisations, the most visited page on their website is the “About us” page and many fail to make a great first impression. This page is your chance to tell your story but very few do, some try too hard and the message becomes fuzzy and others do not say enough and the reader is left hanging.
The truth is that many organisations the “About Us” is the last page they consider writing and this is a HUGE MISTAKE. Businesses in particular seem to believe that the other pages will inform a visitor about their business. Web Designers and company managers spend hours working out complex navigational charts to find optimal routes through menus that look like bowls of spaghetti. They spend days looking for creative terms in the hope their Widget stands out from all the other Widgets that are all exactly the same. Meetings upon meetings are held to ensure the aesthetics of the website match the company image or the image they are looking to portray. Copious amounts of time are spent on aspects of a website that are less important than the most visited page on the entire website because the “About us” is not considered important.
Because your “About Us” is likely to be the most visited page on your website it needs effort. The page needs to stand out and be looked after, the “About Us” has to be cherished and loved and made to feel special. But it is just the “About us” page, it is not important and yet despite its size the page is the most significant page on the website. The “About us” page is the ruler of the real estate any website owns and that is a fact.
Why is the “About us” Page so important?
Today people want to know everything they need to know about anything fast. People do not have time to waste or scrolling through countless screens to find out that the organisation they are looking at cannot do or deliver what they need. The “About us” page is the data blast that drives the online world and tells your visitor precisely what you do, who you are and why the visitor is in the right place. It really is as simple as that.
If your “About us” page does not tell your story, the chances of losing the visitor are high. If your “About us” page tells the right story, you have an increased chance to sell. Just like the door-to-door vacuum cleaners that knocked on door with a story about how good their perfectly dreadful machine was the door was opened and the selling began. Your about is that story at the door to begin the sales conversation so get your story right.
What should your “About Us” story be?
First of all the story does not begin “once upon a time”. Your “About us” doesn’t really start with much about you at all, it begins with the person reading the page and the problems they have. Your “About Us” needs to tell any visitor why they are there and how you can fix the problems they have. You need to be able to hook them by letting them know you can help them address what keeps them up at night.
What does the customer gain from you?
Begin to tell them what you do and how your business, product or service can help them or add value to them. Customers could not care less about you and how wonderful you are or how long you have been in business. They want to know what is in it for them when they engage with you… so tell them, it might be the best thing you do!
Facts not flattery
Stick to the facts, of course describe yourself well but do not boast about how amazing your service is. Customers expect and demand amazing service as a given. Tell the customer the facts about you that matter to them. Facts and figures matter but if you do not have them do not make them up. Proof of what you do is always helpful but let the customer decide if it is good, excellent, outstanding or simply average. Be honest in your story, your “about us” is factual information that paints a picture of you. If your facts a good enough and solid the customer WILL want to know more.
Be true to yourself
Do not say you have hundreds of staff when you only have five. Many businesses sometimes believe that if they seem bigger that they are better, the fact is that they are not and the truth soon shows. Small is good for many customers, more personal and if you are a start-up even better as customers are often need a change from all the rest. Your “About Us” needs to show that you are comfortable in your own skin
Keep things real
Where possible use real images of real people, real products or real places that relate to your business. The page is an “About Us” for a reason so show people who you are, it often gets much better results. Stock photos may look amazing but people buy from people and using real, original images creates a sense of comfort, trust me it works!
Keep it current
Any accolades, memberships or awards should be current. Things from 5 or 10 years ago mean nothing. If you membership has expired do not publish it. Some about us pages have hundreds of memberships and awards as they try and boast. It is not needed, select a handful that are relevant or that you are most proud of, keep the others in reserve for when you need content for conversation when talking to your customer.
Never let it sit
Your “About Us” is NOT a static page. Just like your organisation evolves so should your “About Us” page. So keep playing with it and toy with it to keep it alive and relevant to who you are.
Finally, let people read your “About Us” page and ask them if they can tell who you are from them. Get an honest opinion and you will be amazed at how this helps you.
Over the years, I have written the “About Us” pages for countless websites, I get it right first time in some cases but often it takes two or three attempts and I am there. I often amaze my clients with the work I deliver, my impression of them sometimes surprises them and when I am given free rein, the best about us pages possible are produced and that makes me happy.
Is your “About Us” page working for you? Would you like it to? Contact me and I will help you begin to tell a story your customers will soon begin to love.
Posted on: January 5, 2018, by : Matthew Newnham