We’re a small company, which means we wear a lot of hats. We often write the copy for our clients’ websites, including their About Us pages. Here are some tips we have found useful in our own work.
The About Us page is often the second most important page on your website. Your job is to get people excited about your organization’s story and steer them to the right place (how to sign up, donate, volunteer, etc.) Add photos or video of your organization in action, and be as authentic and transparent as possible to build trust.
Read on to find out what questions to ask yourself when writing your About Us page.
How to Create Awesome Content
When we started writing our own About Us page, one of the most useful resources we found was a post on Neville Medhora’s Kopywriting Kourse blog. He asked Marian Schembari, a professional About Page writer, about her process.
She said that the about page has two main jobs: 1) to get new visitors excited about finding you, and 2) Direct them somewhere to take action.
There are many ways you could structure your About Us page, but here are some sections she considers for every page she writes:
- A Value Proposition
- A Daydream
- A Differentiator
- A Story
- An Offering
- A Call to Action
Follow along to understand more about each section and see some of our examples.
1: The Value Proposition
This is pretty much your unique selling proposition (USP), written in one or two sentences. What is special and desirable about your organization? Marian suggests using this section as your headline.
Here are some examples:
- Using the Power of History to Transform Lives; preserving, sharing, connecting (Minnesota Historical Society)
- Making Websites for Human Connections (ZSRweb)
- We ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion (Uber)
Marian suggests writing your value proposition after you’ve written the rest of your page.
2: A Daydream
Think about how your visitor’s life will be different when they do business with you, donate to your cause, or volunteer with your charity. What problem will you help them solve, and how will their life be better?
Marian suggests starting out with an “Imagine if…” scenario.
- Imagine having a hassle-free website that looks good, functions well, and draws in more customers on its own – giving you more time to focus on your business. (ZSRweb)
Next she writes a short paragraph with typical pain points your ideal customer faces. For example:
When you launched your first website, you were so excited. But your enthusiasm disappeared when you found out how frustrating it is to maintain a website on your own. Now you cringe every time you think about your outdated site, wondering if it’s actually pushing customers away.ZSRweb
This gets visitors thinking about their own pain points and what you can do for them; it’s much better than asking them to give you something right away.
3: The Differentiator
We all have something that makes us special or uniquely qualified to do what we do. Marian suggests starting off by asking yourself this question: “What makes you angry about your industry?”
You could also brainstorm by asking yourself why you started out on your own; what makes your approach different; what would you like to see changed, etc.
We started our own website company because we were frustrated by the quality of other web development agencies – many large agencies have glaring mistakes even on their own websites! And we wanted to build long-lasting relationships with clients and take care of them even after the launch.
4: A Story
Many About Us pages feel generic. You might get a sense for what the business or organization does, but oftentimes you have no idea who is behind it or why they started it in the first place.
If you have a business or a nonprofit, sharing your personal story here is extremely important. It will help you build relationships and trust with your audience.
If you’re a nonprofit, be sure to mention why you want to help and how you got involved. Be sure to write this in first person, using “I” or “we.”
5: An Offering
This section is meant to showcase content that either helps your audience or helps them learn more about you.
Marian suggests asking yourself what one action you want readers to take after viewing your About Us page.
This could be quite different depending on your business or organization. For us at ZSRweb, we want readers to check out our services pages to learn more about our offerings.
If you sell products, this would be a good place to showcase pictures and links to your most popular products. If you have a blog, you could showcase your most-viewed blog posts. For nonprofits or charities, you could showcase your most recent or most impactful community events.
6: A Call-to-Action
Marian’s last piece of advice is to end on a final call to action. She suggests an email subscription form.
If you don’t have a newsletter, you can put a contact button. Add a donate button if you’re a nonprofit or charity.
Marian says her About Us page converts much higher than her offerings on other pages because readers are warmed up and convinced that she’s worth listening to.
If you decide to try out this formula, let us know how it goes!
Use Video to Increase Conversions
Having a well-made video on your About Us page is one of the best ways to build trust with potential clients.
Video is powerful because it lets people get to know you, your organization/company, and your people, without the stress of actually meeting you in person. In our digital age, it can be difficult to build relationships online. Video makes it easier.
Many small businesses and nonprofits don’t have videos on their sites. If you do have a well-made video, it gives you quite an advantage over the competition.
According to IMPACT, “…people stay 2 minutes longer on sites with videos…”
Although their advice is specific to making intro videos for your homepage, we think it can be used for your About Us page too.
Here are 6 video-making tips from IMPACT:
- Define your video’s goal or purpose
- Keep your video between 2-3 minutes long
- Highlight your brand’s personality and share what it’s like to actually work with you
- End the video with a call to action; tell them what to do next, for example, donate, subscribe, contact, etc.
- Turn off the auto-play function
- Be sure your video is professional; “62% of consumers are more likely to have a negative perception of a brand that published a poor quality video,” according to Brightcove.
What if you don’t have the resources or know-how to create high-quality videos? Don’t worry; you can start out by taking engaging photos – with your smartphone!
The Nielsen Norman Group researches user experience, including About Us content. In their recent round of research from 2019, they found some interesting trends:
“…users in the most recent study were more skeptical than in the past. Organizations that stood out from the crowd in favorable ways used tactics that helped them appear authentic and transparent.”
Those tactics included:
- Using realistic photography
- Showcasing unbiased reviews
- Offering multiple channels to connect with a real person at the company
Their research also found that users expect companies to not only be transparent and authentic on their website, but also in all interactions people might have with the organization.
They also discovered that people prefer organizations that promote themselves as being “customer-focused, human, and easy to understand.”
If you can succeed in being authentic and transparent on your About Us page and follow through on your promises, your audience will be willing to recommend you to their friends and write you glowing reviews.
We hope this has been helpful; good luck with your About Us page!
If you’re willing to share, we would love to hear what works for you!