Is your ‘About Us’ page a bland turnoff? You may not think so, but this goat has yet to meet an About Us that couldn’t be improved.
In a nutshell, here’s why: People don’t respond to things. They respond to people. Generally this wisdom gets undercut—whether by well-meaning group-think or by hiring the wrong writer—in the process of creating a website. But a huge opportunity is missed to connect with customers when the ‘About Us’ page falls flat. These fixes separate the sheep from the goats.
1. People love stories—about people. Don’t just tell the story of the brand, make it a story about your brand’s primary personalities. See this example and this example. Consider these prompts: What was the “aha” moment when starting the brand became inevitable? What makes you/the brand passionate/a fun place to be? Be personal.
2. Be real. Ditch the formal tone. Abstract language has to go! Remember, your readers’ brains respond most to 1. Physical descriptions: “I popped the goji berry in my mouth and was surprised by its pleasant tartness.” 2. Apt metaphors: “… like a cherry blossom opening on a bare branch.” The brain responds least (in fact, barely at all!) to abstract, idiomatic language: “Our brand cares about its customers,” “We take gluten-free products seriously.”
Hubspot says it well: “People tend to think that ‘About Us’ pages have to sound formal to gain credibility and trust. Most people find it easier to trust real human beings rather than a description that sounds like it came from an automaton. Trying to sound formal on your ‘About Us’ page results in stiff, “safe” copy and design — the perfect way to make sure your company stays invisible.”
See this example.
3. Better yet? Make it conversational. See this example. Maria Popova is incredibly smart. That’s why it’s important to note her informal tone at the begginning of her self introduction. She doesn’t stay so informal, but she starts there.
4. No dead ends. This company has a separate About Us page, but it could include this invitation from their marketing director to connect in a specific, easy way. Other good prompts: Sign up for our newsletter, take a tour, or talk to us.
5. Post photos or videos that express personality. No background-neutral “professional” head shots!