Because writing about yourself and your business is effing hard
Writing an about us page for your own business — especially if you’re a sole trader — feels weird. It’s an odd combination of pleasurable nostalgia as you think about your business’ roots, and an utter pain in the arse.
The reason it’s a pain in the arse is because its hard to avoid overthinking what you’re writing, and comparing what you’re saying to what your competitors have published. By the time you throw in the fact that about pages are often the second or third most visited page on a website, the pressure is really on. But the trauma doesn’t end there.
Oh no! Searching for ‘how to write an about us page’ puts you face to face with gems of advice such as, “An about page isn’t really about you. It’s about your audience,” which if you’re not a marketer or writer is really effing confusing. So, it’s no wonder you, and lots of business owners like you, find writing an about page so difficult.
Let’s cut the confusion and create an about page that does you justice
And gives your audience the information they need
The key to a good about page is keeping it simple and kinda short. Around 500-600 words is enough for most businesses. Potential customers don’t often want an entire life story — either yours or your company’s. All they’re looking for is enough information so they can trust you and understand that you’re capable of doing the thing you say you do.
With that in mind let’s dive into an easy way to write an about us page that gives your readers the details they’re looking for, makes you sparkle, and sounds like you rather than a regurgitated CV.
How to write an about us page
First, I want to note that what you place on your about page and how you design it may depend on your industry, how your company is run and where you’re at in your business journey. These six tips are suggestions, broad ideas on what you can include (and what you might leave out), as well as how to approach writing your about page.
1. Interview yourself
If the biggest hurdle you face is worrying that you’re not saying the right thing, then try interviewing yourself. Usually, explaining what we do, how we do it and why we’re better than the competition is easier when we’re talking to someone else. Questions prompt us to get to the root of what we want to say. We become more objective and answer naturally, fully and honestly. But unless you plan on recording your conversations the next time you’re at a party or networking event (not advised), interview yourself instead. This technique gives you conversational prompts that get you into a similar frame of mind.
Think about questions family, past clients, friends, friends of friends ask about your business when chatting. Note them down and answer them. If you’re struggling, here are a few ideas from my client briefing form to get you started.
- When did you start your company?
- Tell me the unedited story of your business…
- What sets you apart from your competitors?
- What excited you most about your business?
- Who is your ideal target audience and how do you appeal to them?
Answer honestly and, to begin with, don’t overthink what you’re writing. Get what you need to out of your head and onto the page. By the end of the exercise, you’ll have sentences and paragraphs that are great for your about page. The best bit? Writing without pressure means it will sound like you. All the little catchphrases and nuances you have when you speak about your business should hopefully come out. Then all you need to do is edit what you’ve written together.
2. Pick your favourite unique selling point
There are probably two or three things that set your business apart from your competitors. Choose your favourite one, which is probably also your strongest. Did this unique selling point (USP) influence how and why you started your business? If so, it’s part of your story and worth expanding on in your about page copy.
For example, if you’re a personal trainer and your strongest USP is offering a special form of weight training (or something) and no one else nearby offers it, tell the whole story. Talk about why you’ve taken that path, how it’s shaped your business and most importantly, how that decision benefits your customers.
3. Share relevant personal details
Sharing some personal details is a good thing. As I mentioned, people are curious creatures and it’s part of your company story. But avoid oversharing. I’m a firm believer that sharing relevant details, details that link back to telling the story of how you do the thing your business does, is worthwhile. Telling your audience about your dogs, kids, and what you had for breakfast when they have no bearing on your business is a waste of copy space. 🙊
4. Put a face to a name
People prefer dealing with people rather than a faceless company. And people are curious creatures. When they’re thinking of buying from or working with a business, they want to know who they’re dealing with. So show them. Include headshots, team photos, posed images, candid shots, photos of items and locations relevant to you, your business and how they work. Help your audience get to know you and build that connection, which in turn sells you and what you do.
5. Structure your writing
Copy that has structure is easier to read and process, which makes it engaging. Think about the order in which you tell your company story and how you move from one point to another. If you want a rough guide for an about page structure, here’s what I suggest:
- a headline that says something about your main USP
- the first paragraph expands on the headline and could tell the story of that USP (remember to highlight how this benefits your customer)
- the second paragraph touches on what else makes you different
- a bit about your company’s backstory (if necessary and not already covered)
- a call to action.
Remember, subheadings are your friends. You can use them to break the page up and move from talking about one thing to another.
Tip: If you want to read more about how to structure you’re writing after you’re done here read the super simple way to conquer blog structure.
6. Add a call to action
Like any good sales page, your about us page shouldn’t leave readers asking, “What next?” When they get to the end, make it clear where you want them to go or the action you want them to take. This might be to start shopping, contact you or go and read another blog. Whatever it is, let them know with a clear call to action.
Defeating the doubt of writing your about page
Writing an about page is a very personal experience. It demands we look inside ourselves, what we’ve done, what we’re doing and how we do it. This is what makes it difficult, I agree. But remember to approach it in an objective manner. You only need to give enough information to satisfy your audience’s curiosity and then guide them onwards. You can nail this and your social media has your back for those who want to know even more.
Struggling with your about page? Leave a comment with what’s bugging you and I’ll help. Or if you’d rather deal with it privately, contact me.