Get Real about your “About Us” Page

I almost made the classic mistake a few days ago, of ‘ignoring the writer’. I was writing the opening pages of a corporate website pitch to a new client, and concentrated on their news, and testimonials (my usual first stops), without beginning where I really should do: The About US page.

Generally speaking, this page on any website is the 2nd most popular destination for visitors. The reason is so obvious that it is usually overlooked, but when you look at people’s surfing habits, it becomes very clear: If people like what you are posting as part of your corporate copy, they want to see, and learn more, about the person behind the words. This is normal human behaviour, to see who wrote this. People like to deal with people and, as every successful salesman knows, prospects aren’t buying the product or service – they are buying the person in front of them. It’s exactly the same online, so look at this as a positive sign – they liked your copy, and now want to learn more about you. You should take this opportunity to drop your professionalism, and show people who you really are.

 This is not an exercise to sell your business, or a chance to list facts and figures – they want to know about the person behind the business. Look at our interest in Steve Jobs. We know all we need to know about Apple, but what kind of person came up with the ideas behind it? It’s a normal question to ask; “Well, what do they want to know?”, but we suggest you do the opposite: Think about who your readers are, and what information to leave out. Of course, there is no way of knowing that, so there really isn’t a limit to what information you give them. You don’t know what they are looking for exactly, but you know they are glancing at your biography at least, so let’s start with the visuals.

1. Use a purpose-built interesting photo.

What do you really look like? Show them. Fisherman, golfer, downhill skier – show them! Who are you when you are not behind your desk. This will immediately stop people, because you are not the generic, professional businessman, you have a life outside of your company. Now, you can write a paragraph about that.

2. Use everyday language.

Now that they know you as a person, don’t slip into professional, industry-type Jargon – use plain English at all times. Where did you grow up, and get educated and why? That shows a certain type of individual. There is no wrong answer, here, just be real and use informative, colourful language that describes scenes from your lie to those that are reading on.

3. The School of Hard Knocks.

Not everyone jumps from College to the ‘Corner Office.’ Everyone has life experiences, and with business advertised online, this is a plus. Any kind of career hiccough, or change in direction is fascinating to them. Don’t leave out anything that could be attractive to a reader. Everything that gives you experience, is a worthwhile addition. Been wrong? Don’t be afraid to show it.

4. Include your contact information.

If you want people to contact you, then add the ways that they can learn more about you. Remember, every invitation to join, like, tweet, or follow you is a desire to learn more about you. It may start off as erratic, or arm’s length, but the more information you can give people on an ongoing basis, the closer they will come.

Use you About US page to show the real you, as a whole person. Your readers have already offered you a modicum of trust, so reward them with a look at The Man behind the Desk, and have fun showing who you really are. This is the oldest form of business, so people only want to know more, once they have a taste.

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  1. Get Real about your “About Us” Page | smallbizbigbiz - December 14, 2013

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