Often ignored until the last minute before launch (and thereafter), many small businesses seem to use their “About Us” page as the dumping spot for all the boring, dry information that “needs to be on the site but didn’t fit anywhere else”.
What the owners of those About Us pages don’t realize however, is that they’re missing out on a huge opportunity: the chance to begin earning the trust that leads to sales.
Optimize An About Us Page For Trust
You see, people buy from businesses they trust; people don’t buy, or don’t buy often, from businesses they don’t trust. To earn that trust, you need a way for potential customers and clients to get to know more about both you and your business.
And that’s the perfect role for your About Us page.
To help you optimize an About Us page and get the most out of it, we’ve listed the must haves for your About Us page below.
Organize the Page
If you have a lot of information to include on your About Us page, it’s important to organize it into relevant sections as Etsy has done:
There are two benefits to organizing your About Us information:
- Your visitors will be able to find the information they’re looking for more quickly and easily, both of which engender goodwill and trust; and
- You can separate out and present the “trust” content apart from the other, often more dry, information.
- On Etsy’s About page for example, a visitor is taken to the “About” section first after which they can visit the drier sections such as “Team”, “Press”, “Careers” and “Investors”. Doing so enables them to begin building trust from the start.
Use Appropriate Tone and Language
The tone and language used on your About Us page needs to match your industry and the sensibilities of your potential customers and clients.
For example, the tone of a therapist’s About Us page should be markedly different than that of an accountant’s. The first should be warm and comforting while the latter should be more straightforward and matter-of-fact (though it does not need to be boring!).
Here are some additional points on tone and language to consider:
Decide Between First and Third Person Voice
There’s a lot of discussion online on the topic of using first person (e.g. “I’ve been helping folks for over seven years.”) vs. third person (e.g. “She’s been helping folks for over seven years.”) on your About page.
Both are acceptable however, one guideline to follow is the question, “Who am I talking to?” In other words, who is the target reader of your About Us page? This principle is illustrated well by Michael Port, who uses first person on one site and third person on another:
- On his primary site, Port uses third person because he’s speaking to the organizations and companies who may hire him:
- On his book and coaching site, he uses first person because he’s speaking to individuals who may buy his book or sign up for coaching:
Use Engaging Writing Style
Nothing will drive away your About Us page visitors more than bone-dry, factual writing. Your About page is likely many a person’s first introduction to you and if it’s dry and boring, they’re going to think you and your company are, too. And let’s face it: who wants to work with someone who’s dry and boring?
Your About page is where folks learn about you and what you do. At the start, they may not know a lot of the jargon and industry-specific words that you use so don’t confuse them by including those words here.
Tell Your Story
The About Us page is where your potential customers and clients get to know you and your business. Telling them your story, what led you and your business to this point, can be a very effective way of introducing yourself.
Here are the important points to consider as you tell your story:
Make it All About Them
Even while talking about yourself, you need to keep bringing the focus back around to the reader. As you tell your story, you should share those experiences that help them understand that you “get them”; you’ve “been there, done that” and “understand their pain.
Allegra Stein does this well on her About page:
Give Them the “Why”
As you tell your story, let them know why you do what you do or your company does what it does. Like Brooke Lonergan, you can accomplish this by talking about your values, goals and mission:
Be Specific About How Your Products and Services Can Help
Being specific does not mean that you should list of all your products or services. Instead, focus in on the problems you help solve. Doing so lets your visitors know they’re in the right place and will also result in targeted leads who need exactly what you offer.
Give the CliffsNotes Version
Your visitors are busy folks so don’t load your story with details. Hone it down to the essential parts described above. If you’d like to expand on your story, use a blog post as these two folks did:
- Here’s Teresa Tysinger’s About page and here’s the post where she expands on her story.
- Here’s Derek Halpern’s About page and here’s the post where he expands on his story.
Be Fun and Interesting!
Sharing trivia about you and your life is a fun way to make yourself more memorable. Teresa Tysinger’s About page provides a fun example of this approach:
Finally, try putting yourself out there a bit as you tell your story. Let them get to know the real you: your ambitions, likes, dislikes and more. You don’t need to spill your secrets, but don’t be distant either. The closer they feel to you, the more they’ll trust you.
Include Images and Video
Another way for folks to get to know you is via images and videos. Give them a peek into your life at work and outside of work so they’ll know more about who you are.
Once again, Allegra Stein does this well on her About page:
One important note here: be careful about using only video on your About Us page. Not everyone likes to watch videos so make sure you give them some text to read as well.
Use An Appropriate Call to Action
All of your content needs to drive action and your About Us page is no different.
It’s important to remember however, that the About page is not the place to make a sale. This is where they get to know you so they can trust you – nothing kills that process faster than a hard sell.
Here are two calls-to-action that fit your About Us page to a tee:
In order to convert visitors into leads, you need to get them on your email-marketing list. An opt-in like the one on Jenna Dalton’s About page is ideal as it offers value (which builds trust) while capturing an email address:
Move Them Forward in Getting to Know You
Help your visitors learn more about you and your business by providing next steps like Amy Lynn Andrews does on her About page:
Include Credentials and Social Proof
Potential customers want to know why they should trust you with their business. Share how you got started, what your experience is, how long you’ve been doing this, any awards you’ve won, people you’ve worked with (if possible), associations you’re involved with, industry causes you support, etc.
Also include a few testimonials (not all) with links to more. Finally, include links to all of your social media profiles so they can see how much love you get and how to connect with you.
If you haven’t given your About page much love up until now, it’s time to go back and learn how to optimize your About Us page to give it a makeover using the points listed above.
Remember, if your About Us page is not focused on building the trust that leads to sales, you’re missing a huge opportunity to build your business.
About Us Photo via Shutterstock