Telling your company’s story through About Us pages on your website can have a positive impact on your business. You paint a digital picture of your firm when you fill these pages with interesting stories and visuals about how your company started and has grown, let your talented staff talk about themselves and describe what they think the future holds. Telling your company’s story in a readable, engaging fashion through your About Us section has tremendous value. It can communicate vision and philosophy, demonstrate a company’s stability and its ability to change with the times. It can establish your business as reputable and reliable. The most exciting thing about About Us pages is that they are always tailored. Every company has a story, but the stories never sound or look the same. It’s a perfect opportunity to let your company’s personality shine.
As you plan, write and design these pages for your web site, here are 6 principles to keep in mind.
Every business has a story. The best storytellers use detail and perspective to engage readers. You can do the same with the stories you tell through your About Us section.
Company culture determines how you tell the story. Some businesses will want to use a formal, serious style. Let’s say for example, yours is a large aviation firm that builds jets to safely transport passengers. Your story might be straightforward, describing how the company trains, innovates and inspects, with the mission to keep passengers safe.
Companies whose culture is casual and friendly can also reflect that in their storytelling approach. They might opt to have the CEO talk about how the company’s start, struggles, and successes, like this:
About Us (First-person):
I’m Jessica Brown, chief brain and baker for Jessica’s Worry-free Goodies. When I found out in 2013 that my toddler Olivia was allergic to eggs, I headed straight to my kitchen to experiment with some egg-free recipes. (I’m a baker at heart and by profession–I’ve worked as a pastry chef at some of the Bay area’s top restaurants). I made some muffins and cookies, passed them around to Olivia and her little friends who had the same allergy issues and watched their eyes light up. Parents applauded, and they pushed me to do more. Several even suggested I start a company, so I did (Some of those parents became early investors.). From our original muffins, we’ve expanded to a lineup of products for people with all sorts of food allergies. Olivia and her friends are our biggest fans.
It’s a relatable and memorable story that also describes the inspiration and supportive community that surrounds this company. Adding purpose–Jessica wanted her child to have baked goods that wouldn’t make her sick–puts this company in a new light in readers’ eyes.
Feelings also have a place in stories about business–fear, joy, sadness, amusement, excitement, awe, admiration are just a few of the emotions that can help people relate to companies. But emotions should match the company and its work: sincerity and empathy work for a funeral home business; a sense of levity and fun for an amusement park.
Hearing about how your company got started, the problems it has faced and the growth and success it’s seen can help potential customers feel a connection and perhaps, cause them to choose you over a competitor. Customers have many, many options, and feeling an alliance with a company and what it stands for can be a deciding factor for them.
Feature key personnel and have them talk about themselves in brief staff profiles. If you plan to shoot the photos in-house, take time to check out some suggested poses and backgrounds on Pinterest or other photography sources. Staff can write about why they work for the company, what they enjoy about their job, their hobbies and other personal interests. This is a great way to show others that your staff is an interesting, hard-working and congenial bunch.
Your clients want to know they are working with real people who have real lives. By reading about your staff, they also pick up on company culture and if they feel a connection, there’s a better chance they will want to work with your firm.
Include email links and direct phone numbers so potential clients can connect directly to staff, especially those in sales or human resources, to discuss a project or even ask about jobs that might be available at your firm. About Us can serve as a good recruitment tool–an important asset in times when unemployment is so low.
Produce a short video (and please don’t feel that it has to be a Steven Spielberg-quality production) to tell more about your company, its product, and its personality. Show off your headquarters with a two-minute video that gives viewers a virtual tour. Have an employee talk about a day they look forward to at the office–maybe it is an annual Halloween costume contest, the holiday potluck or a Habitat build that your company sponsors (your video could include snippets from past events). Have your CEO talk about where he gets inspiration or have a product engineer talk about how exciting it is to make improvements in the product you make and sell.
Enliven your about Us pages with photography. Invest in flattering and friendly images of your leadership and staff; make sure someone who is skilled with a camera is taking good pictures at company events like the annual ugly Christmas sweater contest or the company volleyball team’s big game. Please don’t resort to stock photography–though the models are always attractive, they aren’t your employees and everyone–including your employees–will know. If your company has been around for decades, dig through the archives for pictures from the early days that show significant moments–opening day at your first restaurant; the first widget to roll off the manufacturing line, the original board of directors. Just make sure the photos, like your copy, provide insight and convey strengths like your company’s stability and longevity (pictures of workers during wartime, for example), creativity and innovation.
Many fail to see an About Us page as the marketing opportunity that it can be. An article in Entrepreneur magazine identified not including a call to action, as well including no visuals, contact information and too much text, as among the most common problems with About Us pages. Decide what step you would like the visitor to make. Maybe, after reading about your company, its history and where it is headed, the reader might want more information about jobs with your firm. Add a “Join our Team” button that will take them to a Human Resources page for information about available positions or a link to a job application. Perhaps you’d like to collect email addresses for marketing purposes. Offer visitors a chance to sign up for a blog so they can keep up with what’s happening with your company or offer a free e-book that provides some valuable information or “How-tos.” If you sell a product online through your website, always include a button that takes visitors to product pages.
There’s value in having others talk about your company. When a client shares the details of their work with you, it gives prospective customers insight. So if clients send you letters, emails or call to thank you, and their comments would be valuable to others considering doing business with you, ask if you can share their comments on your website. It’s sort of like getting a professional reference for your resume when you are looking for a job. Another way to share others’ perspectives on your company is to post links to or PDF versions of recent magazines, newspapers or online publication stories about your company.
And, while we are talking about CTAs, give us a call or send us an email if we can help you develop effective About Us pages or provide other assistance in designing your web site.
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