What’s the purpose of an “About Us” and “About Me” page? Is it about you, or your visitors? Is it filler copy pushed out just before you launched your site, or a carefully planned story that brings people in and makes them want to help your cause?
Hopefully, you’re in the second group. You’ve thought long and hard about your About page.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated on 05/26/21 by Irek Klimczak to include relevant and fresh information.
Table Of Contents
About Us or About Me? It’s all about the visitor
Like every page on your website, the about page should have a clear business goal. Whether it’s an About Us page sharing the brand story or About Me page building your personal brand, you’re designing it to influence visitors decision-making process.
It’s best to craft a storyline that’s aimed at your target audience. Use your About page as the document that defines who you are and how you’re different. It’s a positioning statement, a mission statement – even a worldview. All in one.
Or maybe not. Unfortunately, About us pages tend to be woefully neglected. Most of them are a mere 1-2 paragraphs, apparently typed out fast just before a site was launched. And that’s too bad. Because for most sites, the About us page is the second-most visited page on your site. Yup – after the home page, the next busiest page is your About Us page.
A lot of people are looking at those two flimsy paragraphs you wrote so long ago. And they are making the decision about whether to stay on your site or not based on what they read there.
Despite the dire warning, this is actually good news. If you’ve got a weak About us page, improving it just means your business will do better. And if you’ve already got a good about us page, making it into a thing of beauty will kick things up a notch.
Look at the about us and about me page like your potential customers would
The first thing to do to improve your About Us page is to change your viewpoint. Instead of looking at your page the way you would, look at it the way your site visitors would see it – or better yet, the way your ideal customers, readers, or clients would see it.
Not sure how to do that? Sometimes the best way to force yourself into this is to imagine you’re about to speak to these people. Imagine you’re standing just off-stage, about talk to a room full of them. What would you say?
If that’s too stressful to imagine, scale it down. If you were about to sit down and talk to your ideal customer over coffee, what would you tell them about yourself?
Focus on Why, What and How
You can try using Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle for your about page content. In order to do that answer the three simple questions:
Why – Why are you doing what you are doing? For example, why are you in business, why did you develop your product or service? This section will explain your company values and according to Sinek might be the main incentive to buy from you.
How – How will this help your potential cutomers? For example, what problems are you solving for your target audience, what challenges are you helping them overcome? Developing this section is basically about writing down a solid sales pitch.
What – What are you offering? For example, what is your product or service, what are the features and benefits of it? If well written, this section will turn website visitors into curious customers.
Whether you decide to go with the Golden Circle concept or not, make sure you emphasize what makes your brand unique. Showing your unique selling points will make your about page one of your most effective marketing assets. Clear value proposition will make your about us or about me page one of the most important pages on your website.
Here’s an example from Magic Spoon of a short and sweet about page. It shows you that with an outstanding product, well written copy, and a help from a skillful graphic designer you can gain instant credibility.
Work with your team and customers to find areas where you stand out from competitors.
- Do you have a different approach, a different point-of-view or a different perspective than your competitors about your product, your service or your industry?
- Do you specialize in any one particular area where your competitors don’t?
- Do you offer customer success in languages other than English?
The answers to such questions not only will help you create a great landing page but will help you clarify your strategy for success.
Consider separate About Us pages for different types of visitors
The first stumbling block people run into at this point is defining whom they’re talking to. If you’ve got multiple audiences (aka “marketing personas”) that you work with, then there’s the challenge of talking to all those groups at once.
If you’ve got big aspirations, you may have other audiences to consider:
- Prospective Employees
Some companies don’t specifically have pages dedicated to those four groups – but many do. Beardbrand, for example, has broken out their About Us page into four different pages – including one for media inquiries.
Fellow divides their About page into five categories: Jobs, Wholesale, Collaborations, Customizations, and International Retailers.
Their Jobs page is a great example of how you can recruit new team members by sharing brand values and company mission.
Visual Website Optimizer has a separate page for its partners.
Larger companies and organizations, like the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, go so far as to have separate information pages for their Board of Directors, their investors, and their staff.
Not sure who your visitors are? Use live chats to ask them exactly what they need
It’s great if you’re in the league of sites that want to attract investors and media people. But usually the problem people run into here is that they never defined their audience well enough in the first place. Of course, it’s a good idea to do that before you launch your site (or even go into business), but this still happens. A lot.
Again, don’t fret. We’ve got you covered. You can use GetResponse chats and enable it on your About page. This way, If your understanding of your audience is hazy, you’ll be able to reach out and ask website visitors a few questions:
- What are they looking for exactly?
- What problems are they trying to solve?
- What are they most interested in?
- What are are they really sick of?
- How is what you’re offering different than all the other people in this niche?
- What can you show them or tell them that sets you apart from competitors?
If you had to explain this site in just a few words, what would you say? For instance, “It’s This Old House meets small business marketing”. Or “It’s social media marketing for minimalists.”
Just answering those questions will go a long way to help you write a better About page. In fact, you could probably just lay out those questions in FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) format, and you’d have a better About us page than most sites.
Here’s a webinar recording on how to Connect and Convert in Real-Time with Chats. Watch it and see how easy it is to apply live chat to your own page.
As you write those answers, always be thinking about how your audience will view them. Remember: They’re always asking themselves, “What’s this got to do with me? How can this help me?” Also, try to use a conversational tone as you write for them. Write like you’d talk to them if you were sitting over coffee. Stiff, formal words rarely convince.
Format your about page for scanners
The same rules of website copy that apply to product pages and blog posts apply to About Us pages, too. Most people won’t read your About Us page – they’ll scan it. So use all the standard conventions web writers use for scanners:
These are a time-tested, simple way to direct different groups of visitors to different parts of the page. So if you don’t really want to have multiple About us pages – no worries. Just break your About us page into sections. We’ve done this on our own page.
Got any sentences with lots of commas, listing multiple items? Those might work better as bullet points. Bullet points are also good for listing company goals, or as a punchy way to show how your company is unique.
We’ll talk more about these in a moment, but please – have at least one visual element on your About us page. Online readers get turned off by too much text.
Again, we’ll get to this in more detail in a moment, but do include a call-to-action on your About us page – either to join your email list or to complete a contact form.
Just like on other pages, use testimonials to gain credibility. If you support your brand storytelling with ideas written in the first person coming from real people, it might turn your about page into one of your sales channels.
The about page is a great hub for all things your brand. Make sure you describe you company culture and mission statement but also make sure that you share links to your social media profiles along your core values.
Include photos and videos on your about page
As mentioned just above, it’s essential to have at least one photograph on your About us page. And please – don’t make it a stock photo.
At the very least, there should be a photograph of your Founder (or Founders), like Copyhackers has done here:
Notice the layout of this About us page. It lets you get to know the Founders in a very simple way – by showing how long they’ve been copywriting, by what they think the world needs more of, and other concise but revealing information. Then they go right into testimonials. It’s short and simple, but this page gets the job done. Of course, the photos help, too. Without them, this page wouldn’t work nearly as well.
Here’s another great About page example from Sean Carroll’s own website.
It starts with a photo and a short bio of the author. Below, there’s a section with links to social media profiles and other platforms related to Carroll’s work.
Next comes an interesting section called Latest and Greatest – nice job! It’s divided into three columns offering visitors instant access to Sean’s recent projects:
- Upcoming events: this section is extremely important to all those who would like to meet Sean personally. It even provides a link to view the full calendar. I’m sure it will look impressive as soon as the pandemic becomes history.
- The biggest Ideas in the Universe: this section provides a collection of informal videos explaining the fundamental concepts describing our natural world.
- Twitter Feed: you know what to expect here, right? 🙂
This website is more than a personal blog. It’s an idea hub full of. You can read a great article, listen to a podcast, binge on a video series, buy a book, and subscribe to a course. Running awesome projects and sharing valuable content are two best ways I know to elevate personal brand. Creating a website with an awesome about page seems like a great idea for all who want to improve the world through ideas.
If you just can’t bear to have a photo of yourself, consider these alternatives:
- A crowd of your employees
This is the classic About us page photo. It’s an excellent way to give a snapshot view (sorry for the pun) of who your company is.
This one’s ideal for local businesses, but it’s also good for any business that even occasionally has clients or customers come to their home base. Got more than one location? Great: Show photographs of those locations, too.
- Photos of people around your office
These can be of employees or of customers. Ideally, they’ll be casual, with good lighting, and done on a day when everyones’ desks are relatively clean. These types of photos are also super-important for prospective employees, so keep that in mind as you take them.
- Your company mascot (or mascots)
Some company cultures fit with this better than others. But I have seen detailed About us pages that had nothing but pictures of employees’ dogs.
Every about us page needs a few photographs. Real photographs – not stock photos.
Include a way to opt-in to your email list
Funny thing about About us pages… they’re also great for list building. If you don’t believe me, try it. Add one (or even two) opt-in forms on your About us page. You can squeeze them in between paragraphs, or add just one opt-in box at the bottom of your About us page, like Fizzle has done.
Track the sign-ups from this specific page by copying your default opt-in form, then renaming it with something like “About page”, so you’ll recognize it. You may be surprised – some sites get up to 10-20% of their opt-ins just from the About us page.
Email marketing tip
You can use the content on your about page in your welcome email. It’s a good idea to use the very first email to jump straight into the inbox with your unique story and company’s mission.
Also, re-using your website copy in your marketing assets can help you develop a consistent writing style resonating with your potential clients.
Here’s a welcome emails series from LandCafe.pl – an ecommerce selling artisan coffee beans.
As you can see the first email in the series is a short and sweet version of an about page. It briefly explains where the coffee beans are from and why LandCafe.pl (The owner enjoys driving a Land Rover and coffee – how cool is that?). If you are interested and want to read more, you can click the link to a great post explaining the details.
This example shows how the about page might be linked to your email marketing communication. And that when it comes to web design and email series design – it’a a good idea to start with why.
About page in an online store
Here’s one of the about page examples I really wanted to share with you. The about page of Uncommon Goods – an online marketplace with hand picked creative, original gifts and experiences that go beyond the ordinary.
Their about page is divided into six self-explanatory segments:
- Our Story: linking the company’s history from the humble beginnings of Dave Bolotsky 22 years ago with the big company Uncommon Goods has become.
- Our Products: explaining the core characteristics of the great stuff you can find on the website.
- Our Makers: using text, photos, and a video (Mort Gerberg’s personal story) to show the designers behind the products.
- Force For Good: showing that this company cares about more than just profit.
- Founding B Corporation: presenting a certificate of commitment to using business as a force for good.
- What’s Next: first paragraph linking to the blog post describing the Uncommon Values – 7 Guiding Principles. Second paragraph sharing company’s mission and a CTA button linking to the online store.
There’s also a testimonial from a target customer before the first and second section of the about page. Together with the online store at the top and the footer with a web form asking for your mailing address this about page offers all the necessary site functionality.
It’s time to treat your About us page as if it was a core element of your site – because it is. You’ll never have a better opportunity to really show who you are as a company, or even as an individual.
Your About us page needs to have enough information so people can really feel like they’ve gotten to know you by the time they’re done reading it. That doesn’t mean it has to be a 5,000-word essay, but it does mean you give enough information so people feel they can trust you. And the more they trust you, the more they’re likely to do business with you.
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