When you think about the most important pages of your site, what comes to mind? Most people think of the homepage, then perhaps their pricing page, product pages or the contact page. Rarely do marketers understand the huge importance of the ‘About Us’ page.
In a recent study conducted by KoMarketing, 52% of respondents said the first thing they want to see when they land on a website is a company’s ‘About Us’ page.
Why do so many people care about the ‘About Us’ page? well, in his book ‘Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior, and Inspiring Action’ Rohit Bhargava explains that people decide who to trust, who to buy from and who to listen to based on a simple metric of believability. Your company’s success is directly impacted by how trusted and liked you are.
“There is a real ROI to likeability, and exactly how big it is will amaze you.”
Imagine you meet a new person at an event. What’s the first thing do you do? Look for similarities. You discuss your backgrounds, favorite food, TV shows, the places you grew up at, hobbies and much more.
Ever wonder why we do that?
Simple, we search for a connection, something that links us to the person in front of us, we want to find out if this person is one of “our kind”, is she trustworthy? Do we share any common experiences? Is she credible? Do I like her? Are we similar? In a world with 7.5 billion people, we’re constantly searching for meaningful connections, trying to eliminate the loneliness and find people we can relate to.
Once we find that “click”, that thing that tells us “this person is like me”, what do we do? Instantly form a deeper connection with them, invest more in the relationship and do our best to maintain it.
Your ‘About Us’ page is where you make that first personal connection with your prospect. It’s where they find out if you ‘get them’, if you’re like them and if you’re trustworthy. The more likable, personal and believable you are, the more likely it is that prospects will feel comfortable to buy from you and become lifetime customers.
Over the years we’ve tested many different ‘About Us’ pages and have found 4 main differentiators between them:
“We’ve listed all the details prospects need to know about us on this page”
“This page will help customers get to know us and feel at home” ‘About Us’ pages.
If you’re ready to create the latter, (the high converting type of ‘About us’ page), here are the 4 elements you need to make sure of: [x_line]
#1 Make it About the Customer
News Flash: Your ‘About Us’ page isn’t about you at all, it’s about the customer.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Rather than jumping into a ‘here’s why we’re so amazing’ list on your page, take a step back and answer this question: what pain do you solve for your customer?
I’m not talking about a technical pain (e.g – I don’t have enough GB on my phone to save photos), I’m talking about the pain they’re experiencing in their life or work that led them to your site, what pain did they just search for on Bing? (just kidding… on Google).
Most businesses use the ‘AboutUs’ page to glorify themselves, talk about their mission and how amazing they are, while what customers are really looking for is to see how well you understand them and their pain. Funnily enough, if you make the page about you, you’re actually pushing them away.
A recent report by BBMG states that 73% of people care about the company, not just the product when making a purchase. People want to buy from people. Authentic, similar and likable people.
Wondering how to know what your customer’s pain is?
Don’t make that face.
By speaking to your customers you get to identify not only their pain, but also the language they use to describe that pain, the solution they’re looking for and what they desire most of all. All this information can be used as copy for your website, testimonials, new hero images and so much more.
For many years I sent an email to every new subscriber asking the following:
“If I can teach you one thing, just one thing you want to tackle most to grow your business, what would that be?” The answer rate was insanely high and what I got out of it was incredible – quotes, headlines, blog post ideas and so much more.
Brian Dean, does the same: “I ask all of my new email subscribers, “What’s the #1 thing you’re struggling with?” And to date, I’ve received stacks of replies (over 25,000 to be exact).
These replies are solid gold for my business. I used to say things like “It’s frustrating not to get traffic.” But I noticed a lot of my subscribers referred to their sites as “ghost towns.”
So today I’ll say something like: “I know it’s frustrating to feel like your site is a ghost town.” That copy resonates with them significantly more than text that I pulled out of thin air.”
Grain&Mortar do it wonderfully. Rather than leading with themselves, they speak about their clients and how much thought they put into their individual businesses. Framing these clients as ones that care and make their products, services, and quality a high priority, immediately sets them apart from the rest and positions them as a unique group of individuals, ones other companies strive to be like. This immediately makes Grain&Mortar’s potential clients want to prove they are similar.
Clearly, the mental space and peace of mind of Alfred’s customer’s is a top priority for them. While Alfred’s service focuses on house chores, grocery shopping and tasks, their focal point is on allowing you to do what you love. As the founders clearly say:
#2 Talk TO Your Customers, Not At Them
Think about the conversations you have with your friends. You know, your real friends. Not people you’re trying to impress, colleagues or acquaintances. Our conversations with our friends and close family are more genuine, empathetic and caring, this is how you should be speaking to your customers.
Let’s go back to that example of meeting a person for the first time, as Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Media, explains so well:
“At a cocktail party, you wouldn’t walk up to someone and say, ‘Hey, I’m Dave. My stuff is 20 percent off.’ What you do is ask questions, tell stories, listen and relate to people.”
Write like you talk is probably the best advice I ever received and that I can give you. When your prospect arrives on your ‘About Us’ page, she isn’t looking for information about your board of directors or company hierarchy. She’s searching for someone who speaks to her, someone she can identify with and nod at the screen in agreement while saying – “Exactly!”
Mainly she’s not looking for a boring, “professional”, stuck-up description of who you are. Big words, fluffy jargon, and boring data won’t get her committed.
Obviously I don’t expect you to have a different tone and voice on one page than the rest of the site, however, if the rest of your brand’s content doesn’t apply to these rules, you may want to consider new tone and voice.
With GetUplift, I use my own voice. Everything is personal and very straightforward. That means that at times I’m awkward, oversharing, very direct and vulnerable. However, I try to bring myself as much as possible into my writing. Every email and every page on the site (including these articles) are written as a personal letter from me to you. Not every brand can to do this, but a friendly more approachable voice can work wonders.
Reddit has a lot of people behind it. As a large community, they don’t use one voice, they use their customer’s tone and voice. They talk about their values, the importance of caring for other people in the community and they do so by referencing well-known characters that the community is passionate about. Their ‘About Us’ page includes memes, well-known jokes and an adaptation for ‘WWJD’ that fits the community’s personality.
#3 Tell the Story
Spoiler alert: Imagine the creators of Star Wars never told us Darth Vader was Luke’s father. Darth would just suddenly have a change of heart and help Luke without us even knowing why. Without that key component of the story, things would seem unrealistic, fake and unbelievable. That’s exactly what an ‘About Us’ page looks like when it doesn’t tell a story.
Back in the prehistoric days, people sat around the fire telling stories to each other. Rather than sharing data (e.g – 1 kill, 2 birds), they added a story around it, who they met, what they spoke about and the exact play-by-play of how they hunted down those two birds. This is what made these events memorable. The result was the same result, they had food around the campfire, but they also had a story and these stories have lasted for decades. Think about the bible if you will and any war in history, it’s not about how many people died or which land was conquered, it was about the adventure people went through their personal story and the unknown heroes that were interesting.
If you’ve ever asked yourself what makes TEDTalks so successful, the answer is the same – storytelling. The speakers, who get trained extensively tell a story, they map out their journey from hardship to heroism. TED speakers touch our hearts, not heads.
Source: Carmine Gallo
A story is what turns a boring sales pitch into a believable and personal ‘About Us’ page. It allows prospects to resonate with you, understand your motives and what made you take on the mission to solve their pain. A story makes you believable, trustworthy and it humanizes your business.
Solemn Oath Brewery delivers a personal story. While their story focuses on the roots of the brewery it involves the people behind it, the conversations, the customers, the history and the love for what they do. In fact, they open with the pain: “When we opened in 2012, Naperville was no Beer City, USA…We weren’t naïve; this was wine, cocktails, and buckets-of-beer territory and we knew that.” It’s whimsical, it’s personal and it brings the customer straight into the heart of the story: “How about we pause here for a moment and just shake our heads a little bit at how dope it is that we’ve built this thing together.”
The bottom line: Map out your customer’s journey from pain to success, and there lies a high-converting ‘About Us’ page. [x_line]
#4 Don’t Just Say It, Show It
The final piece of a trustworthy, reachable and customer-centric ‘About Us’ page is visualization.
The right images have the ability to trigger our emotions and increase trust. The right images in this case (and in so many others are images of the people behind the scenes. Allow prospects to get to know you better and connect with you by displaying photos of yourself, your team and culture. As we learned from KoMarketing’s research, customers care about the team bios and their specific info.
According to Cialdini’s theory of influence, people are far more persuaded and likely to buy from people they like. The key is using the right kind of photos of your team, photos that will establish believability and make your customers want to grab a coffee with you and have a chat. Photos that will make people feel comfortable buying from you.
Similar to testimonials I’ve seen that the most high-converting team photos include some information about the employee. Rather than just name and position, some companies include location, favorite film, hobbies or the employee’s motto. As you can see below, adding context to the photo and personalization, goes a long way.
Source: Simple as Milk
Successful visualization can also include group photos, videos, quotes from employees and client testimonials, speaking not of your product but about your team and your relationship with her.
Showing what your team does after hours can also work well:
Avoid taking photos of everyone wearing the same or posing the same way. Create authentic photos of real people customers can relate to. Reddit uses their brand personality, Mailchimp features their entire team in a colorful background and Alfred feature the two co-founders how they personally use their service.
Your New About Us Page
At this point, I hope I can say: “Congrats on the decision to optimize your ‘About Us’ page.” If there’s just one last thing I can offer as a tip before you get started it is this, always remember: You’re not the hero of the story, your customer is.
Have a cool ‘About Us’ page you like? Share it with us! We’d love to see and feature it on our blog.
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Thank you for sharing this super awesome Advice. I agree with all the points but sometimes it happens that you need to align your “About us” page with the corporate guys. I am talking about the franchise who needs to maintain the standard/ethics of the work according to the corporate guys.
Overall, Article is really helpful in understanding the main purpose of about us page. Mine favorite is the storytelling. It was there from the evolution of the man.
I see both Ibbi’s and Talia’s view.
Talia, your advice is spot-on for B2C industries or, perhaps for very small B2B websites.
Ibbi, I agree with your concerns if the website is completely in the B2B or B2G fields. Yes, in those cases you want to be formal and direct, you have a very specific range of services you want to provide, perhaps to a very specific range of businesses or governments.
I definitely think even B2B websites can soften their “About Us” copy somewhat; emotions are always part and parcel of sales, even in the B2B world. Having worked in that field for a decade and a half, I can definitely tell you that one of the things that would make a business’ name stick in my head during the vetting process was if they had a more “human” feel about them, instead of dry or boilerplate corporate jargon.
Nice. thanks for sharing.
This makes perfect sense! I’m right in the middle of optimizing my own and a client’s About Us page, and while I’ve got several things right, you gave me some ideas I hadn’t even thought of before. Thanks Talia!
Fantastic article Talia… Refreshing, which has also inspired “us” to rewrite our “about us” website
I am really enjoying reading your well written Post. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Thanks for this content