The ‘About Us’ page of many business websites is woefully under-developed. Does your site simply give a short summary of what you do and mention the company’s founder by name?
Maybe it includes headshots and short bios of the professional experience of a few key people and a paragraph-long summary of the company’s history. That’s better than nothing – but nowhere near the potential this section of your website has.
Everyone loves a story. Consider the success of ads that have a strong narrative. Actually, consider the success of the whole of the entertainment industry. People love stories. We want ads that tell a condensed, feel-good tale. We want to follow the life stories of our favourite celebrities as they unfold. A good many of us want to know the stories of our neighbours’ lives as well. Who doesn’t love to curl up with a good book or film? Stories draw us in. A good story gets us cheering for the protagonist and hoping for another installment.
Every story needs a protagonist, and most companies are the result of one or more people following a vision. The story isn’t necessarily how the company was started. The why is usually more interesting. What inspired the founder to set up this particular company? How did the founder discover the need for the products or services offered? What is their personal experience of the field?
Many of us downplay our own stories. “Oh, I just like to make pottery,” one might say. Or, “I just know how to do this, and I began painting houses when I was made redundant”. But if you dig deeper, you’ll find something that people can relate to. “I’ve always liked making pottery” is vague.
But “As a small child, I spent hours making little tea cups with my clay” gives us a compelling image of someone with a real passion. “When redundancy hit, I saw that I could be my own boss…” taps into the collective dream of escaping a dreary job and finding freedom. The founding of a company is only the start – what milestones has your company’s founder reached along the way? What has having this company enabled the founder to do? Further education in the field, travel, meet interesting people?
You can bring your ‘About Us’ page to its potential with a few steps. First, ‘About Us’ is a bit boring. Try instead calling the page ‘Our Story’, ‘History of Our Company’ or something similar. Craft a narrative explaining why the founder created this company, and share some details about the key individuals. What else are they passionate about?
Finally, don’t forget the visuals. People love photos of people. Use photos of people engaged in their job and enjoying their personal hobbies. If the company has been around a while, it’s fun to include both current photos and some snaps from the company’s early days. The reinforces the idea of a narrative unfolding over time. A strong ‘About Us’ page invites the visitor to join you for the next chapter of your story.
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By Irene Hislop
By Rakky Curvelo