How to write an About Us page for your website in 2021
Our copywriters reveal the secrets of talking about yourself in ways that have your target customers queuing for your services
In this post on a critical section of your website, we explain why the About Me is actually a lie. We give you our best writing tips for About pages and we break down some illustrations. (See our companion post for a closer look at examples of the About Me section on websites.)
The tl;dr version of how to write an About Us for you website…
Be clear on the problems you solve
Your website promises solutions. Your About Us page convinces readers you deliver.
Gather your facts
Hype won’t build trust. What proof do you have? Projects delivered on time? Reviews?
Look at competitors
What inspires you about how they write about themselves? What turns you off? How can you be more convincing?
Demonstrate your values
Shared values create real connections. How can you show that you share your clients’ beliefs about what’s important?
Rank what’s critical to your client
What’s are the biggest questions leading readers to want to know more about you? The answers must be above the fold.
Give an overview of your company
Website visitors are trained to expect an About Us page to give them the lie of the land. This is not the same as your company story, which won’t always be relevant. (Do you care about the company story of every business you buy from?)
Write like you’d speak on the phone
Readers are looking to learn about you. So write like the best version of yourself, not a robot.
Why is About Us one of the most important parts on your website?
Customer trust is why About is often a website’s second most popular page. (It’s almost always in the top five.) Other pages of your website convinced the reader they want what you have. Now, you’re creating an About Us page to convince the reader you can deliver.
- Your website copywriting makes claims. It’s natural that curious customers want to know more about the people making the claims.
- Readers expect an overview of a business on its About Us page. Are you big? Small? Working for global giants or small businesses? That context helps readers decide if you’re the right fit for them. And if they’re the right fit for you.
The About Us page lie
You’d think a page called “About Us” or “About Me” would be all about you. But that’s a lie, and it’s the only lie you’re allowed to tell on your website.
Beneath the surface, an About Me page is all about them, your target audience.
- It’s about the questions they’re asking.
- It’s about what’s holding them back from choosing you.
A convincing About Us page is written to give the answers your prospects need. You’re writing to bust through any objections by building trust. (Even though you lied when you pretended the page was about you.)
Copywriting tips for an About page
As you think about what to write in an About Us on a website, have these questions on a Post-it next to you:
- What does your client want from you?
- What is their problem?
- How are you the best answer?
Your About page has done its job when it answers those questions. And the answers are essentially your unique selling proposition (USP).
When you have the answers ready to start writing, you can flesh them out with these copywriting tips…
1. Tone of voice for an About Me page
Your tone of voice makes the first impression on your prospective customer. If you’re formal on your website, your reader will think you’ll be formal in person. If you’re casual, your reader will expect someone casual on the phone.
The way your write should be roughly the same as how you’d like to come across in the flesh. So choose a tone of voice that sounds like the best version of yourself or the business owner.
2. Ask yourself these questions
To come up with what to say on your About Us, ask yourself:
- What makes you different from the competition? You’ll want to get that across on the page.
- Who are your ideal customers?
- What sort of questions might they have about you? You can start with what potential customers ask you on the phone.
Also, think about covering the basic questions typical of a good About Us page:
- How long you’ve been in business
- Where you’re located
- What areas you serve
- Your qualifications and experience
- Who’s on the team
- How you prove you can deliver. Success stories and testimonials from loyal customers work great.
- Where we’ll find your social media
Customers also want to know your company values. That doesn’t mean you have to list your “core values”. A five-star hotel doesn’t need to tell you they care about customer satisfaction. You feel it in how they take care of you.
Instead of writing out your mission statement or your values, try to embody them in what you say.
Also, consider including contact information and a contact form. If your About Me convinces a reader to get in touch, why make them click through to the Contact Us page? That’s just good user experience.
3. Look at your competitors’ About Us pages
You should look at your biggest competitors’ About pages because.
- Your potential client might shop around. You can make sure you compare well if you know what you’re being compared to.
- Be honest. Has a competitor got some compelling content? If so, hat tip to the content creator. Now have your content writer create something better.
- Any disagreement you have with what a competitor writes could trigger fresh ideas.
4. About Us page generators
The first lines of any copywriting are the most important. If you grab the reader early, they’ll stay with you. Lose them early and they’re… lost.
Try one of these three proven formulas to grab attention on your About page. The generators will give you an opening line. Like an About Us page template, they’ll also set the theme you can develop through the page.
As you’ll see, you don’t have to follow the formula exactly. The formula gives you a starting point.
1. How you’re interesting to your target audience
“We do [description of your product or service], which is interesting [to your reader] because…”
This is the formula we followed on our own About Us page. On that page, it generated a theme along these lines:
2. The value you deliver
This formula generates an opening line about the value you deliver.
Our product/service enables [description of customer] to experience [this value]
We used this formula for the About section of PR course for marketing consultants. The course teaches the consultants how to add PR as a service for their clients. The output of the generator was along these lines:
3. Removing pain
The third About Us page generator is about pain and gain.
Our product/service helps [niche] who want to remove [this pain] and achieive [this gain]
For the PR course, this formula would have generated an opening like this:
5. Be yourself
Close your eyes and listen. What can you hear that you didn’t hear before? Cars going past the window? The hum of the fan on your computer?
That noise was there before, but you filtered it out. It wasn’t important. That’s exactly what your readers will do with clichés and meaningless language. By contrast, original writing is like a javelin: it lands and it sticks.
Your About Us page is a chance to make an impression. Don’t lose that chance by lulling the reader to sleep with phrases they’ve read a dozen times today.
You’re “passionate about the customer journey”.
Wake me up when you’re done.
Your About Us page should stop your reader in their tracks with something fresh
Being fresh doesn’t mean you have to be cute. It means you need to be clear. You need to rise above things anyone else could say. That’s how you’ll stick in your prospective client’s mind.
You won’t stick out by claiming to be the “leading” or the “fastest-growing”. The reader has come from three other websites claiming the same.
The good news is that most of these claims don’t address the reader’s problems anyway. Ask them their problem. They won’t say it’s that they need to be with the “fastest-growing” PR agency.
Whenever you catch yourself in a cliché, ask yourself what facts you have. Then delete the cliché and write the facts. For instance, you’ve written that you’re the “leading” business in your area. Why do you think you’re leading? Do your customers get amazing results? Do you collect the best minds in the business?
Write those facts and the reader will conclude for themselves that you’re leading. That’s powerful because the reader has thought it instead of you saying it.
But if you write that you’re leading because you think it sounds nice, walk away from the claim right now.
There is something genuine that makes you different, and a good copywriter can help you find your USP.
In small businesses, it’s often the business owner. Their individual story can make compelling content. In larger organisations, it can be how the business model evolved. And in any kind of business, a bold statement about yourself can stand out.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. You can’t have a compelling brand story without being yourself. And your About Us page is the place to tell that story.
6. Wasted words
Clichés are one form of wasted words. Another form of wasting words is to say something everyone would claim.
Would anyone in your industry say:
- We don’t care about customer service?
- We put things together as quickly and cheaply as we can
- We couldn’t care less about our customers
- We’re lazy
Of course, no one would say those things, so why does every other website talk about:
- “High-quality service”? Instead, be specific about the service. “Every client is greeted with a dirty martini and a bowl of nuts.”
- “Our years of experience”? Instead, show the prospective client how they’ll benefit from that experience. “We can solve problems in half the time because there’s nothing we haven’t seen before.”
- “We aim to deliver the best results”? We don’t care what you aim for. What do you hit?
7. Review your draft
Read every sentence of your draft then imagine your client asking “so what” like a spoiled 12-year-old.
That 12-year-old doesn’t care that you went to Oxford. Doesn’t care that you’ve been doing this since 1998. Doesn’t care that you have the big office with a beautiful view.
That 12-year-old cares only what’s in it for them.
Got a sentence in your draft that doesn’t show the target audience how they’ll benefit? Rewrite it or chop it. Your audience won’t connect the dots for themselves anymore than the 12-year-old will tidy its bedroom without incentive.
When you can see through a shop window, you’re more confident about walking in. If the shop whitewashed its windows, you’d be less likely to walk in.
Stock images on an About Us page are like whitewashed shop windows.
Stock images feel like a lie which is not good on a page that needs to build trust and confidence. We know you don’t employ the perfect balance of races and genders. We know your employees don’t share one laptop that they gather around to point at.
So if you won’t show us your people and your place of work, what are you hiding?
If you must use stock images on your About Us page, make sure they’re chosen by a designer. No pictures of hands cupping green shoots, please.
At the very least, however, have real pictures of team members. People want to work with a real human and that starts with being able to see one.
Examples of About Us pages that work
Sample #1 —Security Tactics
This company detects bugs. (The James Bond kind.) As you can see, this page seems to be about the company. However, the words are chosen carefully. Every line is really about the client…
How does the target client feel? Not confident.
Is the target client familiar with the technical language? Maybe not. So we use use “TSCM” and “bug sweeping” even though they mean the same thing.
We break this page down in our About Us samples for small businesses.
Small business example #2 —Taleist: Genuinely compelling copywriting
Taleist’s About page is definitely about us. However, the words aren’t self-indulgent. This copy is not really about us; it’s about the reader’s problem.
The reader’s problem is selling their product or service. The solution is Taleist because we can understand any business. Because of that, we’ll be able to sell your product or service.
There’s more about this page in our small business About Us page samples.
About Us page sample #3: CGA
CGA makes doors and windows. Making doors and windows sounds like a widget business. How different can one supplier be? That’s why we wrote this…
This is an demonstration of using proof in copywriting. We talk about it more with our other examples of small business About Us content.
Unlock your perfect About Us page with step-by-step copywriting advice
People make contact or buy when they trust you. Looking for reasons to trust you is the reason your About Us page is likely to attract so many visits.
Get your About Us page right and that trust is unlocked. Get it wrong and your visitors might well be clicking back to Google to look for someone more credible.
We’ve written hundreds of compelling About Us pages for businesses as diverse as wedding planners and bariatric surgeons.
Now you can have all that experience in a simple-to-follow training and workbook.
Discover exactly how a 25-year copywriter would go about telling your story in a way that has people queuing around the block to buy from you.
Are you ready to stop leaving money on the table and finally — in as little as an hour — nail your story? If you are, you need our masterclass on writing an About Us page…