From bakeries to clothing stores, restaurants to florists, customers have more choices than ever. With hundreds of small businesses vying for the attention of the same customers, what can you do to convince a customer to choose you over a competitor?
Telling a compelling and authentic story with your company’s About Us page can be the key to just that.
An About Us page is a standalone page on your business website that gives customers information about your business. It should:
While your website is the primary placement for an About Us page, you may want to craft smaller About Us sections for other places your customers will interact with your business. While some people may discover your business by finding your website organically through a search enqine query, plenty of others may come across your business through a Yelp search, as a Google Business listing, or on your social media channels, especially if you are running paid ads.
If your business is named Carol’s Cool Cupcakes, you may think a potential customer has all the information they need to know to make a decision. They’re looking for cupcakes, you sell cupcakes–case closed. But what if they have your website pulled up against Cade’s Coveted Cupcakes or Charlie’s Custom Cupcakes? What could make them choose your business? A well-written About Us page just might.
An About Us page is your opportunity to connect with potential customers, humanizing your brand and standing out from the crowd with your unique story. People love to support businesses that align with their values or peak their interest. Does a portion of all your sales go to a charity you’re passionate about? Do you offer internships or mentor programs? Do you always have dog treats for the neighborhood pups? Are all your recipes passed down from your great, great grandma Esther? People love to see the human side of a business: let your About Us page show them yours.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about where to start, take a deep breath and remember, you’re not setting out to write the next great novel. In fact, it’s important to keep in mind how much time a customer may actually be willing to spend learning about your business.
While we’re sharing some elements that you could feature on your About Us page, there’s no magic formula. There may be some things that are applicable to your company and some that just aren’t. Remember to be authentic to your business and include what makes sense, omit what doesn’t.
Here, we really do mean a story. Write something you would want to read if you were the customer–not a business pitch. Think about what made you start the business in the first place. Was it a stroke of genius in the shower or the execution of a business plan you’ve been crafting since college? Are you following a lifelong passion or a new interest?
You don’t have to get too granular–tell the bigger picture while communicating the emotion of the journey to where your business is today, not a specific timeline of events. You want to peak customer’s interest while giving them a glimpse into what makes your business unique–not give them a university lecture on your business model.
TIP: Keep it human! Is there a hilarious anecdote from your shaky start? Don’t shy away from sharing it. It’s okay to lift the curtain and have people see that it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows.
Seeing the faces behind a business brings human connection into the fold. It also cultivates trust for customers when they can put faces to the people they are giving their money to. If you want to include bios, keep them brief; remember, we aren’t aiming for a full-fledged memoir here. In addition to what they do at the company, consider including anecdotes about their hobbies and interests. For example: When Celia isn’t decorating cakes, she loves kayaking on the lake with her dog, Willie.
TIP: Candid photos of the key people in your business can add warmth and authenticity to your page. Consider photographing them active in their day-to-day roles rather than generic headshots. For example, your head chef plating your restaurant’s signature dish.
Customers are flooded with choices, and do you know what the truth is? Most of the time, they just want a company to make the decision easy for them. Show them what makes your product or service not just worth their investment, but a better choice than your competitors.
TIP: Consider including reviews or testimonials to bolster your claims. Customers often look to peers for recommendations.
Most businesses are started for a reason greater than just to earn some money. What was yours? Think back to the problem you were trying to solve. It could be as simple as wanting to make the softest socks or creating a space where your community could come together for great live music. Let people know what you’re trying to do and also why.
TIP: If part of your mission is supporting charities, link to those charities and consider including what your impact has been to date.
Many website builders have a plugin that allows you to link your Instagram feed to your website. Having your Instagram feed on your About Us page offers customers another way to get to know you–and also increases your chance of growing your followers.
TIP: If you don’t update your Instagram feed often, it may be better to leave it off. If users see that your most recent post is quite dated, they may not be sure you’re still operating.
Is there any special info visitors need to know about your operating hours? Or the types of payments you accept? You may want to call that out on your About Us page, as well as how you process payments. Knowing that they have lots of options for how to pay and seeing transparency around how payments work can build trust with consumers.
Every About Us page will look slightly different–and that’s not just okay, it’s great. An About Us page tells your story, no one else’s. Below, we take a look at the about pages for a couple of Clover merchants to give you an idea of what a good About Us page looks like. You can also learn more about how Clover has helped them grow their businesses in their Meet the Merchant profiles.
Jenny DeLorenzo, owner of The Curious Plantaholic, does a masterful job of telling a story that shows customers the passion that drives her business. Her focus isn’t on how beautiful and affordable her plants are: it’s on the role that plants have played in her life from a very young age. This establishes her as an expert and fosters trust, which could ultimately make customers choose her business over others. Take a look at her ending paragraph that makes both her mission and her passion clear, “I strongly believe plant therapy is real, and it has connected me to some of the most beautiful souls ever. I just want to share this feeling with everyone. And that first Pothos Marble Queen plant? I still have it, sitting on a long wooden shelf above my bed, reminding me of everything that has happened to me, my family, and my plants over the past 20 years.”
Broken Spoke Boutique’s About Us page is a great example of how to present a wealth of information, without overwhelming a potential customer. They start with an introductory paragraph that covers a little bit of everything a customer may want to know, including what they offer and just how limited their inventory is. They feature the key people of the business with warm photography and approachable intros. Another great thing they do is introduce their go green initiatives with quick summaries, illustrated with icons, before going deeper into the details.
Knowing how to write a good About page and having a reliable POS system are just a couple of puzzle pieces you’ll need to help your run a successful small business. Take a look at these how-to articles for more.
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