About Us – and Why You Should Care

In Uncategorized on January 15, 2011 at 1:49 pm

What do you display on the About Us or About Me page on your website? If you can’t recall immediately, it’s probably because you’re not giving it the attention it deserves. Most people – as individuals or companies – use the page to talk ALL about them: the wonderful work they do and how awesome they are compared to everyone else. The page is usually stale, unattractive, narrow, arrogant and boring. It should bother you that these words might be used to also describe your brand.

While the About Us or Me page is your chance to shine by showing off all of the great things you do – it’s hard not to be proud – it’s also an opportunity to be real, exciting and accessible. Your goal should be to make the site visitor – not you – feel good. Make them feel confident in you and eager for more.

More and more, social media is conditioning us for actually connecting with people online, and the traditional rules of relationship-building still hold. Be personable – especially as a company (an organization of people) – because that’s who people will connect and build trust with. Instead of talking at, discover ways to connect and talk with your site visitors – all of them.

Here’s a list of thoughts to get you started…

  • Match what you do with what you say. If you brag about everything under the sun, you better be prepared to chin that bar every time.
  • Involve others to make it genuine. For example, let employees publish their own thoughts about the value you provide. Take a look at Purple Trout’s page. I shine a light on this company because I know some very quality people who unfortunately got let go. Perhaps it’s because only one person matters there?
  • Display real value to real customers. Who are some of your noteworthy clients? Use their customer logos and testimonials. How long have you been in business? Don’t be too shy about tooting your own horn. Check Dave and Busters. If you’re real bold, perhaps you include a real-time, unfiltered feed from your Twitter or Facebook profiles.
  • Be human. Whether about you or people in the organization, gather personal information, such as hobbies or favorite activities, links to blogs and personal websites, contact information, etc. Together, these put a face to your brand name, show that you want to hear from people and that you have nothing to hide. Seek Research got it right – theirs is really neat because the employees write their own bios, each of which is very intriguing, and altogether show off the personality of the company.
  • Recognize your employees. Demonstrate how they add value to your organization. Look at – but don’t mimic – Mashable as an example. I really could not be a bigger fan of the company and the value they deliver on a daily basis, but one thing I noticed about their About page is this: employee profiles are great, but they are clearly listed in descending order of importance. Think about the message that sends.
  • Add variety. 90% or more of the company About Us pages I see are more text-happy than a teenage driver. E-trade is an example. Instead, stand out by using multi-media like photos and videos of you, the company, and key constituents. And, please, use real photos of real people and places. Stock photos are just irrelevant and lazy.
  • Incorporate social media. The ultimate goal of social media is to motivate a captivated audience to speak on your behalf. Stick to that, and let your creativity go wild. One example: share buttons galore.
  • Again, add variety. Your site visitors are not a homogenous group. You have to put things out there that can appeal to a broader audience. Some examples: company news headlines, CEO or company blog posts, videos, pictures, descriptions, testimonials, accomplishments, etc.
  • Make the information actionable. Think about what you want them to do after they consume your content. Make it compelling and easy for them.
  • Keep it updated. Make a commitment to add new content pretty frequently – after all, the world is moving fast, and you have to show that you can adapt. Sprint is a good example because they include updated business results.
  • Optimize for Search Engines. Don’t get too caught up in buzzwords or jargon, but do make sure to use words that will get you found and understood.

So, go. Be creative and memorable. Take advantage. Connect and engage.

  1. Matthew, this is a great post and is something that, surprisingly, so many small businesses overlook. I feel like this goes back to the idea that if your company & business culture are good offline, they’ll be good online.

    Great perspective!

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