What makes someone irresistible?
Growing up as a leggy teenager going to an all-girls school in suburban Campbelltown, I first thought being irresistible was drowning myself in Musk Oil while swishing my long Farrah Fawcett hair.
At my first disco with the local boy’s school, I came in for some focused attention and wandering hands, as I was broadcasting raging come hither signals when all I really wanted was someone to go see Star Wars with and share a bucket of popcorn.
After that fiasco, I studied in-depth articles in the fount of all wisdom – Dolly magazine. They were filled with sage advice such as “Be yourself” and “Let the true you shine through” and I took it to heart.
At the next school disco, I went too far the other way and wore a home-made gingham Dorothy from Wizard of Oz dress when all the other girls were in spaghetti strapped sequin frocks.
Needless to say, the nun’s lighthouse-strength flashlights were not required that night as the boys broke land speed records heading in the other direction from me. I was the same person, but the first impression I gave was radically different and the results matched.
Irresistibility can be confusing and doesn’t get any easier as you age and move into business!
Ask someone at a networking event to tell you about themselves, they may fumble a little bit but generally they can get the words out.
Ask someone to write about themselves for their website, and suddenly the need to defrost the refrigerator or watch a few thousand cat videos can become overwhelming. They may throw random words together on a page … but the result is just “Meh”.
The problem is that in business, your website is your first impression with potential clients, and the About Us page on your website is one of the first pages they visit. It is where people go to “check you out” and work out if they will swipe left or right.
Give the wrong impression in your About Us page, and you will end up with the wrong type of clients looking for services you don’t perform. Go too meek and mild, and their eyes glaze over as they look for someone with a bit of spark.
Why is it so hard to write about yourself?
Before we explore what to write to make your about us page truly irresistible, we need to first touch on why it is so hard to write about yourself.
- Fear of not being good enough – People worry that who they are and what they have achieved is not enough and that people will reject them.
- Fear of not doing it right – Many people have scar tissue from writing at school that makes them think there is only one right way to write something. (Insider tip – there’s no one way to write about yourself).
- Fear of coming off as being “up themselves” – Australians hate braggarts. If you go too far singing your praises or attempt barely hidden humble bragging, you are seen as a tall poppy who needs to be taken down a peg.
- Afraid to leave bits out – Some people fear that if they leave out any detail of their life, that people won’t be able to understand them or what they offer. As a result, they smother people with information.
- Imposter syndrome – Many business owners suffer from Imposter Syndrome, with a fear that if people “really knew them” that they would run away screaming. They worry they are incompetent and any successes have been accidental.
Great. So, now we know that unless you are wearing your narcissist badge with pride, we are all a bunch of fraidy cats. Most people struggle with writing about themselves and that is totally normal.
Knowing that courage is feeling afraid, but still doing what needs to be done, it’s time to brave it. So, sit up straight, pick up your pen, and let’s get into writing an irresistible About Us page.
Why People Read Your About Us Page
Always start writing with your ideal client in mind. Create a mental picture of who they are, what they are wearing and what they are thinking about. Then picture them, standing at the other side of the dance floor, checking you out.
The most important tip is to realise that people read your About Us page for a reason. You need to work out the reasons so you can present the information they need to see, in the way they need to see it.
The questions that are running through their mind when they scan your page include:
- Who are you?
- Who is the boss of the company?
- Can they trust you or are you a fly-by-night or rip-off merchant?
- Are you a big company or a solo operator?
- What are your values?
- Why should they buy from you and not your competitors?
- Why should they listen to what you have to say? What makes you credible?
- What can they expect from working with you?
- Do you work with businesses or people like them?
- Are you experienced in working with businesses like theirs?
- Do you cover their geographic area?
- How can they get in touch with you?
Your About Us page needs to answer all of these questions. You can use words, design and images to answer the questions, but you need to address each of these areas in order to convince someone to take the first step.
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Writing Style Tips
Remember, there is no one right way to write your About Us page. These are simple writing tips that apply no matter what you write in order to make your writing easier to read, and more compelling.
It’s not about you. This is the hardest concept to grasp. When you are writing your About Us page, it is not a story about you written for your adoring mum. Your About Us page needs to loudly play the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) theme song. The only things that are included are things that highlight your relevance to your clients.
The only bad About Us page is the unwritten one. Leap in boots and all, and write a seriously shitty first draft. It is always easier to edit content than to stare at a blank sheet of paper.
Be Yourself. When you write, Dolly was right. Allow your real personality and brand personality to shine through and don’t try to pretend to be someone you’re not (within limits). If your brand voice is corporate, then don’t try to be a stand-up comic. If your brand voice is friendly and approachable, then don’t be all stuffy and jargon-filled.
Reflect Your Clients. The language you choose needs to reflect your ideal client. The words you use for a crazy-busy mum reading your content during a school run is different to the words you use for corporate lawyer types.
First Person Rocks! For many small businesses, writing in the first person makes your words fresh, immediate and personal. I, we, me, mine all work in an About Us page. Using he, she, it, they and there is quite corporate and academic. Whatever you use, be consistent throughout your writing.
Singular vs. Plural. One of the areas many small businesses struggle with when they are sole operators is whether to reflect their solo status by using “I” or to write as if they were bigger by using the word “we”. Each option has pros and cons. Whichever you choose, use the term consistently throughout your page.
Prune out the hype. Aussies hate hype. They associate it with infomercials and snake oil salesmen. If you drench your words with breathless, fluffy hyperbole, then you will lose clients in the Australian market. Keep it real!
Meet expectations. When people are checking out trade or service businesses, they have certain mental expectations. They look at your menu and expect to see the term “About Us”. Don’t make them think too hard by using fancy titles such as “Our Journey”. Stick to the basics and make it easy for potential clients to find what they need.
Use Your Keywords. Each industry has certain words associated with it. Your clients use those words to find you. When people want to find a new vet, they want to see the word vet front and centre in your About Us page. You may be a leading parasitologist, but unless you also have the word veterinary on your page, people will click away.
Spell and Grammar Check. Whatever you write, run it through a number of spell checkers and grammar checkers (we love Grammarly). Get a few friends or an editor to also look over your words. It’s amazing how many typos sneak through!
Update and edit. Your About Us page has not been painstakingly carved in marble. Update and edit your content as your business grows and develops. This page should be one of the most regularly updated pages on your site.
Tips on What To Write
It is time for your pen to hit the paper. But what do you write about?
Stories are some of most persuasive and irresistible things in the universe. Billions each year are spent on books and movies that tell stories that trigger emotions. The more compelling the story, the more engaged your audience will be.
Rather than a simple re-telling of chronological facts, tell your creation story and why you do what you do. People want to glimpse your passion and the reason you started your business. Engage them with your own version of a hero’s tale with you in the starring role.
If you struggle writing your story, then you can let others tell it for you. An About Us page is the ideal place to share testimonials or even stories from your staff about why they love working in your business.
Another option is to use a case study to highlight what you do, why you do it and how you do it. Remember, this is not a simple re-telling of facts, but it needs to engage the emotions.
If you have a number of key staff, then you can include bios of each of the key people in your business on your About Us page, so people know who they will be dealing with when they contact your business.
Finally, you can share your process. Give people a sense of what it will be like to work with you. Are you structured and organised or creative and organic? Do you take people through a standard seven-step process, or do you go with the flow? If you have a fixed process, spell it out to make it easier to understand.
About Us Page Design Tips
It’s easy for your About Us page to become a massive block of text. About Us pages need to be designed in such a way to appeal to readers who scan, as well as provide enough information for detail needers.
Just as in life appearances matter, the look of your page makes a difference as to whether someone approaches you.
A few things to include in your design:
Real Photos. Use real photos of you and your business and not stock images. No-one is fooled by a stock image of a smiling woman with a headset on. People want to see you, so invest in a great photographer for quality photos or a corporate video.
Social Media Links. If you include profiles of different team members, include links to their social media presence, especially their LinkedIn profile if you are in the B2B space.
Newsletter Form. Test out including a newsletter opt-in form on your About Us page. Sometimes this form takes off – other times it is the quietest form on your website. There is no in-between.
Memberships & Licenses. If you are a member of a professional body or hold licenses, then include these in your About Us page.
Promote your banner clients. If you have any A-List or blue-chip clients, then you can include their details on this page. Remember to comply with any branding or privacy requirements if you go down this path.
Credibility boosters. If you have been published in notable papers or appeared on TV, then include an “As seen in …“ section. Do this cautiously otherwise you end up sounding like Troy McClure from the Simpsons, “You may remember me from such automated information kiosks as “Welcome to Springfield Airport.”
About Us Pages Inspiration
Writing about yourself can be as confronting as hopping on a psychologist’s couch. That’s why it is often easier to have a professional copywriter interview you and write your About Us page for you.
They can usually step back from the details, highlight your strengths in a positive and engaging way and can walk the fine line between shameless self-promotion and being too circumspect.
If you are struggling with writing your About Us page, or are worried that your About Us page is not as effective as it could be, then get in touch with us. We would love to help you shine!