I read an interesting approach by Seth Godin to the “About” sections of websites. This section of the site is usually a grab bag of information, with bland descriptions of the company’s mission, business philosophy and contacts. Once the page has been written, why revisit it except to update phone numbers or new staff information? That approach misses a smart opportunity to express the personality of your organization and connect with your audience. As Seth Godin explains, be human. Tell a story — one that resonates with your readers. Videos provide a compelling way to do this, whether they capture the good work you do in the community or simply offer up a more personal introduction.
TOMS Shoes has one of my favorite About sections on their site. The page is named “Our Movement” and it inspires and connects through video, photos and compelling copy. Social media links are worked throughout the page, encouraging readers to get involved in the movement. The section isn’t a dead end, but thoroughly connected to other parts of the organization and their blogs.
I’m still waiting for Trader Joe’s to arrive in Austin. This “neighborhood grocery store” has grown much the same way as Whole Foods, but they’ve kept their quirky character and sense of humor. It shows in their About Us section, which shares a brief history of their roots, useful customer updates, humorous FAQs and very easy to find contacts and feedback forms.
Testimonials can add immediate credibility (assuming they are true). I like using them throughout the site, reminding your audience why they are in good hands when they do business with you. Other useful guidelines — invest in good photography. Stock photos can be an easy, affordable way to improve your marketing materials, but avoid them on your About page. Instead, use authentic, quality photography to introduce your team, show off your personality and put your business in its best light. And those older, embarrassing photos have a use — they can be a great way to liven up a company history or timeline.
While the About page can seem like the junk draw in your home, be careful not to use it as a catch-all for information that doesn’t quite fit elsewhere on the site. Give it some attention to keep the page fresh, interesting and full of personality.