What makes a good “About” page on a website? I have to confess that until recently, I had no idea.
I have a little blog that I write for family and friends as a way of practicing my creative writing skills. Excited to start sharing posts, I hastily opened up a WordPress site and typed up a quick blurb for the “About” page.
I thought this blurb was okay until I read a great book called Everybody Writes by Ann Handley. On Pg. 224 there’s a chapter called “Writing the About Us Page: When It’s Not Really About You.” Here Handley advises,
“The key to a successful About Us page sounds paradoxical: the best About Us pages aren’t really about the company; instead, they focus on relaying who they are in relation to the visitor.”
This advice was a huge awakening for me. I realized that my perspective had been off when I wrote the content for my “About” page. I was thinking, “Look at me! Look at me write! I hope you think I’m funny!”
But essentially, an “About Us” page has LESS to do with you as an owner of the site and more to do with connecting with your target audience. This fact is especially important when we’re talking about a Virtual Assistant business website. Since the “About Us” page is one of the pages prospects visit first, it can have incredible value in attracting great clients.
That’s why I cringe a bit now when I look at my site stats and see that people have visited my “About” page. For my little blog, it might not be the end of the world, but now that I’m gaining a list of followers who aren’t my Dad, Mom, sister, and cousin, I realize it’s time to give my page a bit of a reno.
If you are in the same boat with your Virtual Assistant business website, come along with me as we go through five keys to creating a winning “About Us” page for your VA Business:
1. Know who you are.
Do you have a mission statement for your business? As Virtual Assistants, we often hear about the value of having a 30-second elevator speech to share with people who ask what we do.
As you build the content for your “About Us” page, it often helps to start with a mission statement and go from there. Here’s an example from the VAClassroom website:
In those few words, we catch a glimpse of what the VAClassroom Team does and how it relates to its audience – how it provides value for its audience.
In a blog post titled “Write a Killer About Us Page With These 9 Tips,” Tim Kitchen offers this recommendation:
“Are you fun and exciting? Are you a cool, calm professional? Are you totally awesome at what you do? Make it clear who you are, what you do, and how ridiculously passionate you are about it in the page title and the first few lines. People connect with businesses that have a personality, so if you can explain what you’re about, you’ll keep the reader’s’ interest for longer.”
So as you begin to write about your business and its mission, remember who you are and be yourself. Think of it as a continuing conversation with your audience as they peruse your site from page to page.
2. Know who your audience is.
In keeping with the idea of knowing yourself and being authentic, it’s important to know who your audience is. Your awareness of your audience and its needs will help govern your choice of words and voice.
As you begin writing your “About Us” page content, you could imagine yourself as a public speaker addressing a theater full of potential clients. When your audience showed up at the theater, what were they hoping you could do for them? What kind of vocabulary would you use to talk to them? What kind of examples would interest them?
It may help to keep that image in your head as you continue to craft your “About Us” content.
3. Offer GREAT value to your audience.
As a former Romanian folk dancer, I loved hearing the applause after a performance, so I tend to think of everything as an opportunity to be applauded for my efforts. But here again the goal is not to show how great our business offerings are from our perspective, but how valuable they are to our target audience from their perspective.
The VAClassroom “About Us” page aims to do this by introducing their list of services in this way:
4. Include feedback from past and present clients.
Sometimes during a presentation, the speaker will leave the stage and walk through the audience with a microphone, giving audience members a chance to speak and ask questions. The “About Us” page is your opportunity to give the microphone to your audience in a way that provides value for potential clients. So another recommendation is to include a few select client testimonials in written or video form on your “About Us” page. The ones you choose should provide concrete examples of the value of your Virtual Assistant business. The testimonials will answer the question, “Why choose this VA business?”
Although many websites have separate “About Us” and “Contact” pages, it’s a good idea to include contact information on your “About Us” page to invite questions and inquiries. Keeping that microphone open helps you remain friendly and accessible to any prospects who visit your site.
5. Be creative.
In my research, I got the impression that although there are some recommended best practices, as we have discussed above, there is no one way to design an “About Us” page. If you are being true to your identity as a Virtual Assistant business, if you are putting your audience first, and if you are not taking away from the accessibility and readability of your site, there is room to be unique.
As Ben Austin says in his blog post “9 Simple Tips For Making An About Us Page That Works For Your Brand,”
“In our quest for the perfect about page, we came across some really extravagant examples. Some had really impressive videos, special features or high tech designs. All of those examples were extremely applaudable, but will only really work if this fits in with the rest of your website, your industry and your company as a whole. It’s easy to lose sight of who you are in your mission to create the best page possible.”
So as you think about your audience, brainstorm some ideas of what might appeal to them when they visit your “About Us” page. What would pique their interest? What type of storytelling, photos, videos, or graphics would fit the overall theme of your website and business?
And now is the time when I walk through the audience and turn the microphone over to you. We’d love to hear your ideas! What are some features you’d recommend for a winning “About Us” page?