Talking about yourself or your business can feel awkward.

But studies show that the “About” page of many websites is the second-most viewed page on the entire site. People are reading these pages, so it’s important to write them well.

Your About page is not a dumping ground and if you treat it that way, customers may think that your company is stale or out of touch. 

Your About page can be a great tool for your company, though. An effective About page humanizes your company, by showing empathy and understanding to the problem your customers are facing. It gives you an opportunity to show how you are just like your customers. When done well, this page is also a great way to show your authority to solve said problem, without gloating.

The way to write an effective and compelling About page that your readers will enjoy is simple: tell a short story about a problem you learned how to solve, and are now equipped to solve for others.

Needless to say, people care about who you are; consumers are interested in knowing who they are buying from. It’s just that, they likely don’t care about what you think they care about. 

I’m going to show you how to write an “About Us” section that will engage your audience and help you build trust with them. 

As we go along, let’s use an example of a small online coffee company, so you can see what this looks like.

Step One: What’s the problem?

If you own or run a business, you are solving a problem – that is why people buy from you!

Amazon knows that people don’t want to wait forever on shipping. Chick-fil-a knows that people are tired of the poor service and low quality food that most fast food chains offer.

So think about why your business was founded in the first place. 

  • Was it because you were experiencing a problem?
  • Did you see someone else struggling and know that there had to be a better way? 
  • Did you simply see a hole in the market? 

→Write out what problem you faced. Then, make it relatable; make it human. Here is where you begin telling the story of how you are not so different from your customers. You have experienced the same problems they are now facing!

Coffee company example:

Our city, Florence, South Carolina, has been growing quickly over the last 10 years. As coffee shop owners, we noticed that coffee shops were popping up throughout the city, but most were buying their beans from roasters far away. Increasingly, we saw the need for a great local coffee roaster to deliver consistent, outstanding coffee. Like you, we wanted to drink exceptional coffee from a company that we are proud to call local.”

Step two: You solved that problem

After you connect and empathize with your audience by saying, “We struggled with the same things you are struggling with now,” you have a chance to say, “but we learned how to solve that problem. And now we help other people avoid the struggle that we had.”

An important thing to note here is that we are still talking about why your business matters to the people who are reading it. Businesses commonly fill space on their “About Us” sections with information that, quite honestly, customers aren’t interested in.

Here are a few things to think about: 

  • Why did you solve this problem?
  • Why does it matter? 
  • What are you helping other people accomplish or avoid?
  • How did you solve this problem?
  •  How long have you been solving this problem? 
  • Who are you solving it for?

→Write it out. It’s okay here to share a little about what makes you or your business unique.

Coffee company example:

“So in 2017, we learned how to roast coffee, refusing to settle for average standards. Now we’re roasting coffee that Florence locals can take pride in drinking and that helps them start their days in excellent fashion.”

Step Three: Add Your Philosophical Belief

The next step is to insert the belief that guides your business. It could be your mission, guiding principles, or if you don’t have either of those, an underlying philosophical belief that drives your business.

As Donald Miller says in Building A StoryBrand, “People want to be involved in a story that is larger than themselves.” There’s a bigger reason you do what you do, now let’s put it into words. 

  • Why does your company matter? Why does your company exist? 
  • What belief about what “should” or “shouldn’t be” relates to your company? 
  • Does your brand contribute to a deeper story? 
  • Is there a philosophical wrong that your company stands against?

*(Note: A great philosophical statement connects well with the problem and solution that you have already mentioned.)*

Coffee company example:

“We believe your morning coffee should be excellent. While coffee may not be the most important thing in your day, it’s a crucial part of your day that jump-starts everything else you do. An excellent coffee experience in the morning tends to yield an excellent day. This is why your coffee should be more than “ok,” it should be excellent.”

Step Four: Let’s Put It All Together

Now, you are telling people about your brand in a way that matters to them. When people come to your About section, they won’t gloss over it.

By including your customers in your own story, you are participating in their journey with them. The brands that do this consistently well are the ones that will continue to win in the marketplace.

Coffee company example:

Our city, Florence, South Carolina, has been growing quickly over the last 10 years. As coffee shop owners, we noticed that coffee shops were popping up throughout the city, but most were buying their beans from roasters far away. Increasingly, we saw the need for a great local coffee roaster to deliver consistent, outstanding coffee. Like you, we wanted to drink exceptional coffee from a company that we are proud to call local.

So in 2017, we learned how to roast coffee, refusing to settle for average standards. Now we’re roasting coffee that Florence locals can take pride in drinking and that helps them start their days in excellent fashion.

We believe your morning coffee should be excellent. While coffee may not be the most important thing in your day, it’s a crucial part of your day that jump-starts everything else you do. An excellent coffee experience in the morning tends to yield an excellent day. This is why your coffee should be more than “ok,” it should be excellent.”

Things to Avoid

  • It’s okay to talk about yourself on your About page, but only as it relates to you solving a problem for the people who are reading.
  • Don’t use jargon or insider language. Instead of “premier global communication provider,” try “We help enterprises and governments communicate reliably around the world.”
  • Don’t talk about your accomplishments, instead, talk about how you care for the people that you are reaching. If you must mention your accomplishments, do so in a way that communicates your authority to solve the problem for your audience.
  • Don’t give a detailed history of your company.
  • Don’t try to sound “corporate-y.” Write like a human. 
  • Keep it short. People like me have short attention spans.

If you are struggling with how to talk about your brand, let’s talk!