Along with FAQ and Contact pages, the About Us page is one of the first supporting pages you’ll likely create for your website, regardless of the industry you’re in.
They may go by different labels—“About”, “Story”, “Mission”—but these types of pages generally serve the same key purpose: to be the go-to page for a brand to say, “This is who we are.”
When a visitor wants to learn more about you or your business, it’s the page they’ll look for.
Unfortunately, About Us pages are too often treated as an obligation rather than the valuable opportunity they are to connect with your customers by selling your story, your vision, your mission, and what makes you, YOU.
What an About Us page is really for
The problem with many About Us pages is they’re an afterthought—a link buried in the footer of a website that leads to a few hastily written paragraphs about a company.
What an About Us page should be is a goal-oriented sales page, one that focuses on highlighting the biggest selling points of your story and brand, making a strong impression on curious customers.
If anyone wants to quickly understand your brand, your About Us page should be the single link you send them.
That’s because your About Us page is the ideal place to accommodate a number of objectives:
- Communicate the story of your business and why you started it.
- Describe the customers or the cause that your business serves.
- Explain your business model or how your products are made.
- Put a face to your business, featuring the founders or the people on your team.
- Incorporate persuasive content (e.g. an explainer video, data visualizations, links to blog posts) that might otherwise clutter your homepage.
In short, your About Us page is a home for your founding story, a place to show off your business wins, and a sales page that answers the most pressing question new customers have about your business outside why they should buy its products:
Why should they buy from you?
How to write an About Us page: A template
The best About Us pages accomplish their goals through telling a story about a brand.
Every story needs a protagonist, and so does every About Us page. In some cases, that might be you or your founding team. In others, you might treat your business as its own character with a distinct story.
Either way, stories are all about representing change—starting in one place and ending up in another—which is something your About Us page should also do as visitors scroll through it.
You can craft a narrative for your About Us page by using the following formula:
- Set the scene: Introduce the characters or setting, and establish the status quo or “the way things were” for you, your target customer, or your industry.
- Introduce the problem: Describe the problem that called you (the main character) to act.
- Rise to the challenge: Explain how you set out to find a solution (i.e. start your business) and the obstacles you faced along the way.
- Arrive at a solution: Share details of how your business is pursuing its purpose and the milestones you’ve hit.
- Envision what’s next: Paint a picture of the future for your company or state its mission and goals.
Here’s what that might look like when you bring it all together:
About Us page story template
[FOUNDERS] started [COMPANY] because [EXPLAIN PROBLEM IN YOUR INDUSTRY].
That’s why [DESCRIBE JOURNEY TO SOLUTION].
Along the way, [SHARE MILESTONES AND WINS].
We want to be [STATE YOUR MISSION GOING FORWARD].
Keep in mind that writing your actual copy in the first person (e.g. I, We) will help build a more personal connection with your audience. Your About Us page is About YOU, so don’t shy away from that.
Hit these points and you should have the structure for a story (not necessarily the copy you’ll use) that you can incorporate into your About Us page narrative.
However, a story is just the start. A good About Us page doesn’t just tell the story behind a company—it shows it.
Here are some other components you might want to incorporate into your About Us page to not only flesh out your narrative, but to define your brand and communicate your company’s reason for being to customers.
Elements you can include in your About Us page design
Your business model
For some companies, their business model is their unique value propositionand can be a selling point that’s worth including on their About Us page.
Some examples of this might include:
- How you cut out the middleman and pass the savings onto customers.
- Where you source the materials for your product (e.g. manufacturing in a specific country or by providing jobs to a certain community).
- A breakdown of the portion of your revenue that goes to a charity.
If transparency might strengthen your brand, your About Us page is a good opportunity to summarize your supply chain, how your business works, and relate that back to the mission that drives you.
This is often accomplished with an illustration that presents your business model in an easy-to-digest manner, like this one used by Taaluma Totes that explains how they source materials for their products and how donations help support the country of origin.
Source: Taaluma Totes
Press mentions, testimonials, awards
Reviews, press mentions, or user-generated content can be included on your About Us page to share how you’re impacting your customers or your industry.
There are a variety of ways to integrate social proof into your About Us page, from embedding Instagram galleries of customer content to featuring the logos of publications that have covered you to highlighting a quote you lifted from a customer review.
Press mentions, awards, and other wins are common examples of milestones that can be used to help tell the middle of your story.
Numbers give you credibility, especially if you’re illustrating a problem you’re trying to solve or the progress you’ve made as a business (e.g. number of items sold or years you’ve been in business).
Consider the stats you can use to make a point about your company mission or quantify your impact as a business to include on your About Us page.
Whether you’re explaining the industry problem that comes up early in your story or highlighting the milestones at your story’s climax, tying relevant figures into your narrative can help you communicate your message more effectively.
An introduction to your team
Putting a face to your brand helps to humanize it, communicate your company culture, and shine a light on the people who power your business.
Even if you only highlight the founders, your About Us page can be a chance to build your personal brand and share how your story and experience makes you and your company a good fit to serve your market.
Source: Death Wish Coffee
A video or gallery of photos
If you can, you should mix up the media on your About Us page to add variety and break up the text in your page design.
At the very least, you can include high quality behind-the-scenes photos that pull back the curtain and give visitors a glimpse into your business. Or, if you’ve invested in a video that helps visitors get to know you, your story, or your products, your About Us page is a good home for it as well.
Links and calls to action
Your About Us page can also be used to funnel visitors to other parts of your website or online presence, whether it’s a blog post or social profile.
Be sure to incorporate any relevant links into your copy and think about how you can continue the visitor’s journey by encouraging them to:
- Follow your social accounts
- Opt into your email list
- Check out your products
- Apply for a job at your company
- Read your blog
5 excellent About Us page examples to inspire you
Your About Us page is going to be about you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t borrow some ideas from others, especially when it comes to structure and design.
The following are examples of different ways you can tackle your About Us page design. I’ve included screenshots of the pages in their entirety so you can see the full layout of information and imagery in order to plan your own page.
A letter to customers from Wrightwood
To start with, let’s look at Wrightwood’s About Us page: a simple, text-centric approach to telling their story. Conveyed in the form of a letter to customers, it uses formatting and font sizes strategically to create variety with text instead of relying on other media types.
What it does best, however, is state its place in the furniture industry against bigger competitors and tell a story about small business experience and passion going up against the status quo that was built by bigger chains.
Plus, it ends off with a thank you from the founders to customers who choose to shop with them.
A founding team story from MVMT
The MVMT story, on the other hand, makes use of sections to tell different parts of it.
It centers on the company’s two co-founders who dropped out of college and includes photos of them to put a face to their names, before getting into their product promise and finally their company philosophy.
But what’s worth noting about the page design here is that you can break it down into three sections that you can also use to organize your own About Us page:
- Who you are
- What you sell
- Why you do it
Personal branding like Marie Forleo
Marie Forleo structures her About page like a long-form letter to the reader. It tells her story in the format of a condensed autobiography before refocusing on the reader with a section aptly titled, “Which brings me to you”.
For entrepreneurs who have a personal brand that goes with their business, this style of an About Us page might be better. You can treat your business as one important chapter in a much larger series of stories, starting at the beginning and ending where your ideal reader is introduced as a character.
Starting with “why” like Cotopaxi
The essence of a brand can be found in the feelings and meaning its name evokes. So another good place to start your story is with why your business bears a certain name.
Cotopaxi takes this approach by explaining the personal relevance the brand name has for its founders before continuing to tell the rest of their story through the actions they’ve taken in building the business and pursuing their cause.
Tell your story through pictures like WP Standard
WP Standard’s About Us page is almost like a lookbook with a minimal amount of copy or details about its origin. Instead the story is told through a video, imagery, and sparse copy that summons the idea of resilience, exploration, and embracing the essential.
In a way, their About Us page is more of an “about the customer” page that casts shoppers as the exploring protagonist in their video before bringing it back to their promise as a company.
It’s a departure from the copy-driven pages we covered above, but it works in the favour of WP Standard as a brand of few words, or for brands that want to say a lot by saying very little.
Your story gets better over time
When you’re starting out, it might seem likes there’s not an awful lot to say on your About Us page.
But if you have a point of view and know why you’re doing what you do in service of your customers, you have enough to start with. You can expand upon what milestones you’ve crossed as you grow, improving your About Us page over time.
And for those who are already well into their own story, it might be worth taking a look at your analytics to see if new visitors are regularly stopping by your About Us page.
Maybe it’s time to take another pass at it and start treating your About Us page like the valuable online asset it’s meant to be for your business.
This article was originally posted on Shopify.com