About who?

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

by Silumesii Maboshe

Does this happen to you? You are browsing the web and come across a Zambian site that gets your attention.

“Interesting”, you say to yourself, “I wonder who is behind this?”.

You click on the link labelled “About Us”. As you finish reading the page you become aware that you now know less about the site and its owners than you did before!

Dear website owner, what’s the point of an About Us page if it says nothing about you?

About Us—done wrong

You are doing your About Us page wrong if you:

  1. Use long sentences with lots of business-sounding terms chained together like effective facilitation of key business verticals through strategic delivery
  2. Mention your mission statement
  3. Talk about your organisation (or yourself) in a way that makes you sound bigger than you are
  4. Don’t mention any of the people who are actually part of the organisation and hide behind “us”, “we” and the organisation’s name

About YOU

In your About Us, talk about you. Do it in a way that would make your parents proud. Do it as if it were just the two of us, friends, over lunch at our favourite restaurant or better yet, your home.

When I click on an About page, I actually want to know if the operation is just one person or a group of people. You don’t have to hide how small you are. I used to be ashamed that Pencil Case Studios was just me. Now, I know better.

Every business has a story. Like a fingerprint, that story is unique. By being generic and formulaic in your About page, you are missing the chance to connect with a visitor to your site. You are letting go of the one thing that sets you apart from every other organisation out there—your DNA.

So, don’t be shy. Tell us about what makes you, you!

About Us—done right

Have a look at these About pages and see if you are inspired to improve your own:

There are lots more great examples to learn from. Don’t let your About page be a bad example. In fact, you can take it further and abandon having an About page altogether. Let the entire website be an “About Us”.