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Business Story Telling

As a freelance copywriter, I like to meet my clients in person. My aim is to gain a deeper understanding of their business values and to uncover the story behind their service. Why is this important for creating web page content?

Barry Scott or Levi Roots – Who would you, buy from?

Marketing used to be about your products. Maximise exposure, blast the message out across the media and come up with a catchy tune that no one could get out of their head.

Let’s call this the Barry Scott approach. It’s loud, in your face and quite frankly annoying. Cillit Bang – ‘BANG and the dirt is gone’. Whilst I remember the slogan and can picture the bright purple bottle, I have no intention of making a purchase.

Marketing is now about connecting with your customers, providing what they want and telling your story and engaging on a more personal level. It’s a shopping experience.

Let’s call this the Levi Roots approach. Levi is one of the Dragon’s Den success stories. Peter Jones didn’t invest in the bottles of sauce; he invested in Levi’s story and his personality because he knew this was what consumers want. In Levi, we gain the tale of bottling his grandma’s secret recipe, the colours and flavours of the Caribbean and a twist of Reggae music – ‘Put some music in your food’. It’s a tempting combination.

Standing out from the Competition

The internet has transformed marketing. No matter what products or services you offer, the competition is only a click away. What differentiates you from everyone else with an identical menu of services or product range is your story and your reputation.

A business story doesn’t need to be highly emotive or personal, but take a moment to think back. Why did you set the business up in the first place?

There must have been a reason to step off the ‘safe’ path, to move away from someone employing you, sorting out your tax, contributing towards your pension and paying a steady salary. Were you:

  • Able to spot a gap in the market?
  • Full of spark and read to break free from restrictions?
  • Desperate for a better work/life balance?
  • Willing to put out all the stops and reap the rewards?

There may be many other reasons why being your own boss was appealing and this is the start of your story.

Underpinning Business Values

Was your business formed through the development of a new product or did you see an opportunity to enhance the customer experience?

When you set up a company, you can’t simply copy another business and hope to win customers. There has to be a plan of how you can offer something that the competitors aren’t. This typically feeds into your company values. Did you intend to:

  • Reduce environmental impact?
  • Focus on exceptional customer service?
  • Approach business with a modern, dynamic twist?
  • Reach out to an untapped niche market?

Do your initial values and aims still hold true, or has focused evolved as the company has grown? It would be interesting to find out if your employees have a clear idea of your company values.

Write an About Us Page

I still see websites without an ‘About Us’ page, along with plenty of ‘About Us’ pages which actually tell you nothing about the team, their expertise or the values of the company. This is a missed opportunity. Whilst your values should be communicated across your website, it really is important to write an About Us page that differentiates your company from the competition.

In Summary

Tell your story. It helps people to identify with your brand. It helps your company to become familiar, approachable and personable. Even if you never meet your customers in person, it offers a means of building trust and rapport. It will entice people to call, complete an enquiry form, visit your premises and buy – surely that’s what every business wants.

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What About Us?

It’s commonplace for websites to have an About Us page, but what purpose does this serve? Surely your visitors are only interested in your products, services and prices.

The most visited pages on a website are the Home, Contact and About Us pages. (If you have Google Analytics, you can check the exact number of page visits on your website.) When writing website content, it is vital that these pages really hit the mark.

Whatever you offer, there will be a host of other companies who could also serve your customers. Your About Us page content is the primary opportunity to convince them to come to you.

The About Us page provides the opportunity to differentiate your business from the competition. It should:

  • Make your Business More Approachable
  • Celebrate the Values that Underpin your Business
  • Build Trust in your Services
  • Invite interaction

Make your Business More Approachable
If you want people to call, email or pop in, it’s important to make your company approachable.

Write the About Us page in a friendly, conversational style.
Use ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘you’, rather than your company name and ‘our clients’. This may not fit with the style of copy writing on your Home and other pages, but the About Us page is all about adding a bit of personality to your website.

Include professional quality photos of your team, particularly customer facing staff.
Photos make you easily recognisable. Visitors may have previously met members of your team at exhibitions, networking or socially. Your company is instantly familiar when they see a photo of a person they recognise on your website. Equally, a photo will help them to identify you when they arrive at a training session, turn up for a meeting or when you are stood on their doorstep ready to fix their boiler.

Consider Video Content
Video content can bring your team to life. Consider opportunities to show collaborative team work, possibly on a work project or volunteering for a local charity.

Celebrate the Values that Underpin your Business
About Us is the ideal website page to communicate your company values. Your values should be determined by the desire to provide the best services to your target customers, so let them know. Do you have a reputation for quality, is customer convenience a priority or have you developed strong environmental credentials? If you’ve received a business award for your values, or have gained relevant accreditation, let it be known!

Build Trust in your Services

Seal of Approval
If your business is an approved provider or has been independently rated, add logos to your page.

Social Proof
Include case studies and testimonials to show how others have benefitted from working with you.

Established Business
Readers trust an established business, but if you are a start-up, mention previous roles to highlight your expertise. If this is a completely new venture, focus on what your company are going to do better than the rest to meet customer’s needs.

Invite Further Interaction
Having made the effort to build a little rapport, allow visitors the opportunity to keep in touch. Invite them to ‘follow’ your company on social media, sign up for your monthly newsletter or request a free consultation. What would be your preferred call to action?

What to Avoid on an About Us Page
Having provided ideas on what to include, it’s also important to mention five things that must be avoided:

  • Technical or Industry Jargon
  • A Sales Pitch
  • Lengthy Mission Statements
  • A detailed autobiography of the company
  • Fake or very out of date reviews and testimonials

Should any of these feature on your company’s About Us page, it’s time for change!

FREE ‘ABOUT US’ PAGE REVIEW
If you would like a bit of feedback on your company’s About Us page content, email me a link and I’ll share my thoughts.