Kanye & Blind Dates: Tackling the About Us Page

Kanye West saying

Today, let’s talk about something near and dear to my heart as a wine, beer, and spirits marketer…the single piece of content that sends even the bravest of business people running for the hills: the About Us web copy. I can’t begin to tell you the number of times that I have seen sites stall for lack of About Us content. Let’s talk about why this matters, and give you some (quirky) tips to help get you over the hump.

Let’s start with the scary stuff: the About Us page is quite possibly the most important copy you will ever write for your website. And, it’s statistically the second most-read page on your site. (Holy shit, no pressure!)

Now, let’s make it not so scary. Ever been on a blind date? I married my last one, so this is something I feel smugly qualified to preach about. If marketing is making friends (my favorite comparison), then the About Me page is a blind date. But not a crappy blind date; a blind date that you’re super excited by because you feel like this person has soooo much potential. You want to say the right things to show all the goodness that is within you, but you don’t want to be that crazy intense over-sharer. You want to show your best side, discover if you two think alike, build enough trust for a second date, and make sure they know how to ask you out again. This blind date might be The One.

A blind date ≠ job interview.

Your About Me page is not a resume, linkedin profile, or corporate bio. We work in alcohol! We make and sell luxury artisanal products that make people happy! As such, we have so much variability in tone, voice, and how we can write about ourselves. Every time you feel yourself slipping into corporate-speak, take the big red pen and cross it out.

To follow is a list of tricks that we’ve devised over the years to help clients get over the hump, given in no particular order.

1) The (high res) photo. Ideally, you’ll be facing the camera but not staring at the camera. Dress for your brand tone and audience (no corporate drone photos, I beg of you). Include a pet. No, really, include a pet.

2) Embrace video! If you find writing just too damn hard, make a short video of yourself sharing the story of your wine business. Just don’t set it to autoplay when someone opens your page, k?

3) Write in controlled bursts. I promise this works. Give yourself five days, and each day spend no more than 30 minutes. Any longer writing about yourself and you’ll feel overwhelmed and paralyzed.

4) As a starting goal, aim for 2-3 perfect sentences, as opposed to paragraphs. Each word counts, so bust out your thesaurus if necessary. Prompts to get you started:

  • Use the “Who, Where, What” formula (intentionally unrelated example subject): “Winnie the Pooh is a bear who lives in the Hundred Acre Woods. He specializes in eating honey, playing pooh sticks, and being a good friend.”
  • What launched the idea that launched the business? What values are important to you and how do these impact the customer experience.
  • Use these answers to construct your value proposition” formula: “We do ________, so that you can feel _______.” “A.A. Milne created Winnie the Pooh so that all sons and daughters had safe and gentle stories to help them find their way in the world.”

5) Finally, what do you want them to do next? Go back to the blind date analogy. You want them to ask you out again, but you can’t look desperate and say, “Call me? Call me?” Noooo, you must be more subtle than this. How about, “If you liked reading about us, why don’t you <pick one below>”:

  • sign up for our newsletter
  • follow us on social
  • come visit us
  • read our blog
  • contact us

Then, be sure to make it easy for them to do what you’re asking for.

6) BUT DO NOT ASK THEM TO BUY SOMETHING: Your About Me page needs to be about building trust, and it’s hard to build trust when one person has their hand out. Please, no selly copy here.

Remember, something is better than nothing. Accept that your About Me page is a living document and both can and should adapt over time. Once you embrace this, you’ll liberate yourself from that feeling of overwhelm. Use what you’ve written now, and slot in another 5 days x 30 minutes to review it in a month or two. You’ve got this, really you do.

5forests A black-and-white photograph of a woman with medium-length hair wearing a striped beanie. She appears cheerful, embodying the customer-first marketing philosophy with her mouth open in a wide smile, and is

Polly Hammond

Polly Hammond is a dynamic speaker, podcaster, and consultant, and founder of 5forests. She helps businesses build and implement robust strategies that drive measurable growth.