The About page is the bitch of eCommerce copywriting—here’s how to crush it.
Ah yes, the “About” page. Everyone has one. Most of them suck.
Why? Because it is insidiously difficult to create a content piece that explains your brand’s raison d’etre without sounding stuffy or corny. Summing up your company and its merits in a way that instantly lets people know why you’re different, why they should like you and why they should give you their money? Well, it takes some skill to do elegantly, in a way that vibes right for your brand and speaks to the people you’re trying to impress.
Showing, not telling. Being, not trying. Connecting, not convincing. Jesus, somebody pass the Xanax.
Or read these tips for writing an About page that doesn’t make you cringe every time you look at it.
Don’t do your About page first. It’s not a starting point. It’s a cherry on top. It’s the thing you write to encapsulate everything your brand is about. If you don’t know what that is yet, you’ve got a lot of work to do before you get to this point. Likewise, if you don’t have a brand voice strategy, you’re going to have no clue how to approach telling your story. Do that stuff first. Come back to this later.
This is a really important piece of content for your brand. Don’t rush it. I know you’re eager to get your site launched, but if you slow down and sit with your thoughts on this, you’ll avoid publishing something that seems wrong and embarrassing and lame and needs to be done over anyway. Two weeks to a month is an ideal time frame to commission the piece, brief your writer, develop a solid approach, pass drafts around, get feedback, do revisions and fine tune. It’s a little bit of a process.
The About page is just a page. But it’s not, is it? It is the soul of your brand, in summation. In other words, it’s difficult to do. Very. So please don’t expect that, because you only want a few hundred words (which is plenty in most cases), this piece is going to take the same amount of resources as a midweek blog post. Just figuring out what you want to say requires a lot of time and thought. Then there’s structure, story arc, art direction, etc. Then revisions. Lots of them. Expect a lot of people in your company to have strong opinions about what should go here and how it should be expressed. Expect your copywriter to work long and hard to come up with something great that makes everyone happy. Expect to pay for the effort and talent it takes.
While the About page is a great opportunity to do something different and stand out, it’s not a time to get fancy in a way that could be cryptic or confusing. Straight talk, in your brand voice, works best here. Save clever headlines and wordplay for your social media campaigns. I clicked on this to find out what you’re about. So just tell me.
TELL A STORY
Just because the About page showcases a lot of obligatory info doesn’t mean you need to make it oppressively tedious. And for Christ’s sake, don’t write it in corporate shitspeak. I don’t care if your target clients are all suit-wearing olds with sticks jammed up their asses. You can be engaging without looking silly. Take the telling seriously, and you won’t risk looking unprofessional. On the contrary, you’ll look thoughtful and smart. Think deeply about why your brand exists in the first place. Who founded it and why? Start there and build something significant. Something un-boring.
Do you need to let the world know what you’re all about?