Published on February 27th, 2015 | by Connie Sung Moyle0
7 Dos and Don’ts for Writing Your Company’s Story
Your company’s description, or “about us” section is usually one of the most popular pages and/or pieces of content on your website – are you putting your best face forward there, or could your story use a makeover?
Read on to review what you should and shouldn’t do when writing your company’s description. These dos and don’ts will ensure your company’s story is as compelling and informative as possible.
1. Do: Tell a story
This is an area where small companies have an advantage over the big guys. People enjoy supporting others with whom they feel a connection, and sharing your personal story is a step toward establishing a relationship. In your company description, talk about why the business was started or the history behind it.
Instead of simply listing all the services they offer, Emerald Auto & Brake shares the company’s story on their site’s “about” section. Here, we learn it’s a family-run business, passed down from father to son (and possibly down another generation!):
2. Don’t: Fudge the facts
You want to stand out from the crowd, but steer away from any inclination to pad the numbers, client list, achievements, etc. It’s just not worth the risk to your business and the reputation you’ve worked so hard to establish.
3. Do: Use visuals/photos
The old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” definitely rings true in many cases. Staff pics, behind-the-scenes peeks and old photos add context and color to your company description.
Hat company Goorin Bros., founded in 1895 and passed down four generations, does this very well. The company’s vintage photos and memorabilia, which show its evolution through the decades, complement the story it tells and visually reinforce the brand’s history and commitment to old-school craftsmanship:
4. Don’t: Use copyrighted photography
Just because you found a photo or image on a search engine doesn’t give you the right to use it commercially on your website. Copyright law is serious stuff and most, if not all, professional photographers maintain strict copyrights on their images. To avoid this problem, use a stock photo site like Thinkstock (rates start at $49 for five downloads). Many amateur photographers (and non-photographers) share their images on Flickr under a Creative Commons license, which dictates how you can and can’t use their work.
5. Do: Use numbers
Any data or statistics you can tout to show why people should buy or work with you is great validation that should be included in your company description. Here at VerticalResponse, we often say that email marketing brings in $41 for every $1 spent, according to industry reports. That’s a pretty compelling figure for a business that’s on the fence about whether or not to give email a try.
Earth Baby, a compostable diaper service in the San Francisco Bay Area, uses numbers to explain their impact on the environment:
6. Don’t: Write a novel
It’s hard to get people excited about a long block of text, so keep your company description short and sweet. Tell an interesting story, but don’t bog people down with it. After all, the point of the company description is to encourage readers to take an action – whether it’s to call you, buy something or visit your establishment – so don’t make it a roadblock.
7. Do: Show your personality
Being a little funny (if that’s your style) can definitely help you stand out among your competitors and help customers feel connected to your company. Just keep it PC and authentic!
When one thinks of letterpress printing, images of fancy wedding invitations and feminine designs might come to mind. Cranky Pressman, a letterpress company based in Salem, Ohio, takes its name seriously and its website copy is written from the perspective of – you guessed it – a cranky old pressman. “This is not some cute boutique,” it declares on its homepage. Read on for more snark:
In short – when it comes to your company description, be interesting, be accurate, and above all, be yourself!
What do you love, or not, on company website “about” pages? Share in the comments!
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© 2015, Connie Sung Moyle. All rights reserved.