The following answers are provided by The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
A: Include the "Aha!" Moment
Not every company was started by two friends in a dorm room. Those are the easy stories to write about. But if there isn't a touching story behind the brand, talk about that "aha!" moment when you discovered a problem that many others faced and how you went about solving it.
A: Share the "Why"
The "why" part of your business's story -- what motivates your team to live and breath what you offer -- has incredible value. Share what makes you tick and why you run the business the way you do. Share the intersections that define the "why." People will more likely remember this part than the "what" or "how."
A: Use Humor in Your Story
Most of the Web is an impersonal place. Humor makes it easier to connect with your clients and users. Vulnerability combined with humor is an even better way to connect on a human level. Starting a company is never easy, so tell your complete story. Chances are it will be a funny, entertaining journey. Tell your entrepreneurial story and entertain along the way.
A: Use Video to Show Your Passion
Every company has a unique story, cool team members with funny pictures and a couple of inside jokes. Nothing works like videos of the team to get to the heart of your customers. With film, you will be able to show the passion that fuels your mission while also humanizing the company. Fans will realize there are real, great people who bust their butts daily at your business!
A: Use Your Pitch Deck to Tell the Story
We use several slides from our investor pitch deck on our "About Us" page. This creates a well-crafted story to explain why your company exists and how you and your team are solving big problems. Keep the story consistent and high quality.
A: Establish Relevance, Then Tell the Story
Start with your audience in mind. Explain who you are, what you do and who you serve. Before people are ready for your backstory, they need to know there's something of value for them. First demonstrate relevance, then you have permission to explain your "why." The trick is to make it about your audience: how you feel their pain and understand their world.
A: Stir up Some Emotions
Make your story authentic. If you aren’t tearing up at the end of it, then you need to rewrite it or leave your company because you’ve lost your passion for what you are doing. Building a company is a beautiful thing; it's your chance to create a little piece of perfection in the world. This is the page to talk about this passion.
A: Don't Tell a Story
The long, drawn-out "About Us" page is over. On my company's page, we listed eight reasons we are different. It's a way of telling clients about our company and how we do things without telling a long story. It also helps to highlight what separates us from the competition. These pages are a place that potential clients visit to see who you are and why to pick your company. Show them!
A: Make People Smile
Be original and personal instead of being formal and by the book. People want to connect with other real people. We have a picture of my cat Muffy on our page, which catches people off guard and brings them a smile. She jokingly has the title "Pest Control." Our most popular place on our page, though, is the link we posted with more information about me, the owner.
Joe Barton, Barton Publishing ( http://www.bartonpublishing.com )
A: Bare Your Soul
A good "About Page" should bring out the soul of your company. The digital medium offers so many great tools for telling a story, so use them. Images are key. People want to see who you are. Combine them with rich media, video, and exploratory actions (such as drawers or y-axis animations) to bring texture and nuance to the experience.
A: Show Your True Colors
Customers on your "About Us" page are on a mission to satisfy a craving for human perspective. They want validation that you are a true company that fulfills whatever promise you make. Be truthful in the way you convey the heartbeat of your company, and bare the beliefs on which your company is built. No amount of marketing can replace the simple truth.
A: Include Photos on Your Page
The worst thing to happen to your "About Us" takes place when people show up at your page and there's no photo. You want personal connection, and you want visitors to become a part of the story. That's impossible if they can't visualize who is behind the business.