Believe it or not, the ‘about us’ page is typically the most visited interior page for any small business website.
Every business, no matter how big or small, needs to tell a story on their website. It’s just another step towards building a better website and creating a more engaging experience for your customers.
Having a story to share on your website is a great way to attract new customers — people are much more likely to engage with you and purchase your product or service if they feel like they know you, trust you, and can envision a world where your product or service makes their life better.
We’ll show you how to write compelling business copy using the power of storytelling and increase your sales.
1. Start with a basic outline that includes the 5 Ws of your business story: Who, What, Where, When, and, perhaps most importantly, Why.
Starting with a simple outline is the best way to begin telling your small business story. You want to introduce your company name and explain what your business does, what communities you serve, and tell us how long you’ve been doing it for.
We’re The Coffee Bean, and we’ve been roasting and serving organic coffee here in Toronto since 1981.
Even if you’ve never heard of The Coffee Bean before, you probably feel a little better already knowing that they’ve been around so long — after all, how would a company stay afloat for 30+ years if their customers had bad experiences?
2. Tell your customers what you stand for as a business.
People can better identify with your business if they know what you stand for. Are you interested in Fair Trade? Social Justice? Honesty? Transparency? Organic? Locally sourced?
Adopting and communicating your business philosophy within your main business description will help distinguish you from your competitors, especially if you’re operating a business in a competitive space. People love to rally around a good cause, so give people a reason to identify with your business.
Our doggy daycare believes in the power of positive reinforcement to encourage pets of all shapes and sizes to be courteous, well-behaved members of society.
3. Talk about what you specialize in and the work you love doing.
People love passionate business owners.
Your audience will scan your story for proof that you’re passionate about your business. Tell people about the work your company gets excited about doing. Or, tell your audience what you like to see in your industry, whether it’s an innovation, a business philosophy in practice, or an initiative.
Above all, remember that actions speak louder than words. For example, a doggy daycare center can say they’re pro-dogs and pro-animals, but actually showing this passion in the form of community involvement or donations to pet-friendly causes demonstrates to your potential customers that you not only talk the talk, but walk the walk, as well.
4. Tell a quick relatable story about why you started your business.
Your audience likes a good founding story. Most businesses have that ‘a-ha’ moment (which is that moment when they decide they’re going to start their own business) so share yours!
Often, we start businesses because we’re frustrated with the limited options that currently exist and we see an opportunity to innovate.
Give your customers a little taste of your a-ha moment. Chances are most of them will relate to this, start to see you as a person, and build a connection.
For example, Drew Houston, Founder and current CEO of Dropbox, had a habit of forgetting his USB too often — this led him to envision his successful cloud-based file sharing service.
While there is much more to starting a business the size of Dropbox, you can probably relate to forgetting important documents and objects when you need them most. Even though the technology behind Dropbox may be much more sophisticated than the story lets on, it simplifies the problem and makes it solutions relatable on a core, human level.
5. Make it easy for your potential customers to take action.
Even if you have a really great product that’s innovative, easy to use, and affordable, none of that will matter if your website doesn’t have a user interface or buying process that is easy to understand.
If the process for signing up for a service or ordering one of your products is confusing, customers will be much more likely to leave your site and look elsewhere for solutions to their problems or needs.
Think of some of your favorite apps or stores — do you really have to focus on navigating tons of different menus and reading giant blocks of text?
The buying process should be straightforward and easy to understand to the point that your customers will only have to skim your content and will intuitively understand how to move forward.
6. Focus on the benefits of your product/service
A mistake a lot of companies make with their web copy is spending too much time talking about how great they are. Yes, it’s understandable to want to highlight the accomplishments, distinctions, and aspects of your organization that make it great, and you want to have confidence in your visit, but this is not why your visitors came to your site.
Think about the classic commercials for Apple’s 1st generation iPod — the main benefit was that people no longer had to carry around a cumbersome portable CD or tape cassette player to listen to their favorite music.
While Apple could have touted the innovative technology that made this possible, instead their ads feature very few — if any — words and instead depicted silhouettes of people dancing with earbuds in their ears.
Dancing is a bit more difficult when you have to worry about holding a large device that requires CDs and tape cassettes, so what made that commercial so great was how it depicted the liberating freedom of being able to listen to music unencumbered anywhere you wanted.
You would be wise to adopt this same mentality when describing your products or services: use pictures to tell a story and keep the copy to only what you need to get the benefits of your product or service across.