Having just freshened our own website, we felt it was timely to repost our 10 Commandments of About Us pages. Need a PDF to share with decision-makers at your organization? Glad to oblige. Commandment 1: Know thy ...
Karen Dietz's insight:
LOL -- love these 10 commandments to follow when creating/updating your About Page.
Truly, About Pages are one of the most underutilized parts of a website. But your About Page is a fabulous place to share your story, chat about your products/services, and win more business.
I also like how under each commandment in this post, questions are asked to help you figure out how to apply the commandment.
Now then -- DON'T do what CorporateHistory.net has done on their own website:
Their web pages take awhile to load using Chrome
This post has no author listed (who wrote this post, anyway??). Hey, we want real people behind posts!
Their "Our Story" page is not written as an engaging narrative. Time to go back to the drawing board.
There are no images/visual storytelling in the post -- I had to go find my own. That's not an included commandment, but it should be. Add at least one pic!
Ay yi yi. It's a classic case of 'do what I say, not as I do.' Oops, credibility slips! Since their business is all about storytelling, I hope they make these fixes soon.
There is one other Commandment I would offer:Thou shalt not attempt to write your About Page by yourself. It is just too hard to see the forest for the trees. Always get outside help, even if it is just friends and business colleagues giving you feedback and insights.
Despite these modeling flaws, the list is good so keep it handy for easy reference.
If you want more fab info on creating/updaing About Pages, just use the Filter tab near the top of the screen and click on 'aboutpages'.
Hey -- we ALL need a career narrative! And it is a story that continually shifts and changes over time as we add experience, wisdom, and talent.
I really like this article because it explains exactly what a career narrative is, why we need one, and how to create it.
And there are great examples shared.
I particulary like the point that a career narrative -- or bio or 'About' page -- needs to meaningfully link your past successes with your near + long term goals, AND suggest thekinds of assignments that would help you achieve those goals.
If you have difficulty sharing the story of your career journey, if you need a better bio or 'About' page, then use these tips and examples to craft a better story!
Since my column about the Power of the About Us page (remember 2006 when MySpace was really popular) was written, not a week goes by that I don’t receive a comment about it.
Karen Dietz's insight:
Hey folks -- if there is just one small thing you can do to prep for more business in 2013, it's upgrading your About Page on your website.
I really like the point the author, Bryan Eisenberg, makes -- "'About Us' is often the most neglected page on any website; if the page exists at all. It can put a human face on an otherwise technical, dry, and impersonal website. Properly written, it can provide some serious buying resolve to certain customer segments."
To help you get your story skills revved up to tackle this project, Eisenberg asks several really awesome questions at the end of the article. I know these will get those wheels turning in your brain.
And don't forget to give yourself time for several iterations. I just updated my year-old LinkedIn profile. My focus was on integrating several different aspects of my career and this time, it just came flowing out as a narrative that I now really like.
But trust me -- it took time to ask and answer to myself the same kind of questions posed in this article.
Am I done? No way. I realize I can change and update my About Me narrative as I need to. That is the beauty of storytelling -- our stories shift and change as we do. Our work as storytellers -- particularly in business -- is to remain authentic, engaging, and uplifting.
So what story(ies) are you going to be sharing in 2013 to grow your business?
"Storytelling appeals to how the brain processes information. Here's five ways to make that work for your business. (Business Storytelling: Do you tell stories about your company and products to appeal to customers?"
Hey folks -- while the how-to tips are nothing new, what I do like about this post is the example the author, Geil Browning, shares about her business Founding Story (one of the core stories every business needs to tell). She tells it in an engaging way, you can experience the difference it makes when she's talking with clients about the 'why' behind her business.
Yeah! I always like really good examples to share with you. And I am sure that Geil's sales do increase because she is willing to tell this story.
So try it out! Geil's story should give you some good ideas for how to get started and craft your story.
There is one page on my blog that has literally driven me nuts because I could not get it right.
No matter how many times I did it, it still gave me nightmares. I don’t even remember what I was putting on there in the initial days.
What another great post about "About Pages" to help us crack this tough nut. This article is specifically slanted to bloggers who either remain anonymous or go on and on about their accomplishments. Both ends of this extreme are not good.
Most "About Pages" are deficient -- either boring, too thin (not enough meaty material), or drone on and on.
Every single one of my clients struggles with this -- it's normal. It's hard to talk about yourself and know if you are hitting that sweet spot in sharing with people who you are.
The author here has giving us a 5 point structureto follow that will definitely help create engaging "About Pages."
The only missing piece I would add, is make sure you include lots of sensory imagery and an occasional metaphor in your bio. That will really make what you write come to life.
And then read the comments to the blog post -- they are great with more good information/ideas.
About Pages really aren't that complicated. So why are most of them so horrible? Quick ... read this, then go fix yours... A great idea, maybe I should do it! [note MG]
Does thinking about it make you stumble and sweat?
Have you put it off, because you’re worried it will suck?
You’re not alone — lots of website owners have an easier time proposing marriage than they do writing a solid About Page.
If that’s you, you’re probably overcomplicating things. A good About Page is simple, straightforward, and it communicates just a few key things.
But just because they’re simple doesn’t mean people don’t screw them up.
There are certain mistakes that I see again and again, on sites that deserve better. These mistakes are easy to fix and they’re pushing away the people you want to bring closer: your wonderful website readers.
What Does Your "About Us" Page Say about You?You may not have such a dramatic story or work in such an evocative location, but you have a story. The key to finding it is asking story (i.e., qualitative rather than quantitative) questions.
What a great article that thoroughly discusses storifying your 'About' page -- whether in print or on your website.
The author gives examples and also 4 lessons to help you craft your 'About Me' or 'About Us' story. The end of the article then asks a series of very specific quetions to help you find your story.
Wonderful! Go grab this article and start rewriting your bio/about page so readers and prospects can immediate connect with you in powerful ways.
Thank you fellow curator Kathy Hansen for originally scooping this article!
When a business person asks you "Tell me about yourself..." what do you say?
Read the end of this article for questions that will spark great ideas for how to answer this question.
I also like the author's additional words of wisdom for how to think about this essential business story that we all need to master telling.
A word of caution: spread the hero stuff around. In your story, how was a customer, family member, staff person, vendor also the hero? This story is about you, but spread the wealth around -- it will make for a better story and keep you on the humble path.
First Versus Third Person Narrative: Theories on Writing Bios for Fashion Businesses. by annchingwang on Sep 30, 2011 • 2:54 pm 2 Comments. I study marketing and art equally. So something I've always wondered, as I am trying to infuse ...
If you've ever struggled with which voice to use when writing your bio, this article will set you strait. This is a great article that clearly articulates the different benefits between 1st and 3rd person narrative voice when writing your bio or About page. The author definitely favors using 1st person and tells you why (just forget he's targeting fashion -- the rules apply to all of us).
You bio or About page is about you. It should be in your voice. Read this article to know when and how you should be using 1st person, and gain some ideas about better ways to write your bio.
Bravo: this is precisely the sort of factual corporate storytelling that might persuade us to buy a bespoke shirt from them. To intrigue us further, we'd love to see diagrams or photos that contrast the details of a shirt from Taylor ...
Karen Dietz's insight:
Examples and reviews like these are so helpful -- I wish I could find more to share with you.
Tauylor Stitch is a company making shirts. They have a website.
CorporateHistory.net reviewed their 'About Us' page. And gives the company several grades:
A 'B' for telling their story.
A 'B' for accessibility.
And a 'C' for Personality.
Overall grade: 'B'
Learn what they did to earn a B for telling their story, and what they could do better. And how'd they wind up with a 'C' for personality??!!
Compare your story to theirs to see what grade you might receive!
Ethan Allen Global, Inc., is one of the largest furniture manufacturing companies in the United States, with almost 300 stores and revenue of over $700 million. Founded in 1932 by brothers-in-law Nathan S.
Karen Dietz's insight:
Now here is an intrepid author, Marian Calabro, who takes on furniture maker Ethan Allen by rating their website "About" page.
The company's grade? A big fat "D". Why? No stories! And a video that holds you hostage. Yikes!
Periodically we need blog posts like this because there is nothing more illustrative of what NOT to do than a review like this.
So go read why Ethan Allen received such a poor grade and make sure you are not doing the same. And also use the article for ideas on how to fix/upgrade your current website using stories.
"Do you remember the controversy when the book “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman came out?
The idea that variables other than pure intellectual horsepower could have the same or even more impact on one’s success triggered quite a dialogue."
Karen Dietz's insight:
Storytelling in leadership is nothing new. But what I like about this article is how the author Lou Hoffman pulls together several pieces of information to make some worthy points.
Like the distinction between direct and indirect leadership and where hypocrisy happens. And where entrepreneurs play that makes them so successful. At the heart of both is where authenticity and storytelling reside.
Then Hoffman adds another twist. Since he opened his article talking about Daniel Goleman's book "Emotional Intelligence", he closes his article talking about the uniqueness of Goleman's About Page on his website.
This fits perfectly into the aricle I curated yesterday on About Pages! Take the tips here from Hoffman's article, and then go do what Goleman did.
In doing so you will touch both the science and art of storytelling -- and be more successful as a result.
Based on my work with clients and the content I curate on business storytelling, figuring out how to write you 'About Page' effectively is hard to do.
Here's my latest blog post on creating 'About' pages on your website. Here are the top 5 articles I could find on creating storied bios for websites.
With the volume of material I curate, it is sometimes hard to find the best articles on any given topic. So I thought I would make it easy for you when you are wrestling with, or upgrading, your website.
Whether interviewing for a job or making a presentation, weaving a strong personal narrative could be the one thing that keeps you on top. Here are a few tips to turning on your personal branding story without turning off your audience.
Here's what I like about this article: as the author says, "For some, telling your story is an uncomfortable experience. I know I've always strived to keep my personal and professional lives somewhat separate, believing that few really care about where I grew up, how I grew up, and what drives me to succeed in business today...Nonetheless, it's fair to say that in an increasingly wired world, where first encounters are often online, a little personality can go a long way. A great story? Even better."
The author then goes on to share 3 tips for finding and sharing your story.
Almost every client I work with initially resists sharing their personal business story. They claim "It's not about me!" Ha ha. Your business is all about you. They get over it, and we go on. It takes skill to do this well, but they do master it.
So if you have ever had the same feelings, read this article and start getting more comfortable sharing your personal business stories.
There's debate about the superficiality of personal branding. What works in my book is authenticity. If authenticity is satisfied, you are doing well.
I had two occasions in the last couple of months to see the “About” pages of many Web sites and blogs. In the first, I had a few dozen story practitioners that I wanted to invite to participate in my Q&A series. In the second, I visited many sites and blogs to glean a short description of each so I could list them on my inside pages.
Both activities had maddening elements.
Topics I curate sometimes come in waves. It seems the current wave is "About" pages on websites. I've added several articles to the collection recently about how to craft them well using your stories.
And here is another one. But it is slightly different (and why I curated it). Colleague and fellow curator Kathy Hansen wrote this piece today about the lack of "About" pages on blogs -- and how frustrating it is.
She goes on to give examples of a blog with a great "About" page, and those that don't.
Take her advice -- make sure you have a well crafted "About" page on your blog, on your website, and in your other promo material.
It's the newest job search tool. The visual nature of Pinterest, which allows users to create virtual boards onto which they can pin images, is perfect for showing prospective employers what you've done so far.
What a cool post! I don't know how pervasive visual storied resumes will become, but if you are in certain creative and technical fields, this could be right up your alley. Or if you want to stand outin any crowd of job applicants!
These are very creative examples of how job seekers are storifying and visualizing their resumes. You can do this too!
For non-job seekers: think about turning your 'resume' into a visual story that you can use on your "About Us" page, or add it into your printed promo material. It could really make you standout and be fun to boot!
Are these technically stories? Eh -- maybe yes, maybe no. But at the very least they are using storytelling elements.
Enjoy looking at these and I hope you get lots of great ideas for your resume/bio.
Biographies, product histories and compelling anecdotes can lend a personal touch to any brand--and this resonates with consumers.
This post has great examples of companies who are telling their stories effectively -- including local San Diego business Chuao Chocolatier (one of my favorite chocolates).
Other companies discussed here include erincondren.com and Stauer -- small companies who are making a big impact because of their storytelling.
All businesses in this article either told their personal story in their 'About' and other website pages, or shared the 'history' behind each item they sold.
I had to laugh that the consultant interviewed in the article felt she had to ask nosy, rude and irrelevant questions in order to collect the companies stories. Obviously she does not know tried and true story evoking techniques.
There are many other great insights in this article to gather: understanding the 'underdog effect,'emotional connection, and figuring out what your goal is -- so go read it!