Should my website ‘About Us’ page really be ‘About Me’?

Image showing 2 walruses, explaining best practice for website about us pagesYour website About Us page is one of the key elements of your website. It’s where new clients might go to check you out and gain a little background knowledge prior to an initial face-to-face meeting with you; where potential employees look before applying to work with you; where visitors to the site go to gain a little more confidence before they buy online from you.

So, you see that your website about us page is quite an important page for first, and hopefully lasting, impressions. It might also set the tone for the rest of your website content, so it’s probably the most important page to get right (perhaps after your home page)! You won’t want to write your About page in a certain style and then use something completely different for the rest of your site.

Two questions leap out here…

  1. Do you call your page ‘About Me’, ‘About Us’, or simply ‘About’?
  2. Do you write your About Page in the 1st-person or 3rd-person?

Our quick guidelines for choosing ‘About Me’ or ‘About Us’

  1. If you are a large company with a number of employees, then stick with ‘About Us’. It shows that you are significant (in terms of numbers). A no brainer really!
  2. This can be a little tricky to judge : If you are a one-man band company, but you want to be seen as something a little bigger, then by all means use ‘About Us’, but bear in mind that not every client wants to deal with an ‘organisation’. Many clients these days actually prefer to deal with solo-preneurs. They know that solopreneurs will usually offer a truly personal, exceptional and expert service. They also know that they won’t be expected to pay for the running of your premises and for paying your administrative staff. So for these clients, you may well offer the best of both Worlds. Therefore, don’t necessarily think that bigger is better… and if your ideal client is like this, maybe ‘About Me’ is better than ‘About Us’. It’s also worth bearing in mind that if your business is ‘just you’ and you choose to go with ‘About Us’, many of your potential customers will see through this anyway, especially if content elsewhere on your site suggests that it might be just you!
  3. If it’s just you, and your brand is something that visitors associate with ‘just you’, for example, if you’re an author, celebrity, or an artist, then ‘About Me’ is the way to go (even if you have an entourage or support team – it really is all about you). However, if you’re a celebrity, such as the actor ‘Martin Jarvis’ (the bane of my life when it comes to search engine ranking for my own name!), you might equally choose ‘About Martin’. This is fine, but make sure you then write the actual page in the 3rd-person. This brings me on to the next point…

Should I write my website about us page content in the 1st-person or 3rd-person?

In case you’re not sure…

Writing in third person is writing from the third person point of view and uses pronouns like he, she, it, or they. It differs from the first person, which uses pronouns such as I and me, and from the second person, which uses pronouns such as you and yours.
http://examples.yourdictionary.com/

This really is important. You MUST make sure that your content matches your page title – so, if your page is called ‘About Me’ then make sure the page is written in the first-person. If your page is called ‘About Martin’ then make sure the page is written in the 3rd-person.

If your page is titled ‘About Me’, then you shouldn’t write your page content as…

‘Martin is an Internationally-renowned WordPress expert, with clients all over the globe’.

You would write…

‘I’m an Internationally-renowned WordPress expert…’

Otherwise, it just won’t make sense. Once you have chose your style, it should be mirrored throughout your site – don’t start off with ‘I’ and then move on to ‘Martin’ or ‘We’ in other pages, as it will just confuse your audience.

Should I write my About page myself?

If you’re engaging a copywriter, then my advice is to script something yourself first, and then pass it to them to polish it for publication on your site. It would often be the first piece of content for your new website, and so letting your copywriter loose on this, and getting it finished before continuing with the rest of your content, will really help them to understand you, your business, and your aspirations.

If you’re writing your website about us content yourself, then take a look at the style used on other websites, decide on a style that you like which you think would appeal to your prospective clients, and then write about yourself or your company in that same style. Make sure you get other opinions on it, and don’t forget that you are writing for your audience – not for yourself.

Summarising your Website About Us Strategy

The best website About Us pages are ones that are transparent and honest, and which really allow your visitors to get to know you, why you’re doing what you do, and how you provide a brilliant service. Don’t drag it on and on – make it succinct. Above all – make sure you choose the right title (About Me, About Us, About Martin), be consistent with that title within the page content itself, and be consistent across the rest of your site.

Why not go and take a look at your About Us page right now? See if it achieves everything we’ve recommended above, and try to judge whether it would resonate with your prospective audience?

Drop a comment below to let me know your thoughts – or point me at your page and ask my opinion.

4 Responses to “Should my website ‘About Us’ page really be ‘About Me’?”

  1. Calvin Green September 12, 2016 at 4:43 am #

    I think a lot of bloggers are not getting the POV right in the About page. So this is insightful.

    DMJ note for readers : ‘P.O.V’ stands for ‘Point of View’ in this case.

  2. joanna smyth September 14, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    Interesting Martin, and I instantly went to look at my About Us page …
    I think I get around this by naming the page ‘About Us’, saying ‘we’ are a a copywriting agency, then going on to talk abut me as the founder (in the first person) who founded us (Word Worker).
    As I invariably call on the help of other professionals – PR/photographers/marketers – as associates I feel saying About Us is entirely legitimate.
    But you made me think ….

    • Martin Jarvis September 14, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

      Thanks Jo. It’s great to have your comments.

      If the article prompts a few website owners to go and take a fresh look at their site, then that’s a great thing. All too often these ‘About’ pages are put together in a hurry and are then forgotten about for years.

      Agree with you on the legitimacy of using ‘About Us’ – the growth of micro enterprises over the past 10 years or so has generated huge numbers of businesses primarily owned and managed by one person, but with a network of professional associates.

  3. Martin Jarvis September 29, 2016 at 12:22 pm #

    Here’s another great take on ‘About’ pages, this time from Barry Feldman at Orbit Media…

    https://www.orbitmedia.com/blog/how-to-write-your-website-about-page/

    Lots of great ideas there about what you should put on your about page.

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