Know, like and trust: Those three little words are easily the most quoted formula in the world of sales, marketing, and leadership.
As Entrepreneur.com recently pointed out in "The Psychology Behind Why We Like, Share and Comment on Facebook," liking is the ultimate exchange of social currency in which you identify with someone emotionally and spark a bond that actually leads to changes in purchasing patterns.
What’s more, making sure you’re well “liked” is anything but shallow. Research by the Advertising Research Foundation concluded that the emotion of "likability" is the measure "most predictive of whether an advertisement will increase a brand’s sales.”
That’s precisely why your About page can carry immense weight and actually lead to not only powerful engagement, but actual conversions and sales. So, to get your About page “like”-worthy, let’s look at three essential ingredients, along with some fun -- and potentially profitable -- examples.
1. Your team
People don’t buy from companies. People buy from people. This saying is even truer when it comes to the principle of liking. Why? Because relationships drive not just one-time customers, but lifetime customers. And to win the latter requires putting a human face on your products and services by showcasing the actual team of humans behind your company.
The most personable way to do that -- featuring your people, that is -- is through videos.
Explainer-video company Wyzowl does a phenomenal job at this on its About page. Instead of opening with routine stats or a dry focus on what its team members do, it features videos that begin with a handful of light-hearted questions laser-focused on likability.
For example, managing director Matt Byrom’s video starts with, “Would you ever chase a bubble down the street just to pop it?” and follows up with, “Salt and vinegar on fish and chips?”
While this might sound frivolous, KlientBoost’s recent article “Your About Page Is A Conversion Gold Mine” may prove the notion that it’s not. In fact, KlientBoost’s About page is the third highest converting page on its site, which is saying something for a company that makes its money optimizing PPC ads and landing pages.
What’s more, the company's last team member bio drives home the central importance of likability wonderfully:
2. Your story
The second essential ingredient is your story.
Stories have long been recognized as the central mode of human communication. And entrepreneurs -- especially those concerned with sales -- point to one type of story in particular. It’s what’s known as the “hero’s journey.”
As Adam Toren pointed out in “Entrepreneurship as the Hero's Journey,” the term means crafting your own story in three parts: 1. departure (the start); 2. initiation (the challenge); and 3. return (the triumph). Star Wars famously embodied this pattern.
But, back to entrepreneurship. How does the hero’s story apply to likability on your About page? Simple . . . the point of a likable About page is to create identification with your audience members -- “I was just like you” -- and then inspire them -- “And here’s what I did to change that.”
ProBlogger’s About page, for example, does this masterfully. Darren Rowse, who’s now one of the most profitable bloggers in the world, opens by telling readers why his story is just like their story:
Back in 2002 I stumbled upon an article about "Blogging." I didn’t know it at the time, but that moment changed my life. I know that statements like that belong on those cheesy "buy my $1,000 training program" sites (don’t worry I’m not selling anything more than a book), but it is actually true.
Only after framing his About page as a story does Rowse go on to explain and unpack what ProBlogger as a company is.
You should approach your own About page with the same basic pattern in mind: Open with where you started -- the “departure” -- and be sure it’s the same starting point as that of your target market. Then, move on to what happened -- the “initiation.” Being honest at this stage is key.
Your failures and setbacks will speak to your audience far more than your successes ever could. Finally, close with your “return.” This last stage is where your triumphs come in and should directly connect your solution to the product or service you actually sell.
3. Your values
This last ingredient is where many About pages start. And for good reason.
In his uber classic Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . And Others Don't, Collins put it like this:
To take a company with great results and turn it into an enduring great company of iconic stature . . . requires core values and a purpose beyond just making money.
The danger, however, is not standing out. For instance, the College of Business at the University of Notre Dame discovered that “Integrity, Concern for customers, and Respect for all” are the top three corporate values among the 150 multinational companies its researchers surveyed. So, dig deep. Be original.
Perhaps the most original example of a truly value-driven company that I've seen is Buffer, whose focus on “default to transparency” is far more than a mere platitude.
In fact, transparency matters so deeply to Buffer that it has gone public with everything from its customer support and employee equality to revenue statements and executive salaries.
And those moves have paid off huge. Buffer’s own Leo Widrich has explained that, “‘Default to 'transparency’ is one of our deepest values at Buffer, and it's been absolutely instrumental in our growth, from making nothing just two years ago to making over $1 million a year today.”
In other words, likability equals profitability. So, what are the values that drive your company? Does your About page bring those values to life? Even more important . . . are you living up to them?
More than a button
All this goes to show just how powerful and truly profitable “liking” is. Don’t underestimate the profitability of your About page. And, counterintuitive as this may sound, don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s all about you.
What the above examples have in common is that they connect directly with their audiences -- and that principle is precisely what makes you and your company’s “likability” more than a button.