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Creating an About Page From the Ground Up

A special mix of factors set your store up for success: great products and a way to share them, for starters. But don't underestimate the importance of an About Page.

When you're creating your shop, your mind is probably on your products. They're why you're doing this whole online selling thing, and you want to get it just right with beautiful photos, a helpful product description, and a price that feels fair. But a well-thought out About Page - a place where visitors can go to learn about you and your shop, and to eliminate any doubts before they make a purchase - may have a bigger impact on your sales than you think.

Ceramic Rituals about page Ceramic Rituals about page

Why you should have an About Page

People will visit your About Page to answer all sorts of questions, maybe even a few they didn't know they had. They've landed on your shop, but they may not be ready to place an order today. They're considering things like:

  • Are these prices in U.S., Canadian, or Australian Dollars?
  • What's special about these items?
  • Should I just buy something similar in a big box store?
  • This is the first time I'm seeing this shop. Is it trustworthy?
  • How long will it take for my order to arrive?

Of course, you can answer some of these questions directly on a frequently asked questions page or in your product descriptions, but an About Page lets you paint a broader picture of your brand, infusing it with your own personality.

What you should include

Tell the story of your brand: who you are, when you started, why these products. But don't forget to include details for customers who may be outside of your circle:

  • Did you say "I live in Duluth"? There's one in Minnesota and one in Georgia, and people outside of the U.S. may not know about either of them. A little more detail never hurts (and mentioning your state or country helps to answer those questions about currency and approximate shipping time).
  • Think about what makes you unique. Have you been illustrating animals since you were three years old? People love hearing about a lifelong passion! Did you only start woodworking one year ago? They'll be excited to see how much you've already learned! Old Tom Foolery tells their origin story while seamlessly weaving in the main selling points of their products.
  • Is there something special about your products that isn't obvious to the untrained eye? Tell folks about your custom ceramic glazes, the tools you 3D printed yourself, or the awesome folks who screen-print each shirt by hand.
  • Demonstrate that your business may be small, but it's here to stay. You may not take up a lot of space on the internet, but that doesn't mean you're not a pro. Show why you should be taken seriously ("I made 30 different prototypes before designing the perfect wallet") and why they can trust you to be around when they're ready to reorder next year ("Open since 2012!").

Old Tom Foolery about page Old Tom Foolery about page

A few more ideas

Now that you've explained of your brand, there are ways to make an About Page even better. It's the frosting on your cake, the garnish in your drink, the extra polish that gives your shop that special little something. Consider these suggestions your extra credit:

  • Add a photo! Give a literal face to your brand with a headshot, or create more context with the perfect picture. Melanie Abrantes shows herself hard at work, calling out the get your hands dirty ethos of her shop.
  • Don't forget social media links, or even a phone number if you're willing to take calls. Now that people know and like you, they'll want a way to keep in touch.
  • Reward the readers with something special. A discount code can turn a window shopper into a repeat customer, and a subscription link for your newsletter keeps the conversation going.
  • Share press and testimonials, if you've got 'em. If someone's favorite blogger has mentioned your unique candle scents, that lends credibility to your brand. And if folks are always raving about your speedy shipping, a new visitor can trust that your records will reach their brother by his birthday.

Melanie Abrantes about page Melanie Abrantes about page

Always keep improving

Now that you've typed out some details about how you got started, save those changes and share your story with the world! Like with other parts of your business, don't forget to revisit your About Page once in a while to make sure it still feels relevant. A good rule of thumb is that if you've added a new product category, or if it's been 6-12 months since you read your About Page, it's time to take a look with fresh eyes.

Once you've finished the hard work of putting together that About Page, you'll see it start to make your life easier in other areas. A shortened version is perfect for your social media profiles. When a magazine editor reaches out, your brand details help her quickly assess if you're right for a story. And when you apply for that festival, you're one copy+paste closer to getting an acceptance email.

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