This is a guest post by Aaron Wrixon.
Ah, your About page.
You know it’s important. Your analytics tell you that people visit it, and you’ve heard that writing a good one will encourage more purchases and higher spending.
And yes, you know that if you made some changes, you’d see some of the same results for yourself.
So what’s stopping you?
Maybe all you need is a bit of inspiration. Here are 9 About pages from Shopify merchants to get your creative juices flowing.
Everything you need to know about Article, a curated online store for men, you’ll learn in the first two sentences of the About page: “Your grandfather didn't have to consider quality. Unfortunately, in today's disposable culture, you don't have that luxury.”
Like a shot across the bow, Article fires its opening salvo — men only, please, and we don’t just mean males — and then brings out the big guns. “Men shouldn't be forced to shop in the back of the store at a corporate retail chain. You're more than that.” If Hemingway wrote copy, he’d have sold it to Article.
Short, sweet and to the point — there’s not much copy on Whipping Post’s “brief history” on its About page, but every word of it sells the idea behind the company and its handcrafted leather goods. “Fail as a musician… Work some crap jobs… Go to work for a leather company… Spend time in Mexico learning production… Make a guitar case for my Hummingbird…. Start Whipping Post.” If you don’t like the tone — or don’t know what a Hummingbird is — you’re excluded.
But that’s the point. And the so-hip-it-hurts photo of owner Ryan Barr — chunky frames, ironic t-shirt, rolled jeans and desert boots — drives that point home… If you like what you see, you need this stuff.
The short version: web designers decide to print some t-shirts and end up starting a de facto union. “United Pixelworkers was born of a simple idea: people in our industry are very proud of what they do, but they're also proud of where they live. What if we gave designers and developers a way to represent both at once?”
UP’s “all together now” About story demonstrates their nationwide reach without bragging, but also works itself as a unifier — “we’re just like you,” it seems to say. “Buy a t-shirt and come join us.”
With a simple bit of “gotcha” copy, Wrightwood turns buyer expectations about furniture stores on their head. “The big chains don’t charge high prices because they want lots of money. Or at least that’s not the only reason. Nope. They do it because they are inefficient.”
That little tidbit provides, all at once, a believable explanation for Wrightwood’s lower prices, a product differentiator in a crowded field, and a major purchase motivator. You’re not sacrificing quality, just widespread availability — so if you see something you like, you’d better hurry in to grab it.
Au Lit Fine Linens
Au Lit says their purpose is to change the way people sleep, and they mean it… “Our philosophy is simple… sleeping better means living better.” And if you feel the same way — that luxury linens are the key to night-time happiness — the company’s About page lets you know instantly that you’re in the right place. Self-manufactured in Montreal, Canada from European materials, Au Lit linens are a dreamer’s dream.
A three-minute video lays out what the hundred-or-so words on the page is too polite to tell you — you spend 3,000 hours a year sleeping, Beauty, and you owe it to yourself to do it in pure cotton.
It doesn’t get much more "Copywriting 101" than Natural Force’s About page text. “Just like you, we strive day after day training to improve our bodies and quality of life through hard work and proper nutrition. We formed Natural Force because we were frustrated with the supplements available to us. We realized that the products we were using contradicted our principles of good nutrition with fillers, artificial flavors, and ingredients our bodies just didn’t need.”
Read that over again and take a look at how beautifully Joe & Justin sum up what their company and their supplements are all about. “Hey, we’re just like you. We hate putting garbage in our bodies. If you do too, help yourself.”
Tessemae’s All Natural
You’ll either love or hate the Vetters, and that’s what they want. A two-minute video (looking an awful lot like a J. Crew/Newman’s Own mash-up) tells their story — gorgeous kids with gorgeous spouses selling their gorgeous Mom’s all-natural salad dressing, complete with hipster job titles and finger-snapping.
If your idea of dressing is Hidden Valley Ranch, and lots of it, you’ll go running for the hills. But if you take even a second to think that maybe — just maybe — these people are catalog-beautiful because of “the commitment to healthy eating and healthy living [that] remains at the core of the company’s mission” you’ll be hooked faster than you can dress your kale.
It’s Easy Rider meets The Wild Bunch on the About page for Society of the Sun, a California design collective with “deep roots in vintage motorcycle culture, the beach lifestyle, contemporary fashion, and live music.” The leather-jacketed biker on the vintage Triumph would scream “ride or die” if he weren’t just so silently cool, so the About copy says it for him. “We challenge each of you to know your limits and defy them, because if your dreams don't scare you they aren't big enough. Live your life on the edge and push yourself every single day to do things differently. That's what our "LIVE FREE" mantra is all about — believing in yourself and following your instincts.”
If that doesn’t make you want to buy the Society’s tees, hoodies, glasses and more, nothing will.
Leading with an obituary could mean, well, death to sales… But Australia’s The Horse know what they’re doing — setting the context for their raison d’être. They’re in business because of great-grandfather Tom, and it’s his eulogy, of course, that graces the page. “His early life began at Goulburn in his father's trade as bootmaker... Then later as cobbler in Dunedoo, he always kept three seats in his workshop — one for himself, two for any of his friends who cared to drop in for a chat while he worked... With pipe aglow, he would hear us out, cheering and advising.” To set out a mission statement any more clear, you’d need a sign that said Here Lies Hand-Crafted Footwear.
And by the time you read the stuff on the rest of page — annual visits overseas to check up on manufacturers, shoes named after ancestors, and yes, even an extra chair or two in the workshop for when friends drop by — you’re sold on the shoes. Here, The Horse… Have all of the money.
Go forth and… aboutify
Writing an About page is a tall order — you need to confidently tell your story while humanizing your company, all while encouraging product sales by helping visitors join your tribe. With luck — somewhere in these nine pages — you’ll find the spark that sets you on your way.
About the Author: Aaron Wrixon is a writer, editor and content marketing specialist who helps small and medium-sized businesses write better copy.