Sitting up at BizRev on a Tuesday I’m slowly getting to know all the others, as we come and go on different days. There’s a professional respect up there I appreciate, where everyone seems to understand what it’s like to be busy, and we all have the space we need to get our work done. Later, maybe over a cheese scone at lunch, I sometimes get a better picture of what my office-space colleagues are like away from the reflective glow of their laptops. And it’s a great balance.
It reminds me, though, of a lot of the small business websites I look at – I can see there’s a person there behind the screen, but online I don’t get to know the owner over a coffee. And it seems such a shame that many hide behind a fear that the truth about their size will somehow diminish their credibility.
The About Us page on a website is a great opportunity for small businesses to give customers a glimpse into their personalities, and show off how they are exactly the right people to be running their business.
It doesn’t have to be intimate – nobody wants to know what you had for breakfast, or your full life history (sorry). But the details you do share will give an idea of who you are and what customers can expect from you. Here’s some compelling reasons to share a bit more of yourself in your professional presence:
Four reasons why you should get personal online
1. It builds trust.
When you put your name and photograph beside your work, customers can see that you believe in what you do, and they are more likely to believe in your company, too.
2. It shows your values.
Compare these sentences:
At the weekend I take my ten year-old twin sons to Norwich City football matches.
I spend most of the year in the Mediterranean drinking cognac on my yacht.
You can see that just a few words go a long way to show what’s important to you, and what people can expect from you.
3. It shows why you’re the perfect person to be doing this job.
Even if you are new to the industry, you must have a story of what drew you to it. Sometimes this is straightforward inheritance; sometimes a long-burning passion. People are interested in the story of how businesses came about. Think about sharing yours.
4. It enriches your brand.
When people see how pleasant and beautiful you are in your photograph, they will expect that everything your company does will be similarly well-presented. If you don’t show them, then they can imagine all sorts of disasters! A simple photograph can work wonders to create trust in your brand.
The big companies know that the power is now in being personal – and they’re struggling to move into. Own this space, admit to being the man or woman behind the brand, and accept this competitive edge which is yours anyway. It could be one of the best strategic shifts you can make on your site.
For more ideas on how to make your own website stand out from the crowd, visit Tracy Kenny’s site about writing for the web on www.whitedot.co.