This is the story of our About Us page, what happened to me when I wrote it, and why you should relook at yours.
I have a confession: I was dreading writing our About Us page. Earlier this year we launched so swiftly that we barely had time to think. It was a case of, “People need our services now, let’s get this site up as fast as possible.” It’s not the ideal model for launch, and certainly not what I’d advise, but these weren’t ideal times.
Still, the haste gave me the perfect excuse to ignore the frankly glaring exclusion of a page that explains what we’re about as a company. But not for long.
About Us pages provide the anchor to tie all of your services, products, writing, and activities to. They present your values, express why you deserve your spot in the marketplace, what you hope to achieve and what you stand for. So, they’re kind of important.
There’s no one way to write an About Us page. Many companies focus on their people, sharing details of their acumen and their alternative hobbies: “In her spare time Marketing Manager Becky frequents the local human bowling alley and drinks kombucha with her gal pals…” etc. It’s not a bad way to approach it, because a company after all is the people. It can help to align your company’s and your clients’ aspirations.
Others focus on what sets their services apart: “Our pure-coffea unblended coffee is roasted by well-trained sloths in the forests of Columbia…”. Again, not a bad approach – it can help to set out your ethical values and portray the quality of your products.
I decided to stick with a simple point-by-point overview of our values, because I wanted to be clear about what we’re trying to achieve and why. You can read them here and see for yourself – Big Bee uncensored.
‘A kind of therapy’
Writing them was a kind of therapy. When I put metaphorical pen to paper it was cathartic. As I considered what Big Bee stands for, I took myself back decades to my childhood. It’s a good place to refer to, because that is when we have our purest intentions.
I was raised the daughter of a social worker and a midwife, and seeing how hard they worked and cared for people I developed a deep sense of social purpose, and I grew up knowing that if I was going to be like them, I’d have to fight.
My first ambition was to be a war correspondent (oh how clichéd). As a little girl I would read war novels and gorge on the news, learning about all of the injustice in the world. It made me truly sad, but determined too. A little later, my ambitions focused more on educating children (think Newsround) so that, instead of being one brave journalist, I could make hundreds. It never quite happened that way.
I entered the workforce full of ambition and hope, that what I did would make a difference in the world. I made some worthy choices along the way, favouring work in the charity sector, and consistently championing ‘the right thing’ as a scrappy go-getter. At first I worked in small publishers where there was an underdog mentality that I really associated with. Then opportunities came knocking and I moved further and further away from my comfort zone.
Getting caught up in the corporate world as my career progressed, all too often I’d find myself the outsider in a room full of marketers, fighting for people over profit. Were we doing the right thing by our customers, were we being honest and transparent in the information we were providing, did we have their interests in mind? It can be a lonely and exhausting world when you don’t put profit first.
Somewhere along the way, I got beaten down. I lost the energy to stand up for my values. That’s when I knew I needed to get out.
‘Here for the scrappy folk’
Reminiscing while writing the Big Bee Content values, I got myself back. I know what I stand for and what I want to do: Big Bee is a content company that cares. I’m here to help other ‘scrappy folk’ – the small businesses who struggle to stand out in a millionaire’s marketplace, the charities who need a stepping stone to start up, the social enterprises who want to make a splash while giving back, and anyone who wants to ‘do right’ by their customers. (We know how well that works out for the company as well as the client.)
About Us is the place you can nail your raison d’etre to the wall, say ‘This is me!’, banish all the haters and make your own rules. My About Us page makes me proud. And that’s what they should do. If you look at your About Us page and you don’t think: ‘Yes! That’s who we are, that’s what we stand for!’ Then start again.