About Us pages – spot the difference

We’ve been talking to clients a lot lately about their ‘About Us’ pages. Why? Because as firms are feeling pressure from so many directions; regulation, pricing, Brexit, budgets, etc they begin to focus on what their story and purpose really is. If all firms manage money, provide service, write content and leverage technology in similar ways – what makes anyone unique?

We typically find that firms are unique. They have a history, a collection of people, a diversity in thought and practice – but it just doesn’t get articulated on their About Us page.

How many firm websites can you find that say:

…we are a global investment house that believes in active management…to deliver long term returns…on behalf of our clients…

It’s not to point out poor copy, or even poor About Us pages. It’s to say that investors (people!) want transparency.

They want firms to be transparent about the firms history, the people that run it and the people that get stuff done, their values, how they contribute to the world and what they offer.

You know this at a simplistic level from your own shopping habits. When you view an item on Amazon you pay attention to the product information (yes for features and price) but you pay even more attention to the reviews, not just the ratings but how the seller handles refunds, how other people have used the product, if the seller is involved in other products/stores for good or bad.

It’s about injecting personality in these pages and that means a good understanding of your culture and brand. To move away from describing what you do and talk more about your purpose and client promise. Everything in business is actually about people – so move from the rational side of your brain for a moment to being in more human, connecting, emotive language where you express why you care about what you do and what this means for your clients.

So what does this mean for wealth & asset management firms and their About Us pages?

Here’s how to make them better.

Write with clarity, conviction and passion.

OK that’s easy to say. But spell out in simple terms what you do and who you (typically) do it for. And if you believe in something – say so!

‘We are an active investment manager’…could be ‘we passionately believe our investment people, their research and the tools and processes they use can add value to the money they manage.’

Tell your story

How did your firm start? Who got it started? What have you learned along the way?

Hewlett Packard’s beginnings in a garage in Palo Alto is now a historical landmark. You might not have such iconic beginnings but your story will resonate.

Sell your stuff

This might sound a little edgy, but you could even mention the sorts of products and services you offer (yes, avoiding promotions and mentioning funds not registered somewhere).

Why wouldn’t you explain the investment strategies you have and the type of people that they could appeal to?

If that’s still too edgy, then you can still talk about the events, charities and ESG activities your firm gets involved in. Maybe a photo or two?

Talk about your values – carefully

Here’s your chance to explain what you believe in. When the markets are down and service mistakes have been made; these are the values that will hold you up in your clients eyes.

Showcase your people

Go and find some great people in your firm and let them talk about what they do and why. Be even crazier; do the same with your clients

Check out your Google Analytics and see how many people arrive on your site looking for a job. Then you might like to make sure you explain all the benefits of working at your firm and the opportunities available.

Stop writing like a financial services firm

Most of all, don’t stick to the financial services recipe. Look at how other B2B and B2C (let’s be honest – it’s all people to people) are explaining themselves and create something amazing that tells the world who you are, what you do and how you do it.

Here’s a guide from Shopify for some inspiration: https://www.shopify.com/blog/how-to-write-an-about-us-page

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