Improve Your About Page with Screenwriting Strategies

Photo credit: Satish Viswanath

If you want to improve your About Page, look no further than the strategies used by screenwriters. Many of the techniques translate well into conversion-ready copy for your website, as their storytelling involves conflict and resolution.

To craft more engaging content, take a page out of the screenwriter playbook with the following techniques that translate from the movie screen to the computer screen.

Three Act Structure

Every story needs a beginning, middle, and end. This structure finds its way into movies, novels, and other forms of media…including your About Page copy. Using the three act structure in your company’s story will help to engage prospective clients and encourage them to keep reading.

You want your customers to know about your experience, as long as the story corresponds with their unique struggles and situation. Providing information about where your business started and where it’s been lends credibility. Be sure to do this quickly to better focus on how this experience benefits them.

It is equally important to detail what your business does now. The present, or “middle” section of your story, lets your customers know what you currently offer them.

Your business has evolved, and your copy needs to show that. From where you started to the future of your business and your long-term vision, make sure your About Page shows that transition.

Identify Your Catalyst

Great companies solve problems.

Too often companies use their About Page as a place to list all the great things they’ve accomplished and what they DO for clients. What’s missing is identifying the problems your products and services solve. The results you produce.

An effective way to highlight this is to use an achievement-based approach. If you have specifics on how you helped a client make a certain dollar amount, provide those details.

For example, if your marketing firm helped a client earn $25,000 from a soft launch, tell that story. Just remember where to shine the spotlight—on the benefits and results you provide.

Often, the About Page is too company centric instead of client centric. If you find your About Page littered with phrases such as “We do this” or “We provide” or “Our company,” then you’re not focusing on the solution. You’re focusing on you.

If you really want to engage site visitors and make an emotional connection, share the catalyst—the aha, the insight, the situation—that led you to where you are today.

Screenwriters often call this the “What If” question, but it works the same way in your business.

Let’s take a look at one of the most famous solutions…the iPod.

Steve Jobs solved the problem of having to carry around individual CDs of your favorite tunes to listen to them on your ginormous Walkman.

Sure, Apple’s a company that existed before. But the catalyst of the iPod’s story is that fundamental question of how to carry all of your favorite music with you. Essentially, a catalyst is that spark needed to find that solution.

Imagine if Jobs’ famous iPod pitch (or the subsequent marketing copy) had focused on the device itself and how great Apple was for bringing it to market. One has to wonder if the public would have been as enthralled with a new electronic gadget.

Let’s look at some popular movies to see how the “What If” question applies.

In Thelma and Louise, the catalyst is when Louise shoots Harlan after he attempts to rape her. His death is the problem that needs solving.

In Guardians of the Galaxy, the catalyst is when Gamora steals the unsellable orb from Peter Quill, played by the hunky Chris Pratt. (Don’t mind if I do…)

If Peter had sold the orb to his buyer on Xandar immediately, as was the plan, he’d have no problem to solve and 80s music wouldn’t have come back in such a gratifying way.

Find Your Current Climax

In screenplay story arcs, the climax is that high point when everything boils to a peak and eventually comes together.

When you tell your company’s story, try to include the moment when you knew you were successful. This is the climax for your company’s story, when everything came together for the first time. This is your chance to highlight your company’s success.

Examples of this would be industry recognition through articles and awards, or some other measurable type of success.

If your company wins top restaurant in your area, this is great recognition and worthy of mention. This is that climax to your story, the moment when others recognized your company’s success.

Share this with your clients, and they’ll understand you’re at your prime.

Every Story Needs a Protagonist

People relate to other people.

Customers want to relate to a person or the people behind your company. They form relationships with people, not with a faceless entity. So, go ahead and find that main character for your business.

Business gurus who coach on sales and business development preach this concept constantly because it works. Jeffrey Gitomer even stresses how people buy products based on the person in his Little Red Book of Selling.

Be the person your customers want to buy from. Accomplish this by incorporating a protagonist in your “About Us” copy. And don’t be afraid to let your company culture shine when you do so!

Photo credit: Satish Viswanath

Lights, Cameras, Action

The worst thing you can do for your About Page is bore your readers.

Aside from the tips above, to keep the story moving forward, use active language in your content. Specifically active verbs. Imagine a movie about a tree that just sits there. Passive verbs are those trees. Call a landscaper and get those trees out of there.

Passive verbs often have words such as “is,” “was” and “have” in front of them.

Example #1: The man rows his boat VS the boat was rowed by the man.

Example #2: We serve you by providing great haircuts at a fraction of the cost VS Great haircuts are offered at a fraction of the cost.

See the difference?

Looking for even more tips on how to improve your website conversions? Download our Simple & Easy 25 Traffic and Conversion Tips.

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