Let me be blunt: as a copywriter, I think people really make the task of writing a company description more complicated than it should be. If you have a startup, you can write a text about it without paying anybody. I’ll share with you a simple framework that will save you time, money and brain cells.
4 Simple Questions
Whether you’re writing an “About us” page for your website, a letter to investors or an ad, the text about your company should answer these four questions:
- Who are you and what do you do?
- What and whose problems do you solve?
- How do you solve those problems?
- What do you want the reader to do?
That’s the baseline that might become a standalone text or a foundation for a bigger one. Some parts you might decide to add in later and some things you might decide to omit.
This part should be as straightforward as it can be. Introduce your brand and tell the reader what you do. I’ll set an example by telling you about the company I’m working for.
Who we are: “A1SolarStore: an online solar equipment store”.
What we do: “We sell solar equipment online in the continental United States”
There isn’t a reason to make it more complicated than that. Any sort of decoration will just distract the reader from the most important parts of your brand: name and function.
How would I mess it up? Let’s set an example:
“We are the leaders on the solar market that fulfill the needs of every possible customer”.
Terrible. The reader won’t be able to extract any information from this sentence. Who are “we”? What exactly are we doing on the solar market? What are the needs that are to be fulfilled? Don’t leave your reader guessing, especially in the beginning of your text — they won’t like it.
Solve customer’s problems
After the introduction, you get to tell a little bit about your project. Remember, however, the reader isn’t interested in you or your business per se. What they want is to have their own problems solved.
Be specific. When you write something like “we offer a wide range of services”, the reader can’t be sure whether you are capable of doing the job for them or not.
Be straightforward. Don’t start with “We’ve been on the market for 10 years…” — none of that. You want to explain why people pay for your services.
For instance, here’s what I could write about A1SolarStore: “We make shopping for solar equipment easy and comfortable. Our experts teach about the benefits and the basics of solar energy. We offer tools that help planning solar installations. Our idea is to make buying solar panels as simple as purchasing a kettle”.
Here I made the emphasis that we make solar more accessible for the customer. It’s important since solar panels appear as a complicated product for some people.
However, you might want to flaunt your project the other way. Think to yourself: What are your customers paying you for? Is it the speed of your services? Is it the quality? You want to bring forward something that makes your business stand out.
Show off your superpowers
The next part is where you answer the question about how you solve the problems and what helps with it. Two or three things will suffice. You can explain what exactly you are good at or when one would need your services. Since I’ve already mentioned accessibility earlier in my example, I might as well expand on it.
For instance: “Top notch customer service is our priority. We update product availability info three times a day on our website. The filters make it easy to find whatever you need. The customer can order delivery or grab the order themself from one of our fulfillment centers. We keep our client notified about the status of their order all along the way.”
Call to action
Now that you’ve told the reader the bare minimum about your business and your services, you want to let them know what to do next. Usually, it’s the part where you leave your contacts.
For instance: “Check out our products at a1solarstore.com”
The link may lead to your social media accounts, and you can promise your reader lots of useful stuff for a subscription.
Example: “Subscribe to our Instagram and receive weekly tips on home energy efficiency and saving money with solar energy”.
So what do we have in the end?
We are A1SolarStore
We sell solar equipment online in the continental United States. Our goal is to make shopping for solar equipment easy and comfortable.
Top notch customer service is our priority. We update product availability info three times a day on our website. The filters make it easy to find whatever you need. The customer can order delivery or grab the order themself from one of our fulfillment centers. We keep our client notified about the status of their order all along the way.
It’s a short, very simple piece, but there is already enough information in it to make the reader understand, if it is something that they like or not. I can expand it if needed: I can list more problems that we solve, add things that we’re good at or examples of how we do our business. All that is left is to add a call to action.
Don’t overcomplicate the task
Here’s the harsh truth: text, however good it may be, probably won’t sell your products by itself. The visitor makes a decision to buy something after looking at references, checking out the website and comparing the alternatives. Thus you need much more than just a good description of your company to make your business work.
While this might be disappointing for some, especially those who truly care about writing, it’s a liberating idea as well. Since there is no perfect text that alone sells everything you have, there is no need to overthink it. It doesn’t make sense to play the game of wordpicking and constant rewriting. All you have to do is to tell the facts, plain and simple. Being concise and honest is the best that you can do for your reader and your business.
Author: Andrew Gorichensky has been a news editor and freelance author for a number of medias before joining the A1SolarStore team. Climate change and its impact on people’s lives have always been among his interests and it partially explains his degree in Philosophy and Ethics.