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Tips for sounding smarter with minimal effort
1. Plan Ahead
Whether you are in a private conversation or at a company-wide town hall, the most important thing you can do is make yourself heard, loud and clear. This can be daunting for an introvert—and for the rest of us. The key is preparation. If you’re interviewing for a job, review the posting and take advantage of the whole googleplex of information about your prospective company. If you’re attending a staff meeting, check the agenda. Going on a date? Plan some talking points, even if they’re just about favourite TV shows or movies. Feeling prepared will put you at ease and boost your confidence.
It sounds simple, but listening is a major key to appearing intelligent. Don’t feel the need to comment on every single thing people say; chime in on topics you’re knowledgeable about and ask thoughtful questions about ones you’re not. Chances are the person you’re talking to will be more than happy to answer, never realizing you’re out of the loop.
If someone looks at you while you are talking, you are more likely to think he or she is smart. “Good eye contact means the other person is responsive to what you are doing or saying,” says Bogdan Wojciszke, a professor of social psychology at the University of Social Sciences and Hu-manities in Poland. “If he is not responsive, this means that either you are dull or he is dumb. With such a choice, most of us prefer to think that he is dumb.” Researchers at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, USA, found that conversationalists who maintained eye contact scored higher on IQ tests than those who avoided someone’s gaze.
4. Stand Tall
What you’re saying is important, but your body language also speaks volumes to your credibility. If you’re slumping, you’re communicating a lack of confidence not only in yourself but also in what you’re saying. On the other end of the spectrum, standing rigidly straight makes you seem nervous and uncomfortable. Shoot for something in the middle.
5. Strike a Power Pose
How open or closed your posture is conveys how open or closed you are to the physical, mental and emotional advances of oth-ers. Openness can convey confidence. To project self-assurance in a meeting, adapt an open, expansive pose. Sit up straight and leave your arms widely spread on the table or at your sides. (This also works if you are trying to attract someone’s eye.) If you are worried about projecting confidence, run through a couple of power poses—such as standing with your hands on your hips or using them to lean on your desk—in private beforehand.
6. Cut back on crutch words
Certain words and vocal tendencies are like tics: They’re hard to get rid of and sometimes we do them without even noticing. Words such as “like” and “um” make you sound unsure of yourself–as do things like uptalk, that inflection where you end your sentence in a higher tone like you’re asking a question?
7. Eliminate Pauses
Confidence is as perceptible in your voice as it is in your body language. As you have probably noticed from watching any political panel show or business meeting with multiple speakers, the ‘winner’ of the talk is usually the person who speaks most energetically and fluidly. Too many pauses make you sound unsure of yourself. If you are unconvinced by your own ideas, why should the rest of the room be convinced? Theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow points out the impact of this bias: “If two speakers utter exactly the same words but one speaks a little faster and louder and with fewer pauses and greater variation in volume, that speaker will be judged to be more energetic, knowledgeable and intelligent.”
8. Read More
Duh, right? But seriously, reading is arguably the most effective way to sound smarter. We’re not saying you have to tackle the unabridged works of Tolstoy, but try to read one long-form article every week: They’re usually rather in-depth, so you’ll come away with a good grasp on an interesting topic. You could also subscribe to an email newsletter that sends you a daily list of important stories summarized in just a few lines.
9. Restate Others’ Smart Points
Because of one of those unfair-but-true mental quirks, the person in a meeting who simply summarizes the good points made by everyone else will often be better remembered than the people who came up with the ideas in the first place. If you are struggling to get a word in at your next staff gathering, take notes on the best comments your co-workers deliver. Near the end of the meeting, restate these ideas in a concise, matter-of-fact way. Even when giving credit to your co-workers, you will sound smarter.
10. Take control
You’re at a dinner party, and the woman you’re talking to brings up her work in, ack, nuclear astrophysics, we think? Instead of trying to fake your way through a conversation, try to subtly switch gears to something you’re more comfortable with. (“Nuclear astrophysics? Cool, that’s what my freshman roommate studied, but now she’s a SoulCycle instructor. Have you ever tried Soul?”)
11. Tell Some Jokes
Women find men they overhear telling funny jokes to be smarter and more attractive than those heard talking about mundane topics. Other studies have shown that funny women similarly appear smarter to others. There may be some validity to this, because a certain level of intellect is required to consistently make clever remarks. According to an article published in The Conversation by Lowri Dowthwaite, lecturer in Psychological Interventions, University of Central Lancashire, UK, evolutionary psychologists describe humour as a “heritable trait” that signals mental fitness and intellectual agility to prospective mates. In studies of attractiveness, both men and women rate funny people as more attractive, and cite having a good sense of humour as being one of the most important traits in a long-term partner. So you can use humour as a hard-to-fake cue to your intelligence. Just don’t forget the punchline!
12. Don’t use SAT words
Using big, intimidating words doesn’t make you sound smarter; it just makes you sound like you’re trying way too hard. It’s akin to when you wrote essays in college and used every inconsequential and superfluous filler word to occupy the vast expanse of unfilled page before of you. (See what we did there?) Instead, use clear, direct words and make your point. It’s far less pretentious, and the people you’re addressing will actually understand what you’re saying.
The main problem you see on the average ecommerce About Us page is that it’s totally dedicated to talking about the company. An About Us page that focuses on your ecommerce brand – what a crazy idea!
But consider this – an About Us page isn’t just about you or your company. It’s about why a customer should emotionally invest in your brand. It’s about why you’re the best person to solve your customer’s problem.
And in the world of ecommerce, that’s what you’re doing – building trust and providing a product that solves a customer’s problem.
This article will go over this idea in more detail, concentrating on:
- The role an About Us page plays in your brand image
- What you should and shouldn’t put on your About Us page
- Some killer About Us page examples
So let’s jump straight in!
What is an About Us page
An About Us page gives online shoppers insight into your brand and the people behind it. This can include:
- How you started your brand
- What makes you and your brand unique
- What are your brand values and beliefs
- Why customers should choose you
Take a look at About Us page by the yoga mat company Form. Two short paragraphs clearly define what the brand is all about – product design, sustainability, and performance.
Telling a story on your About Us page is a great way to build trust with your potential customer.
Because after reading it, your customers are more emotionally invested in your brand. If they can relate to the same values, hardships or victories that you’ve faced, you’ll start to build that rapport.
Why you need an About Us page
An About Us page is crucial when building relationships with your customers. If you’re still not sure whether you need this page on your website, here are a few more reasons why working on it is a good idea:
1. It’s popular with new visitors
On average, more people visit an About Us page than just about any other page on your website. Why is that?
People are naturally curious, and not only about the products. They also love stories and learning more about the brand itself. An About Us page quenches all three of these thirsts. So it’s crucial to create a page that capitalizes on the curiosity of your potential customers.
2. It shows off why you’re unique
No one else is running a business like yours for the same reasons that you are. Your About Us page is a great place to tell this.
Your unique story is what sets yourself apart from the competition and your About Page is the place you can highlight the most important difference. Besides, if people have met similar hardships and triumphs as your brand, they’ll be naturally attracted to your story.
3. It solidifies your brand image
Your About Us page is a great place to affirm exactly who you are and the way you want to be perceived by the word.
Goat Story creates unique coffee accessories for coffee lovers of all kinds. They’ve used a minimalistic photo shoot, with all employees dressed in similar tones and styles to highlight the brand’s image.
Just like their website, product packaging and website copy, there’s nothing that’s obnoxiously loud or distracting – it’s just darn good – like their product. It’s one of the many About Us page examples that somewhat uses psychology to its advantage.
So now that you know the effect a good About Us page can have, read on to see what you need to include into yours!
Also read : How to Sound Smarter Than You Really Are
How to write About Us page
Your About Us page can be made up of whatever you feel is the most important things to your brand. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few suggestions that make amazing elements of any About Us Page.
But remember that this list is by no means extensive. Depending on your industry specifics, there may be more things that you’d like to include to assert your brand’s position in the market. The following elements are merely a handful of things that can help you do just that.
1. Include a unique value proposition
Find your company’s unique selling point and draw attention to it by building your About Us page around it. For example, if your unique selling point is a lenient returns policy, focus on why you have a lenient returns policy.
If your unique selling point is that your products are sourced from renewable materials, explain why that’s important to your brand.
Identifying your unique value proposition can be challenging if you didn’t start your business having it in mind. Luckily, you can consult specialists at digital marketing agencies that will help you define and introduce your products to customers by highlighting how’s your product is different and why they should care about it.
2. Show your company’s faces
The human eye is naturally drawn to faces. In the previous Goat Story image, I bet that you immediately started to look at the faces of people, and didn’t even notice the coffee they’re drinking.
By including the faces of your founders or the entire team, you can somewhat control where your reader looks. But if you’re a solopreneur, a simple profile shot of yourself should be enough to put a physical face to the company.
3. Tell your brand story
As mentioned earlier, your brand story is what makes you unique. There is no other story quite like yours, so it’s important that you draw attention to it.
Software company Morningscore does this in the form of a timeline of achievements.
As an ecommerce business owner, you too can use timeline storytelling. Important events in your brand’s history can include:
- When you had the idea of your brand
- When you sold your first product
- When you made your first 100 sales
- When you hired your first employee
But of course, it’s not the only way to share your story. Take a look at simple yet original brand story by makeup and skincare brand 100% Pure.
As you can see, brand storytelling lets you connect with your audience through shared values. It’s also one the most powerful ways to breathe life into your brand. So be honest and real about your brand and ideas behind it.
No matter how tempting it might be, don’t write a story that stretches over 2000 words – it’s very unlikely a customer will read it all anyway. Instead, keep it short, relevant and on-point. Avoid being too self-praising, babbling on and going offtopic.
4. Share what’s happening behind the scenes
In a world where the internet is as prevalent as it is (you’re using it now), transparency in manufacturing is a marketable asset – a necessity, rather than an option.
With many brands now appealing to certain audiences by using sustainable materials or paying above minimum wage, consumers want to know the insides of your company more than anything.
Embrace this, and show it off to the world.
Something as simple as a handful of photos of your product being manufactured can be enough to give curious customers a look into the inner workings of your company.
Consider using behind the scenes photos along with some text to explain the production process of your items. This leaves your reader feeling that they know exactly what they’re buying and exactly where it comes from.
5. Let customers know where you are
You’d be surprised to learn how much better some customers may feel after learning where your business is based. By mentioning where you’re from, you can further build trust with people of that area.
“Oh they’re located in Sacramento, I used to holiday there!”
Don’t hesitate to mention the location of both your office and where your product is shipped from because it can help erode a buyer’s reluctance to buy from you.
6. Direct customer towards the next action
What is the next thing you want your customers to do once they finish reading your About Us page? You probably don’t want them just left sitting there at the bottom of the page with nothing to do.
Create a CTA to send them back to your shop, include a contact form, or get them to sign up to your newsletter.
At this point – the bottom of your About Us page – is a place where your reader is active and engaged with your brand, so use it wisely.
7. Consider the fold
“Above the fold” is the part of the website that can be seen before a user has to scroll. As you’d imagine, this point varies depending on the devices and screen size.
But why you should care about it?
Any marketer in the world of ecommerce knows that capturing people’s attention is only part of the problem. Keeping their attention is just as important. Designing your About Us page with content that’s above the fold encourages a user to scroll down and explore the rest of the page.
You can find the average fold line on your website manually. Just visit your site on a wide range of devices, using different browsers and see where the page usually finishes.
8. Keep your About Us page updated
Once you’ve created a killer About Us page, share it with the world. But don’t forget to update it every once in a while.
You see, well-written About Us page can build trust in ways that no other page can. But an old, outdated page shows neglect, and as a result, destroys trust. To avoid this from happening, get into the habit of updating it every 6 months or so.
There are a lot more things you can do and experiment with, so don’t be afraid to try different things. You may like to put a video on your page, or have a contact form on there, too.
What’s best for you and your brand is something that only you can figure out, through regular testing and assessing!
What not to put in an About Us page
Awesome, you now know what should be included in an About Us page, but is there something you should leave out? Of course!
Save the hype for social media. Your About Us page is to build a rapport and bond with your customers. You don’t do that by saying how you met Elon Musk’s former roommate, or saying how your product is going to disrupt an industry.
For the same reason that you don’t hype your brand up, you don’t use your About Us page to sell.
While people who are reading this page may be interested in your product, at this moment in time, they’re interested in you. Keep the focus on your brand as an entity and what makes you unique and important – not your products.
Best About Us page examples
Nothing can beat learning from the real-life examples. So let’s take a look at some of the best About Us pages for ecommerce brands, and see why they’re good.
1. Happy Socks
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you visit Abou Us page by Happy Socks?
Color is something that the Happy Socks brand is incredibly well known for. All their products are bright, eye-catching and…happy. We love that this About Us page perfectly represents the brand.
2. Flip Flop Shops
Try finding new ways to introduce your brand to the world. Your About Us page is the right place to show off your company’s culture or sense of humor.
Flip Flop Shops specialize in selling flip flops so they can get away with using pictures of their team member’s feet instead of regular headshots. This unique way of showing off their team gives you an idea of how passionate the company is about what they do.
Do you have an About Us page?
An About Us page doesn’t have to be hard work. But it should do a great job at giving the customers an insight into the inner workings of your company highlighting the whats, hows, and whys of your brand. So be honest and pick the words wisely. Most importantly, don’t forget to be human.
Let your creativity flow and don’t be afraid to let a little emotion come out. The more real you are, the easier it’s to connect with you and your brand. And that’s what will help your brand name stick in the head of your customers.
What are some of the best About Us pages that you’ve seen? Let us know in the comments!