Writing a company profile can be a challenging task no matter how you look at it. On one hand you could just bang one out in 15 or 20 minutes, whereas on the other, you could take several hours crafting a company profile which resonates with your target audience and helps to build trust and confidence for a potential future purchase.
To help in this regard, we thought it would be useful if we sketched out a quick guide to writing the perfect company profile. We’ve been writing company profiles for over 25 years now so this guide draws on our experiences and tries to put some structure around it.
Why Do You Need A Company Profile?
Before we get started you may be asking why do you actually need a company profile in the first place? In our experience, whether you are responsible for marketing a tech business, a law firm or in fact any type of business, you will inevitably be asked to draft a company profile. It could be to accompany a recent sponsorship, a profile in a directory or perhaps a tender submission. If you are reading this and currently trying to write a great “About Us” page for your website, this guide will also be helpful and provide a useful structure for your web page.
No matter your reason, follow these tried and test techniques and your company profile will be transformed from a boring piece of text into a useful profile which resonates with your audience, gets your key messages across and attempts to convert this one-way communication into potential leads for your business.
The Key Components Of A Great Company Profile
This is the most important element of your company profile as it needs to interest and engage the reader and make them want to read on. Get this wrong and you will switch them off and they will never get to all that great information you have to tell.
Unfortunately, owing to the importance of a great introduction too many firms make the mistake of jumping in too quickly and start screaming about how wonderful they are. It’s too me, me, me and unfortunately this has the opposite effect and tends to switch people off rather than excite them. There aren’t too many people who want to read a document which is all about someone boasting about how great they are. Of course you want someone to think your firm is great having read your profile but it doesn’t mean you have to be so explicit about it.
- Stop beating your corporate chest and start thinking about who your audience is and what the issues and challenges are that you help them to solve.
Begin the company profile by calling out your audience’s needs and outline how you strive to solve their pains and you will be well on your way to a winning company profile.
A great way to introduce a company profile is to start with your company’s mission and outline what it is you are striving to achieve. Calling out your audience in this way and outlining how your ultimate goal is to find ways to provide the right solutions in this particular area and discussing how your firm addresses their pains is a much better approach that simply saying you are the leading x, y and z.
A few other areas you may want to consider adding to the introduction section of your profile include:
If your organisation has good heritage then use it.
If you only serve certain markets it is important to specific.
In some markets knowing that a company has strength & depth is a good thing so make sure you call it out (without going too overboard!).
If you serve specific locations then make this clear.
Information such as this will depend on who your target audience is and what you think resonates best with them.
If you really want to get to the heart of who your audience is you may want to consider creating Buyer Personas for your business. A Buyer Persona is a semi-fictitious representation of the core groups of clients your firm is trying to attract and specifies a lot of information about this group of people so that your marketing can be laser focused on their needs. You would be surprised how easy it is to write a blog or even a company profile when you can visualise who you are writing to!
The good news is that if you haven’t developed Buyer Personas before, we have developed a helpful workbook to walk you through the creation of Persona’s for your business. If you would like to download this free Workbook you can get it here.
2. What You Do
Having used the introduction to call out your audience and outline your reason for being, your company profile should now move on to the specifics of what you do. Don’t simply list all your services as this doesn’t add much value for the reader. Look at your audience for this specific profile and the services they need. Do they need to know absolutely every single thing you do or would a shorter list categorising what you do with a few supporting lines of a description add more value? Take your top 3, 4, 5 or even 6 main areas of business. Choose an image or an icon to help portray them visually and then write a few lines (say 4 or 5) to describe what the service is and how it helps your audience.
Just like the introduction, if your services can be linked to how they help your target audience to address their pains and challenges it will resonate much better. For example, if you are a financial organisation, rather than listing "Current Accounts" perhaps you should consider calling it something like “Day to Day Banking” instead and then use the description to outline the product e.g. Current Accounts. The benefit of this approach is that you could use this type of description to also mention other services, such as Home Insurance, and thereby improve the cross sell potential.
3. How You Do It
The third section of your company profile should delve into your approach to business and how you go about things. What makes your firm special? Why would someone want to do business with your firm? The purpose of this section should be to differentiate your business from the competition so explain how you go to market. Understandably, a lot of people will start to write about how wonderful their client service is as this is such an easy thing to say. The trouble is that everyone does this so to make it real try and back it up with some facts.
A company profile doesn’t always have to be long form text. Use different types of text to break up the sea of words so that the profile itself doesn’t put people off reading it. In this section perhaps you could introduce a grid with different stats to try and provide some proof regarding how great your client service actually is? Maybe add a few icons or images to each box as well to help visualise what you are trying to say. Do you have a client satisfaction survey you can get some useful stats from, such as the number of people you have served/ helped this year or the % of happy clients at your firm? How many clients return to your business each year and are therefore happy with your service?
What about third party sources of information? In the legal industry, guides such as the Legal 500, provide a useful commentary on the market and tier the top firms across the country for each of the main areas of law. Alternatively, has your business won any awards or been nominated for a community award in recent years?
4. Who You Do It For
Now that you have introduced your firm, what you do and your overall approach to business, it is important to bring in some "social proof". The premise here is that rather than saying how great your firm is, you want to let someone else do it for you. The first way to do this would be to add a few Client Testimonials. Hopefully you will have asked a few good clients previously about providing a quote on how great they find you, or who knows, perhaps you have received a few unsolicited testimonials as well? You should try to systemise this process and build a bank of testimonials you can use for different audiences. If you have a client satisfaction survey you could ask respondents if they would be happy to give a quote in the future or perhaps add a text box to let them add comments. The important thing with testimonials is that you ask for permission first. Some clients don’t want people to know where they go for certain services nor do they want people to attribute quotes to them if they don’t know anything about it.
The second and slightly easier type of social proof to create is to add a few logos to your company profile. Once again, if you have permission from your clients, adding a few impressive logos can help to draw on their brand strength and demonstrate that they entrust you to work for them.
5. Where You Do It
A lot of company profiles that we see are loaded with so many contact details that at least a third of the page is covered with absolutely every telephone, email, office address and even fax numbers. For some companies it might be important to show some form of geographic coverage, however, this doesn’t mean you need to list absolutely every address detail possible. Work out what information someone "really" needs if they want to get in touch. Is there one main telephone number or email address? Do you really need fax numbers or DX? Could a link to you website’s Contact Page suffice?
Whilst you want to sign off a company profile with your contact details the most important element to add to this section is a compelling and relevant Call to Action. Once again, don’t just think about your company profile being about you telling people how great your firm is - view it as a specific piece of information which is designed to engage your audience, educate them about who you are (and what you do) AND then persuade them to get in touch. At a high level this could be a simple "Get In Touch", however does your firm offer an initial free consultation, an audit or perhaps you have an online tool you would like prospective clients to use to help qualify them as a lead? If so, use your company profile to offer this as a call to action at the end. Don’t just see this as a one way conversation. Try to work out what you can do to turn this into a two way conversation and thereby increase leads for your business.
How To Build An Efficient Process For Your Company Profile
We are great believers in building efficient processes to help our clients do business. So whilst you want to spend a decent amount of time drafting your ‘core’ company profile, build a process so that you can customise it easily for different audiences. The key areas where you can do this include:
Make sure the introduction is tailored to your intended audience. Don’t just use the same profile for everything and make sure you call out the specific audience in each profile.
- What You Do
Different audiences will purchase different services so whilst you may draft a bank of 10 or 12 Service modules, you might decide to use only 3 or 4 for a specific market.
If you are going to add specific performance metrics to your profile make sure these are tailored to the audience reading it.
- Client Testimonials & Logos
If you have a process to collect a number of client testimonials then make sure each profile uses relevant testimonials and logos.
- Calls To Action
Add Calls to Action relevant to your audience.
If you have a high quality company profile written and a new request comes in for a specific audience it will be much easier to customise it along these lines than having to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch each time.
Now that you have done all the hard work, take your company profile and challenge yourself to write a 50 word "Power Statement" and having done this try to write a 150 to 200 word "Golden Paragraph" because inevitably you will be asked my someone someday to supply a 50 word overview of your firm or a ‘quick paragraph’ on who you are. These requests also tend to come in last minute with an impossible deadline so having these at your disposal will be a great starting point.
We hope you have found this blog to writing a perfect company profile useful. It is difficult to speak in hypotheticals so hopefully this guide will provide a bit of structure to help you with the drafting process. At its most basic, you only need to remember five things:
Structure your profile in this way and you will be on the right track to writing the perfect company profile for your business. The most important aspects for the perfect company profile are that you identify your target audience and write to them in an engaging (and not boastful) manner. Add a few statistics and let your client testimonials and company logos show how good you really are, and lastly, don’t forget to add a relevant Call To Action to turn your company profile from a one-way information sheet into a two-way lead generation tool.
If you found this useful, we have taken each of the key points above and designed them into a useful template which you can download and save for future reference. You can access this Company Profile Template by clicking on the button below.
Alternatively, if you would like some help drafting a company profile for your business, please get in touch and let us take the strain.