Startup Venture Applies Storytelling Techniques to “About Us” Section

There’s no question that startups enjoy an advantage in applying storytelling techniques to the “About Us” section on the company website.

For Exhibit A, look no further than a new venture called SigFig.

Its site gets the story off to a good start with with the subhead, “Our Story.”


Now, check out the narrative: 

Before starting SigFig, we were everyday investors frustrated with the state of the investment world. It felt like there was no escape from hidden trading fees, bad investment advice, and outdated technology that did little to level the playing field between us and Wall Street. Add to that the near collapse of the financial industry and we soon felt like the cards were overwhelmingly stacked against us. 

I’d say that nicely captures the problem. 

So what happened? 

We eventually got fed up with the complexity and lack of transparency on Wall Street and decided to do something about it.

That’s why we’re here today building SigFig – a free investment platform that gives everyone from day traders to 401k retirees the ability to quickly and easily track, analyze, and improve their portfolio. 

Love the conversational language. 

They didn’t get “tired of the situation” or “conclude there must be a better way.” 

They “got fed up” (perhaps channeling the move, “Network”).

Now the vision: 

SigFig was born from the shared belief that saving and growing your hard earned money has been too hard for too long. Soon, thanks to SigFig, you’ll no longer have to be mega-wealthy to get high quality investment advice or need a finance degree to track and analyze your portfolio.

So get ready to invest better. When we launch, SigFig will show you how. 

Again, it all flows very naturally and without striving to come off as the smartest kid in the class. 

Contrast the SigFig story with how Merrill Lynch tells its story:

Merrill Lynch is one of the world’s premier providers of wealth management, securities trading and sales, corporate finance and investment banking services.

Working with our clients as strategic partners, we create and execute winning solutions, which address our clients’ most pressing strategic, financial and investment needs-anywhere in the world.

We stand apart by building and maintaining solid partnerships with clients. Merrill Lynch places our client relationships first and is proud to conduct our business based on five unwavering principles: Client Focus, Respect for the Individual, Teamwork, Responsible Citizenship, and Integrity.


The fact that you bold the last 11 words is supposed to tell me that you really mean it? 

Needless to say, there’s quite a contrast between SigFig and Merrill Lynch. 

What company do you want to do business with?

I agree. 

It’s no contest.

Note: A correlation engine tapped the archive for the following related posts:

Revisiting How Organizations Tell Their Stories

So Many Company Blogs Waste Valuable Real Estate 

Be Sociable, Share!

5 Comments so far

  1. Karen Dietz November 1st, 2011 10:18 am

    Hi Lou – love the article and examples! Right on. I liked it so much I’ve added it to my curated content on business storytelling. You can see it here at Your article will get pushed out to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, too.

    Keep writing such great stuff! Many thanks — Karen

  2. Wilton Blake November 1st, 2011 1:03 pm

    Karen, you beat me to the e-punch. But I’m still gonna scoop it at Although since you beat me, it’s technically not a “scoop.”

    Even though I focus on nonprofit storytelling, “About Us” examples like this easily serve my efforts to get nonprofits to focus on re-writing their content for websites and grant proposals.

  3. Lou Hoffman November 1st, 2011 2:41 pm

    Karen and Wilton,

    Thanks so much for the positive words and shining the spotlight on the post.

    Nothing better than hearing from peers.

  4. [...] Easy to implement.  Follow the “Our Story” structure for your “About” page!Show original Share this: This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← Case [...]

  5. [...] Easy to implement.  Follow the “Our Story” structure for your “About” page!Show original GA_googleAddAttr(“AdOpt”, “1″); GA_googleAddAttr(“Origin”, “other”); [...]

Leave a reply