Love 'em or hate 'em, you absolutely-tootly need one.
It's time to make it work... Tim Gunn style.
If I've learned one thing from working with clients one-on-one as a copywriter, it's that YOU HATE WRITING YOUR OWN ABOUT PAGE.
When you first started your website, the idea of a page all about you was exciting.
A whole page about me? How hard could that be?
Now, fourteen and a half drafts and five episodes of Braking Bad later, you're ready to shut down your entire business based on the fact that YOU CANT FIGURE OUT HOW TO WRITE ABOUT YOURSELF IN A COMPELLING FASHION SO YOU DON'T DESERVE TO HAVE A BUSINESS, OR SUCCESS OR EVEN BREATHE AIR.
Hold on, cowboy! You're not worthless. You're not mentally challenged. You're not an inferior member of the human race.
And yeah, it might be nice to hire someone to write your About Page for you... but you'll have to shell out at least $200 and what will you do one year (or six months) from now when you want to update your About Page?
Basically, there are 5 (easy-to-fix!) faux pas that most everyone makes with their about page.
And today, right here, right now, I'm going to tell you exactly what they are and how to fix 'em.
So let's go though them together, shall we?
Faux Pas Numero Un: No Photo
Dude. Who zee hell are you?
I'm the first to admit that words are muy importante, but c'mon...WE'RE ALL DYING TO SEE YOUR FACE.
Having a photo (read: multiple photos) of you on your website is non-negotiable.
I don't care if you can't afford a photographer. You can do that later.
For now, find the nicest, happiest, best quality photos you can of yourself and plop them on your site. Preferrably more than one.
Faux Pas Numero Deux: No Personality
Your About Page is equivalent to your first impression.
It's where I and everyone else who lands on your site starts building an image of you in their brains.
I'm always ah-mazed when I talk to new clients on the phone and they are NOTHING like what I expected from their websites (usually this is a good thing).
Chances are, you're being faaaarrrr too formal on your About Page. (You know this if your entire bio is written in the 3rd person or if you're more concerned about proper punctuation than getting the right "feeling".)
Why not do this:
Turn on a recorder (the one on your smartphone will do). Talk openly about the following things:
- What your business does and why people should care.
- Why you do what you do!
Then, listen to the recording (or get it transcribed!) and start writing down what you say.
Faux Pas Numero Trois: No-thing to do
Let's put ourselves in the chair of a person who is visiting your site for the first time.
They land on your website, look around, and then click on the "about" page.
They're thinking thoughts like:
- What can I do here?
- Where are the goodies?
- Is this a fun place to hang out?
That means, you've got to give them something to do.
Do you have a list of blog posts they should read?
Do you have an entertaining story to tell?
Do you have pictures for them to look at?
Or my absolute favorite... (the next faux pas)...
Faux Pas Numero Quatre: No Opt-In
Again, the people who are on your about page are trying to decide if they like you.
If they do, you've got to give them a way to climb into your inner circle.
Chances are, the people reading your about page are not yet subscribed to your email list.
That means that the About Page is the perfect place to take them by the hand and offer them a spot on the list.
Faux Pas Numero Cinq: No-thing I care About
Yes, dearest. Your about page IS about y-o-u.
But we've got to use a filter here, because it's not EVERYTHING about you or your life's story.
It's things about you that people want to know (or that are really freaking funny).
Not sure what you should say about yourself on your about page?
Make sure that you answer these questions and you'll be all set:
- Why do you do what you do?
- What was/were the biggest turning point(s) in your life that made you who you are today?
- What credibility do you have?
- In what ways can you relate to your reader/client/customer?
- What's unique or quirky about you that reveals a lot about your personality/ your business/ your skill set? (Example, past RBC client Beau Tea Bar creator Marissa Waller told me that she's been reading the ingredients on shampoo bottles since she was a kid!)
But even if you didn't read all of that, the biggest bestest tip I can give you for writing your About Page is this:
Don't worry about tips + tricks.
Let your personality shine.
Show us who you are.
Let us engage with you.
Make us want to know more about you!
Are you happy that you just read that? Please share the joy! (I said please, didn't I?)