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Thursday
Feb132014

Are you guilty of these 5 About Page Faux Pas? Naughty, naughty.

About pages.

 

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?

 

No one is never going to be as curious or engaged with your website as they are THE FIRST TIME they land on it.  

 

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:

 

BE YOU.

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?)

 

Thursday
Feb062014

7 ways to look more pro without spending a single cent.

Ah, the infamous Catch-22 of starting a business!

You can't get clients because you don't look "letgit", but in order to look more "legit" you need the money from clients.

What to do...what to do...

I have an idea!

There's several things you can do to tweak both your online presence and your daily life to become more of a pro. We're talkin' FREE, baby.

 

 

Here are seven lovely ways that you can look (and feel) like a money-makin' pro before you ever land a client.

 

(Meaning, if you already have clients and you haven't done these things, it's time to re-consider!)

 

#1. Use the same professional photo on all social media sites.

 

You know how cartoon characters always wear the same outfits?

 

(There was an episode of Pepperanne—yes, I just referenced Pepperanne—where she opened her closet to reveal several of the same outfit which even my 10 year-old self always found humorous).

 

Like Pepperanne, you need to “wear the same outfit” online your social media profiles and website.

 

Ladies – this is especially true if you change your hairstyle every time it rains like I do. Choose a photo or two that you love and be consistent. Or else your peeps won’t recognize you.

 

Go ahead and update your:

 

  • Facebook Page
  • Twitter Profile
  • Gravatar (this shows up when you comment on most blogs or sites).
  • About Page/ Website
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

 

As you’re growing your audience, people will recognize you faster and thus like you more if you use the same photos (with the same hairstyle) in all of your online presence.

 

 

#2. Blog, Vlog, Tweet, and Facebook consistently.

 

Hell, whatever you do, do it consistently. 

 

Clients often ask me how often they should update their blogs.

 

My answer is always the same: Weekly.

 

Especially in the beginning.

 

Do I always blog weekly on the Rule Breaker’s Club?

 

No. You caught me!

 

But I do my best. The times where there’s a RBC drought arrive when I’m swamped with client work (money-making work has to come first).

 

However, you better bet that I know the consequences of not blogging consistently. Consistent blogging builds trust with your readers. They know that they can depend on you and will be more likely to bite on your products and programs, too!

 

 

#3. Put some damn pants on.

 

This tip is more for you than it is for your public relations. 

 

I totally get your resistence to putting on real pants. You like wearing pajama pants to work. (Me too! Mine current ones are pink.) Not having to get all dolled up is one of the well-known perks of working for yourself.

 

However, let me just say:

 

If you’re feeling like you need an injection of professional sauce in your life, you’ve got to put your pants on. 

 

Wake up in the morning and behave as though you are going to a job (a fun one!). Take a shower, for Christ’s sake. Brush your teeth. Then put some clothes on that you’d feel proud to leave the house in!

 

No – you don’t have to wear pencil skirts or suit jackets. (However there’s something quite dapper about an entrepreneur who gets snazzed-up to work from home).

 

The point is, you need to feel like a pulled together human being—like someone who could walk out in public and wouldn’t mind running into her ex boyfriend.

 

Go forth and conquer!

 

 

#4. Clean up your workspace.

 

Riddle me this:

 

Would you be comfortable bringing a client to your current office?

 

Would you be proud to show off your computer desktop?

 

If not, it’s time to clean it up! (I showed you how I organize mine, here).

 

Again, if you’re like me, not many people other than you (and your cat, Phil) will see where you work, so this tip is for your own personal psyche.

 

(Though I think Phil would even appreciate a uncluttered working environment).

 

Again, I’m not exactly a candidate for the “World’s Cleanest Office” award. But if you want to see how I cleaned up my workspace, why not check out my article, “5 Steps to a Simplified Home Office”.

 

 

#5. Take an hour to sit at a table to eat your lunch like a proper human being.

 

This is my best, strangest tip for avoiding burnout, being more professional, and striking that elusive “work-life balance”.

 

Sitting down and eating like a civilized human being is a lesson that I picked up while living and working in France for two years.

 

Don’t worry, I’m not going to go on an annoying rant about how when I lived in France the people there always sat and ate their meals like proper human beings.

 

(Ok, maybe a little bit).

 

Here it goes:

 

IN FRANCE, PEOPLE SIT DOWN AND EAT THEIR MEALS LIKE PROPER HUMAN BEINGS.

 

So so so many of us focus on our businesses 24/7. We set yearly goals for our businesses instead of for our personal lives. (I definitely spent more time working on Leonie Daweson’s Amazing Biz Workbook than the Amazing Life one!)

 

You’re not just a business bot. You’re a human. And you need to take care of your human self, too.

 


You don’t have to eat anything schmancy for lunch, either. I personally have 3-5 lunches that I rotate as not to get bored. Usually, my lunch consists of leftovers from the previous night’s dinner.

 

You do, however, need to learn how to transition from work to personal life and back to work again. Pros know how to do that!

 

 

#6. Schedule your week ahead of time.

 

Bingo! Here it is! THE BEST TIP EVER FOR GOING PRO:

 

Tweet it out to alert the media:

 

Wanna play with the pros? Schedule your week ahead of time. Not on Monday!  

 

I’ve tried approximately 4,782 scheduling systems. I wrote about my favorites, and I even have a new tip to share with you.

 

I borrowed this tip from manifesting maven Denise Duffield Thomas and it works beautifully. (This is especially wonderful for those of us who prefer writing things on paper instead of on the computer).

 

I purchased an empty monthly calendar from a cutie patootie stationery shop in Montreal. But instead of using it as a monthly calendar, I use it as a weekly to-do list. Here’s what it looks like:

 

 

 

I fill out the to-do list calendar every Friday for the next week. Because my tasks are categorized, I make sure to do tasks in every portion of my business, which keeps me from focusing too much on Marketing and forgetting about Finance, etc.

 

You can get creative with this by using a dry erase board or even making your own chart. Do whatever works for you, darlin’!

 

 

#7. Get yourself a proper Work With Me page.

 

When hot new readers land on your website, is there a page where they can go to find out what you do?

 

Is it even clear that you’re a business owner?

 

You need a proper Work With Me Page.

 

If you want, we can work on it together (though that’s not exactly free, it’s highly highly worth the cost).

 

But I also offer lots and lots of free resources for creating professional, woo-worthy copy for your website. Snatch up your copy here.

 

Did you have a nice time reading that article? Other people will too, don't you think?

(And hell, I certainly appreciate every single share).