August 10th, 2015
Almost every single one of my web copy clients have highlighted their ‘About’ page as a key area for improvement. Why? The simple fact is that most of us have a really hard time writing about ourselves – myself included. I’m a writer and my own About page was – by far – the most challenging part of my own site to write. It’s difficult putting yourself out there, in your own words, no matter who you are.
Which is why, even if you write the rest of your site’s copy yourself, hiring a professional to help you with your About page can be well worth the investment. For the rest of you DIY-ers, here is my comprehensive guide for creating an ‘About’ page that says what it should and strikes the right balance between personal and professional.
Include the following information:
- Let your customers know they’re in the right place. We do this by acknowledging their concern. You might be surprised to read this – after all, isn’t YOUR About page about YOU? The truth is, not really. Like all the other pages on your site, your About page’s job is to engage your customer – to make them feel like you ‘get’ them, and that they’re in the right place. Not doing this at the top of your most-visited page is a missed opportunity.
- Re-assure them that you can help, and tell them how.
- Give a quick run-down of what you do and how you do it, maybe with a link to your ‘Services’ page.
- NOW, tell them a bit about you. Talk about yourself and tell your story, but keep details mostly focused on what led you to the business and why you do/love it. Don’t be afraid to let your passion come through – we all want to work with people who love what they do!
- Tell them what to do/where to go next. Hopefully when they get to the bottom of the page, they’ll be wanting MORE. Give it to them – direct them to other pages on your site they may want to read, invite them to sign up for your newsletter, and/or tell them how to get in touch.
- Include a pictures. Always always! A photo is non-negotiable. (Sorry.)
- Keep paragraphs short and sweet – it makes for easier reading, and you’re less likely to lose people.
- I usually recommend writing in the first person (which is when you use “I”, as though you’re talking about yourself), especially for businesses of a personal nature (that’s you doulas, therapists, and photographers). But using the third person isn’t wrong. If it’s feeling awkward writing in the first person – which it sometimes can if you’re trying to share positive comments about yourself, or listing awards, etc. – flip it and try the third person. It might just work better. It’s not quite as conversational and personal, but it can still be a great About page.
- In paragraph #1, I acknowledge my target customer’s issue/concern.
- In paragraph #2, I re-assure them they’re not alone and it’s ok to get help
- In paragraph #3, I tell them that I can help, and how
- In paragraphs #4 and #5, I talk about myself, being mindful to keep the details relevant, but not being shy about saying why I love what I do.
- In paragraph #6, I give them lots of options for next steps: sign up for my newsletter, read more on my site, or contact me.
- (And yes, there’s my mug smiling back at you.)
It’s concise, doesn’t say more than it needs to but gives the full picture, all while putting the customer front-and-centre. Hope this example, and my tips above, have helped you think through your own About page content. If you’re still feeling icky about it, you know where to find me!