Business is really a game of communication. Its about saying hey, you’ve got a problem and I’ve got the solution so let’s team up. But we’re a skeptical bunch and we don’t just believe what anyone says. So what do we do? We stalk.
We find out all we can about the person and the business first. And in the online world, that starts with your About Page. When someone new lands on your site, the first page they go to will be your About Page. They’ve most likely seen you on social media but now they want to know a little bit more. They want to know who you really are, and more importantly, if you can help them.
So it makes sense that your About Page needs to be rather excellent. In fact, it needs to make a stellar first impression. Here’s how.
Let’s start with the actual copy, the content of your About Page. It seems like a safe space to start right? It needs to be in two parts:
1. ABOUT THE READER
Yeah, seems like an odd thing to do on your About Page, but believe me: it’s important. People are inherently selfish – that’ ok, let’s work with it. It really means that the whole time someone is trawling your site, they’re thinking:
Me. Me. Me. Me. Me.
Ok, they’re not but subconsciously they’re wondering how you are going to help them.
Who is this chick? Will I like her? Can she help me solve this problem? Can she help me shut my kids up for 10 minutes so I can get work done? Will this help me lose my muffin top? I don’t like boring, I hope she’s not boring. Oh she cracked a joke! HAHAHA I like her. She makes me feel good. Oh, so she has a dog that stinks out the house too!
It’s all me me me me me from your readers end.
Whether it’s through how you help them or, even better, how you make them feel.
So your About Page needs to show and articulate how you and your business is going to solve your readers problem and make them feel exactly how they want to feel.
2. ABOUT YOU
Then of course, there needs to be a little bit about you and your business. Obviously.
But not your whole life story. Just the parts of you that you bring to your business. Because remember, they’re still thinking about themselves. Right about now, they are wondering if they are going to like you. They are wondering if you have experienced similar things. And the thing is – you have. You have developed your business because you went through a problem and solved it for yourself. Now it’s your turn to teach others going through the same problem.
Share this. Share your story. Share how you hit rock bottom and how it felt. Then how you clawed your way up and out. This is where the connection takes place. Once the reader says, ‘Oh, she’s been there too’, the connection has been made.
Then provide a little snippet of the behind-the-scenes. I love this stuff. I want to see the unpolished, real you. I did this by showing a collage of photos. You could share a snap of your family, your ‘before and afters’, or a candid shot of you. Give us a glimpse to show us just how human you are. Because remember: we want to feel a connection with you.
HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD (and shouldn’t) DO
Write in your voice.
Don’t feel like it needs to be super formal. Branding is important and if your brand (i.e. you) is a cheeky, go-lucky smart arse, then truly own it. Write like the reader will be able to read it in your voice. If you’re more of a talker than a writer, then put a video on your About Page introducing yourself.
Be open about the fact you’re a one-woman show.
None of this ‘us’ or ‘we’ business. It’s lame. And inauthentic.
Professional photos are a must.
If you’re the real deal, show us you’re the real deal. A professional photo (or even better, stacks of them) really helps to establish you as a force to be reckoned with. I dig this so much that all my clients now get the chance to have a photoshoot with my go-to photographer, Mon.
Make it interesting.
Spice it up, both verbally and visually.
Verbally, by weaving stories through dot points or by cracking a joke in between some serious ‘hear-me-out’-ness. Everyone has different preferences in terms of how they like to receive information. Some, like me, love it when it’s straight to the point. We love dot points, lists and anything sharp. Others love stories. They love to hear the narrative and could sit there for hours listening (or reading) your story. Others love facts. They want to hear what you did, how you did it and how they can do it. Others want to know what everyone else thinks. They want to see the social proof and want to fit right in. You are going to attract each of these people so entertain them all by providing snippets of narrative, practical advice, social proof and punchy packets of information.
Visually, by changing up font, breaking up text with images, or using icons. Add some columns, maybe a border or two. Make it look visually entertaining.
No essays, please.
The super long About pages are the ones that NOBODY wants to read.
Keep it short. Don’t give us your full life story and your dogs life story and your partner’s life story. Just enough to tell us about you and what you can do to totally rock my life.
Add some social proof.
Share a kind word or two. Or photos of you working with clients. Show that you actually have worked with others and validate the experience. It makes your reader think ‘well, they liked her so she must be alright!’.
It helps to see some great About Pages in action. Use these as inspiration:
- The Middle Finger Project
- Leonie Dawson – I do find this one way too long but it’s different and definitely showcases her unique personality!
- Lucky Bitch
- Tara Bliss
TO BIO OR NOT?
Professional bios are the more formal snippets that tend to articulate all your professional achievements. A micro resume per se. I’ve been asked if this is actually something you should put on your About page and my vote is nope. Nah. Nada. Totes non.
Which may sound contradictory considering a few of the samples above have one on there but hear me out…
Instead of having it on your About Page, I’d recommend you place the professional bio over on a Media Page. The Media Page tends to be more formal. If you look at mine over here, you can see I use it almost like a live resume. I share where I’ve been featured in the media, what speaking achievements I’ve garnered over the years and even a smattering of head shots for people to use. Then underneath all that, I add a professional bio.
Now, I use this Media Page in two ways:
- To position myself as an ‘expert’ and show what media achievements I have earned.
- To provide everything about me for people to use, should they want to feature me on their websites or speaking programs.
For example, if I did a guest post for somebody, I would email my article then a link to my media page for them to pull a photo and the bio. It saves me a STACK of time.
All this would look rather out of place on my About Page. So I have a link on my About Page to my Media Page for those who want to see my credentials and need further proof of my radness.
THE CALL TO ACTION
Funnily enough, people need to be told what to do. We hate making decisions. The less we can make, the better. And believe it or not, there’s a decision to be made when someone has finished reading your About Page.
Do they leave your site? Or do they continue the stalk?
We’re aiming for #2 – so guide them there. Call your reader to actually take the next step.
The first thing you’d really want them to do would be to join your database. Emails are leads and your list is super important. If someone has just read your About Page from top to bottom, there’s a fair chance they liked what they read. So call them to join the family and send them a free gift in exchange for their email.
You could also call them to:
- Read one of your most popular blog posts
- Check out your Media Page
- Read a ’10 random facts about me’ blog post
- Buy one of your books
- Book in a free chat
- Contact you for enquiries
And there you have it. The bones to your About Page. Share your About Page in the comments below so we can get stalking. In a totally non-creepy way of course…