OR How to write the perfect ABOUT page

One of the copywriting tasks I’m most frequently briefed on is creating ‘About’ pages for websites. Everyone seems to find writing about themselves an impossible task.

“I hate talking about myself!” they cry.
“I don’t want to sound arrogant,” they whisper.
“No one wants to hear my story,” they mumble.

But actually the About page is often one of the most popular pages on a website. When done correctly, an About page helps establish trust, answer customer concerns, give your site a human face and, if you have one, reveal your personality.

So, here are my top tips on creating an awesome About page:

Rule 1: Have an About page

Not having an About page can make you seem a little dodgy. Are you actually a real living breathing human, or is your website a front for some overseas sweat shop? Often customers want to know who they’re dealing with before they’re interested in what you’re selling.

Rule 2: Include your name

Nope, you can’t hide behind your business name. Yes, you may have called yourself something witty like ‘The Copy Bitch’, but people want to know your real name. If your name is dull or generic, consider adding your middle name. If you do go for a pseudonym, avoid cheesiness.

Rule 3: Include a photo

Photos give customers a sense of who you are and make them feel as if they know you (important in this anonymous online world). Don’t use a cartoon avatar; instead get a professional shot taken. Don’t be shy; you’re more photogenic than you think you are.

Rule 4: Talk you your client

Often when I speak to clients they sound awesome, but on paper they’re about as interesting as a bowl of quinoa porridge. Try to imagine your ideal client is in front of you, what would you say? Remember this is your chance to ‘talk’ to potential customers before you actually talk to them to them in real life.

Rule 5: Videos aren’t enough

Videos aren’t enough. If you’ve made an ‘explainer’ video or a created a to-camera monologue, your job isn’t over. Videos aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, so you’ll still need words on the page. If you do go the video route, keep it short (90 seconds), keep it interesting and include some text.

Rule 6: Cut the waffle

The best About pages only attempt to communicate a few points: who you are and how the user will benefit from using your services. We don’t want your life story or the name of your cat.

Rule 7: It’s not all about you

Although you might think this page would be about you, it’s actually about your readers. Only talk about yourself in the context of how it serves your readers – how can you help them, how can you solve their problems?

Rule 8: Establish trust

To prove your realness, link to third party bio websites (like LinkedIn), include past successes, press articles, awards and even a summary of your education if it’s relevant.

Rule 9: Make it digestible

Break your content up with sub-headers, expandable boxes and bullets. If possible, don’t rely solely on text, but include some graphics or mixed media as well.

Rule 10: Don’t be nervous

It’s 100% fine to blow your own trumpet. If you’ve won awards, say it. If you provide a reliable and efficient service, say it. It’s your website after all. Where else can you show off?

If you’re seriously struggling to say nice things about yourself, use customer testimonials instead. If you feel uncomfortable saying you’re the best copywriter in Sydney, get a happy client to say it for you, and then use their quote on your About page.

Most importantly, when you’re writing your About page try to be yourself. Whether you’re a solopreneur or run an organisation, your brand values are often closely associated with your own personality. Ultimately, people buy people not brands, so be brave and let the real you shine through.

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This article first appeared in Rooar Magazine.

 

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