A lot of people coming to your site will want to learn more about you. What they read can make or break your relationship with them. Your “About page”, often neglected or quickly added is usually only an afterthought. It can be one of the most effective and influential pages on your site.
Are you putting off writing it? Worried that it’ll be awful? Uncomfortable talking about yourself? You’re going to have to get over it.
You’re running a business (or at least you want to). You don’t have the option anymore of not talking about yourself and what you’re working on. You have to be able to talk about yourself and you have to be interesting.
Down below, I’ll give an exact outline that you can use for your About page. But first, let’s cover some general “good writing” advice. You can apply this everywhere you need to write copy.
Good Writing Tips
Don’t Try To Be Too Clever.
Call the page what it is. It’s about you or about you and your team. So call it your “About” or “About Us” page. Don’t go for euphemisms or clever wordplay. Be direct and concise.
This advice goes for anytime you’re talking or writing about yourself and your business. Talk about it, not around it. Tell people what you do and who you do it for.
Be Direct. Speak To Your Readers.
We’re all working on becoming better writers (at least we should be). Your About page should be the best writing you can manage. Think about what kind of impression you want to make. Do you want people to take you seriously? Are you running a fun company? Are you laser focused on achieving results for your customers?
Start with the end result and work backward.
Use Your Own Voice
Skip the pretentious words. Get rid of the vague expressions. Just write.
If this idea is unfamiliar, imagine that an old friend heard you were running a business and might have a business opportunity for you. Your friend sent an email and needs a better idea of what you’re doing and who you’re you’re doing it for. You’re not writing a sales pitch or asking for a favor. You just need to write a friendly reply.
Write your About page like you’re writing to your friend. This will be your voice.
Start With A Content Template
You can take a lot of the pain and struggle out of writing web copy by starting with a content template. Templates are a great way to organize all the information about a web page before you start writing.
Let’s Get Started With Your About Page
Answer these questions to build a structure for your About page. We’re going to walk through each step. By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how to write the best page possible.
1. Who Are Your Customers?
This is number one for a reason. The first question you should ask yourself any time you sit down to write is “who is this for?”
You’re trying to communicate ideas and concepts to a specific group of people. Essentially, you’re trying to take an idea from your head and put it in theirs. You want them to understand what you’re trying to say.
To help with that, you need to understand them as much as you can. Since you might not know any of your readers or customers personally it can help to create a persona or avatar of your ideal customer. This persona is a short biography of an imaginary person that has all the qualities of your perfect customer.
Think about those hard nosed FBI agents in that great television show. They’re trying to catch the serial killer before he strikes again. To track him down they create a criminal profile. In that profile, they include everything they know about him. Then they use all that information to predict what he’ll do next.
That’s pretty much what you’re trying to do. You want to understand your ideal customer so well that you know what kinds of problems they have, what they want to read, and, ultimately, what they want to buy.
Let everyone know who you want to help or serve. Make it crystal clear so that your perfect customers will know they’re in the right place! Let them know that they’re exactly the people you’re looking for.
Are you thinking about all the people that might feel excluded? Good. You want to exclude them.
They aren’t your customers. Take every opportunity to save yourself from going down dead ends with people that aren’t a good for your offer.
2. What Value Do You Give Your Customers?
Let’s eradicate a common misunderstanding from the beginning. You might think that your About page should be about you but that’s not what people are looking for. What they really want is to know what’s in it for them.
Your About page should be about your reader or customer. Remember that they’re thinking about spending money and time. They might need some convincing that spending it on you will deliver the results that they want.
Your customers do want to know about you. But they’re not driven by idle curiosity. They want to know how you can help them.
Before you start writing your About page, make sure to have a clear idea how you’re going to serve your customer. Be specific. You might want to include details about how you’ve helped other people with this problem. Make it easy for your customer to believe they can get similar results.
3. Tell The Story Of Your Business
There’s more to the story of your business than just a bio. Your business story should never read like a resume in sentence form. By the time you finally get to the interesting parts, everyone will be dozing off. Capture the attention of your audience and keep them coming back for more.
Your business probably had plenty of ups and downs. There might have been moments when you couldn’t imagine it getting any better. There were also probably other times when it looked like it was going to all spin apart.
Pull out the parts with the most drama. These are the parts that will help you connect with your customers no matter what kind of business you have.
Niel Patel from Kissmetrics recommends that you discover your company’s origin story. Make it easy for your audience to relate to you. Don’t shy away from your company’s more humble beginnings.
4. Tell Your Own Story
Just like the story of your business, you need to tell your own story as a professional. What drove you to do what you’re doing? You had to learn how to do what you do somewhere.
WHY did you take the time? Seriously, I’m sure you’ve had to put in long hours and made more sacrifices than you can count. You must have had something driving you. Let your audience know about your passions and your values.
PRO HAPPINESS TIP: If money was the only reason you can come up with then you should think harder because you either don’t realize your true motivation or you’re in the wrong business.
Now put your story in the context of your motivation and tell your audience about all of it.
5. Use Compelling Photos And Graphics
Unlike writing your About page copy, getting your hands on high quality photos of yourself might require some help. Do your best with the options you have. When your budget is tight, then a couple shots of you in a well lit environment will do ok for now. Don’t let perfect become the enemy of the good.
If you have more spending money then check out what photographers you have locally. Ask them to send you their portfolio and some references from their past clients.
Give your audience something to do after they read your About page.
What do you want them to do next? That depends on your goal for your website and the About page in particular. Are you trying to get more people on your email list? Sell a product? Boost activity on your Facebook page or Twitter profile? Drive more traffic to your blog?
If you’ve done your job well, your audience should be ready. The About page is a great place to put a call to action to your offer. There should be at least one call to action at the end of the page. Depending on how much copy you have, consider placing calls to action in other places on the page too.[author title="About the Author"]