August 8, 2019
A Google search leads you to a random website. It’s gorgeous: you love the imagery and the writing actually answers the question that you typed into Google. Or…maybe it wasn’t a Google search that led you to the previously unknown website. Instead, it was an Instagram image, caption, or story that made you want to know more about the person behind the social media account. So…what’s your next move?
If you’re like me, once you’re on a (new-to-you) website, you head straight for the About page. This is where you can learn why the business exists. After reading a website’s About page, you should know whether your initial impression of the business or its owner was accurate. Unfortunately, many business owners “do the least” when it comes to their website’s About page, which can leave the visitor with a negative impression of the business…or its owner! Let’s stop doing that, OK? I’m here to help you create an About page for your website that actually supports your business.
talk about your client’s (or customer’s) needs and how you can help
Business owners often think that their About page is about them. No ma’am: your website’s About page is about your potential client or customer; it’s the place to let her know that you understand her problem and can absolutely help her solve it. Get into a little detail about how you’ll solve her problem: if your client has weeds in her yard, she may want to know if you’ll be removing the weeds by hand or with a chemical; the method you use could affect her decision to hire you. Be clear about what you offer and who it’s for.
Visitors should leave your About page knowing that you’re their person (or not: it’s OK to repel people on the journey to finding your people!). And just as you’d focus on a guest if they were in your home, focus the beginning of your About page on your website guest’s needs or wants.
share your business journey (your why)
Once you’ve shared how your business will help your potential client or customer, talk about why your business exists. You can share this in a few words or a paragraph, but don’t get too detailed because no one cares about every step of your six-year journey until you’re famous (and even then, people’s attention spans can only handle so much!). Please read Simon Sinek’s excellent book Start With Why to learn about the importance of knowing and sharing the reason that you’re in business.
Your story could be the reason that someone buys your product or service instead of another person’s. Humans (generally) want to connect and bond with others and you never know what aspect of your story will connect with someone. The fact that you started baking after you developed a severe allergic reaction to commercial preservatives may be the reason your next customer chooses your bakery over another that also offers sugar cookies.
show your face
This is often the least-liked step, but one that does wonders for your business, especially if you’re a small business owner. Share a picture or video of at least one of the people behind your business because for someone who doesn’t yet know you, an image makes a difference. In addition to the picture of (at least) your face, share a bit about your situation, your passions, maybe where in the world you live—even if you’re a private person, you can share one or two things; it’ll humanize your business.
People are wary of lies and scams, especially online, so many marketing experts talk about the importance of building the “know, like, and trust” factor with potential clients or customers. When you show your face and share details about your life, the people who stick around begin to feel more connected to you. Sure, a scammer could steal images online and pass them off as their likeness, but that behaviour eventually gets found out—please don’t do this! And you don’t have to spill intimate details; you decide how much personal info to share, and you can be vague too (“I’m a wife and mom of two who lives in South America” is better than nothing!).
Make it easy for the utterly charmed to buy from you or hire you immediately
Most people won’t open their wallets the first time they stumble across your website because they want to do some research before making a decision, but every once in a while, someone who’s been following you on social media comes across your About page, falls (more) in love with you, and wants to buy what you’re offering. Immediately. Don’t make this hard for them to do; include a link on your About page to either your shop or your services page. An awesome tip from Jess Creatives is to replace that link with a button (visit my About page to see it in action!).
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE ABOUT PAGE
Once you have the info of your About page sorted, make sure that the writing sounds like you (the way that you talk) or reflects your personality in some other way (in the design, or maybe with that video clip). My voice tends to rise in pitch when I’m talking to people and I’m excitable, so it’s natural for me to use exclamation marks in my writing. There’s no reason that your About page should put people to sleep (“Established in 2015, Betty’s Baking Supplies is the culmination of unflagging efforts to address the dearth of durable baking implements in Arizona…”).
One last thing that must be somewhere on your website is your email address! On some of my websites, my About page is the perfect place for this information, but on this website, my email address is on my Contact page, the page visitors land on when they click on the button on my About page.
your turn: time to take action
If you don’t have an About page, you now know how to put one together. If your website has an About page, compare it to what you’ve just read and tweak it if needed.
Need help copy editing your About page or website to reflect your personality? Let’s talk!
Elevate my writing
Elevate My Writing is a copy editing service for online business owners. You’re the expert on what you do; my job is to take what you write about what you do and polish it so that you make the right first impression and present your brand in the best possible light!