I want to talk to you about your “About Me” page. Would it shock you to know that the lowly “About” page is one of the most important on your site?
Most people, when visiting a website for the first time, will click through to your About page to find out:
- Who you are
- What the site is about
- Learn if there is a real person or company behind the scenes
- Find contact information
And basically see if your personality and philosophy is in line with theirs
These are all important things to consider when visiting a new site. After all, we want to know – and quickly – if we should delve further or move on. You’ve probably looked at your share of About pages, too, so this likely does not come as a surprise.
And that’s true whether the site is selling coffee cups or cat toys or business programs.
Even though we know how important the About page is, it’s still one of the most difficult pages to write. We’ve been taught from an early age that bragging is rude, and your About page might feel like you’re showing off.
Many of us have trouble talking about ourselves at all, we struggle to decide between first person or third, and including a picture? No way! Yet all of those things must be tackled if you want your About page to attract your ideal reader and encourage her to investigate your site – and coaching offers – more fully.
Trust me, I had a hard time putting my about me page together. It took me weeks, several revisions and use of a professional copywriter!
The Real Purpose of Your About Page
Since it’s called the “About” page, you might think a visitor clicks through to learn more about, well, YOU. That is the case, to some extent, but it’s not the real reason they’re compelled to click.
A visitor reads your About page to learn more about what you can do for them.
So while your About page definitely needs to show who you are and why you’re in business, it also needs to encourage visitors to read more, contact you, and maybe even make a purchase. This is how you start to build and communicate your unique brand.
That’s a lot to expect from a single page, but with a little planning, it’s absolutely doable.
Below are the 8 Steps You Need to Take to Take Your About Page from Lackluster to Blockbuster!
1. Take it From the Top
It imperative to feature your about page in all your navigation.
But that doesn’t mean you have to use the “About” title on the page itself.
Just like a sales page – or any page on your website, for that matter – your About page’s headline should compel visitors to read further. Take a look at how Copyblogger.com uses an intriguing headline and image to pique your curiosity and encourage you to read on:
“We Don’t Just Teach Content Marketing… We Built Our Company With It”
copybloggerClearly, if you’re looking for help with content marketing, Copyblogger is the place to be. One look at their About page will seal the deal for frustrated bloggers and small business owners.
So just to be clear, the link in your navigation should definitely say “About Me” or “About Us” or even just “About,” but the title on the page itself can – and should – be something more compelling.
My About Page is meant to appeal to struggling entrepreneurs by telling my story (more about storytelling in a bit) of success, kicking it off with my tagline “Feel the fear and do it anyway” That resonates with my ideal reader.
2. Let Your Personality Shine
It’s important to make sure your reader understands your brand-your unique selling proposition-this tells them exactly what it is that you will do for them and how your services will solve a problem they have. You also want to put plenty of personality into your About page. This isn’t a how-to article with step-by-step (dare we say, “dry”) instructions, and it’s not a sales page with benefit-driven bullet points. It’s YOU.
Your About page is the warm hug you give a new friend when you meet for coffee. Don’t turn it into the guy who straightens his tie and stands up straight and offers a business card instead of a hug. Be friendly. Be enthusiastic. Be exactly who you are.
Naomi over at IttyBiz.com is known for her quick wit and sharp tongue, and it shows on her About page
Her personality does more than shine – it jumps right off the page. If her style resonates with you, you will clearly know it within a few seconds of landing on the page. And if it doesn’t, well, you’ll know that too, and not waste each other’s time.
That’s not a bad thing!
Ideally, your About page will be the perfect extension of your website. Your “voice” should be apparent from the minute someone lands on your home page. Somehow, though, we all get a bit tongue tied when it comes to writing about ourselves.
3. Tell a Compelling Story
You’ve probably noticed a trend recently towards storytelling.
Top business owners both online and off are using stories in:
- Sales pages
- Social media posts
- Video ads
- And just about everywhere else.
The reason is simple: stories are instantly engaging. They compel your visitor to keep reading so she can find out what happens next. Just like a gripping novel, the story on your About page has the power to keep your visitors engaged and wanting to know more.
For your story to work, it must resonate with your ideal client. She needs to either see herself in your story, or see the possibilities for herself.
What story does your About page tell?
4. A Picture Really is Worth 1,000 Words
So you have a headline that compels people to read and a story that resonates with your ideal client. So far so good! But here’s where a lot of people get stuck… pictures.
One look at Marie Forleo’s About page and you instantly know – just from the pictures – what type of business coach she is. She’s pictured hugging Oprah Winfrey, Sir Richard Branson, and Donna Karan among others
A mover and a shaker? Absolutely!
Top dollar coaching programs? You bet.
You don’t even have to read the page to know both of those things.
Take a look at your About page. What do the photos (you do have photos, right?) say to your reader?
If you’re like most people, the photos on your About page are more of an afterthought than carefully selected images meant to enhance your story and attract a specific client. Chances are you browsed through your pictures file or Facebook and chose the ones you thought made you look “thin” or “young” or that you hated the least.
Instead, think about the image you want to convey to your reader. Remember, she’s probably a stranger to you when she first sees your About page, so you want to be sure the photos you choose give the right first impression.
- Are you fun loving and carefree?
- Are you a solid professional in everything you do?
- Do you work from the beach, laptop at the ready?
- Do you love to conduct live group coaching sessions?
- Does family always come first?
All this and more can be expressed on your About page just by choosing the right photos.
5. Professional Headshots
If you take a look at the websites of some of the top players online, you might think that spending hundreds or even thousands on professional headshots is a must have. While expensive photo shoots do lend a solid business look to your About page, they’re not strictly necessary, especially if you’re going for a friendly, personal style.
If you do choose to go the professional route though, be sure to choose a photographer who can capture your personality and style. Ask to see their portfolio, talk to happy customers, read their testimonials, and look for someone who has worked with others in your field.
As with any creative industry, each photographer will have a unique style and way of looking at the world, and you want to be sure your choice is a good match for you and your business – and your potential clients as well.
Snapshots Work, Too
Again, you don’t have to go the pro route. Family snapshots, vacation photos, and even “selfies” can work. Some things to keep in mind when choosing photos though:
Avoid bright sunlight. Squinting in a photo makes you look unfriendly.
If other people are in your photo, you may require a “model release” to publish them on your site.
Smile and make eye contact with the camera
Keep it recent – photos from a decade ago are not suitable, even if you did weigh 30 pounds less.
Your face should be in focus.
Pay attention to what’s going on in the background. Watch for trees that seem to sprout from your head, ugly fences, and other unattractive distractions.
6. What’s Better Than Pictures?
Pictures may tell your story at a glance, but video has the power to turn your visitor into a raving fan. Video…
Creates an instant connection.
Makes readers feel as if they’ve met you in person.
Clearly conveys tone of voice and body language – something even the greatest writers can’t do.
Is interactive and engaging in a way text just isn’t capable of.
Solidifies your “brand.”
With all the great points video has, you might wonder why more people don’t make video the centerpiece of their About page. The reason is simple: it can be tricky to do really well.
Remember, your About page is often the first impression potential clients have of you, so you definitely want to take care with it. A good About page video is:
Short – two to three minutes is idea. Any longer, and you’ll risk your listener clicking away.
Relevant – Remember it’s not about you, but about how you can help your listener.
Entertaining – Take care to let your personality shine.
And perhaps most importantly, a good About page video is produced with the best quality you can afford.
Paul Evans absolutely nails quality, voice, and story in his About page video. Once you start watching, you can’t help but continue. It’s so well done that you’re compelled to learn more about Paul and what he does.
Now that doesn’t mean you have to rent a recording studio or spend thousands on a professional lighting set up and a high-end camera, but it does mean you should take steps to ensure your lighting and sound is the best you can make it.
Natural lighting is best, but like photos, direct sunlight is not the best choice for video. If filming outside, do so on an overcast day, or during that magical time photographers call “the golden hour.”
If shadows are a problem, consider a “fill-in” lighting kit. You can pick them up on Amazon for less than $100, and they can take a so-so video and turn it into a professional-quality shoot on a beginner’s budget.
For top-quality audio, don’t rely on your camera’s built-in mic. Instead, opt for a lavalier or lapel mic. These tiny mics clip right to your clothing and help ensure a much higher quality sound for your video.
7. Go Beyond the Basics – Far Beyond
For most people, this is where their About page ends. Admittedly, it’s a great start. You’ve got nice images, a compelling story, maybe a video or two. Your visitors are engaged and looking to learn more from you.
But what if you could make your About page work harder for you?
- Opt-in forms
- Contact info
- Links to related content
- Things to buy
- Upcoming speaking engagements
- All of these things and more can – and should – be on your About page.
- Opt-In Forms
Of course you have opt-in forms in your sidebar, maybe in your header, perhaps in your footer, and hopefully at the end of every blog post. That just makes good sense for your list building efforts.
But most people do not have one specifically on their About page. We’ve already established that your About page is one of the most visited on your site, so it only makes sense to include an opt-in form (or three or four) on that page as well.
Don’t just drop in any old opt-in form though. Make it flow naturally from the page copy, so it’s a total no-brainer to sign up. Copyblogger pulls this off with spectacular results.
In the page copy, they talk about how the site publishes five or six content marketing article each and every week, and how those articles help readers “understand all the facets of content marketing.” Then they follow immediately with a relevant opt-in form:
Not only have they intrigued readers with the promise of a steady flow of useful information, but the social proof of 185,000 subscribers makes this offer one that simply can’t be passed up. It’s a perfect fit for the About page.
Yes, you have a contact page, and it’s prominently displayed in your navigation right along with your About page link. So why include more contact info here? Because you never want to make your potential clients work too hard to reach you.
Think about it – you’ve drawn them in with a killer headline, shared a compelling story, shared how you can help, and then…
Don’t do that to your readers. Give them all the information they need in one convenient place, and they will thank you with their loyalty – and dollars.
Do you have to provide the whole gamut of options? No. But do include:
- Social media links
- A phone number
- A way to book an appointment with you
- And a link back to your real contact page, where you have a convenient form for the reader to use, is a good idea as well.
- Link to Other Pages/Posts/Resources
Speaking of links, consider this: no page should be a “dead end” on your site. You never want people to finish reading a page (any page) and have nothing to do from there but click the “back” button. Always give them other options.
Drop relevant links throughout the text of the page (such as to your contact page, as mentioned above), but also, be sure to follow your About page content with a list of other things your visitor might enjoy.
- Most popular blog posts
- Your podcast
- Best selling products or coaching packages
- Your resources page
At the very least, provide a solid call to action. You can do it with personality and panache, as Naomi does here, and enjoy the rewards:
Never Miss an Opportunity to Promote Yourself
If you’ve been featured in a magazine, on television or written up in the news, tell the world!
Likewise, if speaking is a part of your brand, be sure to include upcoming engagements on your About page as well. You never know when representatives from the media will come across your page.
Again, don’t make it difficult for visitors to find the information they need. By sprucing up your About page, you can help readers to learn exactly what they need to know quickly and easily, whether they are potential clients or members of the media.
You Really Don’t Have to Go On and On (and On and On)
Having considered all of the pieces that make up a great About page, you might think it’s going to end up being a 3,000-word tome that no one will read. With stories, video, contact information and links to other pages, your About page can quickly grow.
Instead of just adding everything in as if working from a checklist, though, go back to your original plan for your About page.
What does your ideal reader want from your About page?
What do you want your ideal reader to know about you?
With those two things in mind, it should be easier to eliminate the fluff, showcase what’s really relevant, and create an About page that’s perfect for you and your potential clients.