How To Write Your About Page
Finding it hard to write good things about yourself?
Not all of us have Ricky Bobby's ego. If your tendency is to talk yourself down more than up these are a few tips that will help you.
Use The Words Of Others.
An About page can be a little like a testimonial. Testimonials are a great way to improve trust. We always want to use a service if it comes recommended. Additionally, to have it said by someone else can be a great way of avoiding uncomfortable self-promotion.
The IDology About page contains an engaging description of each of the staff. Anna Jones' is captured below. It's not glamorous or particularly special in any way, but it works well.
The Model Shop (I wrote this one) is a typical third person narrative style page. It's clean, simple and works to both describe and sell in a professional manner:
If you're good at what you do, this is the place to say so. We Aussies have a terrible habit of receiving a compliment with words like 'oh, not really, it's a bit of a fluke...' Practice saying what you're good at aloud to a mirror, then to others, then you will be able to write it.
The Vinomofo guys have no qualms in selling themselves. Their own self-assured conviction that what they are doing is fantastic helped my decision to buy from them.
They make a joke of it upfront, then settle in for a long, I'm talking over 3000 words long, interesting story.
Nostalgia is a great selling point for younger generations. Just think of all the retro hipster labelling, fashion and advertising all around. Who under 30 doesn't want to be sitting on top of a seventies Kombi Van watching the surf on the Mexican coast sipping a Corona? Their About page is selling a lifestyle: "Corona is more than just a beer, it represents a philosophy of living."
Social and environmental responsibility also matter to everyone, especially those younger than X Gen. Who Gives A Crap sell toilet paper. Their About page tells how they fell in love with toilet paper when they realised how many had no access to a toilet and the company was founded to create change and help. They have fun with every aspect. The images and text all point to lovely young people making a difference.
Get Comfortable With Your Good Side
It seems to me incredible how others can get a feel for who you are professionally better than you can yourself - and I include myself in this. It's not incredible, in fact. It's a result of confirmation bias, where what you've grown to believe is influenced by your views. For many of us our view of ourself is skewed by past real or imagined slings and arrows of misfortune. It has a way of sneaking in to our self-description, whether we want it to or not.
Talk to someone who knows you well and ask them what they like about you. Look inside, learn about yourself. You might think your About page has nothing to do with this, but self-knowledge helps you create content that is authentic. Authenticity has become a buzz word, which is irritating because it is so much more than trend. IDOLOGY's Caroline McHugh did a wonderful TED Talk on this called The Art of Being Yourself. It's 25 minutes well-spent.
Help is always out there. If you want a first person narrative and you're just not up to singing your own praises, an experienced copywriter (I happen to know a good one...) will do it for you. It's an important page. If writing is not your strength, it's worth the money.
Learn From Those Who Know and Be You.
Read blogs like Moz Blog who's savvy people really know their stuff. They talk about using testimonials and other forms of media, all good stuff.
If you write it yourself make sure you have another pair of eyes to critically read and edit your words. Be yourself. Feel free to be funny if that's who you are. The more your true self is allowed to peek through this page, the more authentic and therefor trustworthy it will be.
You're good at your job. If you're not good at what you do, sort that one out before you tackle your About page.
About Pages Get Seen.
Your About page is a major part of your website. You might think out of sight out of mind back there away from the front page of your site, but people want to know who's behind that front page; who's behind what they are considering buying.
Joe Coleman is a copywriter in the UK. On his About page there is a sliding scale the reader control for Less Hard Sell to More Hard Sell. Have a look and try it out. The photo below shows where you land which is just into the 'less hard sell' side. It's brilliant. His About Page is his landing page, also a good idea for this type of service.
You don't need to be as clever as Joe Coleman or as bold as Ricky Bobby, you just need to be honest and bring forward your best.
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