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It’s about showing your customers how wonderful they are
Your About Page is where people look to see if you’re their kind of person. It’s a challenge to fit your whole life into a walnut.
Unlike a resume that follows a universally accepted format, an About Page is a blank canvas and all it insists on is that you shine in the hearts and minds of your readers.
How you do this is up to you — much like going up to some random stranger at a cocktail party and small-talking your way into their life in the space of thirty seconds.
Your About Page gives you no recipe to follow. You can talk at length about the squares you knitted for the charity blanket, humble-brag about your knighthood or be funny and cutesy. Your language can be formal or kewl. You can drop F-bombs or be quaint and olde worlde.
The only things set in stone are:
- Your personality is multi-faceted and not all facets can be on display at the same time
- The way to shine in the hearts and minds of your readers depends on the reader
- Your mood’s always changing, and along with it, the facets you want on display change too
Your About page is probably the hardest page to write on your website.
This article helps make it easier.
The purpose of an About Page
We all know product descriptions are supposed to be about the product and your About page is supposed to be about you, right?
If you answered “No,” you’d be right.
Product pages are about how the product improves life for the customer. Whether your product is a toaster or a sewing class, you write to convince and assure that the product will give a person what they want, need, desire, envy, or covet.
About pages are about how you improve life for the customer too. Customers only care about you in as much as what you can do for them.
- Do you share their world vision?
- Do you speak their language?
- Are you their type of person?
Nobody really cares that you’ve travelled the world or dined with Bill Gates. They’re looking for reassurance you’re worth their trust.
- Your travel stories tell them you’re culturally sensitive.
- Your Bill Gates story provides a frisson of surprise because you’ve never been a name-dropper in your social media. They like your hidden depths.
The About page helps people discover the values of who they’re planning on doing business with. It’s often the page people rely on to convince themselves you’re a good decision .
Think of your About page as a sales page where the product you’re selling is you.
A good About Page acts as a filter
Pricing, delivery, and refund policies act as a primary filter to attract buyers who are a good fit.
But these aren’t strong enough filters for service businesses where one-to-one interaction, bespoke designs, or exclusivity is a part of your business model.
An About Page gives you a place to:
- Position yourself for certain personality types, problems, or logistical considerations
- Attract particular ethics and values
- Display a rich background that emphasises your authority and skills.
An About page provides an elegant way to attract people who share your worldview and values, making working together a smoother experience.
Example 1: Little Tree Furniture
Little Tree Furniture sells products handmade from reclaimed materials and has a strong connection to tradition. Their About Page with the white text on a black background is unpleasant on the eyes but if you can get past that, you feel an old-world charm.
- The colour scheme is reminiscent of the early days of the internet which itself is a bit of nostalgia for those of us who remember myspace and getting up in the middle of the night because these new things called email and webchat are so exciting and maybe something has come in…
- The photos are the next thing to catch the eye and they are striking, taking you straight to the handicraft aspects of the furniture. You consider sitting through the white text because you sense there will be poetry in the words…
- If you can’t make it through the white text, then the pictures give you enough of a taste of tradition to make you want to explore the product pages, which thankfully are black text on a white background
- If you do sit through the white text, you learn about the history and values of the founder and the way the company sources its items.
The Little Tree Furniture About Page speaks to a client who values authenticity and looks beyond gloss and a magazine polish. This client is not looking for factory perfection.
The site itself organised and clean and works the way you expect a modern site to work. Nothing is broken.
Example 2: Wednesday Genius
I’m a solopreneur and my About Page is relaxed and minimal with a slightly playful vibe. It mostly attracts two types of clients:
- Thinkers, explorers and tinkerers — people who want to delve deep into their business and their mindset
- The stand-offs — people who provide a brief and step away leaving it all to me.
My About Page attracts people who want to go on a journey. There are not many words on the page, not much is spelt out. There is a filter in place. I’ve co-built 7 figure businesses and know what goes into it so I’m not targetting people looking for a quick fix. I want people to read between the lines a bit.
Some people will hate my page because it’s too simple, too casual, not “6 figure income” enough, but the explorers will book a short call and hire me the same day.
The Filter Philosophy
Everyone that visits your page is not your client. Move away from the fear that some people are turned away by remembering the people you attract are the ones you deliberately set out to serve.
How to write your About Page
The About Page gives people the biggest headache because it feels like you’re presenting your soul to the world.
Treat it as a strategy and break it down into a series of elements. Read section one of this article.
Strategy to an About Page that works
- Who is the ideal client you are writing for? If you’re tempted to skip this, remember that ghosts don’t spend money and only research will tell you if your ideal client exists. Also, it’s easier to introduce yourself to a real person than a scary ghost.
- What is your customer really buying from you. Read this first.
- What qualities does your ideal customer value in themselves and others?
- What physical things have you done or achieved that reflect the qualities in point 3?
- What mood do you want to create?
- What do you want the reader to do once they’ve read the page?
- Do you have photos and images that support your product or services?
When it comes to the actual writing:
- Use language that is similar to how you speak, but better. If you’re sweary in real life and your ideal client isn’t, you’ll need to tone it down. Read point 3 in this.
- Don’t do what everyone else in your field is doing. Boundary interference is real! If you need ideas on presentation and layout, you’ll stay fresh by looking in totally unrelated sectors.
Don’t forget the CTA
I’ve mentioned the CTA in point 6 in the previous section. What do you want the reader to do when they’ve read your page.
Many businesses end the page as a standalone document. I suggest you end it with a clear invitation to subscribe to a newsletter, explore a services page or contact you.
Remember, when you’re at a cocktail party small-talking your way into a random stranger’s life, you don’t walk away abruptly at the end of the conversation. There’s a dance. You tell them it was a pleasure, you give them your number, and leave them feeling good about meeting up again.
Put this feeling into your About Page so even if someone isn’t ready to call you straight away, they’re left knowing the door is always open.
I originally published this article on Medium. Join me on Medium.