With a fresh cup of coffee in your hand and your trusty laptop at your side, you prepared to snuggle in and create an About Page for your business that will make your prospective readers and customers giddy with the anticipation at the thought of working with you.
Then it happens…your mind goes blank and your mouth goes dry. What the heck should you say?
After a 15-minute cycle of typing, deleting and staring at a blank screen, you discover that you can’t seem to gather your thoughts and find the right words. Writing about yourself and crafting an About Page is….well…..HARD! Now what??!!
First, let’s clarify what an “About Page” even is. An about page is like an introduction to YOU. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the “what, where and why” of your business and what you are all about.
If you are familiar with offline networking it’s very similar to an elevator pitch; those clear and succinct four lines you utter to introduce yourself and your business that gets to the core of what you are all about It’s the opening information that makes people think or utter, “Tell me more…”
5 Steps to Writing an About Page
STEP 1: What’s Your Elevator Pitch?
So whether you are crafting an About Page, Bio or even introducing yourself at a Chamber of Commerce Meet-n-Greet, you need to think about how you can get your point across and appeal to your ideal client or reader in a thorough yet succinct way.
Start by answering this question: “I am an expert in _______ and I can help people by ____________.”
“My name is Rebecca Flansburg and I am a full-time virtual assistant, writer, and blogger. I work behind the scenes to make your business SHINE.” Or…
“My name is Rebecca Flansburg and I am a full-time freelance writer with an expertise in writing About Pages, Bios, magazine articles and business profiles. I have a knack for telling people or business’ stories in a fun, fresh and conversational way.”
Knowing who you are and what you have to offer is your “hook.” It’s the piece of info that hooks your reader, makes them want to know more and lets them make the decision whether or not YOU are the person they want to work with.
Step 2: LISTENING to WiFM
Those who happen by your About Page are there likely there because they have a need, a burning issue that keeps them up at night and maybe…just maybe…they have stopped by your About Page because they think you are the answer to their needs.
In today’s hectic-fast-paced-world, it’s no secret the readers have goldfish attention spans. They need to be shown quickly that you are not only a reputable business pro, but you are THE business pro for the job. That’s why there is an urgent need to let your reader know what’s-in-it-for-them (WiFM) if they choose to do business with you.
This question goes hand-in-hand with another concern lurking in the minds of your prospective customer, the question of, “why should I listen to YOU? What makes YOU so darn special?” Are you a ___year veteran of sales and marketing? Are you a successful grant writer with over ___awarded grants to your credit? Are you a seasoned magazine writer who has written over___personal or business interviews/profiles? Are you a Social Media Specialist with a core strength in Facebook marketing?
Use your opening paragraph to toot your horn and share how you make other’s lives better with your talents, skills, and expertise.
Step 3: Spell Out How You Can Help
Identify the problem that may be causing your reader distress and share how you are the solution. Example:
“Social media is now considered a critical part of all business’ marketing plan. No longer is social media “something optional;” it is an effective tool on reaching your customers and end users. There are over a BILLION users on Facebook-how many of those users could be your ideal client? The downside is that social media is a notorious time-suck if not used correctly. It also is ever-changing and new updates, rules, and changes can make many business professionals want to snatch themselves bald. As a Social Media Specialist with ___ years of experience, it’s my job to stay on top of the changes and trends so you don’t have to. It’s my job to effectively spread your brand and share your products across the social media channels where your ideal client may be hanging out. Let me do the work so you, as a business owner, author or professional, can do what you do best- run your business and generate income.”
This would be a great place to be specific about your credentials, awards, testimonials, degrees, and skills. Keep it short-n-sweet and bullet points are quick and easy for your reader to digest. Give them a snapshot of your skillset and just show darn fabulous you really are.
Step 4: Put your Best Face Forward:
Now that you have nailed your About Page, let folks see who is behind the magic. How do you do that? With your photo of course. I highly recommend getting at least one professional headshot done and try to keep your styling and staging in line with your marketing (colors, setting, etc). If that is not in the budget, enlist the help of a friend who understands lighting and angles and put your iPhone to work.
Please, please do not use last years’ photo that Auntie Millie took of you at Uncle Dave’s BBQ. Get a REAL professional headshot, one that lets your readers and prospective customer see that you ARE the “real deal.” Whether you like it or not, people will judge you but your photo (or lack of one).
A perfect example would be an online guru that I was very intrigued by a few years ago. He was teaching courses on information that I really wanted to know more about it, and I admired his marketing tactics as well. The problem was, when I went to visit his site and his social media to learn more about him (I want to know who you are before I starting throwing money at you for products or services) the only picture of him I could find of him was with one with him wearing a motorcycle helmet…with the visor down….
As fabulous as this guy may have been, I couldn’t get past that and it actually made me think, “dude, what are you hiding?” Needless to say, I didn’t subscribe to his products or buy his courses.
People want to see YOU. People do business with PEOPLE, not brands or logos. Get a quality headshot and let the real you shine through. I’ve seen bloggers, authors, and business pros also include pictures of their families in this area as well and I think that’s a great idea. Again, it goes back to showing your site visitor that you are a real person and with values, not just a bland brand looking to get into their pocketbook.
Step 5: Call to Action (also known as an Action Step).
Your reader/site visitor has made it aaaaalllll the way down to the end of your About Page. DO NOT leave them hanging! This is the point where you directive, a choice, option, call-to-action or an invitation for a complimentary consultation. Tell them what they need to do:
- Join your email list
- Connect with you on social media
- Grab your free report
- Contact you to see how you two can work with each other.
- Leave a comment below
- “Watch my video”
- Read my latest blog post
- “Email me at____”
Don’t make it hard for them to reach you either. I use a free WP plugin called Vcita that has great functionality and benefits. You can set it up as your Contact page, but also can be set up as a sidebar widget and a pop-up. Interested prospects should not have to struggle or search to be able to connect with you.
I also want to note that sometimes the hardest thing an artist, entrepreneur, or business owner needs to do is talk about themselves. Enlist the help of peers, friends or seek out professionals (like me!) to create a succinct, yet powerful, About Page.