If you are going to write an about page, get ready for stress
There are few things harder, when it comes to managing your own website, than the work that to write an about page that actually works. It seems like the moment you start writing, every voice in your head joins together to stop you. Or maybe it only happens to me. Right?
Writing about yourself is tough – doesn't matter if you're writing for a personal site like mine, or your company site.
Trust me, I know this directly – as I just spent more than a few hours working on my own.
So how do you get out of your head and past your own insecurities?
Let me ask you this. Take your friends. Think about them for a second. Do you have any challenges talking about how awesome they are? Probably not. Watch as I demonstrate this:
Purple Finch Studios – Earlier today I was talking to some folks about awesome Shannon and her team are. What makes them so awesome isn't just the work that they do, but it's the way they communicate – making the complex simple, while keeping the simple things simple. If you need a new website built, talk to them.
Jennifer Bourn – If you're running a digital agency, the first person you're going to hear me reference is Jennifer. That's because she not only spent more than a decade running her own shop, but she's built out systems that agencies use daily to help their businesses grow. The templates, frameworks and automations are incredible.
I have no trouble writing about them. Those are just two quick examples, but notice what they have in common:
- I tell you what they do – one builds websites and one has an agency training program
- I tell you who they're for – people who are non-technical, and agency owners
- I tell you what makes them stand out – simplicity and systems
Writing about yourself is tough
Now, maybe you're thinking I'm going to tell you to simply do the same thing – who you serve, what you do, and what makes you stand out. But the point is, when it comes to writing about yourself, it's so much harder.
So that's why I'm not going to tell you to do that. I'm going to tell you something different.
Ask your friends to do it for you.
Have them send you a quick note about the same. Let me show you how to make the ask.
I'm working on my About Page and it's killing me. I'm struggling to break things down into simple terms that don't make me sound like I'm bragging. Plus, am I really different than anyone else?
Can you do me a favor? Can you send me a quick note telling me what you think I do best, and why you would have no trouble recommending me to others?
And let me know if I can return the favor.
It's not more complicated than that. Ask a friend to help you.
Write an about page with these three steps
In the CopyBlogger post about mistakes people make when writing About pages, my favorite is the final one: thinking that your about page is about yourself. It's not.
So when you work on it, I suggest you start at the end – focusing on how you can help others.
Step One: Start at the End
Write specific ways you can help people. On my About Page, I have a “What are you struggling with?” section. That's where I focus on ways I have helped people in the past. It's at the end of the page, but it's where I start.
I do that because it's not really about me. Yes, it's about what I can do. But it's about the people visiting the site. It's about you. Where you might be stuck. And where I can help you.
Starting there helps me focus on what matters most: you.
Step Two: Find a Photo You Like
I hate this part, because I rarely find photos of myself that I don't critique. And you might be tempted to skip the photo. But here's what you have to know.
Your about page is where you build trust and connection. And a clear and clean photo of yourself helps someone connect with you.
Step Three: Explain Yourself
This is the hardest part, and where those emails from your friends will help. I leave it for last, but it's normally what you'll put at the top of the page.
It's your “why” or motivation. What moves you? What do you care about?
The point isn't to give people your resume. Instead, it's to share a sense of who you are and who would enjoy working with you.
If you read the top part of my about page, you'll see this line:
If you don't enjoy being challenged, skip my blog, my conference talks, my Clarity account and my coaching. But if you want a customized approach to your growth (and not some routine “program” that everyone goes thru), I'm your guy.
If that was the only text on my about page, I might freak out. But it's not. That part about not running a routine program for everyone – that part came from a friend. It's pure gold (because it's true).
Don't forget this last part
I almost forgot this one part, so make sure you don't.
People who come to your about page will likely want to connect with you. So make sure you have a contact form or a link to one so that your about page can generate leads.
After all, that's what you're looking for. A page that delivers results. And the photo, the “why,” the ways you can help people, and the way to reach you will get you that.