In my Squarespace 101 course I am often asked about the About Page and I want to share some of my thoughts here because this is one of the most important pages of your website.
There is a school of thought out there that's promoted by branding experts who recommend to make your website all about your customers, their needs and how you can solve those needs. Which is all good advice but I also see this approach spill into the About Page which many people make about their customers rather than about the business and the business owner.
Do you have a Services or Work With Me Page? That's where you address your customer's needs and your solutions. On your About Page you talk about you and your business. I can’t tell you how frustrated I get when I go to an About Page and all I see is an iteration of my perceived problems and how the business owner is going to solve them. With very little information on them, their background or anything really that helps me connect with them.
The Services Page is about the how, the About Page is about the why. Why are you the right person for the job?
Have you ever done online dating? How would you feel if you read a profile like this:
"Are you lonely and looking for love? Have you kissed a lot of frogs and are you wondering whether something is wrong with you and why you cannot find love? Do you ever binge-eat or marathon-watch Netflix because you're single? Don't dispair, there is hope and I can help! I know what it's like to be in your position and while I am not going to tell you much about myself or why I am qualified to sweep you off your feet, suffice to say that I've been there and I see you and I know exactly what you need. Let me be the one for you!"
I don't know about you but I would not feel very tempted to ever go on a date with someone like this! Yet this is exactly how many About Pages are written these days.
Writing about yourself on your About Page doesn’t mean that your business isn’t client-focussed, it just means that you are a real person I can connect with and trust.
Here are some things to consider when you write your About Page:
- Your educational and professional background. Talk about your credentials and work experiences and why you are qualified to do the job.
- Share some personal information as well. Tell your story of how you got here and what hobbies do you have, where do you live and do you have kids and/or pets? Share at a level that you are comfortable with, for instance if don't want to mention your city, use the state or region. Personal information helps your clients relate to you and that is very important when you are your business.
- Add a nice photo of you! Or a few. It doesn't have to be a professional shot (although great if you have one) but it should be a clear and current face shot. Add photos of the area where you live and even your pets, whatever is personable without being cheesy or inappropriate.
- Tell people what to expect when they are working with you. How do you communicate and solve problems, how do they benefit from chosing you? This is your opportunity to bring in your personality and set expectations.
- Be yourself. While this may seem obvious it's still worth mentioning. Why? Because we are so bombarded with advice these days and there are so many so-called experts who tell us exactly how to do things, that it is easy for our own voices to get drowned out in the noise. When you write your About Page remember who you are and why you are doing this, be honest and passionate and let people see the real you, not the one you think they want to see, or the one the experts tell you to be. Just be you.
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