MARCH 10, 2016 · BLOGGING + BUSINESS, GUEST POSTPinTweetShare
When we’re creating our websites and setting up our blogs, there’s a page that usually gets thrown to the side. Hint: it’s the “About” page.
Now, you might be thinking, “but no one reads it! Why should I bother?” or, “I’ll just whack up a few crazy things about myself and be done with it.”
But think about it. 99.99% of websites out there have an About page. Why? Because, as simple humans, we like making connections with others. To do that, we kinda have to know a little bit about them.
Sites don’t have an About page just for the fun of it. They have one because it’s really, really important if you want people to trust you and invest in your brand or blog.
Oh, and it’s worth me saying now that whacking up a few crazy things about yourself just won’t cut it.
But that’s not the only mistake people make. In fact, creating an About page that “works” (a.k.a. it gets people excited about your brand and invested in you) is on par with calculating a tricky maths equation.
Just kidding. It’s really not that bad. But there are a few mistakes you might be making that are actually pretty easy to avoid.
1. you’re not defining the purpose of your site
There’s nothing more frustrating than turning up on a site that looks awesome and then not be able to find out more about it. You know, like what it stands for, or who runs it, or why it exists in the first place.
People like to know what they’re up against with a website, and if you want people to stick around, you need to state that as early on as possible.
A simple sentence will do. A sentence that clearly states who you are and what your site is all about (and you can also throw in WHO it’s for, for good measure).
Example time. Here’s the first sentence on my about page:
“Wanderful World is a place for creative freelancers to come together and soak up valuable, actionable advice about growing their business.”
Let’s dissect. It clearly says WHO the site is for (creative freelancers) and WHAT people can expect when they’re there (valuable, actionable advice about growing your business).
So simple, yet so effective.
2. you’re being too formal
Us humans are simple creatures and, just like we’re drawn towards friendly people in real life, it’s the same on the interwebs.
We make connections with OTHER humans, not robots or anything in between.
You’d be amazed at the amount of sites I’ve come across where their About page was incredibly stuffy. It was a load of facts and figures, with no personality at all. And guess what? It’s personality that keeps us sticking around.
I know it can be difficult writing a blurb about yourself and your business, because you’re often so over-involved you don’t even know where to start.
To make it easier, you can try the following techniques:
- Imagine you’re speaking to a close friend about yourself and your business. How would you describe it? What EXACT words would you use?
- Tell a friend about your blog or business and then get them to summarise. Usually, they’ll come back with what they thought were the most important parts, so you can learn a lot from their answers.
- Read your About page out loud. As soon as you start putting those words out there in real life, it’ll be super easy to tell if they’re stiff and boring.
3. you’re not inviting your readers to connect with you
I see so many About pages that are missed opportunities waiting to happen. They have a couple of sentences about the blog and the person behind the business, but then it ends there.
What if I want to find out more? What if I have questions?
You want to take your readers on a journey, keeping the movement flowing and channeling them further and further towards your end goal (which might be signing up for your mailing list, emailing you about your services, or simply connecting on social media).
To do this, you need to direct them to the next step of the journey. If you want them to connect with you further, include links to your social channels and ASK them to connect with you.
If you want them to sign up for your mailing list, add a sign up box and an incentive.
If you want them to email you, clearly state that on your About page.
It seems like such a simple action, but so many people don’t even consider what they want their readers to do after they’ve read the About page.
4. you’re not including pictures
Okay, I’ve said it hundreds times already, but I’ll say it once more: people connect with people. If you don’t have any pictures of yourself or your team on your About page, it’s difficult for anyone think beyond the words on the screen.
Faceless brands never do as well as brands that readily put themselves out there and show that they’re human.
The easiest way to do that? Including a couple of pictures of yourself so readers can actually put a face to your name.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or professionally done, just something that shows a clear shot of your face. You’ll probably want to be smiling in it, as this instantly boosts your like-ability factor, and you’ll want it to be on brand, too.
For example, if you run a light and breezy coaching business where you help people boost their confidence in life, you probably don’t want a dark, grainy image of you with your hair all across your face.
Try and think about the message you want to send out to your readers. Are you and your brand fun? Are you corporate? Are you a fashion-lover? You can showcase all of this in one single image.
5. you’re not sharing your story
I’ve saved the best until last.
So, by now, you have a sentence that explains to readers who you are and what your site is all about, an on-brand image of you looking awesome, a call-to-action, and copy that’s friendly and open.
Okay, you actually need to hook readers with your story. We feel drawn to others who share similar backgrounds to us, or people who’s stories we admire – this is where you’ll create the biggest connection with your readers.
Now, here’s the thing to remember. Your story isn’t your life story (please, for the love of everything, don’t have a block of text detailing every single aspect of your life so far).
Instead, you want to cherry pick what I like to call the “moments that matter”. The reason for starting your blog and why YOU’RE the person to write it.
Example time. Let’s take a look at my “story”:
“In 2014 I quit my job and moved to Spain to launch my freelance business, then I returned to the UK to help people like YOU launch yours.
When I graduated I worked in some traditional 9-5 jobs, but I soon felt unfulfilled and kept questioning whether life had anything better for me. But THEN I realised, you make your own luck and adventure, so I took the plunge and hit out on my own.
The result? Better than I EVER could have imagined. Now, I help hundreds of freelancers grow their businesses on Wanderful World, through in-depth actionable content, e-courses, and online workshops. I’m also an AVID tea fan, a lover of country pub lunches, and failing miserably at learning Spanish.”
Let’s dissect. So we’ve got the “before” stage, which is probably the stage most of your readers will be at.
Then you’ve got the “a-ha” moment followed swiftly by the “result”. This is the kind of format you want to aim for, because it’s structured, and shows your readers that you haven’t just magically turned up at the stage you’re at, and that it’s totally possible for them to get there, too.
If your site is a service based one, your “moments that matter” might include when you realized why you loved doing what you do, a success story from the start of your career, or the reason you want to help others with your services.
Hopefully this will have given you some ideas to spruce up your About page and make it into a connection and conversion machine.
Have I missed anything out? What do you think makes an About page so compelling?
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