You don’t want to let your customers down by not posting an informative ‘about’ page. It’s where they connect with you and learn why they can trust you.
There are so many people who write lengthy essays about their childhood and biography, throw them on their About page with a vaguely relevant image and call it a day. In reality, it is almost impossible to convince anyone to read such lengthy essays.
WHAT IS THE POINT OF HAVING AN ABOUT PAGE?
Others believe that no one will ever read their About page in the first place, but that is also a false assumption. Even though your industry may vary, chances are your customers will want to learn more about you. This is either out of interest or a desire to know more before they contact you or purchase from you.
This is especially true for service businesses, such as photographers, designers, and coaches. A person who is about to spend a great deal of money with you or work closely with you would certainly want to know all there is to know about you, and trust you implicitly.
An About page for product businesses is still important, particularly for boutiques and smaller independent shops. You are likely to receive business from customers who want to support small businesses and indie brands. In addition, these customers may be interested in the story/heritage behind your product.
1| INVITE THEIR ATTENTION WITH A TEXT THAT IS CLEAR AND BOLD
You want to make that first headline count because people will look at the very beginning of your About page to determine whether or not it’s interesting enough to read further.
In order to draw people’s attention, you should create a sense of intrigue, as this will compel them to read further.
2| DON’T SPEAK AT YOUR CLIENT, SPEAK TO THEM
There is a phrase you may have heard that says, ‘Your About page isn’t about YOU, it is about THEM’ – it might sound cliche, but it is so true. When you want to create a connection that makes people think, ‘this person truly understands what I want,’ you must demonstrate how well you understand them by empathising with them.
If you were at a networking event and met someone that you wanted to do business with, but they would talk about their background and year-by-year life story relentlessly, you would feel a bit put off. Similarly, you should make your About page more conversational. Some ideas are:
- The use of rhetorical questions
- Address them directly in the second person (i.e., by using ‘You’ in your writing)
- Discussing current problems they may be facing
- Mentioning how you may hold the solution!
All of this requires that you know who exactly your target audience is, and what their specific problems are in relation to your business.
Jen Carrington’s About page is very interesting to read! By asking questions and making it really interactive, she creates a conversation with people.
3| WRITE IN THE FIRST PERSON USING ‘I’ AND INCLUDE YOUR NAME
You should always use ‘I’ on your About page if you are a solo business owner or freelancer. Your About page should be viewed as a conversation, and it would be a little strange if you used anything other than ‘I’ to talk about yourself in a real conversation, wouldn’t it?
Why not write in the third person?
Making use of your name on your About page (e.g., ‘Rosanna has worked with clients such as…’) makes your page seem more like a CV. There’s nothing personal about it – it’s like someone has written an unpersonal bio for you, and it’s impossible to convey any sense of personality in this way.
Can’t we just say “we”?
When there is only one of you, using ‘we’ as part of your business name will actually make people trust you less, rather than more, as opposed to your competitors who have more employees. Your customers will be smart enough to figure this out. There is nothing more obvious than when freelancers and solo business owners try to appear larger than they are, and it looks bad – in fact, it looks deceptive, which is the opposite of what you are trying to do to build trust with your clients.
Be proud of the fact that you are small and that there is only one of you! You will stand out from your larger competitors, and customers will gain many benefits from dealing with a smaller company. They will feel good about supporting someone, communication will be easier, and in many cases freelancers are cheaper because they have no overheads, employee costs, or VAT. Be proud of it!
4| SPECIFY YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS (AND MAKE A POINT OF IT!)
On your About page, you should proudly display any relevant personal, professional, or business achievements, as this gives you a sense of authority and builds trust with customers. You might consider displaying:
- Awards you have received
- Publications that have featured you
- Your most important projects
- Impressive work statistics
- Big clients you’ve worked with in the past
Be as specific as possible if you choose to include any of these (again, this builds trust and shows you’re not lying).
Olivia Bossert’s top clients and press features stand out on her site, and I love the way she incorporates video!
5| INCLUDE TESTIMONIALS AS ‘SOCIAL PROOF’
It is perhaps the most effective way to build trust! You are probably less likely to book a hotel that has no reviews than one with many positive reviews, as it has basically been proven to be a great experience.
As a newcomer, it can be difficult to get testimonials and social proof, but by giving away a few products in return for reviews, or by doing pro bono work in exchange for testimonials, you’ll soon begin to accumulate content for this section.
6| CELEBRATE YOUR HERITAGE OR ORIGIN!
Tell your story if you have a business with a fascinating history. Storytelling about the business’ history and heritage can be a great way to connect with customers and provide a sense of authority (for older businesses).
It goes without saying that everyone loves rags to riches stories! Your business might have started from nothing as a student, but if you’re sitting in a professional studio with an assistant and a new car now, it must mean you’re doing something right. When you talk about your past and where you’ve come from, people are more likely to relate to you and show their passion for you. Make sure, however, not to ramble, keep it brief and sweet so people don’t get confused…
7| BE SURE TO HAVE YOUR PHOTO OF YOURSELF
This is a crucial step, and I know it’s something you dread, but in order to build trust and a connection with your customers, they need to see your face! In the case of photographers, coaches, designers, lawyers, accountants, etc., where you work very closely and often quite personally with people, knowing your appearance is crucial to your clients trust. It’s very hard to trust someone when you don’t know what they look like.
There is nothing wrong with adding a few casual, less professional photos of yourself (another way to be relatable and build a connection), but you should have at least one professional photo of yourself – not just for your website, but generally! It is worth your time and money to find a professional photographer who has a style that reflects your brand.
8| FEATURE SOME DYNAMIC/DIFFERENT MEDIA
While a photo of yourself and some text can be enough, it’s great if you can also include other types of media. Examples include:
You could add a business/promotional video to your About page to make it more dynamic. Alternatively, you can record a video of yourself with similar content to the text that appears on your About page. This can be another really good way for people to get to know you better.
BEHIND THE SCENES
When you hire a photographer for headshots or portraits, it’s a good idea to ask them to capture some images of you working or of your workspace behind the scenes. Customers will gain an extra perspective from this.
You can spice up your page with this fun little technique! This isn’t something I see often, but if your brand has a lot of personality and fun it can be a great way to convey this.
Including an illustration on an About page is a great idea for creative businesses. Hand-drawn cartoons and imagery show off your creative side and are very personal.
What if you included a timeline graphic to illustrate your company’s history and key dates? Keep it all as concise and relevant as possible to avoid going off-topic.
Jenna Kutcher’s About page is great! The handwritten elements on the ‘quiz results’ section really make the page more personal.
9| INCLUDE YOUR LOCATION, BUT SAY IF YOU WORK NATIONALLY/INTERNATIONALLY AS WELL
The location of your business is important to your customers, and it can be frustrating if you can’t find it anywhere on the website! When you’re a ‘location-dependent’ company with a physical store, office or studio, it’s helpful to include your location on your contact page and in your footer, but even if you’re largely online, you should include your location anyway.
10| USE PDFS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
If you want to add more information to your About page, add it as a downloadable PDF. The same applies to a biography or lists of achievements/features that you believe may be relevant to some visitors, but may not be something everyone will be interested in. The best way to solve this issue is to create the information in a PDF format, and include a link or button on your About page that allows people to view more information if they wish.
Joe’s About page on The Body Coach, despite being brief and sweet, the call to action at the end is very clear. The reader knows exactly what he wants them to do!
11| TELL THE READER WHAT TO DO NEXT
You should have a clear Call-To-Action (CTA) on every page of your website – a next step you want people to take. The same goes for your About page. There might be customers who read your accolades and testimonials and are excited, but when they reach the end, they don’t know what to do next. Make sure you direct them!
What is the purpose of your About page? Once you have earned people’s trust, what would you like them to do? You might want them to sign up for your newsletter, buy a product from your store, or contact you about collaborating.
However, consider the journey your customers take on your website. If your About page is one of the first pages they see, you may want to direct them to your ‘services’ page so they can learn more about how you can assist them.
Once you decide where you want them to go next, make it clear by adding a button or a sign up form on the page.
CHECK YOUR ABOUT PAGE NOW. ARE ANY OF THESE ELEMENTS MISSING? DON’T WAIT, IMPROVE IT TODAY!