Do you dread writing your About Page (like you dread cleaning out the fridge)?
You’re not alone.
We all know we need one.
And yes, it’s probably one of THE most-visited pages on your entire site. (Have you checked your Google Analytics lately? Go do it. I’ll wait.)
It’s also one of the most difficult pieces of copy writing you’ll tackle as an entrepreneur.
And with good reason. When you know it’s so important, you see that blinking cursor on your screen and freeze.
You get that people are there because they want to know who they’re about to do business with.
They wonder…Are you trustworthy? Do you know what the hell you’re doing? Do I even like you?
So the pressure to get this right feels HUGE.
But finding the right mix of friendly, authentic and credible?
And understanding how to tell your story while simultaneously making your visitor feel like it’s all about them?
It’s no wonder you’re stumped.
I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that hard.
The Realities of Writing Your Online Bio
First and foremost, know that any writing any of us does never comes out perfect the first time.
You’ll most likely need to revise your About Page at least three or four times before you publish it. And then tweak it again three or four more times after you publish it — per year. So relax. Change happens.
Second, if you approach this project with a sense of play (and without the need to look cool — or uber professional), it’ll be a LOT easier to write something honest and fresh that showcases your talents and your personality.
Again, relax. It’s important. But it isn’t rocket surgery.
How to Create Your Best About Page
I’m not a fan of templates. Anything that requires you to fill in some blanks only takes away your ability to be creative and think for yourself.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t offer you some guidelines and structure, right?
First, gather all the details about you and your ideal clients. If you’d like some help with that, I’ve created a questionnaire I call the About Page Starter Recipe:
Now comes the fun part: Your First Draft!
More than a bio, what you really want your About Page to do is act as a stand in for YOU.
Consider this page a virtual you who stands at the door and welcomes new visitors. What do you do when someone you’ve never met comes to your home?
You greet them. You introduce yourself. You invite them in.
Use Great Photos
Show us your pearly whites. Show us your personality. Use a happy, relaxed and confident picture of you at the top of your page.
Remember, this page is your stand-in. And you can’t have a stand-in without a visual.
Acknowledge Your Reader
This is about helping your website visitor (or ideal client) understand that they’re in the right place.
So start there. Keep just one person in mind as you write.
Acknowledge that you understand what they’re going through and why they’ve landed on your doorstep.
And then humbly offer them some reasons why you might be just the person to help them over their hurdles.
Hint: you can brag about yourself a little, but lean more heavily on testimonials to do the heavy lifting of how truly awesome you are.
The best test (if you’re not sure how much bragging is too much), is to read your copy out loud to a friend. Does it sound like something you’d really say about yourself (with a straight face)? Or does it sound like something someone else would say about you?
If you’re a solo practitioner (or even if you’re not), I highly recommend you write this page in the first person. In your own voice. Using words you’d use if you were actually talking to someone.
When you do that, you make it that much easier for your reader to connect with you (which is the whole darned point!).
And last, this isn’t the place to show us how many big words you know. Or to use snooze-inducing jargon. Or over-the-top hyperbole (e.g. don’t go “amazeballs” on your reader). Use plain, clear language.
That means sharing your multi-faceted self — weaknesses, quirks and all.
Don’t get me wrong here. I don’t mean you should use this as a confessional page. But if you only present your best side, you’ll come off looking like a caricature — or worse: unapproachable.
So pick one or two silly or irreverent things about yourself and work them into your bio. Bonus points if they’re things that your ideal client has in common with you.
Tell us a Story
Why are YOU here? What brought you to this particular place, doing this particular thing?
Your back story (or origin story) is important and helps us get a better handle on why YOU. If you can show us why you’re the hero of your own story, it will help us see you as the mentor or professional we’ve been looking for.
And don’t leave out the emotions. Or the drama. That’s a key piece of every good story.
I often see folks who tell us where they were (horrible, horrible mess) and then tell us where they are now (lollypop land), but never show us how they got there. You can’t live happily ever after without the struggle in between.
Wrap it Up With a Call to Action
Every piece of copy or content you put out there — including your About Page — should end with an appropriate call to action.
Ask your visitors to contact you (link to your contact form), connect with you on social media (link to your profiles), and/or subscribe to your newsletter (include the opt-in form right there).
Don’t assume they’ll do these on their own. A little prompt from you can go a long way.
Have a question I didn’t answer here? Or maybe you’ve seen an awesome About Page out on the interwebs you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
And — If you’d like some private feedback and coaching on your About Page (and perhaps the rest of your site), check out my Content Coaching and Story Coaching programs. Feedback and an objective pair of eyes can be a wonderful thing.