There are so many important things to include when building your website – but your about page is one of the most crucial.
Your about page is the section that your ideal client will go to when they’re already interested in what you do and want to learn more about the person behind the service or product they’re interested in. They want a reason to like you and a way to identify with you. They want to feel like they’ll make an investment in a person rather than just a product or service. They want to know you are the person to solve the problem they’re having.
Now you know before I give you all the details on what to include on your about page, I have to first debunk a little myth. Your about page IS NOT ABOUT YOU. Sure, you’re going to talk a bit about yourself, but everything you mention should be in service of three things: making yourself seem relatable, demonstrating why you’re the person to help them (aka your unique selling proposition or why they should pick you over someone else), or making your ideal client feel comfortable so they can trust you.
AKA Know, Like, Trust.
Once you have an understanding that even your about page is in service of your clients, including these seven things below will come a lot more naturally.
I can’t believe I have to make a point to say this, but please include a professional picture of yourself where you are smiling and looking at the camera on your about page! Have a friend or a photographer take professional headshots of you that are well done and on-brand for this section (pro tip: do an entire brand photoshoot and hire the experts at WorkPlay).
Often when you’re too close to your business and passionate about your trade (which you should be) it can be hard to quickly and easily explain what you do to others. This is key though. In the great words of Donald Miller, author of Building A Story Brand, “If you confuse people, you lose people.” When someone arrives on your homepage or about page, let them know immediately that they’re in the right place by saying what you do. It is fine to spend a paragraph or two talking about your story or background, but don’t be afraid to use a big, bold, and simple sentence (that someone can easily digest while scrolling) right at the top to let people know why they are there in the first place.
This is great news for those of you not interested in talking about yourself, right?! If you think an about page is just a section for you to brag about your accolades and talk about your family – then you’re missing the point. Sure, it’s a great place to share some relatable tidbits about yourself, but going on and on about yourself isn’t necessary. Most readers will avoid big blocks of text and are looking to instead, gradually scroll the page and skim for highlight information. I personally am a fan of short and sweet about pages. Tell me why you’re the expert, a tiny bit about yourself that makes you relatable, and then get into how you can help me and how I can work with you.
Well, Amanda, if people don’t want to spend the time getting to know all about me on my about page, what should I write? I know, I know. Trust me, your time will be better spent talking more about what you do, who you serve, and how you serve than about your love of wine or your golden retriever. Most people are interested in themselves, their issues, and how their issues can be solved – including the answers to those questions on your about page in a natural way will ensure that your ideal client walks away feeling reassured that you are the person for the job.
One of the biggest and most common mistakes I see service-based professionals making on their website is that they don’t put enough focus on website copy – that is the actual words they are using on their site. Professional website copy that is tailored to your brand voice is a great way to communicate your message, show how you’re unique, and represent your personality. I challenge you to read over the text on your about page and note any times you’re describing your personality to your readers – then go back and brainstorm ways that you can instead show that personality throughout your about page (and the rest of your site for that matter). For example, are you fun and bold? Rather than saying so, make sure your brand feels fun and bold. Use pops of color, bold graphic elements, and maybe even a picture of you making a funny face. Personally, I am classic, I love my family, I love history and poppy flowers. Nowhere on my about page do I mention ‘loving’ those things. Instead, I’ve included a picture of my working, two black and white pictures of me and my family in polaroid graphics, and a hand-drawn poppy element alongside my about page text.
Including some fun elements that allow your reader to get to know you more on a personal level can be a great addition to your about page as long as it fits within your brand. Include a fun quiz where the reader can get to know you better, chat about your favorites, talk up your family, etc… It is a great place to share something a little more personal about yourself – and helps the reader find a way to identify with you too as long as the facts and personal tidbits are on brand and related to your industry. If you’re an adventure photographer – share your bucket list, if you blog about wine – share your favorite wine/food pairings.
When someone reaches the end of your about page, are you leaving them hanging? Too often I’ll read someone’s about page and then be left with nothing to do once I’ve finished. Don’t leave your reader to their own devices. Quickly and strategically prompt them to the next piece of your site that you want them to discover. Do you want someone to contact you, read your blog, or check out your work? Tell them! One of the greatest things about Jenna Kutcher’s website is that she is always leading you somewhere new. Finish reading something, and you’re invited to take a quiz, take the quiz and you’re invited to check out her course, etc… You can easily get lost down a rabbit hole on her site – which is great. She never leaves you wondering “what do I do now?”