When it comes to writing our own About pages, for some reason, we freeze. Words dry up, you can't remember what it is you sell, you've had four cups of tea while you think about it – then, there's too many words, except, none of them make any sense. You want to communicate how much you truly believe in your business, but then you start crying with the emotion of it all (or are they tears of disbelief that you've been sat at your laptop for four hours, and all you've got so far is, "We are passionate about..."?).
If you’ve got a website, your About page is your chance to tell your brand story, talk about who you are and what you believe in, and let your target audience know they’re in the right place. So much to get done in 500 words!! Oh, the pressure.
In the online world, first impressions count for a lot. So, when someone visits your website, it’s the design, the imagery, the colours and the headings you’ll be judged on first. And that judgement is made in a matter of seconds. If you’ve managed to persuade someone to stick around, it’ll probably be the About page they’ll wander to next. So, it's important that their second impression stacks up to the first impression and leaves them wanting more.
Here’s some tips to help you write the best About page you’ve ever had.
1. Choose an emotion
You know the standard About page: all of the words are in the right places, it’s grammatically correct, flows well, and all of the facts and stated clearly. But, it’s platonic. Monotone. You don’t feel any emotion, and you certainly don’t feel a connection. Move away from the norm – make it your number one priority to ignite an emotion: excitement, empathy, laughter, discomfort, shock, joy – choose the emotion you want someone to feel before you write anything, and seek to do that in your first sentence. Make an impact.
2. Figure out who you’re talking to
Yes. The old target market thing. It’s something I bang on about, but before you write anything for your business – whether it’s a blog post, a social media post, or the content for your website, you really do need to know who you’re selling to. If you don’t, you probably won’t get the right people to respond – if anyone?! So, spend time putting together your audience personas, and build up a clear and articulate vision of your dream customer. Your dream customer is the person you want to work with the most. Your About page should not discount any of your audience personas, but should talk most to your dream customer.
3. Tell your story
If you’ve got an interesting brand story, this is the place to tell it. Or at least part of it. It works for some people, but telling your brand story doesn’t mean you have to talk about what you were like as a child, your hobbies, which coffee you drink, through to the moment you decided to start your business. You can just tell interesting strands of your story – like why it's important that your business exists, or, why you're different to everyone else, or tell the story of where you get your produce from, or who you're helping by being in business. The main thing to remember is that if you’re going to tell a story, make it a really good one. Give it detail, make it personable.
4. But remember it’s not ALL about you
Telling your story is a great tool to get people interested. But, you need to strike the right balance between talking about yourself, and giving your readers the information they need. The most important thing you need to do on your About page is to show you understand what your customer wants or needs, and describe how you can give it to them. Your customers need to know what problem you can take away, or which challenge you can help them overcome. Are you going to help them become more healthy, save them time or money, or are you going to help them make a positive change in the world?
5. Use your very own, very unique brand voice
A lot of people think About pages should sound professional – maybe to give the impression you can be trusted. But, your brand voice is something very special and unique that should be used everywhere, including your About page. Don’t be afraid to be human and real, and to inject some personality into it. If your brand personality includes humour – be funny. If your voice is a bit more soulful, pull it into play here. Your About page should sound the same as all of your other communications. This will really help to build trust, and be more memorable to the cut and paste About pages that are in abundance.
- Introduce yourself! Put up photos of yourself and your key staff members. And if you’re ever going to get professional photos done of yourself, let it be for this.
- Make sure it’s really easy to find. That means don’t give your About page a really creative, but obscure title. And don’t hide the link somewhere that's hard to find.
- Imagery is important. Choose images that fit with your branding and the words you've written. Every image on your website should be professionally produced.
These About pages should be your guiding light:
Thankyou – Count how many seconds it is before Thankyou has told you what its number 1 priority and vision as a business is. About 10.
Vino Mofo – if you read this and don't want to buy a case of wine immediately, I won't believe you.
Frank body - The brand masters of our time, these legends have nailed their About page with a brand voice that is exactly the same as it is on social media. And, they've still covered off all the essential information points without sounding boring.