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It’s a common cliche’ to say that your about page isn’t about you, it’s about your customer. While I disagree, it’s not far off.
My philosophy is that your about page is about what you can do for your customer. When someone goes to an about page they expect to learn about you. But they are still there to solve their own problem. So you want to answer a few basic questions for them:
Let’s look at some of the most important elements of your about page. You don’t need to use them all, but use as many as are appropriate.
It’s fine to have “About” as the label in your navigation that goes to your about page. After all, it’s intuitive, short, and expected by your site visitors.
But it’s important to think beyond the navigation label on your site.
If that page shows up on Google what headline do you want to people to see? What might entice them to want to learn more?
If you think in terms of benefits to the visitor you’ll come up with something more enticing than “About me.”
CopyHackers: Helping Great Businesses Build Audiences
CopyBlogger: We Don’t Just Teach Content Marketing — It’s How We Built Our Company
WPEngine: We’re on a mission to help customers win online
Mighty Networks: Created for you and your members to thrive
Like any other content on your site, the introduction is there to hook your reader.
Don’t make the mistake of starting off by talking about yourself and your history.
Context is how I want you to think about the “you” part of your about page. It’s not that your history and experience isn’t relevant, it is, but only in the sense that it tells the reader why you are the right person for them to trust.
Rather than talking about yourself, use the information about you to create the context for them.
Here’s an example from the Copyhackers about page where there is a brief blurb on founder Joanna Wiebe:
I fell into copywriting. Just totally tumbled in, head over feet. I didn’t like the word “copywriter” when I first started – so I went by “creative writer”. Big mistake. That must’ve set me back a good 3 years. Now I know that COPY is awesome, and copywriters are the best-kept secret in the sales and marketing world.
I love her example because it’s brief, talks about her history/experience, and creates context for why she’s great at what she does.
Whether you’re active on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or some other network, your about page is a perfect place to invite people to connect.
If your about page resonates with a visitor there is a good chance you’ll gain a subscriber or follower. This is a high-conversion opportunity to build your network so don’t pass it up on your about page.
While you’re at it, try something more inviting than “follow me” when you invite them to connect.
I’m active on Twitter and usually invite people to “chat with me on Twitter.“
It’s more friendly and speaks to the medium. It also says that you’re interested in building community, not racking up followers.
Having a call to action on your about page is the most overlooked opportunity on most websites.
As with inviting people to connect, if you’re about page is resonating with a reader then it’s only a small step for them to take action.
The most common action I would recommend is having a newsletter sign up on that page. But you might also want to promote a product, service, or course.
You can use more than one call to action but be careful that you don’t turn your about page into a shopping cart. I generally recommend sticking to one CTA.
No matter what your CTA is, if you don’t have one on your about page you’re missing an opportunity.
Your about page is also an opportunity to reinforce other parts of your site that show your expertise.
Some things to considering including on your about page:
No matter what content you highlight, remember to keep it in the context of the about page and whatever you are talking about in a particular section.
If you have a team, even if they’re all contractors, add them to your about page. Be sure to include pictures, names, and titles. You might also want to include links to their social profiles.
If you’re including contractors I recommend getting permission to include them.
If you are just starting out you may not have social proof yet. But if you have testimonials or other forms of social proof your About page is a great place to include them.
Nothing reinforces who you are better than someone else saying nice things about you.
Consider it a pro-tip, but if you’re a speaker (virtual or in-person), do regular interviews on video or audio, or for written publications, include media on your about page that other people can use.
Depending on the nature of your business you might want a separate page for this. At the very least you’ll want to link out to these things from your about page.
Assets to include:
It’s also important to include simple, but clear instructions on how you allow their use.