Ah, the good ol’ About page.
Written by many, misunderstood by more.
A startup, consultant or entrepreneur’s About page copy is more important than most people realise.
The humble About page gets viewed more than most pages on the average website – often coming second only to the ubiquitous homepage…
If a prospect is even considering becoming your customer, there’s a good chance they’re gonna take a peek at your About page at some point…
Even if it’s just to make sure you’re not a total nutbar.
So why are they so often neglected, a mish-mash of randomness, like the front yard of that ‘eccentric’ shut-in who lives near your parents?
I’m not sure…
But I think that too often, we’re not sure what kinda content belongs on our About pages.
It’s worth fixing ’em up though. Because they can be a power for good.
(If, by good, you mean: it gets sales, leads and sign-ups.
And in my world at least, those things are very good. Like, Guinness-flavoured chocolate ice-cream good.)
As a supporting player to a landing page or kick-ass homepage, your About page can be an essential part of your online lead-gen.
So isn’t it time you gave your About page a little lovin’?
Here’s a few ways to breathe life into your About page – and make it more than just a showcase of your love for your pets.
Slashing The “So What?” From Your About Page
Whether you’re a startup, corporation or solopreneur, your site visitors need to know who the hellz you are – especially before they buy anything from you.
And your About page is the perfect place to answer some of their questions.
Like: “So what? Who are you to tell me what to buy? Huh? Punk?”
(Ok, they’re not all this aggressive, don’t worry. But they are all skeptical, to some degree.)
So it’s also an ideal opportunity to switch the focus to talk some more about everyone’s favourite subject – themselves.
Or at least how you can enable them to be better versions of themselves.
Because if a visitor clicks on this page, they’re interested in you… they want to hear more than what they’ve read on your entrance page (landing or home).
But usually, that curiosity is fuelled by a desire to know more about what you can do for them.
That’s why on my own About page, I focus right away not just on what I do, but on how it helps my clients – rather than talking about my love for Wooden Shjips or my dog, for instance.
(Besides, I don’t have a dog. Or a cat.
Wooden Shjips records are all the pets I need. Which – I’m told – is odd.)
The goal is to keep the focus on your reader, while explaining the concepts and principles behind what you do, and how that helps them.
Then it’s time to move on to the next stage:
Throwing Down Some Social Proof To Establish Authority
Folks need to know you got game.
And your About page is where those folks come looking for evidence.
On mine, I try to do this briefly, with the focus still on WHY my skills are are beneficial to the reader:
So, I mention my Conversion Copywriting Certification from CopyHackers, and include a quick ‘What clients are saying’ section highlighting some of the services I offer (sales pages, landing pages, emails and copy optimization) to build a sense of authority.
This trumpet-blowing isn’t because I’m one of Mr Lebowski’s Little Achievers… far from it.
(I’m as much of a stranger to the ol’ trophy cabinet as The Dude up there.)
It’s simply because the good people considering hiring me need to know I’m up to scratch.
Listen: that weird, cheesy feeling you have when you start talking about how great you are? We all get it.
And you owe it to yourself to just push on through it.
Because your About page is where YOU start to take shape in the reader’s mind.
Not as an app, or a widget, or a solution… but as YOU.
It’s where you get to be more than just a service provider – you become a real person, or a company to be trusted.
It’s one of the simplest forms of branding. And it’s easy to do this on your own site, without getting that icky ‘show-off’ feeling.
You don’t have to list everything you’ve ever done, just focus on what’s most relevant to your customer.
What’s most likely to make them want to hire/buy from you over anyone else?
Make sure to use your best testimonials here, though. It shouldn’t all be trumpet-soloing. Bring in the other players, too.
Proof is a huge part of any buying decision, and this is your chance to reassure people that you gots the goods.
It’s all part of establishing your KLT factor.
Wait, your what now?
Your KLT Factor
See, I said it again, but this time in a subhead, so you know it’s important ; )
Your prospect needs to feel like they Know, Like and Trust you before they become your customer or client.
Of course, they’re not going to completely know you inside-out after reading one webpage… you’re a complicated cat after all.
That’s ok. It’s all about making as much of a positive impression in your limited time. To give ’em a taste of your awesomeness.
Don’t overdo it here. Be succinct, but express yourself.
Not everybody has to like you, remember! So don’t try to be everyone’s best pal.
Just be distinctive, and the right people will come to you. Often, people who are like you, too. People who share your views.
Your aim is to create empathy…
To demonstrate why you understand their world, what your shared experiences are likely to be (and which experiences are unique to you).
This is your chance to step out of the internet’s doubtful shadows and encourage people to see the ‘you’ behind the biz.
Describe what you do in terms of your results/helping people – not as just “what you are”.
(Done wrong, this sounds even worse in the third-person too…
We’ve all seen stuff like “An energetic and intelligent coach who inspires his students, Johnny Big-Dog is one of the most sought-after blah blah…”
Good gravy, man – this ain’t an obit!)
It shouldn’t be just a vanity splurge.
Incredibly, people do still write About page copy this way, even though it turns off more people than it attracts.
(I saw one dude recently describing himself as an “internationally beloved raconteur” – though I think it was tongue-in-cheek…)
Remember: this is the version of ‘you’ that people think they’re getting – and like attracts like.
To remove any nagging doubts, your prospect needs to trust you too, which isn’t always easy online.
So here’s a way you can leverage authority and soothe any lingering suspicions to prove you’re one of the good guys (or gals).
Imagine You’re In A Contest With Your Evil Twin…
Pretend for a moment that there are two identical versions of your biz.
There’s yours, but there’s also a kind of ‘parallel universe’ competitor: one that costs the same and works exactly the same way too.
The only difference is who’s behind each version. There’s you… and there’s your evil twin.
To out-sell this dastardly doppelganger, your About page is crucial.
To tip the scales in your favour, you must shine a light on your relevant experience in your biz…
Demonstrate your trustworthiness with details of past successes (but don’t brag, and keep it relevant)…
If you’ve been in the business a while and built up a brand, you can mention where you’ve spoken, taught, appeared or mentored…
Try linking to some content elsewhere on your site that demonstrates your knowledge – so you’re showing, rather than telling.
Use your About page to tease your value, and trail what else they’ll find at your blog, to keep engagement up and expose your reader to more of your genius.
Make clear WHY you do what you do – why you’re not just another clock-puncher.
You could state your desire to disrupt your niche… how you saw something broken and vowed to fix it… how you’ve proved time and again that you can be trusted.
Prove your authority this way and you’ll leave your competitors (and evil twins) in the dust.
When Bigger Isn’t Better
What if your product’s only just launched, or you’re still trying to find your first clients?
No problem. This doesn’t automatically make you ‘untrustworthy’. Biggest doesn’t always = better.
(Think of the mega-corps – and governments – often viewed as untrustworthy or unreliable, despite their years in biz or units sold.)
If you’re new to the market, this is where you can work your authenticity and your values.
Highlight your willingness to go the extra mile for your clients and customers…
Explain how they’ll always deal directly with YOU and you alone, getting no-holds-barred access to the expert they need…
How you don’t farm out customer service to a third-party, or make them wait in a queue for support…
Your About page can mention your ethics, your reason for doing what you do. People respond to this, and see their own values reflected back at them.
Don’t hide your ‘kitchen-table’ or ‘coffee-shop’ status – make your small size an asset…
The personal touch, that one-on-one communication you offer, is actually what a lot of people want.
Show how much your customers mean to you, because you deal with fewer of them than the big fish in your pond do.
The biggest mistake people make on their About pages is wussing out on their CTA.
What, you mean ask the reader to take action… right there and then?
Don’t just introduce yourself and then leave ’em wondering “what next?”
Your reader’s spent some time getting to know you, you’ve demonstrated your KLT factor and why you’ve got the personality edge over your competition…
Plus you now know there are more people visiting this page than almost any other on your site…
So why wouldn’t you ask for action at this point?
Be sure to include a CTA button or contact form here – make it relevant to what you talked about elsewhere on the page, though.
When your prospect finishes reading your About page, they’ll feel they’ve gotten to know you better, they understand why you do what you do… and now it’s your duty to offer them a way to get in touch, so you can help them with what they need.
Which reminds me:
I have a service that helps optimize your About page – and the other key conversion elements of your site messaging – created with startups and solopreneurs in mind.