6 Common Mistakes You May Be Making With Your About Page
Have you ever had a friend who talked all about themselves and only about themselves?
You know who I’m talking about: that person that can’t stop going on about their new accreditation or degree; that acquaintance that just can’t wait to tell you how awesome their job is or how cute their kids are; that friend who’s always got something new to brag about….
See, in my opinion, it’s kind of annoying to chat all about yourself. Don’t you agree?
It’s a more interesting conversation if you take the time to get to know the other person by asking them questions, speaking their language, and letting the conversation proceed naturally.
That’s why today, I’m sharing a few ways to improve your “About” page by avoiding a few common mistakes.
After all, nobody really likes the person who talks all about themselves….
6 Common Mistakes You May Be Making With Your About Page
Before I dive into this topic, I want to clarify something. Your about page is essentially about you or your brand. And you can write it in a “story of your life” style.
But to be effective, I strongly suggest setting yourself aside and thinking about how complete strangers will view your page. Why would they read what you wrote? What makes them stick around for more?
If you keep these things top of mind, it’s likely that you’ll end up writing something that relates to others instead of being a diary about how awesome you are.
And, you’re more likely to avoid these common mistakes:
Your About Page Isn’t for You… It’s for Your Readers
Too many about pages seem to serve the site creator’s high-minded vision of their brand. Okay, it’s great that your website is aiming to increase synergy by promoting creative energies and collective groupthink, but all that lingo, high-minded terminology, and, frankly, dogma, isn’t what your users are actually looking for.
Take Sara Morgan’s about page, for example:
With her first phrase, she’s connecting with her readers by making it all about them. By saying, “you’ve got so much to offer this world,” Sarah is immediately taking the side of the reader.
She could have easily said, I’m Sarah Morgan, a brand consultant for bloggers and businesses. But that’s not why people will follow her, subscribe, or pay for her services. The reason the attention of new visitors is captured right at the start is because she believes in them right at the start.
Don’t use the about page to serve yourself. Use it to anticipate what you think your target market is looking for. Make it a resource for them, not a last ditch attempt to convey your message. You have time to do that later.
Instead, focus on how you can immediately make a connection with them, so that when it comes time to convey your message, they’re listening.
You Aren’t Solving a Problem
A good about page should answer and address the questions of the viewer, so use this space strategically to give people the tools they want. Assuming you have a business that provides services or products, your about page is a great way to connect who you are personally to the services you provide.
Let’s take a look at Erika Madden of Olyvia.co’s about page:
Erika took the time to provide answers to questions new website visitors may be asking. By listing out a sample of her services as answers to these potential questions, she’s providing the viewer a chance to get to know her better without it feeling like she’s selling herself.
She also uses this space as a chance to showcase her personality. By using phrases like “utterly delight your customers,” Erika provides personality without sacrificing the audience’s value.
So, aside from anticipating the questions that you think people will have when using your site, be sure to reiterate the struggles that may have driven a potential client to your site in the first place.
If you’re an SEO services consultant, for example, opening your about page with a list of common frustrations that SEO consulting might fix can help connect you to a potential client. Remind them how you can be of service to them but in words they understand and connect with.
Your Message Is Unclear
About pages are not the place to be vague. Anticipate your customer’s needs, deliver the information that will help them solve their problem, and don’t beat around the bush when you’re doing it.
Tell them what it is you do in concise, easy to follow language. You have the opportunity explain how you can be useful to others in easy to understand and solution-oriented wording, so don’t lose this potential new fan with industry jargon.
Alternatively, you can break down your services into easy to digest sections like Sara Von Bargen does:
Anyone who stumbles upon this page instantly can see how Sarah can help grow their content marketing and blogging strategies. It’s not only broken down so that it’s easy to read, but using visuals to guide the eye is a fantastic way to keep the viewer’s attention.
Consider adding in headings and bolded sections to make it flow easily, but be wary of making your about section too long. Remember that it is a useful tool, not a manifesto.
Have you heard the saying that a confused mind never buys? It’s true! If someone visits your website’s about page and doesn’t understand what you do or how you can benefit their life, you’ve lost them. It’s as simple as that.
You Have No Call-to-Action
Ultimately, the about page needs to affirm the branding of your business and provide tangible solutions to a potential customer. Ending the page with a simple “thanks” or something equally vague might be a nice sentiment, but it’s a massive waste of a great opportunity.
If someone is looking at your about page, it’s usually after they’ve investigated your site a bit and are considering their options. Lead them towards what you’d like them to do next.
Melyssa Griffin at The Nectar Collective does just that:
The bold colors of her brand and the easy tone of this call-to-action make it the perfect attention grabber for any user who has viewed the page. Melyssa encourages interested parties to sign up for her mailing list as an opportunity to learn more about the things she has chatted about in her about page.
A good call to action can be as simple as listing your contact information and suggesting they reach out to you, but even better is an embedded button that opens up an email client or a place where someone can enter their email address to get on a mailing list. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but don’t forget it!
You Neglect Personal Touches
At the risk of sounding massively clichéd, do try and have a little fun with your about page. It’s a representation of you, a little snapshot of your services and your personality. Aim to make it a candid picture of you, not a stiff stock photo with no personality.
Adding in a tasteful joke, some familiar wording, and a casual vibe will make your about page feel like a friendly and welcoming invitation towards a solution, rather than a corporate venture with an unfeeling stranger. Frankly, there’s enough of that going around.
It’s a well-known fact that people buy from who they know and trust. By adding personality, you’re giving yourself an edge over your competitors because you’ve provided your fans a chance to get to know you.
One of my favorite about pages is not by coincidence from one of my favorite digital marketing personalities, Regina Anaejionu:
Someone who begins their about page with “ello there” has your attention. Whether you realize it or not, you’re going to keep reading because you’re curious about where this is going. Regina’s quirky yet lovable personality continues when says she wants “your fans to create #hashtags in your honor.”
By embracing her personality, Regina is allowing her target market to fall in love with her brand from the very beginning. She’s speaking their language but also speaking her own language.
I understand that this method of adding personality may not seem like it works for everyone. But think if it this way: even commercials for serious medications or law firms offer attention grabbing personality, jingles, and characters to entice viewers to pay attention.
You don’t have to be over-the-top. Just add something that makes you seem human so that other humans (your target market) feels like they can trust you. Remember, people buy from who they know and trust.
You Don’t Use the Word “YOU”
Would you like it if you went to the doctor and your physician never looked you in the eye or learned your name? No, of course not, so don’t do the equivalent to a solution-seeking client.
Make things personal and invite them to examine your services or products in light of their own personal needs. Although the about page is essentially about you and your business, it should really be catered towards the client.
Every single example I gave today uses this technique. Why? Because it works!
Even I use it for my about page:
By frequently using the word “you,” the reader feels as if you’re speaking only to them. The solutions you present and the products you offer are relatable, leading them to their “aha moment.”
Remember that annoying friend we talked about in the beginning of this blog post? Don’t be that friend. Instead of filling your page with “I”s, fill them with “you”s! Give your readers a chance to feel that connection.
While your about page may seem like it’s about you; in reality, it’s about how you can provide value to other people.
By using the solutions above, you’re not only providing this value but establishing trust and being likeable overall!
If these solutions have helped you improve your about page, I encourage you to leave a comment and share the changes you’ve made!
Originally published at rankwatch.com.