You’re not a narcissist, so why would you want to write an About Page all about yourself? And yet, as a solopreneur, you need to communicate your credentials and uniqueness.
In my work with solopreneur clients, these are the biggest problems I see with their About Pages –
- No page at all (this is surprisingly common)
- About Page hasn’t been updated for months, maybe even years
- The page talks about process and purpose, but gives no hint of the founder’s story
- The language reminds me of a CV
What should your About Page include?
You can’t go wrong with the format of your About Page if you include three essential ingredients. They’re easy to remember because they rhyme.
Your About Me Page in 3 steps
- WHO – the work you do and WHO you do it for.
- YOU – the concentrated essence of your story, along with a reassuring dash of social proof.
- DO – what do you want people to DO next?
How to write an About Page that gets you hired
Your About Page is one of the first places that potential clients will look if they’re thinking of hiring you. They want to get to know you better, so they can decide if you’re trustworthy and capable. A decent About Page will give them confidence that they’re in the right place.
So firstly, aim for a one-liner that defines the essentials.
Step 1 WHO – create a one-liner to define WHO you work with & WHAT you do
Your About Page needs a tightly written one-liner that defines what you do and who it’s for. You can try these sentence frameworks. Grab a big sheet of paper. Aim for lots of options, not perfection.
Play around with these sentences for your WHO one-liner –
- [My ideal buyers] hire me to [what you do] so they can …
- I [do this] using [my process] for [ideal buyers] …
- I [do this] for [ideal buyers] because I believe [your mission or manifesto] …
- I empower [clients] to [do this] …
- [My ideal buyers] rely on me to [do this] without [insert typical problem] …
Step 2 YOU: write a trust-building About Page that tells your story
Expert advice is confusing. Should your About Page be all about your buyers and not really about your business? That only makes sense up to a point.
Many potential buyers will click away (disappointed) if they don’t get a feel for your story on your About Page. Sometimes even the smallest nugget of personal information sticks in their memory.
Sound psychology lies behind this. We want to buy from someone we feel unity with (it’s one of Cialdini’s principles of persuasion). There’s no better place on your website to show this than your About Page.
When you write your About Page, you need to reveal the concentrated essence of your story, along with a reassuring dash of social proof.
Firstly, decide what you feel comfortable sharing. No right or wrong answers here.
Work your way through these categories below. Decide which ones you’re happy to talk about, then make quick notes about relevant info you could share –
- Career background
- Location (doesn’t need to be specific)
- Professional credentials
- Previous buyers
- Achievements and awards
- Hobbies and interests
- Favourite things
- Who/what inspires you
- Life milestones and challenges
- Work milestones and challenges
Next: Let’s add some sparkle. What makes YOU extra? Why are you a limited edition?
Use these thinking prompts to help identify what makes you stand out.
- Your origin story – what motivated you to get started?
- Where or how you live – your location and interests
- Your unique (or contrarian) point of view
- Achievements/awards you’ve won
- Numbers/data to back up your business claims
- Stuff you do differently to everyone else in your industry
- The people you work with or have access to
- Your process
- Your favourite music, books and passions
- The people or ideas that inspire you
Why add personality to your About Page?
Have you ever noticed how lots of lifestyle stores look exactly the same?
Everything is tastefully monochrome. Handwritten labels. Industrial shelving. Soy candles. Brown paper packaging. In other words, indistinguishable from every other artisan lifestyle store.
I call this Rose Apothecary Syndrome, named after the shop in Schitt’s Creek.
Enter Jocelyn, the new sales assistant, in her decidedly off-brand, flowery owl sweatshirt (season 6, episode 9, if you want a giggle). Jocelyn marks every sale by ringing a bell, directly against David’s advice. He’s already warned her – “I like to approach the customer as if we don’t need their business.”
The lighthearted bell-ringing and Jocelyn’s “have a Rosie Day” sign-off reveals a serious takeaway. Jocelyn brings her personality to the sales desk and makes an effort to connect with customers. Or, as she comments to David and Patrick – “Wow, my first sale. You guys make it look so much harder.”
Don’t let your About Page suffer from Rose Apothecary Syndrome. Tell us what makes YOU extra.
Step 3 DO: write an About Page that grows your business by showing what to DO next
The final essential ingredient of your About Page is one simple call to action.
Many About Pages lack a clear next step. Don’t leave your reader wondering what to do next. They’ll simply click away.
Pick just ONE thing that you want readers to do next.
They could –
- Sign up to your email list
- Book a call
- Download a freebie
- Click through to your core service page
How to write your perfect About Page: put these 3 ingredients together
Use Step 1 (your WHO one-liner) as your intro.
Add some juice on YOU from Step 2, along with a photo.
Finish up with what to DO next. Include a button, link or video, so there’s an obvious action that moves readers to the next step.
Written your About Page? Now you need to edit it.
Take it from a copywriter with 21+ years of experience. Every piece of writing deserves a final polish to make it sparkle.
Here are three simple checks you can use to edit your About Page.
Think about your word choice
- Turn your verbs into stronger nouns, eg instead of I write blogs, say I’m a blogger.
- Have you used the first person pronoun I a lot? Can you shift focus anywhere to you? You don’t need to do this every time. Just make sure you’ve made it clear WHO your About Page is for.
- Have you used the royal we when there’s just one of you in the business? Be brave and replace it with the word I.
- Does your word choice align with how you want potential buyers to feel? Identity exactly what emotion you want to inspire, then check if the words you use fit the bill.
Does the layout make your copy easy to read?
Can you break the copy into smaller chunks of information?
Our eyes are drawn to subheads, so make sure you break up any long pieces of text into smaller sections with subheadings, bullet points or lists.
Have you added some visuals?
Add a headshot. Here’s why you should show your face.
Better still, add a headshot PLUS an image of you at work or in your favourite surroundings.
Publish your page (and update it occasionally)
Now that you’ve written your About Page and updated your website, the hard work is complete.
From this point onwards, you just need to make regular, small updates.
Put a reminder in your diary to check your About Page once per quarter. Then run through this quick checklist –
- Have you got new photos? Update your images.
- Add new testimonials.
- Add any press mentions.
- Any interesting new clients?
- Launched any new products or services?
- Won any awards?
- Appeared on a podcast?
- Been a speaker at an event?
- Moved location?
- Got a new qualification/completed a course?
- Passed any business milestones?
- Got any new data to back up your value claims?
- Is your call to action still relevant and useful? Is it working?
Make the most of your hard work by repurposing it
So you’ve published your About Page and committed to reviewing it regularly.
Now you want to get the most value possible from the work you’ve already done.
Here’s how you can repurpose your About Page to other places. You can use it to refresh all kinds of other content, saving you hours of thinking time.
Here’s a list of suggestions –
- Social media bios
- Pitch deck
- Podcast pitch
- Media pack
- Meeting intros/elevator pitch
- Video script – summarise your About Page and post it on social media
- Highlight reels
- Copy, paste and tweak for your email Welcome sequence
- Use it as a Welcome message and direct new subscribers to it
- Summarise it for cold-pitching messages
Make a list of three ways you can repurpose your About Page right now.
Choose the most urgent or useful. Then take 30 minutes to repurpose it.
This post is an abridged version of my fillable workbook on how to write, revise and repurpose your About Page. It’ll help you write your About Page yourself.
As with any project that feels close to your heart, detachment can make you more objective. Sometimes getting fresh eyes on your About Page is the quickest solution. From time to time I also offer one-to-one Copy Sprints, where we could work together to create your About Page. Contact me to ask about availability.