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In this episode of “Sponsored by Coffee” we talk all things “About Pages”. What you should and should not have on them. What's appropriate, and what's just irritating.
So today I want to talk about your about page, now full disclosure here, my about page needs some work. Being a website designer myself, most of my attention goes to other people's about pages and not really to myself. But I just want to walk through a few do's and don'ts of your about page. So the first thing I'd say is your website about page must be about your “why”. So who are you? Why do you do what you do? And who do you do it for? Although your about page is about yourself, it does also need to be about the people you serve. So it needs to appeal to your client base. So what that means is your about page needs to read, not so much why you do what you do and who you are, but how you doing all those things is a good thing for your ideal client. So for example, mine wouldn't necessarily be something like; “I design websites because I liked doing it” It would be more kind of client-focused, even though that is correct, more client-focused and say something like “I design websites because I love how it helps the people whose sites I design to thrive in their business.”
See what I did there? I took something that was about me and turned it around to be about my ideal client. So that is kind of what your “about page” is about. It's about taking everything about you and making it a reason why someone should hire you. It's not a place to sit and tell your entire life story. I'm sure you can tell the relevant things. So maybe how you started your business and where you are now. So kind of a then and now, but do not include everything in between, only include the essential things. We don't want your life story. If you're going to post the life story, feel free to do that as a blog post, it doesn't need to be on your about page because we don't want it being too long. We don't want it to be too dull, and we don't want it to be all about you. We want to be it to be about you and how you can serve other people and how that is a good thing for them to hire you.
So the bit where you can talk all about you is if you include a section that contains accolades and awards and features, that's a perfect place to kind of beef yourself up a bit. You can be like “I received the award for the best website designer.” “I was nominated for a 50 under 50 thing.” It's a place where you can show off award badges and show how brilliant you are.
You would be so surprised about the number of websites I've been on, and I don't know who runs them. I mean, there'll be an about page. There'll sometimes even be a headshot, but there's no name. They've got one of those business names that could be anyone behind it. Some people have genuinely missed their name off their website, about page or their homepage, or I have to dig and dig and dig until I find something in the sidebar of their blog that finally has their name on it. So please make sure your name is on your website in some obvious places.
Something I get questioned about all the time is people who have sections on their about page for just random favourite things. So this works well for some businesses and not for others. So, for example, if you are a photographer, then feel free to include five fun facts about yourself. So if you're like, “I love McDonald's”, and “I love the TV show “the office””, things like that are alright because your business is based upon meeting strangers and having small talk with them. When you book in that family for their photoshoot, they are a bit nervous, they wonder what are they going to speak about? Or if you're doing a one to one branding session with someone, that's where it comes into play as well. That person will feel much more comfortable come the day of the shoot if they knew a few things about you. They know that they can show up with a McDonald's in their hand and just start talking about “the office” to you and you're going to be okay with it. Having just a few things kinds of almost breaks the ice.
There are situations where this is not appropriate, mostly professional careers. So for example, if you're a lawyer, I don't want to hire a lawyer and they are like, “Oh my God, I love McDonald's”. I'd be like, well, okay, but are you doing your job correctly? Or if there is, for example, if an accountant that “liked red wine”, that's nice, but please don't drink that while you do my taxes. So yes, that is where situations like that are not very appropriate.
A great example of one I set up a few weeks ago is for this girl, Bethany. So she runs a blog, Shiplapaddict. She's an Instagram influencer. We added some sections to her about page; a bio, her favourite things, and then we added her favourite products as it was completely relevant to her website.
This is your professional website, not Instagram. No selfies. If you're going to have a picture, then just at least get, your partner or a friend or even a child to just take a picture of you. Not with the front-facing camera at an angle with a filter on it. We just want something nice and professional, and you can take it into Lightroom, a free mobile app, and edit it. Please no selfies, no Instagram filters, nothing like that. The number of websites I've come across that they have beautiful portfolios, beautiful stock images, and you get to the about page – It's just a terrible selfie. It just ruins the entire thing.
The final and the last thing I just want to stress is, do not make your about page all about you. That sounds ridiculous, I know because it's a page about you. As I said before, it's about how you can serve your clients. That is what the about page is for. Remember that less is more sometimes. Don't try and bore them. Don't try and make it too long. Don't try and confuse them by adding in your life history and your family tree. We just need to know just a bit about you, a bit about who you serve, why you love serving them, and the positives it's going to give them when you do serve them. Maybe a few fun bits after that, to help them get to know you a bit better and break the ice a little bit.
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