“Hi. My name is Lauren, and I love to write. That’s why this year, I decided to launch my freelance copywriting career. I have a Master’s degree in communication with a focus in media and–”
STOP. STOP, STOP, STOP.
I don’t know if you know this, but your About page is maybe the most important page on your website (after your landing page). Statistically, it is the second most viewed page on a website. And it incidentally might also be the last page someone views before clicking away.
Because most About pages suck.
See, the About page isn’t just some mandatory space where you dump random facts about yourself. It serves a real, actual, important purpose.
Even in the age of the Internet, people are looking for connections. We read About pages in an attempt to humanize our experience on a website, put a face to the anonymous text, and try to discern whether or not we can trust this company or person with our time and money.
For every new visitor on your website, you have about 15 seconds before they decide if they are going to stick around to read the rest or click that [x] in the corner. (And you should know, the longer they stay on your site, the more likely they are to take the next step, be that booking you, buying your product, or signing up for your newsletter). So if you aren’t crushing your About page, you may be losing business without even knowing it.
Here are three mistakes you may be making on your About page.
1.You make it ABOUT you.
“But Lauren,” you’re saying, “it’s called ABOUT ME or ABOUT US. So we’re supposed to write about ourselves!”
The About page is not about you. It’s about you AND your customer. It’s ABOUT your relationship.
It’s ABOUT what your story means for them.
We want our customers to feel comfortable with us but that doesn’t mean your reader is your friend (yet). They have no incentive to invest their time into reading about your lifelong dream of opening a chicken teriyaki shop in the middle of rural Iowa (even though you’re trying to sell them custom wallpaper), or that you bake dog-safe cookies for your canine companion every weekend…. unless they somehow get the benefit of those things.
So tell them.
Tell them how your experience backpacking through Spain makes you THE expert in booking European backpacking tours.
Tell them how your disgust with the price of engagement rings that all look the same led you to create custom statement rings that look like a million bucks but cost a fraction of the price of a store-bought ring.
Tell them how your dog treats baking adventures led you to open your pet-friendly cafe, and you’d love to see them there this weekend with Fido in tow.
On a related note, the About page is not a place to tell your life story. Your readers don’t need to know every school you went to, every degree you earned, or every job you’ve had. They don’t need to know every city or state you’ve lived in or every award you’ve won. So many people feel that they need to prove their credentials to the point of using that space like a resume.
Resumes are awful.
They’re boring to write and double boring to read.
I’m not saying you can’t throw in a few pieces of personal information. You most definitely should. If you paid a lot of money for your Master’s degree in child psychology and now you’re selling online parenting courses, by all means, throw that credential out there.
But that shouldn’t be the bulk of your text. Or the focus.
(Check out how I shortcut the resume talk on my own About page.)
Your experiences are important. Strategically used, they can help you establish credibility. But when you list everything you’ve ever done, you’re not showing them your authority… you’re begging them to believe you (and they probably won’t).
3.You forget the end game.
The number one thing most people seem to forget when they’re writing their About page is that they are still business owners.
Everything you write should keep your endgame in mind: you need to convert visitors to customers.
And if they’re already reading your website, they’re already warm leads, so it should be an easy conversion if you know what you’re doing. That’s why relating to them is so important. That’s why framing your story in a way that benefits them is smart.
And that’s why you absolutely MUST have a call to action on the page.
After they finish reading your About page, what then? People are weird. We really need to be told what to do.
Without a clear next step, we often just…. drift. So if you’re not telling them what to do next, they may very well go ahead and close your page.
Calls to action come in many forms. You can ask them to sign up for your newsletter. You can recommend they take a look at your most popular products or your newest collection and then include clickable images to send them there. You can ask them to email you or fill out your contact form. You can suggest they check out your portfolio.
Really, anything that KEEPS THEM ON THE SITE.
Create an internal sales funnel that sends them all over your website until they’re rushing to click that buy or book now button.
Now it’s time to take a look at your own About page.
Are you committing these three About page crimes? If so, it might be time for a rewrite.
These are definitely not the only mistakes business owners make when writing their About pages, but it’s a good start to improving your copy.