Next time you land on an “About” page, check out your mouse hand.I am willing to bet my favorite mittens that your finger is hovering, ready to click away. What does this mean for the business owner? You only have one chance… and under 15 seconds… to make a first online impression.
And that’s enough to make an entrepreneur run for the chocolate!
So how do you grab someone, quick, on that first click?
My first “about” page went something like this:
Maia Toll is a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild. She has taught at West Chester University and guest lectured at the University of Pennsylvania. A dozen years back, she was apprentice to an herbalist in Ireland where her clients included not just the local farmers but their cow and chickens. Blah, blah, blah, blah…. blah, blah.
And kind of boring?
We’ve all got credentials. But, outside of academia, that’s not what you’re being paid for.
You’re being paid for your magical self, your special sauce, the you that only you can deliver. @christinekane
So how do you capture that you in an “About” page?
1. Realize that your “About” page is not actually about you.
Your “About” page is about your reader and how they will relate to the materials you are presenting.
Your reader wants to see and recognize not only their current self but who they want to become.
So engage them the same way you would if you were speaking to them in person:
- Ask them questions.
- Write about things they will recognize from their own lives.
- Engage them in a vision of who they could be if they worked with you.
Ultimately you are going for “me too!” moment.
2. Make your reader comfortable.
You are throwing a party. A friend brings a friend. You head over to introduce yourself.
Hi, I’m Jane. Welcome. Can I get you a drink?
Your “About” page needs to embrace that level of warmth and welcome.
Because it exudes warmth,
Hi, I’m Maia Toll. I’m so glad your here. Grab a cup of tea and let’s talk….
…. will convert soooo much better than the blah, blah, and blah that I sampled for you earlier.
3. Ultimately writing your “About” page is an exercise in discovering your own voice.
And because of that, it is an adventure, and an experiment, and, most of all, a process.
Start with research. Search around the web for compelling “About” pages.
After you have three or four, see if you can find any similarities between them. Maybe it’s in the tone or the timing. Maybe it’s in the word choice. Or maybe the writer’s personality just shines through the words.
And here’s my favorite writing tip:
Choose one of the “About” pages that you like. Copy and paste the text into a brand new document. Then make the text a bright color, like hot pink.
Now, paragraph by paragraph, rewrite the copy so that it is in your words with your information. Mimic the original to for pacing (how long the sentences and paragraphs are) and the original structure (what information goes in each paragraph).
Type your version in black so that it is clear what’s yours and what isn’t.
Do this with a few different “About” pages.
When you are done, cut and paste your words from each document together into your “About” page draft.
Then walk away for at least 24 hours.
When you come back read it out loud. Make changes so it flows smoothly and reads clearly in your speaking voice.
4. Finally, just like when you’re recording video, you need to play a little bigger when you are writing for the web.
This is not to say you should exaggerate who you are or your credentials!
Where you want to play bigger is in your language.
Think of it as painting pictures with your words. You want your reader to see …. and smell and taste…. what you are all about!
Ready to get to work? In the comments below, enter the link to your favorite About page and tell me what you like about it!
Maia Toll is a guide for women on an Earth-based spiritual and healing path. Christine Kane has said publicly that she wishes she had written Maia’s “About” page!
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