4 Steps to a Compelling (and Converting!) “About” Page - Christine Kane

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.

Sound familiar?

And kind of boring?

We’ve all got credentials. But, outside of academia, that’s not what you’re being paid for.

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.

Picture this:

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.

You're being paid for your magical self, your special sauce, the you that only you can deliver.

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!

 

28 COMMENTS ADD A COMMENT
  • Jacquelilne

    Great post Maia. I know exactly what you are talking about–engaging instead of telling your reader. I notice that you do the same thing on your landing page. Thanks.

  • Alexandre L’Eveille

    Great advice. Very inspiring!

  • Patricia

    Great times! Thank you! Time to re-write my about page! 🙂

  • Amira Alvarez

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  • Christine Connors

    This showed up at just the right time! Thank you for the reminder that it can be simple and true to one’s self. Now I’m looking forward to writing my new “About” page!

    • Maia Toll

      Looking forward to seeing it Christine! Let me know how this method works for you.

  • Nell

    For someone who is completely redoing their website (ahem, me!), this is incredibly helpful (and timely – thanks, Christine!). Maia, I want to thank you for being a badass.

    • Maia Toll

      ::snort:: I don’t think anyone has ever thanked me for that before, Nell!

  • Sue Simpson

    Thank you Maia for the reminder and great tool to write the about page. Grabbing a cup of tea and off to do some writing.

    • Maia Toll

      It always goes down better with tea, Sue. 😉

  • Jacqueline

    Great article, Maia! I’m actually working on the about page for my new site right now, so this is incredibly relevant. Thanks for sharing!

    • Maia Toll

      Can’t wait to read the new About, Jacqueline!

  • Dory Ellen Fish

    These are great tips and I am going to check out my website tomorrow. You have the gift of being able to write in an incredibly warm,intimate tone. You make it sound effortless!

    • Maia Toll

      If you can imagine yourself talking as you write Dory Ellen, I promise it makes it easier. 🙂

  • Olivia

    Hillary Rain has one of the most delicious, enticing “about” pages ever. Its like an incantation ….

    http://spiritsoulearth.com/about/

    • Maia Toll

      Thanks for sharing a gorgeous new-to-me site to explore, Olivia!

  • Brigit

    Great advice, Maia. Simple yet very effective. I’ll be sharing this post for sure!

  • Tracie Nichols

    Great post Maia! I love your exercise using compelling “About” pages as guides and playgrounds to write your own compelling About page. After reading this I will likely tweak my own page a bit.

    Though, I am laughing. My current About page starts “Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here! Come in and get comfortable (placing a warm, steaming, mug in your hands). Ohhh…that oversized chair is like sitting in the lap of the Mother…” I guess great tea drinkers think alike.

    • Maia Toll

      Of course you already invite your readers in for tea, Tracie– you’re intuitive and relational and, having read your site, it shines through. 🙂

  • Lisa Layden

    Great article Mia and perfect timing. My about page is calling out for a rewrite. 🙂

  • Deirdre V.

    Great post Maia!!

  • Gina Spriggs

    Great tips…Thank you! Most people totally “rip off” a template – and loose themselves in the process. Ya gotta keep your voice!

    • Maia Toll

      You are so right, Gina– it is all about keeping your voice. 🙂

  • Don Downs

    Nice article! Can’t wait to (1) share this with my peeps; and (2) rewrite my About page! 🙂

    • Maia Toll

      Can’t wait to read your new About page Don!