How’s the ‘About’ page looking on your website?
If it’s anything like most people’s it will be pretty standard – a bit of blurb about you, maybe mentioning an award you’ve won and definitely talking about the professional qualification you’ve got. Right?
Uh-oh! I suspected as much. In other words it’s bland and boring and SAMEY.
Oh, I’m not blaming you.
How are you to know better? You’ve probably looked at other people’s websites, maybe even your competitors’ sites and taken their lead. You’re not alone – it’s how most people decide what to put on their website, but that doesn’t mean it’s not WRONG!
The ‘About’ Page Advantage
The thing that all those boring, samey sites have in common is that they simply haven’t spotted something; something really exciting. They’ve missed out on a brilliant marketing opportunity that’s sitting there right under their nose. They haven’t realised that their ‘About’ page could be an amazing sales tool that sets them apart and raises them above their competitors and acts like a magnet to potential customers.
Instead of rolling out the same old bland, boring ‘About’ page as the rest of the mediocre competition, why not give your ‘About’ page a makeover and turn your website into a marketing asset for your awesome business? Imagine a world where ‘About’ pages are like a little pick ‘n’ mix of loveliness about your business – a place where your website visitors get an instant feel for you and your biz and get a few treats and delights while they are there.
Your challenge is to create an ‘About’ page that makes your visitors feel like they have stumbled upon a little treasure, something that makes them smile and want to know more and something that makes them wish EVERY ‘About’ page could be like yours. *Sigh*
Don’t worry! I can help you! It’s not onerous and it could actually be LOADS of fun. Here are 7 ideas to help your ‘About’ page go from AWFUL to AWESOME in one fell swoop.
1) Stick The Qualifications On A PDF
Yes, I understand you might need to be professionally qualified or have certain accreditations to run your type of business but seriously, the place to put them is NOT on your about page. I promise, potential clients will be happy to hear you’re fully qualified but so is virtually everyone else out there (and let’s face it, it might be important to you but it’s just a formality for your clients) so don’t take up valuable space boring us to tears with abbreviations and letters after your name. Why not put them all in a PDF and have a little link at the bottom of your website called ‘accreditations and qualifications’? That way anyone who IS interested can easily find and download them and you don’t need to take up valuable marketing space that could be used much better
2) Add A Video Or Two
You know people buy people, right? Well it’s much easier to ‘buy’ you if we can see and hear you. It’s much easier to fall in love with a business, get engrossed in the story and build a (non-stalky) relationship with the owner if we can watch you talking about the business you love. This is an ABOUT page. That means we want to LEARN ABOUT why you set up the business and find out if there’s a story behind it. It means we want to see if you’re maybe a bit quirky or slightly bonkers (that’s a GOOD thing by the way). We want to see behind the scenes and meet the lovely person who created this awesome business (yes, I’m talking about you, stop blushing!)
A video can bridge a HUGE gap. It turns a stranger into someone who feels they know you, in just a matter of minutes. Business can be won on the strength of an ‘About’ page video. It’s true. So get over yourself. Stop listening to the mind monkeys telling you you need to dye your hair/lose weight/get rid of your dodgy accent/sound more ‘professional’ before you’ll EVER do a video. Just record one. Stick a bit of lippy on and run a comb through your hair if you must, but just do it. On your phone. On your computer. On whatever you have to hand and get it up there on your ‘About’ page where we can finally get to meet you. You can always record another one later but for now, just get on with it because we want to MEET you!
3) Show Us Your Best Bits
If someone has found your ‘About’ page and they’re enjoying learning about you and your business, why not give them some shortcuts? Show them your best stuff. If you have blogs on your site then have a list of your 10 Best Blogs at the bottom of your about page and show people what you’re made of. If you sell products, put your 3 best selling products at the bottom of your ‘About’ page or even better, have a VIDEO of YOU SHOWING US your favourite products (did you see what I did there?) and whet our appetite. Don’t leave us to go off searching on our own, hold our hand for a bit and talk us through what we’ll find where and why we’re going to love them.
4) Signpost Your Social Media
Even if you’re a regular blogger, your website is never going to be as up-to-date as your social media – after all social media is real time. It’s also much more informal and you’re likely to share lots more behind-the-scenes and day-to-day stuff on Facebook or Instagram that you would on your website. So, bearing in mind your ‘About’ page is all about you, the business, the story, the gossip, what better than a lovely list of your social media accounts on your ‘About’ page? Don’t make your visitors work for it, invite them over to connect with you. Tell them what sort of things you share on each account and why they might love it. Provide the links for them and when you’re hyperlinking, make sure you choose ‘open in new window’ for the links otherwise they’ll wander off into Facebook-World, never to be seen again. You need them to be able to click to open their chosen social media pages but still keep your website open and waiting for them when they wander back again.
5) Invite Them Onto Your List
Your mailing list (or database, or newsletter list, whatever you want to call it) is one of your MOST VALUABLE (and most under-appreciated) business assets. Your mailing list is a wonderful thing. It can help you prevent quiet times in your business, it can drive sales and it can bring your marketing back under your control rather than being at the mercy of unpredictable, pesky social media. For all those reasons you would be very smart to add a sign up to your ‘About’ page, after all they are falling in love with you by the minute so you may as well grab them while they’ve got that loving feeling. If you sell products, think about offering them a new customer one-time discount if they sign up. If you’re a service business, ask yourself what your ideal customers would LOVE to get their hands on and see if you can rustle it up – whether it’s a top tips list, a little ‘how to’ video, a handy guide or a cheat sheet, offer them something tempting in return for their lovely email address.
Once you’ve got their email address, treat it with respect. Don’t spam people – instead think about how you can add value to their life. Think about how you can help them, how you can show off the best bits of your business, how you can show them what it’s like to be a customer, how you can excite and delight them. A monthly e-newsletter keeps you top of mind and reminds potential customers why they fell in love with you. And if you keep adding value and keep in touch, when you DO have an offer or a sale or a promotion and you send it out to your loyal mailing list, guess what happens? If they are ready to buy, they buy from you. Magic.
OK we love hearing from you talking about your business but do you know what would make your ‘About’ page even better? OTHER PEOPLE telling us what it’s like to be your customer. Rather than trying to imagine how it might be to work with you or buy from you, we get real life feedback from real life customers who have done just that. It’s called ‘Social Proof’ and it’s a very valuable thing. However much we love the thought of your business, there is always a little niggling doubt in the back of our mind saying ‘well, she WOULD say that, it’s HER business’. If you can put customer reviews on your ‘About’ page, even just one or two, it takes down those barriers of doubt for potential customers and leaves one less reason not to buy from you. It’s good practise to follow up with customers anyway and don’t feel shy about asking for testimonials – not everyone will give them (and it’s hardly ever because they are unhappy – it’s usually because life gets in the way) but some people WILL – and that’s a great result! You can also screenshot or use the words from Amazon reviews, Facebook reviews, TripAdvisor reviews or other review site feedback – it doesn’t matter as long as you use them. If you have LOADS of testimonials (yay, go you!) then set up a special page on your website called ‘nice things people are saying about us’ or similar – it’s definitely worth it and it definitely does encourage people to buy from you.
7) A Secret
Yes, you read that right! If you’re going to create an AWESOME ‘About’ page and stand out from the crowd, let us feel like we’re part of something amazing and special. Show us your secrets. If you bring your dog to work and she has a basket under your desk, take a photo and say ‘sssssh, staff sleeping’. If you are getting a HUGE delivery of flowers into your florist business, take a snap of the inside of the delivery lorry because we, the public, never get to see in there and we imagine it must be like flower heaven. Show us something we wouldn’t usually see (ideally something lovely) – work in progress, a secret and unexpected tool you use, your view from your window… make us feel part of your world and we’re more likely to make you part of ours.
Do I Need ALL Of These?
Well, why not? There’s nothing stopping you! Can you imagine an ‘About’ page with a bit of all of the above? How awesome would that be? There are no rules saying you have to stick to 2 paragraphs and a bland headshot of you looking terrified, are there? If you’re short on time, pick one or two that are easy to do and action them today. If you’re due a website overhaul, see how you can take these ideas and turn them into an ‘About’ page to die for – an ‘About’ page that becomes an asset to your business, heck it might even sell for you.
Can I Do This For ‘Boring’ or ‘Serious’ Businesses?
Yes! You can definitely do this for so-called ‘boring’ businesses (although there’s really no such thing, if you’re passionate about your business then it’s not boring). Don’t let the TRADITIONAL views of your industry hold you back. Even the most ‘serious’ of businesses are made more human by a photo of your dog under the desk, or the time you wore fairy wings to work to celebrate national fairy day, or the fact you sign your important documents with your lucky Batgirl pen. People buy people in ANY business and if you can bring a bit of sparkle and show your human side you’re going to stand out for all the right reasons AND attract customers who will see your ‘About’ page as a refreshing change.
Don’t Underestimate The Power Of The ‘About’ Page
Make it something you’re proud of. Make it something that builds relationships and bridges the gap between you and your website visitors – something that makes them feel they have just stumbled upon something really special. Now you’ve seen how it COULD be, your mission is to give your ‘About’ page the makeover it deserves then watch the magic happen. Come on! What are you waiting for!
Claire Mitchell is a best-selling author of the Awesome Marketing Planner and founder of The Girls Mean Business, a mum and business owner. She has been featured in Marie-Claire, The Guardian, Closer Magazine, Essentials, The Huffington Post and on the BBC.