Give Your Site A Soul
If you’re looking for a quick overview of what to include on your About page, this is not it.
I started with that in mind, and ended up with this mammoth offering.
Instead I offer you this (very thorough) step-by-step guide to crafting your About page, the soul of your website.
Some of these questions or exercises may seem a bit repetitive. You don’t need to write the same answer over and over, and if you don’t have anything fresh to write down, don’t worry. Some people need more questions or exercises to gently squeeze the info out of them than others.
STEP ONE: IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU
Answer these questions.
- What’s your name?
- What do you do?
- Who do you work with?
- What’s their problem/need?
- How do you help them?
- After working with you or buying your product they feel/achieve….
- What relevant qualifications have you got?
- What relevant experience do you have?
- How long have you been running this company or doing what you do?
- Where have you been published/featured/mentioned?
STEP TWO: DRIVING ACTION
- What action would you like the reader to take when they finish reading your about page?
- Which social media platforms are you active on?
- Are there any core blog posts or pages you want to direct the reader to?
STEP THREE: YOUR HEART-WARMING STORY
It’s time to get it all out. All of it. Don’t self-edit or you will snuff out your creativity. Start from as young as you like, go into as much detail as you like. Make sure you cover:
- Your journey so far - how did you get here?
- Your struggles and challenges - every hero faces a little adversity
- Your Oprah-style Aha moment - when did the penny drop? When did you know this was the right role/business/industry for you?
STEP FOUR: THE BIG PITCH
This is your moment. Sell yourself. Go all out. No editing as you go. What makes you the right person for the job?
STEP FIVE: WHAT THE AUDIENCE NEEDS TO READ
When I come across a new brand, e-tailer or service provider, their About page is one of the first places I visit. I want to know what makes them tick and whether we are a good match before I spend any more time on their site. I’m looking for statements that make them credible - I NEED to know they are experienced and qualified, not just experts at making convincing marketing fluff & noise.
Put yourself in the place of your ideal client, arriving at your About page for the first time. Now write a list of what they are hoping to read, how you can tick all their boxes so they’ll want to find out more or work with you.
In my courses, I use an old client of mine, Outdoor Wicked Toys, as an example. Their ideal customer wants to know that the outdoor toys they stock are safe, that the company value safety and durability over cheapness. They also want to know that they would get a higher level of customer service than they could from the major retailers.
STEP SIX: STRUCTURE
It’s time to craft your first draft. It needs four elements, in this order:
- A headline getter that immediately connects you to your ideal client. Connect with the emotions they are experiencing because of their problem OR the feelings they hope to experience as a result of your offering/the goal they want to achieve.
- Give a short introduction about who you are, who you work with and how you help them.
- Your story
- Brief explanation of what you do now. This is a good place to add links to core posts and your social media accounts.
Your Big Pitch isn’t in here. I’m coming to that.
STEP SEVEN: THE INFORMATION SWEET SPOT
Your About page is too long. This is because I told you to write it ALL down with no editing, so you didn’t miss any of the juicy bits.
Now it’s time to go back and chop some stuff out.
What you are looking for is the perfect blend of what your audience needs to read, and what you are willing to tell them.
So now you need to go back through all your beautiful writing and edit it down to just the good stuff that sits right in that sweet spot.
WAIT - Don’t delete all your extra copy. Keep it in a separate document, you might be able to use it later.
STEP EIGHT: HERE COMES THE PITCH
The bit about how fantastically awesome you are can be tough to write. Here are a handful of techniques that can help with this cringe-fest:
- Write it in the third person.
- Be upfront about what it is. Call this section ‘The Big Pitch’, or introduce it with a disclaimer ‘Here I am writing about myself in the third person in an effort to impress you’.
- Break it up and scatter statements in graphics around the page. This works especially well if you have a number of facts about yourself that don’t make for an interesting read when clumped together.
STEP NINE: GETTING PERSONAL
By now, you’ve probably carved a good chunk of the personal stuff out of your About page. But some of your audience will want to read this. Give them the chance to get to know you better with a bonus ‘Up Close & Personal’ section at the end.
STEP TEN: POLISH AND EDIT
Read through your page. Now read through it again, and this time, look for opportunities to add personality. Can you switch out a boring word for something for colourful. Add emphasis with bolding, and passion with italics. Add quirky side comments (hugged by brackets).
When I polish up copy for a client, I just go over and over it. I have the brand’s personality in mind, and the audience, and I just keep tweaking and tweaking until it’s as good as I can get it.
STEP ELEVEN: THE FINAL TEST
What do you want the reader to know, feel and do by the time they’ve read this page?
Does it do this?
There’s a lot of work here, for a good reason. Your About page is the soul of your website, the place your audience comes to get to know you better. They arrive at the page open and willing to make a connection. Don’t waste that opportunity.
A well written About page will also help you when it comes to writing other copy, by serving as a source of inspiration.
Like my pretty printables?
You can get these helpful, printable A4 creations and more over in The Vault. All I need in return is your email address. Not a bad deal, eh?
Need Some Help?
Use this guide to write your first draft, and I’ll polish it up into the final version.
You can have professionally written copy that sounds like you.
For £100 I will:
- Polish up your first draft.
- Provide constructive feedback on your draft, to help you develop your writing skills.
- Complete a further round of amendments to the copy if needed.
And if you love what I do (which you will) and want me to write your whole site for you, it’s just £50 per additional page.
In the box below tell me your name, your website URL, your email, a little bit about your business and what help you need.
Sending me your details puts you under no obligation - it just gives us a chance to scope each other out.
Feeling the need to do a little more research, maybe hunt down some testimonials? Head over to Whip Up Your Web Copy for more info.