Everything You’ve Been Told About Writing An About Page Is Wrong

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If you’re like many business owners, you secretly suspect your About Page sucks. You wonder if it’s too braggy…too frivolous…too something. You wonder if you’ve left out the most important qualities that make you special.

It’s scary. I totally get that.

When I work with clients (including professional copywriters), we often start out eagerly on a website makeover. Everything seems to be moving smoothly… until we get to the About Page. Then everything comes to a halt.

In fact, people often hire a copywriter at the moment when they get stuck writing their About Page.

Why do so many people get stalled when they’re trying to write their About Page?

Because they’ve been advised to do these 5 things…which are actually mistakes.

5 Mistakes (And They’re Often Presented As “Advice” and “How-To” Tips)

A lot of well-meaning marketing coaches will advise you to do these five things. They sound good … till you dig deeper and understand how About Pages are supposed to work.

These mistakes don’t just drive away your best prospects. They make it harder for you to write the Page. They feed on fear: they encourage you to do the things you hate most about writing your About Page.

Don’t be fooled. I’ll show you what to do instead.

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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Mistake #1: Your About Page tells the world how great you are.

What to do instead: Begin by telling a story — but not necessarily your story. It’s important to make strong, meaningful connections with your audience. Use success stories, social proof, and testimonials to show how great you are. Show that you empathize by speaking to your audience’s fears, worries, and backstories.

Your audience begins to realize: “Yes…we can’t help noticing that she’s a rockstar.”

Mistake #2: Your About Page story answers the question, “How did you get started?”

Answer the question: “Why are you so passionate about working for me?” You might answer this question with an origin story. Or you might answer with another story, showing how you worked with clients.

So you watched the sheriff take your family’s furniture away when you were six? You made a “Never again!” vow and now you teach people to manage their money, avoid credit cards and never, ever co-sign a loan for a stranger.

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Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

You’ve got the beginnings of a good origin story… if you’re a money coach or financial planner.

But suppose you chose your field for boring reasons. You loved your economics courses. You took a temporary job out of desperation and never looked back.

No worries.

You don’t have to share your origin story. If you’re a cardiologist, nobody cares if you’ve never had a heart attack.

Mistake #3: Your About Page shows how you screwed up your life and presents you as vulnerable.

Who cares if you went broke three times and had to watch the repo guys drive off in your car?

Prospects haunt your About Page to answer the age-old question: “What’s in it for me?” Followed by, “If I hire you, will you help me turn my life around?”

Forget how you used to be a nervous wreck during tax season. Tell us how you help clients reach an income where they’re writing big checks to the IRS.

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Image by Debi Brady on Pixabay

Mistake #4: You list your achievements without making them relevant to what you offer.

Nobody cares about all the milestones you’ve completed …unless they help answer the question, “Why are you qualified to help me?”

Usually, when you ask the question, you realize your credentials actually contribute a lot to your credibility.

For instance, one client thought her Ivy League anthropology degree wasn’t relevant to her self-defense coaching business. In reality, her degree showed she was smart (so she’d relate to her well-educated high-end clients).

And her major field, anthropology, teaches the importance of reading cues from the environment — an important skill for protecting yourself in an urban setting.

Mistake #5: You try to be funny.

Use humor on your About Page only if you’re positioning yourself as a comedian.

Using humor comes at a cost. You sacrifice message clarity, which is more important than clever wordsmith tricks or even persuasiveness.

When you use humor on your website, your visitors remember the joke. If you’re lucky they’ll remember the punchline. They won’t remember you.

When you sit down to write your about page, forget most of what you’ve been told.

Most of the rules don’t work anyway…or they work for a very small number of business owners, and you’re not one of them.

Whether you write your own page or hire a copywriter, your About Page probably has more personality than you realize. Nobody else can tell your stories — even if they’re not about all the times you struggled.

I’ve created a guide to that’s based on the way copywriters create an About Page that generates leads — and makes you look good, too. Download this FREE 10-point Checklist For A Lead-Generating About Page.

Discover why your clients want you to brag — and how to build your personal brand by telling stories. http://mycopy.info/bragging101

Helping entrepreneurs and independent professionals grow their businesses one story at a time. http://cathygoodwin.com

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