A few weeks ago we discussed how to harness the power of your Contact page by not just asking the right questions, but asking them the right way in order to get the best answers. Then we talked about how to harness the power of your Home page through strategic content planning and cornerstone content navigation. But this series wouldn’t be complete without discussing another crucial site page, your About page.
How can you maximize your About page to help educate, inspire, and entice your potential clients to reach out and book/hire/purchase/contact you?
You’ve probably heard this before, but your About page really isn’t all about you. It’s more about your clients and how you are the perfect person to meet their needs. A potential client comes to your About page looking to learn more about who you are and what you stand for (of course) but what they’re really asking is:
- Who are you?
- Why should I hire you?
- Do you understand me?
- Can you really help me?
- How can I trust you and why?
While this is a seemingly unconscious selfish thought, it really is the purpose of why we’re in business in the first place. Our clients should be asking these questions, and it’s our job to answer them.
What Are Your Website’s Goals?
Just like the past two weeks, we start each page by reflecting on the overall goals of our business, defining how our site will help us meet those goals, and then how that specific page plays a role in our overall site plan. So, what are the primary goals of your website? What is the overall action goal you want your clients to take for your business?
Assumably, it’s to work with you, but why? Why you? Knowing the answers to the major W’s of our business can greatly affect the content we provide on our About page and increase the trust and confidence potential clients have in our ability to help them.
Answering the Major W’s of Your Brand
When Brands stand out, it’s because they stand for something. They have a clear brand message that resonates with you in some way that causes them to win that #1 place in your mind. And when I say number one, I mean number one. It’s more powerful than the first page of Google or the top trending hashtag of the day. This is a place that is eternally theirs until they do something personally that alters how they see you.
Who are you?
Straight up, who are you? Your name and self appointed professional vocational title.
Where do you work?
Are you a brick and mortar business with a stationary location? Or are you more of a digital nomad whose location isn’t as important? This can be important to local brands while less important for other non-location specific brands so this is a more optional piece of information to include on your About page.
What do you do?
What is it that you actually do? What do you provide? What do you specialize in?
Who do you work with?
Who is your target audience? Who do you serve through your products and services? Think specifics. You may strive to serve “everybody” but realistically, there is a common thread that unites the followers of your brand. What is it that these people seek?
How do I work with you?
“Through ___________, ___________, and ___________ I…” The actions/services/products you use to create what it is you provide.
What makes you unique?
Why should someone work with you over someone else in the same industry? What is it about you that makes you unique? Your signature style, creative processes and systems, extensive experience (show a little extra creditability here.)
Why is this important?
Your big BECAUSE. Why is this important to both you and your clients/ audience/ followers? Personal anecdote, short story, social proof to help provide support to your claim that you are the right person for the job.
Having the simple (or not so simple) answers to each of these questions allows you to mix and match their order as it best resonates with your potential clients and followers.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
While we may have the perfect words to say who we are, what we do, why it’s important to our clients, sometimes saying it just isn’t enough. People need to see to believe. But how do we show our credibility on our About page? By providing social proof.
When brands stand out, it’s because they stand for something.
How to Provide Social Proof
Social proof is essentially the creditable elements that back up the words on your About page. While your text content here is some of the most frequently read all the way through, the other forms of content you share here are equally as important.
Look the Part
When you want to come off as professional, you not only need to talk the talk, but walk the walk and that means looking the part. Professional headshots or portraits go a long way here. People will always connect with another person before they connect to a brand, so including a professional headshot of yourself helps to not only make you look like the professional you are, but increase that instant human-to-human connection you want to make with your clients. A selfie (unless you are a photographer) isn’t gonna cut it. Looking at the brands you love most, look at how professional their images are. It’s a huge part in building their professional online identity and backing up their value.
What Do Others Have to Say?
While you don’t want to include a whole page of testimonials on your About page, including a few choice comments from past clients is a great way to showcase experience and provide proof that when you say you can do “x” you really can.
It’s no wonder that one of the number one forms of entertainment in the world is television and movies, or that one of the most popular music genres is Country music. Both are storytellers, creative narratives built around an experience. We as humans naturally gravitate towards stories and will often imagine ourselves in the place of a character, helping make that emotional connection to the story. The same goes for your about page. Identify with your followers by including a small personal story or anecdote, you provide that bit of personal social proof, showing that you do understand and truly have the best interest of your clients at heart. This can include adding a few personal images that might not be as professional as your headshots or page headers, but something that gives that sneak peek into who you really are.
Social Media is a truly powerful asset to any entrepreneur, especially when it comes to giving that extra personal touch to the experiences your clients and followers have through your brand. If you are particularly active on a social platform like Instagram or Facebook, invite your readers to join you there and get to know you better. Use a social feed such as an Instagram feed to showcase your day to day behind the brand activities and help educate your potential clients further on what it would be like to really work with you.
What to Do Next?
Depending on the kind of business you run, there is generally more actionable and important information elsewhere on your site. Your viewers have come to your About page to learn more about what you can do for them and if they connect with you on a personal level, so don’t lose that connection by lacking an exit plan.
Just like our Home page or Contact page, our About page needs to have a clear exit strategy, leading them to where they most likely will need to go next in order to accomplish the goals we have for them on our sites.
Relying on your header navigation alone and trusting them to make the next decision doesn’t always result in the way we want it to. So, what should they do next? What should our visitors and clients do after they have finished reading our About pages? Keeping it simple, but significant, how can we provide a clear incentive, guiding them to where they should go next?
If your primary goal is to “book you” or “work with you”, providing a call to action, inviting them to “Contact” you for more information and to get the booking process started.
Are you particularly active on social media? Include an invite to engage with you on social media where they can get a more personal idea of what working with you might be like. For example: this could be through an Instagram feed with constantly updating images.
Are you a product based shop or infopreneur? If your goal is for your viewers to purchase your products/courses/programs, finishing your about page with a featured call to action with a special promotion, or special deal on a featured product is a great choice. Or, if you offer a special first-time buyers discount, letting them know here is a great way to motivate your visitors to continue shopping through your site.
Do you have a FAQ’s page, Media Kit with more immediately available information?
Knowing that your visitors and clients are reaching out to you for a reason, directing them to other areas within your site where they might find answers to questions or information can greatly assist them in building confidence in working with you before you even make contact.
As a blogger, your content is what entices your followers to come back again and again as you update your site with new posts and information. But while you are constantly contributing new content, there are those cornerstone pieces that you know are the most valuable. For a new viewer who might only look through the first or second page of posts, including a line up of your most valuable posts at the end of your about page is a great way to make sure they see your best work from the start.
No matter what type of business you are, having an email subscription for your brand is a must. Providing a direct call to action to subscribe and stay up-to-date with A, B, C, or whatever your opt-in incentive is, is a great final piece to your About page.
Take a look at your About page, are there any areas you can refocus in order to maximize your About page’s productive potential? Any key areas of your business missing? And questions unanswered? Excess areas that you could remove to keep your viewers attention on the most important information?