Hi, everyone, and welcome to Perfectly Planned Content’s Writing Wednesday video series, where we dive into the power of words and the many ways writing impacts your business. I’m Lauren Keller, Director of Content and Strategy, and I’m thrilled to bring you a video series completely dedicated to the craft of writing.
I’m on a website kick, so last time, I talked about what makes a stunning homepage. Today, I’ll focus on the—dreaded—about page.
Your about page is one of the most important yet challenging pages to produce.
Because as soon as you have to talk about yourself, things can get awkward.
For so many people, it’s challenging to talk about themselves in a genuine and authentic way. Just think about how hard it can be to do simple tasks like writing a bio or coming up with a “fun fact” about yourself during a corporate icebreaker.
Your palms might be sweating just thinking about that.
Now amplify the stakes by a few thousand, and you’ve got the “about page” specific version of writer’s block. But don’t worry; today, I’ll go over seven core mistakes so many people make when writing their “about page” copy and how to avoid them!
Mistake #1. You Probably Think The “About Page” Is About You
Don’t fret—you’re not so vain, even if you thought that you should be the feature of your about page.
In fact, this is probably the biggest mistake people make when approaching their about page. It’s time for a mindset shift.
Your about page isn’t about you.
It’s about the person on the other side of the computer screen who wants to know if you’re the right person/team to help them solve their problems.
So, who should your about page feature?
Yep, once again, the answer is your audience.
Structure your about page to demonstrate how your unique value, services, approach, and mission serve your clients.
An excellent place to start is your mission statement.
- What is your brand and business all about?
- What makes that story so unique and compelling?
- How do all of those features allow you to serve your clients differently?
Using your mission as a springboard can help you talk about your brand in ways that directly relate to your audience.
Writing tip: Even though your audience is priority #1, don’t make the copy too sales-focused. Instead, make it values-focused.
Mistake #2. Your Value Proposition Isn’t Front and Center
In the home page video, I talked about putting your most important content “above the fold,” or the place where readers don’t have to scroll.
You want your value proposition to attract and hook readers enough that they decide to scroll down and see more, like a teaser or trailer (but much, much shorter).
As soon as your audience lands on your about page, they should understand what makes your service/product valuable to them. You can do that in several ways:
- Headings and subheadings. Write descriptive but concise page headings that prime the reader for what’s coming next. You get to taste before buying, like a sample at an ice cream shop. Remember, keep these headings super short, about 3-5 words.
- Focus on your “best” selling point. What makes your brand stand out? Use that to propel your copy!
- Lean into the “why.” What makes you stand out? Why is what you bring to the table unique? Why should your audience care?
Remember, put this information front and center!
Mistake #3. You Forgot Your Personality At Home
Your about page shouldn’t be full of dry, comatose copy. Give that sucker a cup of steaming hot coffee and jazz it up.
Remember, this will look different for every brand depending on their tone, values, and audience.
If you’re more relaxed and approachable, let that mood wash over your copy. But your language might look different if your goal is to educate and empower.
Be mindful of how you want to sound to readers and the feeling you want them to have after interacting with your brand. Knowing these elements will help you decide the most appropriate language to use.
Writing tip: Have some fun. Whether your brand is super approachable or more formal, you can use words that are engaging and exciting to readers.
Mistake #4. You Didn’t Tell A Story
The about page is perhaps the most golden opportunity you have for some good old-fashioned storytelling.
Stories are one of the most powerful tools to connect people, so don’t be afraid to share your or your brand’s story.
Struggling for a place to start? Answer the following questions.
- Where did you start?
- How did you get to where you are today?
- What values spurred you along the way?
- Did you encounter any roadblocks, and what did you do to overcome them?
- Why are you passionate about what you do?
- Why does all of this matter so much to you and the customer?
Use your responses to guide you through the core elements of a story—the beginning, the journey, the stakes, the reason, and the end.
Don’t be afraid to get personal and share a story or anecdote that was instrumental in your company’s journey.
Mistake #5. There’s No Media For Your Audience To Engage With
Don’t get me wrong, words are powerful and necessary for any successful web page, but you’ll likely need more than words to achieve the emotional buy-in from readers.
Incorporate images, videos, and other media into your about page. And it doesn’t have to be the posed, stiff corporate-style headshots. Maybe you’ll include a team photo or a picture of you having fun with your family.
Elements like this encourage a human connection and make readers feel like they already know you and your brand without speaking with you.
You could also create a “welcome” or “about the brand” video. If you go this route, keep it short—under 5 minutes is usually best—and remember to keep the value you deliver at the heart of the message.
Writing tip: Don’t forget to include your/team’s bios and credentials—that’s another way to make connections and instill trust.
Mistake #6. You’re Veering Into “Boasting” or “Hyping” Territory
Here’s what an about page isn’t: an over-hyped launch party where the CEO makes big promises to change the world any day (yep, I’m looking at you, Elizabeth Holmes via The Dropout).
Leave the boasting and the hyping for a team-building day, not for your website. Why’s that?
Your audience will be able to see through it.
They won’t be impressed by your vague promises or generalized results. They aren’t general, and they expect the service you provide to be specifically tailored to them. That’s another thing that makes writing this page so tricky:
You have to talk to thousands of people but make each reader feel like they’re the only person in the room.
To do that, you need to be genuine and authentic about what you bring to the table, not generic.
Writing tip: Avoid buzz-words and industry jargon.
Mistake #7. You Go On and On and On and On…
Remember, talking about yourself and your brand effectively is super hard.
Once you find inspiration, you may want to write on and on about every single experience, setback, win, idea, etc., that made your brand come alive.
But your about page shouldn’t read like a novel. Instead, prioritize brevity and clarity.
Writing tip: If it helps, don’t censor yourself at first. Write down everything you think you might want to include on this page. Once you have all the text, pare it down to the most important.
Yeah, You Really Need An About Page
With all the work (and stress) that goes into creating an incredible about page, you might be asking yourself, is it worth it? Could all the other pages do the job?
Yes, your website should have an about page!
Your About page will be one of the most viewed pages of the website, making it essential to get it right (no pressure). It can potentially increase your organic traffic and is a perfect place to strategically put your short and long-tail-focused keywords.
It’s also the perfect page to establish a human connection with your readers, and it’s best not to overlook this relationship-builder—because people connect with people, not businesses. Giving your business a human spark draws readers in emotionally and may make them want to engage with you more.
Now that you’re armed with knowledge (and hopefully coffee), it’s time to tackle your about page.
What are you most excited/nervous about when creating this page?
Let me know!
Thank you so much for watching.
Until next time!