Is Your About Page Good Enough? Are You Sure?
Making a good first impression is essential enough that we have a cliché about screwing it up that’s been around since before the internet existed. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression even when meeting them in person and shaking their hand. How much harder is it to make a good first impression—to convince someone they’re part of your tribe—without that personal connection. How do you break through all the noise and convince someone you’re on their side?
If you’ve got any familiarity whatsoever with Content Marketing, your answer probably starts with making genuinely remarkable content, and you’d be right.
But I’ve got a question for you. Imagine someone is scrolling through their social feeds and finds something you wrote. They click through. They read it. They love it. You’ve done a great job at producing remarkable content.
What’s the next thing that person does? You probably have a CTA at the end of your post. Maybe you ask for their e-mail address. Maybe there’s a content upgrade. That’s all good stuff.
Your About Page is second only to your home page in number of visitors, and that makes it one of the most straightforward, most profound marketing tools at your disposal.
But you know what most of them are going to do?
They’re going to click over to your About Page to learn more about you. Your About Page is second only to your home page in number of visitors, and that makes it one of the most straightforward, most profound marketing tools at your disposal. Is yours good enough?
If You’re Not Worried About Your About Page, You Should Be
You’re probably familiar with the Know-Like-Trust paradigm. People can’t buy from you if they don’t know who you are, won’t buy from you if they don’t like you, and once they truly trust you, they won’t even think of buying from anyone else.
Your job as a marketer is to get random strangers to take that journey. I don’t have to tell you that it’s as tricky as it is crucial. All of your potential customers are out there living their lives and you have to grab their attention long enough to convince them that their lives would be better if they gave you money.
When people have that tiny kernel of interest, the one thing that makes it grow is convincing them that you’re on their side. That’s what your About Page does, and that’s why it’s monstrously important.
If they’ve read or watched or listened to a piece of your content and they’ve clicked over to your About Page, they’ve expressed the first inkling of being interested in what you have to say. They think you have an interesting perspective and that their lives might be better if they learn more. You have to take that tiny kernel of interest and turn it into something robust and tangible.
There’s a lot of analogies for that. You let them know that they’re in your tribe, that you share a worldview, blah blah blah, it’s all good, but it’s using unnecessary jargon. When people have that tiny kernel of interest, the one thing that makes it grow is convincing them that you’re on their side. That’s what your About Page does, and that’s why it’s monstrously important.
It’s not only something almost all of your customers are going to see, right at the time when they’re deciding if they like you, it’s something that will draw them closer thus making all of your marketing efforts a little bit more successful.
How to Know if it’s Terrible
If you wrote your About Page to appeal to as broad an audience as possible, it’s probably terrible. Look at the About Page for PepsiCo. It’s boring as hell and doesn’t do a damn thing to draw you in. It reads like a drone wrote it for the Borg.
And that’s fine—for PepsiCo.
They’re an international conglomerate and most of their established products have near-universal name recognition. They market to a broad swath of people and if you or I had their yearly marketing budget, we’d never have to work again.
You’re not PepsiCo. You’re probably not trying to be PepsiCo. If you are, your business isn’t at the stage where you can rely on mass marketing. If it were, you wouldn’t be here reading this.
I’ve got a downloadable worksheet that will help you triage your About Page. I’ll tell you about it later, but the first thing on the list is to make sure your About Page appeals to a narrow audience. You want it to attract your ideal customers and drive away everyone else. That’s how you build that connection.
How to Make it Good
Your ideal customers aren’t you, but they are like you, so your About Page should sound like something you’d say. You’re talking to your people so talk to them the way you’d want them to talk to you.
Imagine that you’ve run into someone who is interested in what you do but doesn’t understand it. Write out what you’d say to them. Nerd out to your heart’s content, hold nothing back.
Then go back and take out all the parts that sound overeager. If there are exclamation points, take them out. If there is a lot of industry jargon, replace it with a non-insider term. Remember, the people reading your About Page aren’t going to know all the jargon.
Your About Page needs to do five things:
- Tell them who you are
- Tell them what you do
- Tell them why you do it
- Tell them how it will help them
- Ask them to join you
It’s just that simple. Someone reading your About Page is primed to like you. Talk to them enthusiastically about what you do, why, and how it can help them, then ask them to sign up for your mailing list so you can continue the conversation later.
When to Hire a Pro
Writing about yourself is hard. It’s hard for writers and it’s even harder for non-writers. If you’re not good with words, or even have a bit of a phobia about writing, you’re not alone and it doesn’t mean you should abandon all hope about building a successful business. It just means you need help.
You’ve got a budget and it’s not PepsiCo’s, so you might be thinking about asking for help from that cousin you have who’s “good with words” or hiring someone on Fiverr or Upwork for five or ten bucks.
Being “good with words” isn’t enough. The skill of putting words together in ways that read cleanly and convey a message is important, but it isn’t enough.
You can do that, and it might be fine, but you should remember why we have a cliché about getting what you pay for—it’s true.
Being “good with words” isn’t enough. The skill of putting words together in ways that read cleanly and convey a message is important, but it isn’t enough. That PepsiCo About Page reads cleanly and sends a message. The message is that they’re a multinational conglomerate and they’re just trying to have an About Page without offending people.
You need someone who can do more than put words together well. You need someone who has the marketing expertise to know what message to convey as well as the technical writing skill to convey it.
I have those skills and if you’re not absolutely sure you can get the job done, I can do it for you. I guarantee you’ll like the results.
I’ve developed a system for diagnosing problems with About Pages. I’ve distilled that down into a questionnaire that you can use to diagnose yours. I’ll give it to you free in exchange for your best e-mail address.