Marketing / Business writing

6 About page mistakes you’re probably making

Did you know the ‘About’ page is the second most visited page of any website? Disturbingly, it’s also the page where many of us are getting things really wrong!

26 March 2015

Why are so many of us getting it wrong when it comes to writing the content for our About pages? Well it seems to be because we find it hard to tell people about the value we can bring to their lives.

Enter Bernadette Jiwa.

She’s a globally recognised expert in brand storytelling who shows great businesses how to become meaningful brands. Bernadette reckons there are six main areas we’re most likely to go wrong when it comes to writing the copy for the ‘About’ page on our websites:

1. Not knowing who you’re talking to.

This is the most overlooked aspect of brand and business communication in general.

Every message you craft should begin by understanding the audience it’s intended for. If you don’t know who you’re talking to, how can you tell them what they want and need to hear?

So start with why, but don’t forget who.

"Think about why you’re writing an about page in the first place. It’s to show people the value you can bring to their lives. "

2. Leading with the facts.

People need to know more about the real you. Facts alone don’t persuade. Your about page should function as a window, not a wall.

3. Forgetting to show and tell people how you can help them.

Be specific, add links to your products and services.

4. Failing to show how you’ve provided solutions for others.

Link to your portfolio, client testimonials and list projects you’ve worked on. And if you don’t have these things on your website, get them on there!

5. Not including a contact link or call to action.

Your about page should not only provide information and build trust, it must also encourage potential clients to get in touch.

6. Making it all about you

Think about why you’re writing an about page in the first place. It’s to show people the value you can bring to their lives. Remember your reader is not all that interested in you. They’re mostly interested in how you make them feel.

So the best way to approach your About page is to ask yourself “how do I want the reader to feel when they’ve finished reading?”

So who’s getting it right?

Well not too many people it seems! But happily there is one person whose About page totally hits it out of the park and that’s James Clear.

Do you see how James shows up as the nice guy he obviously is?

  • Photo, check.
  • Doesn’t make it all about him, check.
  • Tells readers exactly what they are going to get, check.
  • And not only does he tell people what to expect, he shows them what to do. So that requisite strong call to action is definitely checked off too.

James does a great job of opening a window into his life, showing the value he can bring to his readers’ lives … and then making it very clear how readers can get access to that value.

Nice job James!

But back to you. What’s the best thing about everything we’ve learned above? Well it’s the fact that not too many people are getting it right! That means if you do, it’s a real opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

So what are you waiting for? Go!

And if you’d like to hear more from Bernadette, check out the podcast Robert Gerrish did with her here!

When was the last time you gave your About page a bit of love and attention?

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