The other day, I was doing some research on other copywriters in my field. I sat at my desk, a piping cup of coffee by my side, and typed into Google “freelance copywriters.”
As I began exploring a few results, I found one in particular who caught my eye. Her home page was missing some key aspects of what she does and who she specializes in. Curious to learn more, I clicked over to her About page, hoping it would glean a little more insight into who she is and how she markets herself.
On the page, there was a picture of herself and just a couple of sentences that described her love of Mac ‘N Cheese and weird Netflix shows.
That was it.
It didn’t say anything about what she does, how she got into writing, or any credentials to build trust. It was just a couple of random facts about her.
I don’t know about you, but if I was a client looking for a copywriter, I wouldn’t have gone much further than that. I would have closed out the page and kept on looking for the next possibility.
Your About page is where your audience warms up to the idea of working with you. It’s like that first date – that first impression that is oh-so-crucial to creating a lifelong relationship. Without that information – your backstory, brand fundamentals, credentials, a call-to-action, and more – how is a potential client going to know whether you’re the right fit for their needs?
As I’ve been doing my research, I’ve noticed a common thread of mistakes on various creatives’ websites. Heck, a few of these I used to be guilty of, myself. Here are a few of those mistakes and ways you can improve them if they hit a little too close to home:
1. Making Your About Page All About You
Think about this for a second: why is your audience reading your About page?
They’ve landed on your website, got a glimpse at what you have to offer on your home page and maybe even on your services page, and something about what you have to offer caught their interest.
But before they’re ready to talk to you, they need to answer a few questions first. One of these is: can this business do what I need them to do?
Once you have a firm understanding of why your audience is there, you can address the questions they have. In other words, instead of telling them your entire life story* and what you like to do on the weekends, focus on how you can help your audience solve their challenges.
*Note: With that said, you do still want to include your backstory. This allows your audience a chance to get to know you and also begins to establish credibility – more on that later.
2. Boring Your Audience
Okay, so your audience is interested in what you have to offer and all you have to do is captivate them with your personality, knowledge, and capabilities. This is the equivalent to getting a Coffee Meets Bagel match to say yes to a first date.
It’s time to charm the pants off them.
But what happens when they land on your page, get through the first few sentences, and are bored out of their mind? They hit the “back” button a few times until they’re back on the search results page looking for another date to go on.
To make sure you’re not boring your new prospects out of their mind as they learn more about you, here are a few tips:
- Capture their attention right from the start with an engaging lead-in.
- Incorporate your brand personality and simplify your language as much as possible
- Tell a story – use your backstory, customer success stories, and anecdotes to make a point and become memorable
3. Leaving Out Credibility
Humans are emotional decision makers. By nature, we make decisions based on what we feel, rather than what we know.
With that said, your credibility is what reassures your audience you can do your job. It proves you’re a professional rather than just someone who’s trying to make a few bucks on the side (even if that’s what you’re actually doing, you don’t want to be portrayed that way).
Bring in credibility by including any number of the following:
- Customer testimonials
- Success stories
- Press mentions
Once you’ve charmed them with storytelling, your credentials will make that landing stick and get them to click the link at the end of the page. Speaking of which…
4. Not Telling Your Audience What to do Next
This is one of the biggest opportunities I see on these pages. It’s easy to implement and yet many entrepreneurs leave it out.
By the end of your About page, your audience should know all about you, what you have to offer, and how you can solve their challenges. Your first date has gone well and they’re interested in a second one.
So many pages leave it at that. They finish the last sentence and leave the audience hanging – not sure what to do next or where to go. In other words, they stand up and walk away without giving them the number to contact and schedule a second date.
At the end of your About page, include a simple call-to-action that relates to the main goal of your website.
- Do you want people to schedule a free consultation? Link to your contact form or scheduling page.
- Do you want them to see your services and hire you? Link to your services page.
Whatever you do, don’t leave them hanging. Make it easy for them to schedule that second date.
5. Not Even Having an About Page
I get it. About pages are incredibly difficult to write. I’ve been there: stuck at the desk, staring at a blank page, not knowing what to say.
So, you shrug, think “it’s okay, I don’t need this anyway,” and go on without the most important page of your website.
I know how tempting it is to go without it. It’s easy, it saves stress, and you don’t really need it, do you?
But think about it like this:
Leaving out your About page is like asking your customer to be in a relationship with you without going on the first date.
Without it, they don’t have the crucial step of getting to know you and understanding whether you can solve their challenges. So, they’re just not going to hire you. They’re going to hit the back button and go find a competitor who will tell them about themselves.