Hey. Got time for a quiz? Don’t worry, it’s short. Just a single question.
What do most web pros do on their own websites that makes me the saddest?
Answer: Write a useless About page.
The Proven Formula for Writing an About Page That Sells
If you haven’t been reading my series on content that sells, here’s the short version…
I’ve seen a lot of bad designers’ and developers’ websites in my work as a writer, but very few good ones.
That goes double for About pages – and here’s why: You’ve been lied to. See, an About page shouldn’t be about you at all. The accepted wisdom is that it should be, but that’s wrong.
Your About page should be about the person reading it. Let me repeat that. (In capital letters so it sinks in.)
YOUR ABOUT PAGE SHOULD BE ABOUT YOUR POTENTIAL CLIENT.
In fact, it really only needs to do two things:
- Explain to your potential client why she should read the page in the first place, and
- Tell her why she should bother to take time out of her busy life to give you her money.
If you can answer those questions for her, you’ve got a much better chance of turning her into a client.
It’s that simple.
The good news? I’ve got an About page formula. And when you use it, you’ll transform your About page – from a politely useless piece of nothing that simply takes up space on your site, to something that helps you sell like a machine.
Step 1: Use a Value-Oriented Headline
The first thing you need on your page is a headline that promises the benefits your prospect will get by working with you. (Sound familiar?)
Ask yourself ‘What is my reader going to get out of a business relationship with me?’ Then write to that.
For example, here’s what’s on my own About page:
‘Help your clients get found, build trust and drive sales… And look like a hero for doing it.’
See, I work exclusively with web professionals like you. I rewrite their clients’ sites so they attract more leads, and then I help them use content to turn more of those leads into buyers. That makes their clients really happy. (Which makes the web professionals really, really happy.)
Now I’m sure all that sounds like a commercial, but I promise it’s not. I’m not telling you to sell my services – just to show you how the headline on my page sells my services for me.
Everything I do is promised in my About page headline. Can you see how it’s a lot more effective than ‘About Aaron Wrixon’?
Your headline should do the same – promise the benefits that your client will see by working with you.
Step 2: Dive Deeper into Benefits with Your Body Copy
After a headline that promises benefits, use the next part of your page to explore those benefits.
And sure, you can get into the basics of the services you offer… As long as you talk about benefits – and do it from your potential client’s perspective.
Now, if you’re stuck on how to zero in on benefits, you can use a trick I stole – er, borrowed-from Copyblogger.
Take any feature of your service offering that you want to talk about. Then ask yourself, ‘Which means what for my client?’ Once you ask yourself ‘Which means?’ enough, you’ll have your benefit.
Let’s look at an example.
‘At RandomWeb, we build responsive websites.’
OK. Responsive websites. Great. What does that mean for your client?
‘We build responsive websites, which means that people who browse the web on a mobile device will have the same great experience on your site as everyone else.’
Better. But what does that mean?
‘Which means that people will browse more than they would if the website wasn’t responsive.’
‘Which means people will buy more.’
Perfect. You don’t build responsive websites. You don’t even build sites that look pretty on phones. You build sites that practically compel the percentage of your client’s customer base that uses mobile phones to buy more.
(Feeling like a hero yet?)
Step 3: Add More Social Proof
Using the ‘which means’ technique will really improve the effectiveness of your webpage. And now, for an even greater punch, you’re going to add some social proof – testimonials from other clients that help take the fear and risk out of buying.
I talked about doing this in my post on homepages, but social proof is just as important here.
Wait though – if you’re saying, ‘But I don’t have any,’ don’t let that stop you.
Ask for recommendations on LinkedIn. Solicit feedback from your clients with a Google survey. Put the word out on Facebook. Physically call clients up (hey… remember the telephone?) and ask, ‘Can you say a couple of kind words about me for my website?’
Whatever it takes to get testimonials, do it. You need to put them on your About page, because in our increasingly suspicious society, more and more clients will buy with the web company they think they can trust.
Offering proof that your readers can do exactly that – trust you – will go a long way toward getting them to make the decision to work with you.
Step 4: Add Company Details
Now let’s not forget this is your ‘About’ page, after all. So there’s no need to explicitly avoid details about you and your business. In fact your About page would seem strange if it didn’t have any.
However, you’re going to see the best results if you focus on writing about yourself in a way that helps readers feel like you understand them.
Does that make sense? Instead, making claims such as ‘We’ve been building websites on WordPress for ten years,’ you want to say things like, ‘We’ve been helping small businesses earn more money on the web for more than a decade.’
Remember, you always want to try to phrase things in language that resonates with your website visitors. Doing that helps move talking about your business from bragging to simply describing how your services can help.
Step 5: Include Something to Signup For
Finally, don’t forget to give your visitors something to do, like register to download a relevant ebook, or sign up for an email series.
You might write, ‘To learn seven simple ways to improve your website – and get more customers – fill out this form,’ or, ‘Sign up for this free 10 – part email series and learn how to turn your website into a selling machine.’
This is smart to do for two reasons.
First, when you offer your visitor the chance to trade contact details for some piece of useful information, you are of course capturing those details… Now you have a way to begin the sales conversation.
And second, by giving away helpful knowledge for free, you’re building value in a non-threatening way – and you’re positioning yourself as an expert.
You’re no longer saying, ‘Pleased to meet you – why don’t you pay for a website redesign?’ You’re telling them instead that you care so much about their business pain that you’re willing to help reduce it. For free.
Paradoxically, the less you care about selling – and the more you care about helping – the more sales you’ll make.
Remember: About Us Shouldn’t Really Be About ‘Us’
Above all, this is the one thing I want you to take away from this post, even if you don’t remember anything else. You’re not writing an About Us page – you’re writing an About You, My Potential Client page.
Many web pros still don’t understand that, so just by putting this 5 – step formula into action you can differentiate yourself from the competition.
(Say it with me now!)
Suddenly your About page will help you sell.
Next time I’m going to talk about Services pages, so you don’t want to miss it.
- Web Design Tips to Help You Sell Services Online
- Does Your Portfolio Give Clients What They (Really) Want?
- Tips on Writing a Services Page that Sells
- How To Write A Homepage That Helps You Sell
- Are You Making This “Dangerous” Web Content Mistake?
- The Future of Email Marketing and Newsletter Designs
- A Touch of Neon in Web Design: Using Color to Draw a User’s Attention
- The Grumpy Designer’s Ode to Troubleshooting