This week we are going deeper into the Press Kit Principle looking at one of the key elements of your web site that you need to be ready for media and other influencers to visit, your about page.
About pages consistently rank as one of the most visited pages on any web site. It is natural because anyone visiting your site wants to know who you are and what you are all about.
For media and influencers, your about page is the first stop to assessing your suitability as an expert and they need to be able to ascertain that information quickly.
Look at it from their perspective. It’s 4 p.m., you are a journalist on deadline and need a health coach to offer comment for the story in the next 90 minutes.
You get on a health coach’s site, and your first stop is the about page. Now, it’s decision time. I need to know you are credible, so I’m looking for your certifications. I want to know who you work with and how long you’ve been a health coach.
I can’t find that info, so I quickly move on to the next coach on the list, who happens to be your business nemesis. Again, you are trumped by someone less qualified but with way more game. She’s quoted in your dream publication and it makes you nuts.
What are you going to do about it? Start with fixing your about page.
Getting Clear on the Purpose of Your About Page
First things first. If you have a web site, you need an about page. If you don’t have one, you need to get one written and up on your site, stat. By not having one, whatever your reason, you likely are losing valuable site traffic. No one likes to do business with someone who’s credibility isn’t obvious.
It’s not enough to simply have an about page, you need one that meets the needs of both your target customers and media/influencers. If you aren’t sure, you need to take the time to truly understand your ideal customers and what they see/think/feel and do before you can communicate clearly with them.
About pages, despite how critical they are when it comes to securing media or speaking gigs, and connecting with customers, are fraught with a number of common mistakes.
Here are five big about page mistakes to avoid.
1. It’s All About You
The name “about” page, may be misleading, but it’s not all about you. Your about page needs to be a place to connect with your customers and explain what you do and how you are qualified to do it. You want to create confidence that you can meet their needs and understand their challenges.
2. It’s Not About You…At All!
While about pages should address your customers, you need to include how you are the right person for the “job” in terms of experience and credibility. The page should not sound like anyone else but you – be authentic. If you work in a more formal market, breaking out casual, conversational copy may not be appropriate. And if you work with free-spirited entrepreneurs, you want to lose the stiff corporate speak.
Your about page is where your personality should come through so anyone who visits your site can quickly figure out if you are a good fit for them. Your experience should be showcased including your measurable achievements. The trick is to strike a balance between being humble and sharing your accomplishments.
Finally, be sure to include your picture so they can “see” you as well.
3. It’s Seriously Long and B-O-R-I-N-G
Your about page should educate and entertain. The idea is to have whoever is reading the page think “yes, I want to work with him” or “wow, I can’t wait to interview her”. Think of your about page as telling a story, so you need to keep it bite-sized and make it skimmable so readers can quickly get the key points. Freely use subheads and bullets to break up your copy.
4. You Don’t Showcase Your Relevant Experience
Don’t save your media or speaking experience for your press page. It has a place on your about page as well. Including this information signals to customers and media that you have authority and not just making it up as you go. If appropriate, link to your speaker or press page from your about page.
5. You Don’t Have a Formal Bio
If you are jockeying to get noticed, you need a formal bio ready to go. Your bio should be one or two paragraphs long and highlight who you are, what you do and why you are qualified to do it. Your should be added to to the bottom of your about page so it can be readily accessed by media/influencers and anyone else who is interested.
Need Help Sprucing up Your About Page?
I’ve opened up a number of Rapid Fire About Page Makeovers for late November and early December. Last week I was told I was “straight up crazy town” to keep doing this these sessions at such a low price, so they will be going up in price come January! Click here for more info.