The anatomy of a kick-ass about page

By Celeste Mitchell

If you think of the pages on your blog or business website being like the squares of a Monopoly board, your about page would be Mayfair.

So valuable is this piece of virtual real estate, people will come trampling through like it’s a never-ending open house whether you invited them in or not. They’re intrigued! They’re curious! They want to see if the curtains match the drapes, if you know what I’m sayin’.

Is your about page filled with the scent of freshly-baked cookies and beautiful blooms, or does it feel like the worst house on the best street? (Great in real estate land, not so great when it’s your biz and the street is full of your competitors.)

Remember, you’ve got approximately 3 seconds to seduce your Mr or Mrs Right (customer) before they jump ship to the instant gratification of another shiny domain. They’re instinctively going to head to your about page, and when they get there, what they see:

  • Needs to be clear
  • Needs to hook them in
  • Needs to answer questions
  • Needs to have an element of surprise

There are a few key elements that make up a truly memorable about page and how you play with them is entirely up to you. Read: The more you can tweak the page to show off your true personality, the better!

How are you faring in these five areas?

The hook

There’s a clever little tool in writing you’re going to need to get to know intimately, if you don’t already.

It’s called the hook.

It’s your angle. Your “bingo!”. Your “aha” moment. Your “slap me down and call me Suzy, this person really gets me” statement.

And the writers who produce the most memorable work are masters of the hook.

It’s all about infusing the theme of your message with the emotion that will reach right into the belly of your readers, make them spit out their muesli and pay attention to what you’ve got to say.

It takes in the worldview and assumptions of your reader and challenges them with a new idea.

Hit them right between the eyes with a powerful intro statement or heading to your about page that does exactly that. Surprise them, shock them, and most of all… become a master of intrigue through words.

Colourful language

Only when you start to write in your natural voice will you attract the people that think, ‘f**k yeah, this person really gets me’.

Nobody ever made a lasting impression by thinking, ‘I hope I sound professional’. Be bold in your language choices and work hard to ensure you don’t sound like everyone else.

Go through your copy with a big red pen and underline any words or sentences that feel too generic or cliched. If you think you’ve heard it all before, so will your readers, which means you’re not capturing their attention (refer back to the hook and try again)!

Photography & design

You may be a word nerd through and through but if your about page doesn’t look pretty (or work well on mobile) it’s going to be pretty easy for potential customers and clients to left swipe your ass outta there.

Invest in design. Use subheadings to break up chunks of text. And for the love of WordPress, do not publish your page without a photo that shows the world who you are (eye contact and smile, people!).

As a very wise friend of mine once said, you wouldn’t buy anything from a shopkeeper if you walked in and they were wearing a paper bag on their head, so don’t be shy. Show your fine self!

The personal touch

Don’t be afraid to stamp your personality on the page, but don’t feel you have to tell the world your ENTIRE life story, either.

Think back to your connectors, to your audience and don’t get too caught up. They want to know your story but they also want to be able to relate.

Give them just enough of what they need to know about you, but ultimately keep the page all about them (uh huh, that’s right… this page is all about THEM).

If you’re still champing at the bit to tell more of your story, why not write a blog post called ‘10 things you never knew about me’ or tell your story in an emotion-fuelled post like this one?

Or can you reveal your backstory with heart on another platform (like Cara’s Instagram post)?

Call to action

Once you’re satisfied your copy is alluring, interesting, informative and tells your customers everything they need to know, you’re ready to rock!

Think about what call to action you want to include on the page? What’s your priority?

Is it...

  • Directing people to your services page so they can book to work with you?
  • Asking them to contact you to make a booking?
  • Getting them to sign up to your email updates?
  • Sending them onto the blog posts you’re most proud of so they can immerse themselves in your brand?

Don’t overwhelm your customers with multiple links – keep it clean and simple so your about page can perform at its best.

Before you publish your kick-ass new copy…

Use this checklist to BYO (be-your-own) editor:

[   ] Are you using your natural voice? Is it in an easy-to-read and understand, conversational flow?

(PS. Your copy should be able to be understood by an eight-year-old who has no idea about you and your biz.)

[   ] Have you started with an impactful heading, designed to capture your readers and speak directly to them?

[   ] Are you using ‘you’ focused language (especially in your first paragraphs)?

[   ] Have you clearly explained what your biz does, who you (or your company) are and why your potential customers/clients should trust you?

[   ] Have you added your own quirky vibe with stylistic embellishments, slang words, pop culture references and a rocket-full of fun? Do they know who you really are?

[   ] Have you used subheadings and dot points to break up heavy chunks of copy? If so, are they attention grabbing or a bit stale?

[   ] Does it all fit within 200-300 words? If not, does it feel too long OR how can you provide some of the bottom part on another page or behind a hidden tab?

[   ] Have you spell-checked manually twice and asked someone else to check it for you? Even the world’s best editors make mistakes!

Celeste Mitchell is a whip-smart wordslinger & business pimp for entrepreneurs and brands who want to take their online presence from boring to badass.

As a journalist, former magazine editor and the founder of The Devil Wears Flip Flops she’s obsessed with flipping clichéd copy on its head and writing words that will make you sit up and pay attention.

When she’s not figuring out how to use the word ‘mofo’ in a sentence, you’ll find her gallivanting around the world writing stories for Escape, Australian Traveller and Renegade Collective and dishing out advice on writing with personality at thedevilwearsflipflops.com.

She created the DIY word-kit, YOU in Words, for anyone who’s ever struggled to write about themselves and is looking for the blueprint to create a kick-ass about page and bio for their biz (without dropping another couple of grand!).

Photo Credit: Krista Eppelstun