How to write a ridiculously good About page

Build an About page that converts readers

About pages are arguably the most important on your website. It's where you can break through the business-talk -- here are my services, here are the prices, here are testimonials, etc. -- and have a shared human moment with your audience.

Here's what I tell every one of my content marketing clients: We are people marketing to people. Let's not forget that. (Tweet this!)

Potential customers want to know who you are and what you're about before opting to do business with you. Millennials often have giving-back initiatives built into their pricing because mission matters to them. Now more than ever, you'll want to share the story behind these initiatives and explain why they're important to you. Your About page is the just-right spot to do this.

About pages are arguably the most important on your website. It's where you can break through the business-talk -- here are my services, here are the prices, here are testimonials, etc. -- and have a shared human moment with your audience. Let's talk about the components of a killer About page.

Here are the components of a killer About page:

Tell your story

Much of your website content -- like your Services page, for example -- is likely to be memorable sound bites or bulleted lists. The About page is where you can tell your story in prose form. It helps your audience learn your brand voice, which is so important as they begin engaging with you. Every time I find a new brand on Instagram, Twitter or by word-of-mouth, I head straight to their About page to learn who they are.

Did you catch that? We use About pages to learn who companies are. The people behind them. What they're passionate about, what drives them, why they do what they do. My goodness, what's more important than that? A successful brand story can influence me to spend more on their services or donate to causes they champion.

Succinctly share what you bring to the table.

Be personable, and write in your own voice. As you tell your story, remember that the About page is still a page of your marketing site -- which means you're still selling yourself, your services or your products. What problems can you solve for potential customers? Why should they pick you to address their problems? How does your company's philosophy mean a better solution for them?

Don't be a robot

During your drafting process, read your writing out loud. It'll help you figure out if you sound like a normal person (Hi there! Here's what I'm all about.) or a robot (001 10110 011100101!). Writing sounds best when it's conversational and approachable, especially on this page, rather than technical and lofty. The rest of your site can still be elegant, but take the opportunity here to speak person to person.

Include a photo

It's easier to hire someone when you have a face to put with the name. Whether you're an individual entrepreneur like me, a small business or a large firm, put your face out there with a headshot or staff photo. It can be totally professional, like you might see on LinkedIn, or totally fun, showing your team's personality.

In this season of anonymous online bullies, trolling social media and commenting on websites under blurry avatars and fake names, it's a novelty to share who you are, what you're all about and literally what you look like. It also makes me take more seriously the individual or company when I see them share themselves in this way.

Brag on yourself (but only a little)

Don't forget that About page visitors are still there to see how collaborating with you serves them. It helps for them to see the awards you've won, conferences where you were the keynote speaker and recognizable brands you've collaborated with. Yet your story should still speak back to the problems you'll solve for them with all these shiny awards decorating your mantel.

Feeling cheesy calling out your major wins? Hire someone to write your About page for you.

Give a way to contact

Friends. Compadres. Copains. How is this flood of new business captivated by your About page going to do you any good without sharing how you can be reached? This means include your email address, a contact form, phone number, mailing address -- any way you want to be contacted, make it easy for folks.

Be social

When social media links aren't made obvious on a homepage, the About page is where your audience will head to find you online. In fact, I often go to the About page as a one-two punch: to learn a brand's story and easily find their social links. If your audience has to click from page to page to find you online, let's be honest: They're likely to give up, and you've lost a follower.

Consider also:

  • Including a video. I've played with this in the past to measure engagement. I don't always love watching videos on others' websites -- maybe I'm in a public place without earbuds or the video spends too long buffering -- so make sure your video is of high quality and its content is still conveyed in written form on your About page. A video can serve to enhance your human quality even more, just like including a photo. Because it's a moving photo, y'all.
  • Adding music (only if it makes sense for your brand). This is the right move if you're an audio engineer or session musician and the wrong move if you run a cycling company or are a handcrafted nightlight artisan.

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