Writing copy for your About page is hard!
And we get it. Talking about yourself, your achievements, your life story, and how awesome you are is awkward.
But guess what?
There’s another way!
Because (wait for it) your About page isn’t really about you!
And if you’ve tried writing your own About page copy, you’ve probably fallen into one of the traps a lot of other website owners fall into. So here we give you the top copy mistakes that personal brands make on your About page (and share some handy tips on how to fix them). Because we’re nice like that.
Let’s get stuck in.
What are the biggest mistakes personal brands make on their about page?
1. It’s all about you!
The first mistake a lot of business owners make on their About page is focusing on themselves. It’s making a big song and dance about what an amazing professional you are, when you went to university, what you got your degree in, and… and… and…
News flash. No one’s interested.
Obviously, you are awesome – super qualified and great at what you do. We know that.
But do you know what people really care about? Making sure you’re the right person to help them. They want to know they’re in the right place to get the product or service that’s going to solve their problem.
And most of the time, whether you went to university or bagged yourself a gazillion certifications that only really mean something if you work in your field and industry, is irrelevant.
What Should You Do Instead? Tell your readers how you can help them
Turn your About page on its head. When it comes to writing your about page, reframe your mindset from ‘about me’ to ‘How I can help you’.
This isn’t what you’re actually going to name your page by the way. You’ll still call it ‘About’, ‘About Me’, or ‘About Us’, but adding this phrase to the top of the page while you’re writing your copy will help you switch your focus onto your readers – your ideal customers or clients.
So think about:
- What are the problems they are experiencing? (And that you solve?)
- What puts you in the ideal position to solve those problems?
- How do you help them?
Ask yourself these types of questions as you write your copy, and you’ll avoid the mistake of making it all about you. Make it about how you can help them.
2. You write in the third person
“Bob is one of the most acclaimed speakers in the industry. Since 1995, he has travelled all over the world to deliver his signature talks to large crowds.”
Who is writing this for Bob exactly? His biographer?
Let’s be honest. Writing in the third person may have been the done thing 10-20 years ago. It came across as professional and prestigious. Not many personal brands or small businesses had websites back then, and no one wanted to come across as a one-person band. The trend was definitely to try and make your company look bigger and better – more corporate and sought-after.
But, just like in fashion, things changed. And they’ve moved on.
Website users are shrewd and clever. We can see through stuff. And we can tell the difference between something that comes across as genuine and approachable versus something that seems stuffy and detached.
You may not be aware that you’re doing it, but when you write content in the third person, you’re putting distance between yourself and your reader. You’re almost putting yourself on a pedestal, making yourself look unreachable and unattainable. Which is exactly what not to do as a personal brand.
And people don’t tend to relate too well to that.
What Should You Do Instead? Write in the first person!
If it’s just you in your business, and you’re the one people will work with when they hire you, don’t be afraid to say so. Feel free to use ‘I’ – write content for your About page in the first person. We’re giving you full permission here!
You need to learn to embrace your personal brand, not run away from it. That’s why we recommend your website domain can be your personal brand name! And it’s why we recommend you write in first person.
And if you have a team, you can still write using the first person. Just change ‘I’ to ‘we’, ‘me’ to ‘us’, ‘mine’ to ‘ours’, and job done!
3. You don’t have any calls-to-action to your product or services
Much like your Homepage, which acts as the reception area of your website, your About page should direct people to other pages.
For example, on our About page, we list all the problems our services solve, and under each service, we have a ‘Find Out More’ button that takes people to the relevant service pages. This is where they can read more about each of the individual services we offer and make an informed decision as to whether they’re ready to work with us.
We also invite people to get in touch with us via our ‘Let’s Chat!’ button, which takes our readers to our Contact page.
But if you don’t have any calls-to-action where you let your prospective customers and clients know what you’d like them to do next, your About page may become a dead end.
So what should you do instead?
What Should You Do Instead? Direct people to other areas of your website
Use your About page efficiently by directing your audience to the relevant pages on your website where they can find more information about working with you. Add links to your Product or Service pages, your Contact page, and more of your content, if relevant.
4. You copy your competitors
Another mistake we see people make all the time is to sound exactly the same as their competitors. We see this a lot in the web design world, but it happens in all fields and industries.
Sure, all coaches want to help their clients ‘thrive’ and everyone is ‘result-driven’. But is this really you? Or are you just using terms and phrases that everyone else in your industry uses?
If your website copy reads exactly the same as everyone else’s, how can your ideal clients make a decision as to who they should work with? How do they know you’re different and better for them than any of your competitors?
So what should you do instead?
What Should You Do Instead? Focus on your USP
Instead of trying to fall in line and use overused words and phrases that other professionals in your industry use, be original. Be you! You are a personal brand, after all, and what makes you unique is you.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What’s your USP? What makes you unique and special? Is it your method? Your business set up? Your background and experience? Or maybe your qualifications?
- Why should people do business with you?
- Why should they pick you over someone else?
That is what you want to talk about on your About page, so don’t worry about the latest buzzwords or the overused business jargon that everyone else is using. Being like everyone else won’t do you any favours – we can promise you that!
5. You have zero personality
When people come to check out your website, they want to get an idea of what it’s like to work with you. Are you serious and corporate? Informal and quirky? Straight-talking but hilariously funny?
Whoever you are (and whatever your brand), it’s important that your website copy reflect your personality. The last thing you want is for people to get you on the phone or hire you for their first consultation and find out you’re nowhere near how you come across on your website.
Surprises like that never tend to work out well. After all, people check out your About page to figure out if you’re the right person to work with. And your job is to help them make that decision by the way you come across on the page.
How will you do that?
What Should You Do Instead? Nail your tone of voice
Your copy should help your target audience connect with you. You want to build trust and differentiate yourself from your competitors.
If you want to learn more about how to show your personality on your website, check out our blog post: How to Nail your Tone of Voice.
6. You don’t have any pictures of you!
Another mistake we see a lot of business owners make is to shy away from having any pictures of themselves on their website, and especially on their About page.
Remember – your About page is the place where your ideal customers or clients come to work out if you’re the right person for the job.
How can they choose you if they can’t even see you?
You see, words and images are a match made in heaven! The trick is to make the copy about your reader but the imagery about you. This is so people can see and sense who you are and who they’re thinking about hiring.
Using stock photos or no images at all is tempting, but it means missing out on the opportunity to build that know, like, and trust factor that’s so important when people are thinking of buying from you.
What Should You Do Instead? Have amazing personal brand pictures of you on your About page
If it’s just you in your business, by all means, show us your face! You can have photos of yourself ‘in action’ while working with a client, speaking from a stage, teaching from a classroom, signing your book – whatever applies. Just make sure people can see you!
And if you have a team, share their lovely faces too! We feel so strongly about this that we even wrote a piece called, Show Us Your Face! And if you’re thinking of hiring a photographer to take some professional pics of you, then check out our blog post, Lessons We Learned From Our Business Photoshoot.
7. You don’t capture any leads
Something a lot of personal brands seem to forget is that your website is the ideal place to capture people’s email addresses, so you can build and nurture relationships with your audience by offering them value, and, ultimately close more sales.
Website traffic is great, but a lot of people won’t be ready to buy after visiting your website just once or twice. They’ll want to read more, find out more about you, and get to know you a little better before they make the decision to go ahead and make a purchase.
You can certainly give them more information through your copy and the awesome content you publish on your blog. But your email list is the place where you can show off your knowledge and expertise and offer your prospective customers or clients loads of value.
Except… you won’t be able to get your visitors from your website and onto your email list if you don’t give them an incentive to pop in their email address.
What Should You Do Instead? Add a sign-up form to your About page
Your About page is the ideal place for you to add a sign-up form, so make sure you create a lead magnet and ask your readers for an email address. What can you offer your audience that will encourage them to join your email list? What value can you give them? Is there a quick problem you can solve for them?
Once you’re clear on what you’re going to offer, add a sign-up form where they can easily pop in their email address, and then you can deepen and nurture that relationship via your email list. If you’re interested in using your website to build your email list, check out our blog post on how to create a lead generating website.
8. You call your About page ‘Your journey’ (or something equally rubbish)
We see this all the time, and it’s probably a side-effect of wanting to be original and show your personality (which we get).
But calling your About page something else – like ‘Our journey’, ‘Our story’, ‘Experience’, or ‘Thoughts’ (or anything else) is never a good idea.
Why? Because people are used to the About page being called ‘About’. It’s an easy, recognisable term. It’s what the page is called.
Your readers head over to your About page when they’re trying to make a decision about working with you. The last thing you want is for them to skip over the page or miss it completely just because you called it something else!
If they can’t find your About page, they might click the back button and be gone. And that’s not what you want!
So what can you do instead?
What Should You Do Instead? Call your About page by its name
This is a simple one. Call your About page ‘About’, ‘About Me’, or ‘About Us’. You don’t need to be any more creative than this – not with your page title. It’s what your readers expect to see on your website and where they head to in order to find out more about you. Make this easy and straightforward for your audience.
Want to Learn More About How to Create a High-Converting About Page?
And if you want more tips on how to write an awesome About page for your website, head over to our blog post, How To Write Your Website About Page.
Or download our checklist on how to create an about page for your personal brand…