The Biggest Turn-off on Your About Page
I arrived at the restaurant, an anxiety-fueled 10 minutes early. When he sauntered toward the table, I felt my pulse quicken. Could this be the relationship I’d been hoping for?
He shook my hand and sat down—and then he began. “Hey, I’m Brad. I’m a photographer, marketer, and owner of The Photo Pitt, Inc. My mission is to make photography and marketing more visible. As far back as I can remember, I’ve had an obsession with the power of photography and good marketing. I was torn between the two for the longest time until I realized I could combine them into one, and huzzah! My business was born. With substantial experience in branding photography and marketing copy of all kinds in a wide variety of industries, I help people take their businesses to the next level. Do you want to know more about me and what I do?”
If your About page talks all about you and the things you love, it’s the equivalent of your client being on a bad date.
As if writing about yourself isn’t challenging enough, know this: people don’t come to your site because they want to know more about you, your business, and what you offer; they want to know more about how you relate to them.
They come to your website for them. Because they want you to help them. Because they want something for themselves. Because it’s all about them. Not you.
If you were speaking face-to-face with someone, you’d ask questions about them, what they were looking for, and what they were seeking to let them know they were in the right place: you wouldn’t just blurt out things about yourself. Think of your website as a two-sided conversation.
The one idea in writing your bio or About page that should inform every word you put on your website is that it’s not all about you.
Your About page IS about you with respect to what you can do for your clients.
Print out your current About page and circle how many times you say “I,” “me,” “my,” or “mine,” or if you’re writing in the third person (stop that!) how many times you refer to yourself. Then look at how many times you use the word “you” to refer to your potential client. If yours is like most of the bios I read, there’s too much about you and not enough about them. Think about flipping your I’s and you’s wherever you can put the focus on them.
“I’m Phyllis Photographer, and I’ve been in love with photography since I picked up my grandma’s camera when I was six. I love photographing families; I find such great joy in the energy and excitement that happens in a shoot! And I absolutely love to see that joy in the final photos.”
There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this, but as your potential client, this tells me nothing except that you love what you do. But the next websites I visit tell me the same thing. None of them speak to me as a client.
However, if I flip “I” into “you,” the statement becomes more about them:
“I’m Phyllis Photographer, and I work with busy families (like yours!) to make photographs in your home that will change the way you see yourself and your family.”
I’ve told you who I am (Phyllis), what I do (make photographs), who I work with (families like yours), where it happens (in your home) and why I do it (to change the way you see yourself and your family).
Try it for yourself and see what you come up with!