The Who’s Who of Your About Page
“It’s not business until it’s personal.”
I met her at a conference and developed a huge business crush on her; she was an absolute pro. She told me all about what she did, who she did it for, and why she did it. She was in-depth about her ideal clients, describing them in detail. “I can only hope to be that dialed into what I do,” I thought.
But when I went to her website, it felt like I was in the wrong place; it seemed like she was a different person than the one I had met. Her messaging seemed skewed, as if she didn’t know who she was talking to. For the photography coach who told me that her ideal clients were working moms who wanted to expand their businesses from conventional portraits to lifestyle sessions to provide meaningful legacy pieces to help them become the go-to family photographer in their area, her website didn’t tell me any of that.
It was generic. Broad. Unfocused. I had no real idea what she was trying to tell me there.
If you’re not speaking to your ideal client, it’s like walking into a crowded room, shouting what you do, and hoping someone will hear you.
Beyond writing your About page or bio (but in ways that are really about your clients), the next step is developing a deeper grasp of who your audience is—of who’s reading your About page. It’s easy when talking about ideal clients or audiences or markets to pretend such things exist, but they don’t. Those are just catch-all words to describe individual people who are never likely to be in the same room together, never likely to know each other by name, but who unknowingly share several commonalities, the most relevant being that you understand them and their unique problems.
Until you know your clients individually and by name, it probably feels like an impossible task to describe them—but it’s necessary.
Despite all the many ways your clients are different, what unites them? Are they the same age? Gender? Do they live in the same area? Are they single or married? Do they have kids? Are they from a single socio-economic bracket? Which one? Do they share similar interests?
The most important thing to know is this: What keeps your ideal client up at night? What problem will you solve for them?
Hard questions, I know—especially the last one. So start with you: your age, gender, background, interests, and the unique set of skills that you plan to use to solve the worries and problems of the ideal clients that comprise your audience. How do they relate? Connect the dots.
Are you or have you been a single mother? Are you the mother of an adopted child, or were you adopted? Does the fact that your child has special needs relate in some way to the people you want to serve? Are you raising your family in the deep south or the rainy Pacific Northwest?
Details that seem unrelated can provide a point of connection and understanding, and possible jumping-off points for what you write to them. People want to read—and connect with—someone who understands them.
Do people in your audience or area use words or expressions not found elsewhere? Use those. Do the people you serve share a similar interest not only in photography but in artisanal bread making? Use that.
Anything you can do to be more relatable and show that you understand them is a way to connect, and business is all about connection.
So how do you know what keeps your clients up at night? On a specific level, perhaps you truly can’t. But we all share similar concerns. Focus on the relevant ones and reverse engineer it. If you’re a small business coach, you know your clients are worried about cash flow, increasing the size of their audience, or even just hearing the phone ring. What is the solution you provide? What are the fears we all have about those problems? It might be focused more on what people think of your clients (fashion consultant or personal shopper), how much money they make or whether they’ll have enough money to retire (business coach or financial advisor), how much time they have (cleaning services), or how successful they are (life coach), or the need to lose a few pounds (fitness coach).
Once you’ve identified who your audience is, express their concerns in a question: “Will I be able to fit into my bathing suit this summer?” “Will I live long enough to see my kids grow up?” “Will I have enough money at the end of the month?” “Will I remember this stage of my child’s life once they’re grown?”
Reflect their words back to them to demonstrate you know how to solve their problem.
Write down the common threads that unite your ideal clients and the problems you are most able to solve for them. Once you understand this, you’ll be closer to being their ideal solution provider, whatever community you serve.