Your About page is typically one of the very first things people will click on (after the main front page of your site, obviously).
Why is that? Because they're trying to quickly figure out what you do, whether it's relevant to them, and what value they can get out of learning from you/working with you.
When done right, your About page should answer all of those questions and entice them to explore your site and work further.
When done wrong, it can easily become a rambling mess of words with no story and no real point. Or so vague and bland that even after reading, people still aren't quite sure what you deliver and whether they would want it.
Don't miss this opportunity to connect with people who are already on your site (!!) and bring them in closer.
Below are my tips for creating a compelling About page, as well as a general structure you can follow, using my own site as a case study.
I mean, yes, it explains what you do and should give the reader a sense of who you are and why you're invested in this kind of work.
But if you approach it like it's about YOU, and explaining everything you want people to know about YOU, it can easily become kind of a dumping ground. In other words, you get so attached to the idea of sharing X and Y and Z and ALL the dreams and goals you have for your site, that you lose focus and end up kind of detached from the reader and what they're actually looking for in that moment.
Your audience is looking to find out what you can do for them, and the ultimate impact it has for them. So your About page should be 75% THEM, and about 25% YOU.
Frame the entire thing in terms of what you can do for them, and what they can expect to get out of the experience of working with you.
Grab their interest. And make it clear. You don't want them mistaking what you do.
This means you can skip the fluffy job titles or descriptions.
Just focus on what you do.
STYLE + ENERGY COLLIDE.
This primes the audience to understand that my services center around style and aesthetic, along with energy and emotion. It provides context for the explanations of my work.
Then, your intro. Who you are, what you do, why you do it. Your core mission, summed up.
BRAND STRATEGIST. WEB DESIGNER. COPYWRITER.
My gifts include intuition, energy-sensitivity, creative problem-solving, and illuminating the unseen.
I’m an edge-dweller, super direct, and can’t small-talk or lie to save my life.
Oh, and I can’t stand manufactured urgency or arbitrary rules.
There is no mistaking what kinds of services I provide: it's obviously design and copywriting.
The lines that follow give a sense of how I deliver on those, and what drives the work I do and the projects I take on.
First, by letting readers know what guides my processes: intuition, creativity, deep exploration of nuanced ideas.
Second, by showing them a bit more about the kind of person I am: curious, direct, honest, impactful.
Third, by letting them know how I flow, and giving them an opportunity to decide if they vibe with it: I am building an unconventional business myself, and I am all about emboldening others to build theirs on their own terms...no matter what anyone else says you "have to" do. (Hint: no, you don't.)
There should be one cohesive idea that you're seeking to communicate throughout the entire thing. This is not the place to start telling anecdotes and sharing every little thing that interests you.
(You can share more of the in-depth stuff in your blog posts, or on social media, or in your video content. Cornerstone pages, such as your About page, are not it.)
Think: why did they come to your site? What are they hoping you can do for them?
If in doubt, just tell the story of your own transformation, and how you facilitate that result for others as well.
Mine is just a few short paragraphs, basically describing how hustle culture and trying to get it all "right" made me hate my business, to the point I wanted to quit altogether.
But then I realized I could just be my little rebel self, and build a business as creative as I am, letting energy lead the way. From that point, I started following pure creativity and passion, and reorganized my business to fully support the desire to just do what I love.
Totally relatable, right? How many other entrepreneurs have felt those same feelings? If they're being honest, probably most of them. And the people feeling that way are exactly who I want to be working with.
It sure did for me--I mean, here I am, a brand strategist and supposed "expert" on digital systems! And I'm openly admitting that my own website and systems were a total mess, and I was running around doing way too much. (The opposite of the ease + flow I'm helping my clients achieve!)
But I don't believe it shows weakness to own where you were, especially if you're sharing how you've overcome those things.
Nobody is perfect, and few people get it exactly right the first time they try.
(*ahem* Particularly if you're a human design 3/5, like I am! Trial + error is the best way I learn!)
We are meant to evolve, and so are our businesses. Sometimes we have to bump around inside of what doesn't work, before we can work out what truly does.
I love hearing about a person's most recent breakthroughs and wins.
Don't be afraid to share that yes, like everyone, you are a work in progress, but you're still really good at what you do.
I can't tell you how many times I've presented an About page first draft to a copywriting client, and their first response is something like, "This is really good, but we didn't mention how much I love <insert random insignificant factoid here>!"
Even though the draft does touch on their love of other things, because it connects to the story and the big picture we're looking to communicate.
Or they'll ask why we're not focusing on their degrees and their previous "accomplishments"...even though it's not at all relevant to their work, and their audience isn't likely to actually care about that stuff.
The response to that sort of feedback is: we have to filter and prioritize only the most powerful pieces, because we don't want to overwhelm readers with too much noise that doesn't actually support the story and hook them in.
Great writers know the power of great editing.
Clear and focused writing is beautiful writing.
The more concise you can be, the more effective your writing will be. In the world of business, and converting readers to followers to buyers, that's gold.
Your whole About page should be speaking directly to the reader, as though you've been reading their journal and seeing exactly what's been bugging them lately.
But one way to connect with people, especially if you're leading a cause, or if the total of your work has specific aims of its own, is to share those core goals directly. A brand manifesto, of sorts.
This gives another opportunity for your reader to see themselves in your work, and really click in, saying to themselves, "YEAH! I'm all about these things, too."
The first part of mine touches on the ways I view design in total: it's more than just visuals. It's strategy, communication, poetry in motion, energetic connection. (Speaking to those who may be in doubt that "branding" matters--it really, really does.)
And the second part reaches right out to the audience, allowing them to self-identify with what I'm saying. I'm describing my kind of people, the kinds of people who are most ready to receive the full magic of my work. The goal is that those who are like me will feel like they have a home here, and someone who understands them and really gets their vision.
Don't be afraid to get very specific, even polarizing, with this. Polarizing is good. You want to weed out the "heck no" crowd, just as much as you want to identify and pull in the "heck yes" folks.
Middle of the road attracts no one. Conviction is admirable. Take a stand for what is most important to you.
In general, you'll want to keep your CTA to one key action, so we need to make it count.
Pull it all together for them. What's the next step?
Hiring you, of course. Hopefully. So you'll definitely want to provide a simple path to doing that.
But if you're providing a high-touch or premium service, for example, you may not get a ton of people ready to book with you immediately after landing on your site and reading your About page.
So think instead: which next action makes the most sense?
This should be kind of a no-brainer with a lot of value in it, so it could be things like booking a free discovery call, or opting in to your email list in exchange for a useful freebie, or taking a look at a selection of blog posts designed to answer some of their most additional questions.
Mine has one official call-to-action, which is opening a line of communication so we can chat about their needs. But I also have links to my service overview below that main CTA, as well as at the top of the About page. I've also highlighted some of my most popular posts, for those who just want to dive into my content for now.
Most people who find me online aren't necessarily ready to book with me the same day...although it does happen! So I've approached my CTA as sort of a (very simple) tiered system with the next steps clearly defined for each path:
Ready to book? Let's chat and get started.
Need some more info? Check out my services.
Want to check out more of my content? Here's some favorites.
The key thing is that your CTA(s) should be clear, focused, and serve a specific purpose. You should also know exactly who you're talking to with each one.
If you decide to go the route of multiple CTAs, I would recommend using a "path" approach with specific actions for specific groups of people, the same way I did.
And definitely don't try to create more than 3 different directions--option overwhelm starts to kick in after that.
Want some 1:1 attention on your site's copy and content?
I'd love to partner with you to make sure your cornerstone pages communicate all the essentials--and none of the noise.