If you’re like most people, when approached with, “Tell us about yourself!”, you flounder for anything that sounds reasonably coherent. If you’re like most people working online, when you sit in front of the computer with a blank About Page in front of you waiting to be written, you seem to lose all sense of personal identity.
Maybe because it seems like boasting to talk about oneself, but we often find it hard to write something compelling about our own selves. We’ve been taught since we were young that telling others how terrific we are will lose us friends in a big hurry. Consider this, though… we all have a story. And, if you tell it properly, it can turn into a great About Page that people will actually want to read.
Where’s the Spark?
Like I said, we all have something great and unique about us. It’s not enough anymore, though, to just tell people that. The reader is great and unique, too, so what’s the big deal? What you need to do is tell your story.
Let’s imagine your site is about cooking. We all cook to one extent or another so to just say that you really love cooking, well, it lacks spice. Readers want to know you. Tell them the story of standing on a stool in your Nana’s kitchen helping to make homemade pies. Tell them how you were a troubled youth that was mentored by the owner of the restaurant you washed dishes at. Tell them where the spark occurred that lit the fire of your passion. Are you getting the picture?
What Makes You Credible?
Now that you’ve got people reading and engaged in your story, tell them why you deserve to be listened to. This can be actual work experience or life experience depending on your subject matter.
Using our cooking example, you could let people know about the restaurant you now own or the fancy schmancy cooking school you went to or the awards you’ve won. Or, if you’re drawing on life experience, tell them about the family dinners for 18 that you cook every year or how you’ve learned by trial and error or about your goal to start your own catering company. Again, these are the details of your life that readers are looking for.
Use Your Voice
You could have a great story with the sparkiest of sparks and the most fantastic reasons for being credible and still have a stinker for an About Page, though. Because, if it drones on like a boring business letter, few people will take the time to read it. I mean, I’ve seen junk mail that uses more exciting verbiage than some About Pages I’ve read.
Again, people are on your site and reading your About Page because they want to know about you. So, write in way that is similar to how you would talk to people in real life. Use your voice and vocabulary; just make sure it’s a voice and vocabulary that’s suitable for your audience. Just because you know what a chinois is doesn’t mean your audience does (it’s basically a fine mesh strainer, if you were wondering).
So, now that you’ve got the inside scoop, sit down and write yourself a killer About Page or maybe reexamine the one that you’ve already got. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!