This article, from social media expert John Haydon, originally appeared on his site on 8/11/09. The tips here are not aimed at authors and publishers specifically, but will be very useful to anyone with a site or blog.
Every three or four months, I take a look at my About page and ask myself two questions:
- What are my business goals for this page? In my case, I do strategy consulting and build what I call “social web systems” for small businesses and non-profits. I want this page to help visitors imagine getting results by working with me.
- Is this page a true reflection of myself? This is a hard one because, like you, I am constantly evolving – and evolutions resist being bound by words.
The answers help me to start breathing new life into my About page. Below are a few things I’ve picked up along the way, either from other About pages and/or through trial and error.
- It’s not about you. It’s about the visitor. Speak to them – as if they’re sitting across from you at a coffee shop.
- Answer questions. This person sitting across from you – what questions will they have about who you are and what you do?
- Open your door. Put links to your about page in a few places. I have mine in my footer, my nav bar and sprinkled throughout posts.
- Testimonials. Still the quickest way to establish confidence with potential clients.
- Have a photo. The quickest (and oldest) way of reading someone is through their face. And for God’s sake, smile!
- Keep it simple. Depending upon your strategy, less can be much more. Danny Brown teases visitors with an outline of services and provides a link to contact form at the bottom of the page. Beth keeps things short and sweet too.
- Make it interactive. If you have a lot of information that people need to know, break it up into sub-pages, like Epic Change did.
- Page Directory. Lots of info still? Try putting a table of contents at the top, just like Alltop does.
- Have a phone number. I can count on one hand the number of times new clients have introduced themselves with a paypal payment. Most of the time, we talk a few times -through email and on the phone.
[Publetariat Editor’s Note: This is a good tip if you do consulting or other for-hire work, but you’ll probably want to keep your phone number, address and other personal information private otherwise.]