Friday, September 21, 2018
Make your About page profitable
An About page may seem like the final touch on your website, but there are plenty of reasons to prioritize the message and look of this defining page.
It’s important to today’s consumers to understand who they’re working with, especially in a competitive landscape that includes larger corporations. Studies show that people are more likely to buy something from someone they know and like. Your About page is your chance to connect with visitors beyond the services or products on your site. Take the chance to define and share your story while putting a face to your business.
We asked our in-house experts for their tips on About pages. In this guide, they’ll show you how to:
Tell your story in a compelling way
Take a stand-out headshot
Turn the About page into a conversion opportunity
Tell a compelling story
Your About page is a great opportunity to reflect your personality through words and imagery. Conveying your story can come in many forms:
Write paragraph style if prose is your jam.
Share milestones like graduation year or company founding.
Use numbers like employee headcount and number of projects completed.
Whatever format you choose, keep these tips in mind when it comes to tone and vibe:
Keep it professional to establish credibility, but stay away from jargon that can feel exclusionary.
Include something that’s not on your resume—preferably something personal that will stick. Do you have a particular favorite flavor of ice cream? Maybe you have a funny memory from childhood that defines your personality? Share it!
Make it yours by inserting a favorite .gif or dropping in an internet acronym or emoji if that’s your thing.
The most important part comes when you’re ready to sit at the keyboard. First, identify your ideal client. Consider their needs, possible interests, and any potential questions they might have. Weave in answers to those questions and consider these when crafting your story:
Why are you here?
Provide context about how you ended up where you are, why you’re an expert, and what you’re excited about.
What are your values?
Sharing your work philosophy and what you care about can serve as a connection with your visitors.
What’s different about you or your business?
If the reader can see that you’re a cut above the rest, they’ll be more likely to work with you.
Can anyone back you up?
Press mentions, awards, or testimonials help legitimize your work.
Miko of Using My Head touches on several key parts of her story including her experience, why she’s qualified, and why you should work with her, all while mixing in her personality and what makes her unique.
Take a stand-out headshot
Finding a backdrop
Show people where the magic happens by using your workspace as a backdrop.
If you’re a freelancer, set up in your home office or pose with a coffee at your go-to cafe.
If you’re part of an agency, get a shot in your office or studio, and include the whole team.
Remove artwork, images, or logos from the background. Visual clutter can be distracting, especially if it’s recognizable or controversial.
Make sure your workspace is clean, organized, and well lit. Prospective clients will picture you working on their project in this space, and a neat aesthetic will help clients feel confident in your organizational skills.
Picking an outfit
Your personal style can show potential clients who you are and help you stand out from other designers they might be considering. But don’t let your outfit be a distraction. Avoid wearing anything with logos, distracting colors, wild patterns, or clothing with potentially controversial images or phrases. You should be the focus of your headshot, not your outfit.
Lighting the scene
Avoid using a flash; natural light is your friend, especially early morning or afternoon light. Open any curtains or blinds that let light into your space, and avoid overhead lights which can cast unappealing shadows.
Posing and cropping
Get creative, and be playful. Take photos a few different ways. A headshot should be framed around your face and torso while showing parts of your workspace like your desk and the wall behind you. There’s no need to take a full body shot. Be aware of your body language when shooting too; sit up straight and smile.
Devices and editing
DSLR cameras are great, but you don’t need one to take a headshot. Most smartphones today have built-in features and editing tools to take a high-quality headshot. Ask a friend, family member, or colleague to take the picture. You can also get a smartphone tripod or lean your phone against a surface so you can avoid the long-armed selfie.
If the photo isn’t quite right, there are tons of free and paid apps that let you edit the lighting, color, and constraints of your photo. For example, Adobe offers free versions of Photoshop and Lightroom for iOS which have in-app purchases available for premium features.
Chelsea Kardokus of 23&9 Creative uses a series of bright headshots that showcase her personality and complement her brand story.
Seal the deal and convert
An About page is one of the most visited pages of any website and can help you build trust and familiarity with your visitors. If you’ve got the rest of the page right, visitors will have a sense for who you are and what you stand for. Seal the deal and turn visitors into clients with a Call to Action, or CTA.
Consider what your website goals are. Is it to get new leads, find collaborators, or sell a product? You should end your About page with a clear CTA that supports that goal. Here are some CTA ideas:
Your contact information may live elsewhere (e.g. its own page, the footer), but this is a natural place to encourage visitors to get in touch. Reduce user friction by embedding contact forms for easy submission. Ensure email addresses, phone numbers, and social icons are linked correctly.
If content marketing is part of your strategy, include your newsletter signup form on the page. You can increase subscriptions by offering a free resource upon signing up. If a newsletter isn’t part of your strategy, it might be time to reconsider. It can take multiple encounters with you or your brand for prospects to become paying customers. Periodic touch points are a great tactic to stay top of mind, and Squarespace helps you collect emails and send newsletters for your various audiences.
Check out my work
Your About page tells the story of your business, highlights your values, and connects it to the quality work you do for your clients. Drive that home by directing potential clients to your portfolio, and make sure your contact information is visible there, too.
Above all, don’t be afraid to test things out! Monitor the Analytics panel and leverage Google Analytics for a sense of how visitors are responding to your CTAs and tests.
Tony Howell has his CTA directly below his About page copy. He’s offering something for free and highlighting it in the button text which is a great way to get clicks.
How do you know your About page is finished? Read it out loud to get a feel for if it flows naturally and is true to you. Share it with a friend who knows you well, and get their take. Then, take the leap—publish! And remember, you can always use this process to advise your clients on creating their own effective About pages too.
Check out this Forum conversation full of tips for finding new clients.