ask the expert | why you need to expose yourself to your clients

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today we have a guest post from our expert partner in coywriting: anne maybus from clever streak, answering one of our reader questions...

I am getting a website designed and I need to write an 'about me' page. I have no idea what to write! I don't just want to write who I am, what I do etc. I really want my customers to identify with me and see how I can help them, why my business is perfect for them.

 “Hello there.  I’ve just checked out your website and it looks pretty good.  You’ve got what I want at the price I want to pay:  but so did the last site…and the one before that.  Why should I shop with you?”

That’s the question your ‘about’ page needs to answer.  Why you? Why here?  Why now?

Have you checked your stats lately?   If you already have some sort of ’about’ page you might be surprised to see how many people visit it.  On my own site, the page is one of the most frequently visited of all my pages.  That’s because people want to know who is behind the business and whether they like and trust me enough to put their business into my hands.

I’ve written quite a few ‘about’ pages in my time and it’s usually an uphill battle with the business owner.  What they want is not really an ‘about us’ page – it’s an ‘about my business’ page.  The main problem with that is that unless you are an established brand, the page is not going to help convert visitors into customers.  Some people will shop with you regardless, but the thing that turns most visitors into clients is human connection.

If you want people to connect and identify with you, you’ll have to expose yourself to them.  It’s you they want, not the business.

Show your human side.

Tell your readers a story.   Stories about yourself, your background, your hobbies and even your reasons for starting the business will all reveal something that gives people a chance to identify with you.  You don’t have to go into great or very personal detail but give them enough to know that you are a real person with a real life.  Be honest and authentic.

Skip the business bits.

People don’t need to know about your business and what it does.  They have found you through searching for a specific thing so they already know what you do.  They have checked out your home page where your key message should be and they don’t need to read it again here.  This page isn’t about sales.  It’s about letting them meet you as they would if you were in a bricks and mortar store. 

Show off.

If there was ever a place that was designed for some showing off, this is it.  Show off your knowledge and your skills.  Talk about your awards or where you have appeared.  Use testimonials.  Use whatever you’ve got to show how and why you are an expert at what you do.  One of the best things you can do is to tell a story about one of your successes.  Talk about why the client came to you, what they needed, how you helped and what difference you made in their life.  That gives the reader another way to identify with you through relating to your client. 

This is the proof people are looking for; it’s the reasoning they will use to support their emotionally based decision to shop with you.  They might love you, but they can’t really go telling that to their friends without sounding weird, can they?

Match your readers.

This calls for some judgement on your part.  You know the people in your target market and what they will expect or tolerate from you.  If you are working business-to-business you probably don’t want to expose as much of yourself as you would if you were working in a creative or humanitarian field.

For example, Think Geek has a brilliant page and it works because it appeals to their quirky, gadget loving clients.  But can you imagine finding that style of page on a financial planning site?  You’d have clients running for the hills clutching their cash to their chests as they went.  Match your ‘reveal’ to your clients’ expectations.

The most important thing to remember about your ‘about’ page is that it is a tool for your business and you need to work it well.  Don’t be afraid to show people who you really are.  That’s why they came to the page in the first place.  Give them what they want and do it your way. 

Anne Maybus has a mission to banish the dullness from business writing. She believes that your business deserves to have personality shining out of every word. She writes content that catches your reader by the eye and pulls them pupil-first into the wonderful world of your business. Visit cleverstreak.com and on facebook and twitter too.

do you have a question about copyrwriting? post it in the comments below or send an email to build a little biz.