- By Cathy Goodwin
- Published 12/2/2008
- Writing for the Web
Often prospective clients decide to hire you only after they’ve read your About page. They’ll wonder, “Will he be qualified to help?” or, “Will I be comfortable working with her?” Your “About” page is especially important if (a) you’re still trying to brand yourself as an expert in your field; (b) your service calls for you to develop a personal connection with your client as a coach, consultant, healer, lawyer or attorney (rather than, say, a techie software developer); and/or (c) clients in your market demand credentials and expertise. What should be on your “About” page? Here are 5 essential copywriting ingredients that will help you promote yourself without losing an ounce of professionalism. (1) Relate your background and expertise to your products and services. Here’s one imaginary example. “Georgina has been transforming dogs from “problem” to “perfect” since she taught her first dog, Rover, to sit and shake hands. Georgina was five and Rover was a mutt from the local pound. “Today Georgina works with owners of mutts like Rover, and she also works with owners of problem dogs, show dogs and special needs dogs.”
This example works if Georgina wants to promote herself as a dog trainer. If she really wants to teach people
how to start a business, she would write a different story. (2) Show that you truly empathize with your clients. That is, create a more sophisticated version of, “We feel your pain.” Share stories of how you struggled (but you have to write carefully — too much pain will scare away clients). If you didn’t struggle too much, share stories of what motivated you to get started with your service. For example: “Watching my colleagues struggle to balance work and family motivated me to start my program.” (3) Display your educational credentials, honors and awards. Prospective clients will resonate to your school and they will be impressed by your honors and news mentions. Even if your degree seems unrelated to your field, you can show how you use the knowledge creatively. (4) Share a glimpse of your authentic self. Let viewers see the person behind the credentials. Here’s where you write about your hobbies and interests. You don’t have to disclose everything you’ve ever done, so report activities that help you connect to your target clients. Dogs and sports are a good bet, but I’ve met people who connected over mutual interests in classical music, art and gardening (some folks are *really* into roses).
(5) Show, don’t tell. You don’t have to tell readers you are amazing. Let your actions and activities speak for you. They’ll figure it out.