When you do the same thing everyone else is doing, you can hardly expect to get better results than everyone else, can you? What’s the “autopilot” way of creating an About page? It’s biographical and you talk about yourself, maybe include a picture and…
Pretty lame, and it does nothing to get you leads. Which is a shame when you consider how often your About page is visited. And that it factors into a prospect’s decision to hire you… or not.
On September 23rd, I gave this presentation for the free annual International Freelancers Day online conference, which was attended by over 4,000 people and chock full of freelancery goodness. Now I’m sharing it with you. It’s about 17 minutes long. Check it out below. If you can’t see it in your email or reader, visit the blog post and watch it there.
What About Pictures?
Should your About page have a picture of you? Almost without exception the answer is “Hell yes!” Remember I focus on business blogs, not bloggers who may have a (very good) reason to protect their real identity. So yeah, have a picture of yourself. Preferably smiling. Don’t worry about being photogenic. The point of this presentation is to make your About page sell you. There has to be a “you” there to sell! People don’t care about whether you’re good-looking as much as they care that you’re real.
Having said that, Instagram can work wonders on self-portraits.
What About 3rd Person and SEO?
I unabashedly make no bones about writing your About page in the 1st person instead of the 3rd person. Chris Garrett mentioned to me on Twitter he wrote his in the 3rd person for SEO reasons. When I Google his name, his About page shows up second, after his site’s home page (on Bing, his About page is #4, while his site’s home page is #1). And the factors which are taken into account by Google are not related to whether the content is written in 1st or 3rd person. I can just as easily have a heading that says “About Michael Martine” for example and have other quite natural ways of including my name while writing in the 1st person. Like saying, “Hi, my name is Michael Martine,” (which, in fact, I do). Now, of course if Chris is happy with that and it’s working for him I have nothing to say against that at all. Somehow I don’t think he’s hurting for business.
Also, consider this: if most of your business comes via word of mouth and not search, then any supposed advantages from writing your About page in the 3rd person are a moot point.
So what are some great About pages that follow the precepts of this presentation? Here are a few: