The question of how to write a great about me page or bio for your small business is one that constantly crops up in entrepreneurial discussion groups. So many small business owners freeze when it comes to tackling this particular piece of copy.
In my last post I concentrated on what not to do when writing your bio so now I’d like to leave you with 3 things to include and one that (in my opinion anyway), you should definitely avoid.
1. A photo
There are a few reasons that you should really include a photo on your about me page. We really are such visual creatures so use that to your advantage.
Imagine you’ve done the rounds at a trade show or a networking event. The people you’ve worked hard to connect with have likely connected with dozens of other business owners. There comes a point when it just becomes a blur. Later, when they get home with a pile of business cards to work their way through, they’ll hopefully click onto your website. When they do, make sure they know that it’s yours! Seeing your picture will remind them of “that really friendly guy who sells product x” or “that funny girl who does a good deal on web design”. Assuming you’ve made a good impression, they’re all the more likely to follow up with you.
Have you ever heard the old sales adage “People buy people”? It’s spectacularly cheesy but there’s a reason you’ll hear it mentioned at every sales training course you’ll ever encounter: it’s true. Let your customers see the person or people behind the brand. They’ll feel more confident in contacting you when they can visualise who they’ll be dealing with and they’ll be more willing to recommend you too.
Now, I realise this sounds a bit rich coming from me, given that I don’t actually have a photo on my own about me page as yet, but I promise it’s not too far down my to-do list. As soon as I find the time to get myself a haircut, I’ll be right on it!
This sounds so simple but you’d be amazed at how many people get this bit wrong: have you included your USP?
Have you won any awards? Do you have more professional qualifications than the average Joe in your industry? Do you have any celebrity clients? Whatever you have or do that makes you special, that’ll make you stand head and shoulders above your competition, make sure you have included it in your about me page somewhere. Maybe your customer service goes above and beyond and you have client testimonials to prove it? So use it. That stuff is gold dust!
3.A call to action
Your web content should guide the reader at every step along the way and your about me page is no exception. You’ve dazzled them with your natural beauty and professional but friendly smile and you’ve told them all about that industry award you won last year. They like what they see so don’t give up now: tell them what they have to do next. Do you have a contact form you want them to fill in, an email address to write to, a number to call? Make sure it’s there and they can’t miss it.
If you’re writing a bio for a conference programme, magazine or any other type of print marketing, this rule is doubly important. Be sure to include follow up information for anyone reading about your business. They need to know your website URL, your twitter handle, your shop address, if you currently have any special offers. Give them a reason and way to get in touch with you and make it easy for them to do so.
Those are just a few things you should include. As promised, I’m also including one thing that for me is a big no-no when writing bios for small businesses.
I’ll preface this by saying that it possibly falls into the category of pet peeve rather than hard and fast copywriting rule but it just sets my teeth on edge.
If you are a sole trader, use I not we in your writing. You’ll see from my own about me page that I do use we but that is reserved for when I’m talking about copywriters and editors in general. When it comes to talking specifically about Crossan Language Services, I revert to writing in the first person.
As a sole trader I see no need to insinuate that I am anything other than a one (wo)man band. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a sole trader, in fact many people prefer working with freelancers. After all, there’s none of the getting passed from pillar to post that can happen when dealing with bigger companies, our rates are often more reasonable due to lower overheads and you know that if you need to talk to the big boss, you can, because there’s no one else to talk to!
Seeing sole traders write we in their about page as if there are 4 employees squeezed into Jane’s spare room just perplexes me. It feels dishonest and as I’ve hopefully just made clear, there’s really no need for it.
Sole traders, stand up and be proud of what you are; you’re going solo and smashing it.
Embrace the I!
If you want to connect or have a chat about any copy queries you have, drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org