It’s you against the computer screen. You sit, fingers rested delicately on the keyboard ready to pour your life story onto the page. This should be easy, right? Talking about yourself requires exactly zero research, zero statistics, and zero fact checking.
This is your page. Or is it?
About pages are one of the trickiest ones to write. No matter what copywriting formula you use to craft the words on your pages, one thing is true: You need to be interesting.
And let’s face it. Talking about yourself and listing your accomplishments is a snoozefest – unless it’s done right.
Putting yourself out there, especially on an about page, is overwhelmingly terrifying. You have to talk about yourself and do so in a compelling way.
As Chris Brogan so famously said, “You can’t run a race looking sideways.” It’s one of my favorite quotes because it’s true. The comparison trap is a tough one to break. You look around and see what others are doing and then worry.
Am I good enough?
Should I write like everyone else?
What does my voice sound like compared to everyone else’s?
Chris Brogan’s advice is good, but here’s your invitation to break it.
Sometimes, when you’re paralyzed while staring at a blank page, looking at how others presented themselves will fire up your creative engines.
Here are four about pages that kill it with copywriting. Check out their formulas and see what resonates with you. Then, make it your own.
Hubspot is a massive company. They have hundreds of employees and thousands of users. Still, their about page stands out as one that could help any freelancer craft a meaningful connection with their customer.
The secret here: The letter.
When you first land on the page, you’ll see their mission and vision. It sets the tone up front for what the company stands for.
Scroll down a few lines and you’re met with a letter written to the reader by the CEO.
This letter format works wonders – especially when you’re facing writer’s block. Instead of feeling like you need to make yourself shine, you can write a letter to your favorite customer describing yourself and what you do.
The end result is something more personal and compelling than a list of your accomplishments. You’ve made a connection. More importantly, you’ve made your reader feel important.
If that doesn’t trigger someone’s interest in you, nothing will.
In copywriting, you’re always told to “tell your story.”
Storytelling is a hot buzzword these days in the writing industry. Moz.com took this buzzword in a more practical sense. On the Moz about page, they don’t write the generic beginning, middle and end of their story. Instead, they show it in the form of a timeline.
This works well because it’s scrollable and easy to digest. At the same time, the copywriting comes through because it’s personal and celebratory. Each milestone they reach gets its own notch on the timeline totem pole.
For freelancers, this is a great way to showcase your experience and accomplishments without writing long, drawn out, yawn-inspiring paragraphs. You can show what you’ve done in a format your potential customers will eat up.
This is for all you designers and developers out there!
Show off your talents with a well-designed about page like the one Joseph Payton made for himself.
The page has a few animations and simple, easy calls-to-action. Either the person will want to read the story behind the designer or they’ll just want to get to know if he’s qualified to help. Either way, this about page answers it up front and right away.
Click on “My Story” and you’ll instantly be met with a little bit about his quirky side. It walks the reader through the journey he took to decide to become a designer. Writers, social media gurus, virtual assistants, and any freelancer can use the same model.
The resume is a full blown resume. It’s perfect for attracting those traditional style businesses (if that’s the type of company you want to work with) and getting your experience out there in a format that’s expected.
Bring your talents forward by showing off what you’re best at on your about page.
If you’ve explored each of these pages and still feel stuck, you’ll want to check out this last one. The FortyOneTwenty about page doesn’t have a lot of copy. Instead, it leaves the writing to the customers.
This is a great approach for freelancers. It establishes immediate trust. It makes you look amazing. And it lets you brag your brains out without it feeling like you’re being braggy at all.
It’s easy, fast to upload, and effective.
About pages are tricky. But, once you have a better idea of the formula you’d like to use, you’re in a better position to write something personal, engaging, and interesting. After all, businesses love working with humans. Show off your human side and accomplishments by bringing it all front and center on your about page.
Now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite about page? Share it in the comments below!