“So I hired this brilliant homepage the other day…”
What is it that encourages buyers to pick a freelancer based on their website? Well, there’s the obvious triple whammy of clients, experience and findability.
But what about the humble About page?
Surely one of the most consistently neglected pages on the web.
For example, here at Scribblemill, the second most-viewed static page is About, beaten only by Home.
So my hunch is that nearly every serious buyer eventually clicks on About.
(On a side note: If you watch a film, do you often check IMDB to see the director’s previous work? Or go straight to the author bio before reading a book?)
I don’t mind telling you – all this attention on About makes me a tad nervous. After all, like most people, I hate writing about myself. I’d rather clean drains with my bare hands than write a CV. So I frequently wonder if I’m saying the right thing.
And, thinking of my clients, the About page is often far down their list of priorities. In some cases, that’s fair enough. (Who clicks on the About page for Tesco, for example?)
Yet for small businesses, personality and credibility is important. This goes double for freelancers. About is a chance to show your credentials and add some colour to the picture. A few things to remember:
People do business with people – not monitors.
The internet is still largely a faceless medium. The first chance a prospective client may have to get to know you (as an individual) is through the About page.
The homepage tells people what you do. About tells them who you are.
People aren’t looking to be ‘sold’.
Of all static pages on your site, the About page should be least full of sales talk. (In fact no page should, but that’s another story.)
By all means point out your qualities. But do it simply, honestly, and without hype.
People don’t need to know the name of your cat.
How much information is too much? Really that’s a judgement call based on your site and your target clients. But I’d say it’s safer to focus on relevant info. A few mentions of your hobbies might be fine, but your favourite pizza topping probably isn’t.
(I happen to know a high-end development firm that refuses to have anything on their About page – other than a photo of their cuddly toy office mascot. I still question what they hope to achieve with that.)
Honestly, I recently chose to remove a few details that I felt were doing nothing but bogging down my about page. And it’s still a little me-centric, something that’s hard to avoid in this case. Let me know what you think (I can take it!)
Have a look at your About page. What does it say about you?