The History of an Unforgettable “About Me” Page

History tests in high school were disastrous for me…  I mean who really gives a crap when the Battle of Bull Run happened? And what is this fetish with dates that history teachers seem to have?

I just didn’t see the point. In response my teachers would give me some quote about history repeating itself… All I knew is that if I couldn’t figure out how to remember all these facts and pass these tests – I’d be repeating history all right…

Is your “about me” page filled with facts?

I’m not gonna sugar coat this… The “about me” page is historically one of the worst and most visited parts of a website. That’s a bad combination if you’re hoping to attract more customers.

So what makes them so bad? The problem occurs when people share a lot of facts, but don’t make them relevant to their customers.

Say you share your credentials like certifications, years of experience, or the number of customers you’ve helped… Certainly your customer wants to know you’re qualified, but there are a lot of “qualified” people… what’s going to make a person pick you?

Your customers want to know you share the same values, that they can trust you to get them to a solution, and that you have character. That’s what people are trying to figure out when they visit your “about me” page…

And if all you’re sharing are facts, it’s going to be hard to separate you from all the other people vying for their time and money.

About page How your story has the power to make a bad “about me” page a thing of the past

The man who changed my view of history forever walked into the classroom wearing these big nerdy glasses, carrying a brief case, and walking with a lengthy gate that made you think of Abraham Lincoln. With a big smile he said, “How goes it?” What a character…

He made the Battle of Bull Run come alive by sharing stories of the heroic Stonewall Jackson. By painting a picture of why he made his stand, I was able to relate to him as a soldier fighting for something he believed in.

I passed this history class with flying colors… His stories were so memorable that I never had to study for a test in his class.

Choose that unforgettable story

The key to choosing the right story is aligning one of your life experiences with the core values of your ideal customer.

Step 1: Identify what your customers really want. To make it simpler, here are some categories of what your ideal customer might value:

  • A sense of excitement, adventure, or just plain ol’ fun?
  • How about a realization of a long-standing belief or conviction?
  • Maybe it’s a better understanding of who they are or what they want in life?
  • Is it love, friendship, or some kind of companionship?
  • Or to receive healing, balance, happiness, peace or freedom from something in their lives?

Example: My customers are small business owners who want to make an impact in the world and need to attract more customers with their online presence in order to realize that dream. Often, they are trying to figure out what their purpose is or how to successfully fulfill it.

Step 2: Think of a story in your life where you achieved that very thing your customer desires and use it to introduce yourself to your customers through your “About Me” page. Use the following questions to help you think of a story that resonates with the core values you identified in the first step.

  • How did you decide to do the work you do?
  • How did you overcome the problem you solve for your customers?
  • If you could be known for just one thing in the world, what would it be and why?
  • What’s your greatest challenge or accomplishment? How’d it play out?

Example: I’ve been in the shoes of my customers, and I found a way out… here’s the story of how it went down.

I’d recently broken up with the Fortune 100 Company that I worked at for 6 years and was “dating” five different business ideas at the same time… Unable to be successful at any of them because I was unable to meet the expectations of all of them, I found myself lost and depressed.

Having no choice, I explored my own life with reckless abandon to find a way to leave the expectations of others behind and discover my own path.

Uncovering my story revealed my purpose, and that clarity has effortlessly guided me since. Now I apply what I learned to guide small business owners in finding a brand that feels authentic to their hearts and is effective at attracting the right customers with their online presence.

Bring your “about me” page out of the history books and into life by sharing a story that gives your customer a reason to remember you… and the confidence to choose you.

Want to learn more ways story can attract more of the customers you love?

Download his free eBook titled “The Power of Stories: Make connections that serve your business, fulfill your purpose, and enhance your marketing.”

photo credit: Jill Clardy via photopin cc

11 Comments

  1. Good post, Schuyler. In my opinion, the “About” page is one of the most important pages on a website. However, like you say, it is often the worst written.

    The “About” page is about establishing trust and credibility. Many people, though, become shy and hide behind meaningless cliches, like “personal service’ and “top quality.”

    I agree that writing a story, based on fact, is a wonderful way to explain how you add value.

    Reply
  2. Jeevan Jacob John December 10, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Hey Schuyler,

    I am still figuring out my about page…I haven’t really paid attention to it in the past, but time I do plan to invest more effort into it.

    At first, I was thinking about using a video for intro, and using Slideshare/Prezi to elaborate on my story (well, my blogging journey).

    Then I thought about the length…..no one would be willing to read such a post. It would be too big.

    Plus, the page would mostly be about me..and that’s certainly not something I would want.

    After that, I decided to go for a “bullet point” approach. Just get straight to the facts (especially, with my experience). The only problem with this approach is that I may not necessarily be able to make it a powerful story.

    Thank you for this post, especially the questions you provided. I am just going to write about my story….try to keep it short, focused on my problems and I solved them (saying my ‘future’ readers could avoid those mistakes by reading my blog).

    My blog is mostly about experiments – you know, trying to ‘reinvent’ the wheel, to an extent. Experiment with existing techniques and find better (more efficient) techniques to achieve the same goal (So, in my case, I can elaborate on how I did this in the past? How I was able to save time doing this instead of that).

    Anyways, thank you for the wonderful post, Schuyler :) I will certainly be thinking more about this. Appreciate the tips!

    Reply
    1. Late the the party… but better late than never!! :-)

      @Jeevan – Who’s to say you can’t have both! A short 2-3 minute intro/welcome video that talks about who you serve and how followed by a text version of your story as well as more details about what you’re committed to and how your site can help your target audience.

      Just keep it real, which I know you always do. 😉

      @Schuyler – Thanks for contributing such a wonderful article. I love and appreciate the “story telling” aspect of your post. Draws people right in. Awesome post and work!

      Reply
    2. Hey Jeevan,

      I couldn’t agree with Michele more. There is no reason you can’t do both. I think regardless of the medium or how you share the story, the important point to remember is your customer/audience’s need that you help them fulfill.

      If you can then share a story that conveys you understand that desire and can help them achieve it… you’re golden.

      Let us know what you end up doing!

      Schuyler

      Reply
    1. To both Jack and Michele…

      In my experience the About Me page or your story is one of those things that grow with you… and is never really “done.”

      What are you hoping to improve with your revisit?

      Schuyler

      Reply
  3. Hi Michelle,

    This post is fantastic. I read this at the right time because I’m in the middle of updating my pages on my site. I will definitely use some of your valuable suggestions.

    To Your Success,
    Stacie Walker

    Reply
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