Are you proud of your personal “About” page?
Some version of this page probably appears on your personal website, your professional website (if separate), your employer’s or business’s (if you’re the owner) website, and your various social media profiles.
If you’re prominent enough to earn speaking engagements or publishing contributorships, some version of your “About” page may appear on third-party sites, as well.
That means a lot of pressure to get things right. Let’s take apart six things you need to do sooner rather than later to get your “About” page to where you’d like it to be.
- Spin a Narrative of Progress
Before you commit a single sentence to the text editor, create an outline with a clear, defensible through-line from the start of your career to its present point. In other words: spin a narrative of progress that someone who doesn’t know the first thing about your skills and achievements can understand. This is essential for all that follows.
- Optimize the Content for Search
Optimize the meat of your “About” page for search. Even the most prominent professionals need organic search traffic to keep their bio pages afloat; people simply don’t navigate directly to exact-match domains anymore. Take a page from this New York-based entrepreneur’s bio: it includes enough mentions of his name (with various long-tail keyword combinations) to alert Google that the term is important without overloading readers or stilting the text.
- Get Personal, But Not Too Personal
Drop a few judicious personal details into your “About” copy. If you’re putting together a bio for an individual (yourself), that might mean details about your home life or hobbies. If you’re creating an “About” page for a corporate entity, that might mean relatively trivial details about its employee wellness programs, charitable activities, or early history trivia. (“Working out of a dusty barn on his family farm, founder William Workhorse…”)
Just don’t get too personal or off-in-the-weeds. People mostly want to learn about you and your company, not…whatever you get up to after hours.
- Reinforce an Easy-to-Understand Value Proposition
If you could boil your “About” page down to a single, immediately compelling sentence, how would it read?
Got it? Good. Work it into the first paragraph — preferably, the first sentence.
- Avoid Long, Eye-Crossing Lists
You’re telling a story here, not regurgitating your CV. Avoid bulleted lists or long sequences with elements separated by commas or semicolons. These never read well.
- Include Forward-Looking Statements at the End (As Long as They’re Kosher With Compliance)
Lastly, make your “About” page’s last paragraph about, in part, things you and your team have in the works. You’ll need to update this content as those things change, but don’t excise it completely — it’s crucial to reinforce your narrative of progress.
All About You
Newsflash: everything is not all about you.
Not usually, at least. Your personal “About” page is a notable exception; your corporate “About” page, only slightly less so.
Your “About” page is your chance to toot your own horn to the wider world. Yes, you’ll want to take care to avoid naked self-promotion and tell a compelling story that every reader intuitively understands. But it’s nice to be the center of attention for once, isn’t it?