Ideas for Your “About Me/Us” Page
By Rena Klingenberg…
Whenever I visit a website for the first time, I head straight to the “About Me” or “About Us” page. I want to meet the person whose site I’m visiting.
It’s like checking a book’s dust jacket for a photo and bio of the author. You want to establish a connection in your mind between the information and the person who created it.
But if the website doesn’t have an About page (or if it contains just an official statement about the website or products) I’m disappointed. Who’s providing the information in this site? What makes this particular publisher an authority on this topic? Do I have anything in common with him/her?
Also, I have more confidence in the trustworthiness of the site if there appears to be a real person (or people) behind it, not just an invisible publisher.
Building this bond of connection and trust with your audience is a key element in selling anything, online or offline. People rarely buy from or return to the website of someone they don’t know or don’t trust. Your audience wants to meet you first.
Have you created or recently updated the About page for your site?
Although it may feel awkward to talk about yourself to an unknown audience, this page is one of the most important features on your site.
Use it to brand yourself as an expert in your niche, and to build trust with your audience.
On your About page, you can introduce yourself and explain your connection to the topic of your site. But you don’t have to use text for this if you don’t want to. Would photos or an audio or video clip help convey your message?
For example (depending on your niche), you might add…
- a music clip or MP3 download to your About page
- a video clip showing you doing something related to your site’s topic—cooking, doing martial arts, installing tile, etc.
- photos of your artwork, pets, trip to Italy—whatever it takes to communicate your expertise and brand yourself in your particular niche.
Do you have a site on ferret care? Let’s see you with one or more of your ferret friends.
An ebook on beer-making? We want to see you using (or enjoying the fruits of) your beer-making equipment.
A site on backpacking? Let’s see you decked out in full gear, on a spectacular trail.
Once I’ve “met” you, I’m comfortable with taking your advice and following your recommendations regarding ferrets, beer, backpacking, etc.
Be Photographed Doing Something
If you’re uncomfortable with posing for the camera, then be photographed or filmed while you’re busy doing something.
A photo of you actually doing whatever your site is about builds your credibility tremendously, but you can also help your website visitors feel like you’re a trusted friend or neighbor by simply posting a candid photo from your everyday life.
For example, you can have your picture taken while walking your dog on the beach, playing with your kids, dressed up with your spouse at a formal event, having fun on vacation, or participating in a triathlon.
A Tip for Getting More Flattering Photos and Videos of Yourself
I learned from a professional portrait photographer that the camera should be positioned slightly above your face for a slimming, more flattering effect. In contrast, a camera positioned at the same level as your face or slightly below gives you “jowls” and a saggier appearance. Who needs that?
I’ve often heard that “a camera adds 10 pounds to your appearance,” which may be true of low-angle photos. But I’ve seen with my own eyes that with a high-angle shot, the camera can do the opposite, subtracting 10 or more pounds—and many years—from your appearance.
Make Your Photo or Video Interesting and Memorable
The visual image you share of yourself can really enhance people’s visits to your site and help them remember you, especially if you go for something unique, instead of a standard head-and-shoulders portrait of you dressed in your best suit.
How can you make your visual image creative and memorable?
A good prop or costume related to your niche can really help tell the story. Go for the extraordinary! Your audience will love it—and more importantly, they’ll remember you. You’ll be interesting and stand out from your competitors.
For example, do you have a gardening site? Dress up and pose as the famous “American Gothic” portrait (stern farmer holding pitchfork, with his wife) and have your photo taken, or shoot some video.
Amusing, dramatic, artistic, tranquil, ultra-modern, old-fashioned, high-style… what look and feel do your topic and your personality lend themselves to?
If you’re stuck for inspiration for your photo/video on your About page, try browsing through music album covers, posters, art galleries, and your bookstore’s selection of “coffee table” books filled with art photos and the work of portrait painters. These are great ways to prime your imagination with inventive ways to fill a photo frame. Have fun with it!
And don’t forget about the possibilities of editing your digital imagery for special effects such as sepia tones, highlights, black-and-white, a partially colored hand-tinted look, canvas effect, vignette framing, etc. Special effects can really help set the mood.
If you shoot an especially amazing or funny video for your About page, it may even become viral and be passed around the Web, bringing tons of viewers to your site.
Use Your Artistic Portrait Elsewhere
Your new artistic portrait is great to use elsewhere online, and offline too. Now you have an excellent photo for your magazine or newspaper columns, advertising, business card, brochure, etc.
It’s also perfect for accompanying any press releases you send out. Online and offline magazines and news media – particularly local media—love to have photos to post with an article. if you provide a good digital photo of you doing whatever your press release is about, it may improve your chances of having your story published in a featured spot… and being read by more people. Most people read an article after the photos draw their interest.
Don’t Put It Off
Don’t procrastinate on creating a unique About page for your website.
Your audience is waiting to meet you!
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