How can I trust you when I don’t know who you are?
Websites are very impersonal and faceless.
When you land on a website you have no idea who is behind it. As you look around you start asking yourself ‘is it an individual, company or organisation?’, ‘where are they based?’, ‘what expertise do they have?’, ‘can I reach them? and ‘can I trust them?’
These are the questions you must address on the ‘About Us’ or ‘About Me’ page.
Tip #1 – Make it Conversational and Personal
There is an old saying that is drummed into sales men and women – “people buy from people”. This means people don’t buy products and services; they buy into the person who is selling them and only if trust and rapport are created will they buy what the person is selling.
On the internet visitors need to ‘buy into’ who is behind the website before they buy into the website itself.
The About page should be used to build rapport by being open, personal and engaging
Tip #2 – What is the Site About?
It might seem obvious to you what your site is about, but you should spell it out for your visitors.
“Hi, I’m Peter Malone. Since my teens I have been passionate about church organs and so in 1999 I set up ChurchOrganReview.com to share my knowledge, expertise and passion. Today it’s the world’s #1 church organ website sharing news, tips, event information, reviews and much more with thousands of people around the world”.
Tip #3 – Who Is It Written For?
If you know who your target audience are, make it clear, whilst leaving the description broad enough to include all potential visitors:
“Our regular visitors include everyone from church organ designers, manufacturers and service engineers, to teenage musicians discovering these wonderful instruments for the first time. We have hobbyists, academics and journalists; sound engineers, composers and historians. Some have a passing interest, whilst many, like myself, are passionate about church organs. Whatever your interest you are always very welcome”
Tip #4 – Answer WIIFM
Above all visitors want to know ‘what’s in it for me’ or WIIFM.
What will they gain from staying on your website. Save money, make money; save time; be happier; learn something new; learn something exclusive; meet interesting people …whatever the benefits, spell them out.
“If you are looking for information about church organs you can stop your search now.
ChurchOrganReview.com will provide all the information you need in an easy to consume format. You can listen to organ music, ask experts your questions and share your thoughts with other enthusiasts. It’s quick, easy and fun to learn lots of things you never knew before!.”
Tip #5 – Why Should Visitors Listen to You?
Once you have told visitors what the site is about it is time to tell them about yourself – remember ‘people buy people’.
Don’t be shy. This is the place to blow your own trumpet!
A good starting point is to look for short biographies on book cover. These author descriptions are usually short and precise and have two goals; to build trust with the reader and hopefully convince them to buy the book.
Your bio has similar goals – build trust and persuade people to stay on your site.
Mention everything that is relevant:
• Where your interest started
• How long you have been involved with your subject
• Awards, achievements and recognition
• Books or articles you have written
• Events you have spoken out
• Any other claims to fame?
Tip #6 – Upfront and Personal
Only you will know how personal you want to get, but opening up your kimono a bit can go along way towards building a relationship with your audience.
This can be sharing information about where you live, your family and friends. It could cover hardships and challenges you have endured and conquered to get where you are today. Or simple things like favourite films, music and websites.
Tip #7 – Don’t Alienate Your Audience
Be careful in the personal information you give that you don’t alienate potential readers over things that have nothing to do with your website subject.
For example, if you are active Republican but write a website about church organs, why mention it if it could drive Democrat visitors away.
Tip #8 – Have a Photo
More than any description a photo will bring you alive in the mind of your visitor.
Ideally make the photo reinforce what you do. For example if your site is about sailing have a photo of you in a boat. This simple trick helps to establish you as an expert.
If in your website you refer to where you live, your local countryside, your office or any other place, bring it alive with a photo.
Tip #9 – Contact Details
Towards the end of the About page you should encourage readers to contact you.
If they have taken the trouble of visiting your site and then reading about you, they have qualified themselves in as potential customers. Allow them to complete their due diligence by dropping you an email or even giving you a call. This small step can often be the difference between them leaving and never coming back or becoming a lifelong supporter.
Tip #10 – Give Credit, Where Credit is Due
If there are other people involved in your website including designers, writers, photographers, etc acknowledge their contribution.
And one more for luck
Extra Tip – Encourage Them to Buy Something!
Many web ‘experts’ say don’t sell stuff from your ‘About’ page. It reduces the trust.
I completely disagree …and this is why.
Very often visitors to your About page have already decided they want to buy whatever you are selling. This could be a membership subscription, a product or service, a download or advertising space. They just need to convince themselves that you will deliver what your website is promising.
If your About page is written well it will provide this reassurance and by the time they reach the end they are ready to buy … so make it easy for them to do so! Give them the opportunity to buy there and then!
Some good ‘About’ pages:
The About Us page on many websites is an after thought slung together just before launch. This is a mistake.
This single page can be the difference between success and failure.
Online success is based on building trust. Trust is built between people. Your ‘About’ page is your best opportunity to personalise your site and give it a face.
Write it carefully and use it wisely.