One of the most frequent comments I hear when meeting with new prospective copywriting clients is that they find it nearly impossible to write their own "About Me" or bio. I get it - it can be super awkward to talk about yourself. It feels like bragging in the third person, which seems even weirder. Most of the time, these clients' self-written bios end up being dry and dull, like a longer, more boring version of a resume.
Why is it super important to have a good bio when you're a creative business owner? Because YOU are part of the reason potential customers are buying. It's not like a huge corporation, when most people have no idea who the CEO is (and frankly, probably don't care). When you own a creative business, customers look to you for inspiration and creativity. Your image can also be aspirational: customers see images on your Instagram of you painting, designing, or creating, and aspire to be your business bestie. Come on, admit it - you follow a few awesome bloggers and think, "I want to be her BFF!" You want your About Me to be written in a way that'll pique the interest of your target customer, connect with them, and get them to convert.
When customers click to your About page, they want to know who you are.. A black-and-white list of past jobs and degrees tells them nothing about you as a person: it's just a laundry list that they'll skip over and forget about. If your About page is fun, relatable, and exciting, the customer is more likely to feel a connection with you and your brand.
THINK OF A FUN TAGLINE
Let's do a little quiz. Which sounds better? Which makes you want to know more about the business owner?
A) "Kerry Jones practices art and calligraphy."
B) "Kerry Jones is an artist, calligrapher, and bona fide Star Wars expert."
The second one, right? Kerry sounds fun, and I want to know more about her! If I were her copywriter, I would suggest that she put a photo beneath this tagline of "May the Force Be With You" written in calligraphy.
A). "Jen Smith is a web designer. She received her degree from the University of the Valley. She is proficient in X, Y, and Z computer codes."
B) "Jen Smith is a web designer, iced coffee addict, and dachshund enthusiast."
If I'm looking for a web designer, I want someone who I can trust, and someone who's easy to work with. A) tells me nothing about Jen other than stuff I don't really care about (I expect a web designer to be proficient in coding!). B) tells me about her personality, that she likes dogs, and that we can grab coffee together.
ESTABLISH YOUR STREET CRED WITH A GREAT NARRATIVE, AND GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT
Okay, so now your customer knows you and is starting to feel a connection (or at least that you're a human being, not an autobot). Now it's time to establish your street cred - what can you do for them?
You need to:
establish your credibility (why should someone hire you?)
create a great narrative (make it interesting)
touch on pain points (brides want their wedding to be perfect; web design clients are confused about web design).
Let's bring back our friend Kerry, shall we?
A) Kerry Jones Creative offers calligraphy for weddings and special events.
B) A wizard with a calligraphy nib, Kerry handcrafts exquisite custom calligraphy pieces for weddings, rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, dinner parties, and corporate events. A veteran of the wedding biz, Kerry has worked with hundreds of brides and event planners. She specializes in crafting heirloom pieces such as programs, guest books, and handwritten vows. Memories are fleeting, but your vows written in Kerry's gorgeous hand and framed on your bedroom wall will last a lifetime. Kerry's work has been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, Style Me Pretty, and Brides Magazine.
If you were a bride, which one would make you want to hire this person right away? Option B) creates a narrative that puts what the target customer wants at the forefront.
Let's go back to the web designer!
A) Jen Smith creates websites for Wordpress and Squarespace. She has worked with many businesses over the years to create their custom website.
B) The world of web design can be confounding for business owners - which hosting platform? How do I buy a domain? I want a website to look like this, but I have no idea how! Jen Smith cuts through the confusion with her helpful, can-do attitude. She'll be your web design knight-in-shining-armor, with her Macbook as trusty steed. Jen helps her clients understand all the many options and choose the best hosting platform and site design for their business. With Jen by your side, you can have the website of your dreams!
The pain points of many web design customers is that they don't know how to build a website, and a lot of the web design lingo can be confusing. By touching on those pain points in her bio in an interesting way, Jen is able to build trust with her potential customers.
GIVE THEM SOMETHING ELSE TO LOOK AT:
This is a great time to add a few photos of your work, and to link to your portfolio or shop page. You've just told them how great you are, let them see it for themselves! Remember, your About page is a selling tool. You want to make sure you're doing all you can to convert clients without "selling" to them in a cheeseball way.
SHARE A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR STORY WITHOUT GETTING TMI
Share a little about how you got started, without writing a novel. What inspired you? Did your business start as a hobby? What's the best part of owning your creative business? It's also nice to tell a teensy bit about your personal life - again, to make that personal connection.
Let's look at how we'd do it for our fictional friends Kerry and Jen.
A) Kerry has been writing calligraphy for fifteen years. She lives in Utah with her husband Chris and four children - Joseph is seven, Kate is five, Mya is three, and Kyle is eighteen months.
B) Kerry picked up her first calligraphy nib in college, and hasn't stopped writing since. When she was pregnant with her eldest son, she decided to make art and calligraphy her full-time gig. Kerry loves being a small part of each of her brides' perfect wedding days. When not covered in ink and surrounded by paper, Kerry spends time with her husband and four kids at home in Utah.
So for this one, A) was a little TMI. Your kids are great, but your customers don't need to know all the nitty-gritty details of their names, ages, and when they were potty-trained. B) creates a narrative and resonates with the target customer (a bride looking for custom calligraphy).
A) WORK HISTORY: ABC Tech Firm: 2004-2006. DEF Consulting Company: 2006- 2008. XYZ Marketing Agency: 2008-2011. Jen Smith Consulting: 2011 - Present.
B) Jen got her start designing websites right out of college at University of the Valley (go Tigers!!). At her various corporate jobs, she learned the importance of communicating with clients effectively and honed her coding skills. Jen's worked in a variety of industries, and has designed websites big and small for dozens of companies. Whatever your website needs, she can handle it with ease. When not hunched over her laptop crunching code, Jen's paddleboarding with her wife Katie or taking her dachshund Charlie on long, leisurely walks.
Good Lord, DO NOT list your work experience in bullet points. If you want to list your past jobs and employers, say what you learned from them to benefit your existing customers.
END WITH A CALL-TO-ACTION
If someone's read all the way to the end of your About page, you want to give them a good call-to-action, like:
Follow you on Instagram
Contact you - you can put a link to your contact page so they can email you
Check out your services - with a link to your service menu
Sign up for your email list - with a link to the signup form
If your head is spinning with About Me ideas, never fear! We have a free worksheet available to download. It includes the full before/after of one of the example businesses we used in this blog post! Click here to download!