So you like to drink Mionetto Prosecco, and you have two children, and you love your partner, and you’re addicted to Star Wars, and you gained spiritual enlightenment in Thailand last year, and you like to make friends with your clients…
…how wonderful. But are these really facts you need on the core pages of your professional website?
Whether you’re a web designer, brand design agency, interior design studio, or an architecture practice, there are some things which just don’t belong on an about page or bio.
For many agencies, the about page and team bios are often deemed the place to really show the personalities of the designers within the company. They mention their favourite hobbies and wax-lyrical about the love they have for their job. I’ve even seen a brand design firm go as far as outlining their team members’ favourite outfits, jewellery, books, and everyday accessories.
But why? Do prospective clients really care? Is that what they need to know in order to make a big money decision?
What an about page does
It’s all too easy to misunderstand the real function of an about page. Despite the name, this page is not an autobiography of the designer or agency. It’s about conveying just the right amount of information that persuades prospects you’re the right agency or designer for their needs.
Basically, whatever is needed to build confidence and trust in your experience, expertise and abilities, as well as showing you understand the reader’s core problems and you have the knowledge and skills to solve those problems.
Everything else is superfluous.
Personal details about your life do have their place on your website, such as in your blog section, for example. But it’s important to remember your website is your design business’s main sales and marketing tool. It’s not Facebook.
Prospects visiting your website are looking to invest in a serious and professional designer or design agency. They are business owners or marketing professionals who are extremely busy, often working long hours and to tight schedules. They also worry about money.
All they want to know is that you can solve their problems, know what you’re doing, have achieved results before, and can ultimately make them more money.
They don’t want to be friends. They don’t want to know you’re favourite TV series. They don’t care about you at all beyond what you can do professionally.
And why should they?
You’re providing a service not a friendship
We all have long-term and friendly professional relationships with people who provide services, from hairdressers and dentists to cleaners and instructors. While it’s important they are friendly and polite, what we really care about is how well they can do the job and the results they achieve for us. The fact they may share a hobby or soft spot for chocolate cake with us is really neither here nor there.
As a brand designer, web design, packaging designer, or whatever kind of designer, all you need to show is that you are capable of achieving the results your target market desire and need.
That’s what your website needs to convey in a succinct, accurate, and persuasive manner. Your website needs to sell, otherwise it’s pointless.
Personality is important and character can certainly show through in strong copywriting but the details about your personal life are best left behind.
Who you are outside of work will naturally be conveyed to long-term clients anyway, and this is important in building bonds. But these traits are for later and not for when persuading prospects to invest potentially a lot of money in your professional services.
By filling your about page and bios with personal fluff, you’re more likely to give off a vibe of inexperience and lack of professionalism. This is especially the case if your target markets are not fellow creatives or young start-ups.
And this is a key point.
The copy needs to be targeted
Every word and feature on your website needs to connect with your target market. What do they expect to see? What are they accustomed to reading? What style of wording are they familiar with in their own industries?
Too many designer sites look and read like they are trying to appeal to other designers, because this is what they themselves like, rather than what their target audience necessarily likes.
Review your website copy, especially the about page and bios you have. Think about whether the more personal information about hobbies and interests really contribute to prospects making a buying decision. Consider whether they in fact distract from your professional credentials.
A nice friendly and professional photo of you smiling can a go a long way to building likeability without the need for oversharing your personal life.
And always remember, prospects are potential clients, not potential friends.
A well-written and focused about page or bio section can be incredibly powerful in persuading people to hire you.
Don’t let it work against you instead.
If you need strong, succinct and persuasive copy for your about page, bios, or website in general, get in touch with me today to discuss your project.