Wednesday, January 25, 2012

6 Tips for Writing a Great About Me Page

I'm wrapping up a cool website copywriting project in which I was asked to write an ABOUT and SERVICES page for a Bay Area therapist. While I had written this type of copy before, I had never had a client in the mental health field. While this did require some extra research, particularly for the Services section, I found that most of the things I learned from my past writing experiences still held true, and still will for future clients, no matter what their career or field.

So, here are 6 handy tips that yield great results, and are a good framework for all ABOUT pages.

1. Write in 3rd person.
There is some debate online as to whether first person is preferable online, vs third person. Generally, third person is considered more professional, while first person us more for blogging or informal communication. I have experience writing bios for a national web reputation firm, and they strictly required writing in 3rd person for SEO enhancement.

2. Be sure to include honors and distinctions, such as awards, publications, professional recognitions, speaking engagements, and academic achievements. These help distinguish your subject from other competitors in their field, and is particularly important in the mental health field when the client will be sharing confidential information with the therapist, as well as sensitive topics.

3. Always keep your audience in mind.
As is true with all good copywriting, you must keep in mind who your audience is, and write for them. If your audience includes potential clients who may not be familiar with your area, it's your role, or the writer's role, to keep the langage simple and explain any unfamiliar terms. Conversely, if you talk down to your audience, or overexplain concepts they already know, they may decide you're not a good fit for them and move on.

4. Solve problems and answer questions.
Your ABOUT ME page should serve as a subtle marketing piece that convinces readers they should hire you, without your coming out and saying as much. Do you provide great value for the service you offer? Then say so. Do you have over ten years of experience in a niche area? Then explain how, where, and when. Do you have a signature program or cornerstone project that can help clients overcome common challenges? Let them know.

5. Include storytelling.
Telling a brief narrative or story is a wonderful way to engage your audience without a "hard sell." Your story gives the audience a chance to identify with you and find common ground, and sends the subtle message that you can connect with them. You can also use your story to show how you are unique, as well as illustrate your passion for your business.

6. Keywords for your niche.
Of course it's important to remember that we write for people, not search engines. Still, SEO is an important component of online writing today. I typically draft my copy first, and then run a keyword check over at Google Adwords, where I look for middle to low competition words that still have a high search rate. Here is a solid article from FreelanceSwitch, " Four Tips on Improving Your SEO," that offers excellent tips.

How about you? Have you come across any great ABOUT ME pages, or want to show off your own? What did I leave out? Comment here!

-Carrie Jaffe-Pickett
writer, editor

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