Make your website’s About page (or your LinkedIn profile) stand out
About page Main Aims
Your website’s About page is a simple but powerful marketing opportunity for your business. This is where potential clients go to check your credentials and to weigh up whether you’re the right fit for them. The same applies to your LinkedIn profile, so if you don’t have your own business you can use these lessons there.
Your About page is also an opportunity to stand out from other businesses. After all, it’s specifically about your business and your approach to working with others. At least that’s what it should be. Unfortunately, all too often many businesses play it safe with their About page and end up sounding boring as a result.
What Not to Do with Your About page
Recently I attended training on how to use tone of voice in branding. Nick Parker, the trainer, had a great example of how he demonstrates the importance of having a distinctive tone of voice to sceptical clients. He takes 3 or 4 About pages (the client’s and a few of their competitors), removes any distinguishing features like logos and company names and then asks his client to identify their own one. The majority of the time they’re unable to tell theirs apart from their competitors.
Sounding the same as everyone else might have worked when you were wearing a school uniform, but in the business marketplace don’t be afraid to be distinctive.
My first failure
It was a while before I went all in on having my own business and setting up a website. So most of my About page failures actually happened on my LinkedIn profile.
I played it too safe on LinkedIn, toning down my own personality to try to match the other LinkedIn users’ profiles. Rather than using it in a creative way I went with the straight, chronological rehashing of my career history. Stuffed with clichés and buzzwords, it was a total snore-fest, and no different to any of the other equally earnest LinkedIn users’ profiles. I suspect I may even have claimed that I was “passionate” about stakeholder management – cringe!
Instead of using it as an opportunity to show how I am different, what would make someone want me as a colleague, I stuck with the tired old tropes of being hard-working, good at problem-solving and loving a challenge. While all of that was, and is, true I left out some essential Meadhbhness. That previous colleagues enjoyed my sense of humour, that one colleague called me “the quiet achiever” for my focus and calmness under pressure. These kinds of things would have given potential employers a hint at how my workplace demeanour might fit into their company culture.
My second failure
Thankfully my second failure is less professionally embarrassing to me as a writer. My headshot really looked nothing like me. I used one that I got taken for free at an event. I looked uncomfortable because I was uncomfortable. I had queued up with other attendees, hadn’t really got my hair the way I wanted it and had zero rapport with the photographer. It’s a while ago so I was wearing a suit jacket. That suit has probably been out of the wardrobe even less than I’ve been out of the house during lockdown. I was dressed the way I thought people with jobs should dress, rather than as me.
Your About page, or LinkedIn profile, is a chance for you to show a little personality. Don’t be afraid to be distinctive. You want to work with people who fit with your company’s philosophy and with your personality. So don’t hide who you or your company really is by sounding like everyone else.
Avoid using clichés just because your competitors use them. Bring some of your company’s distinctive tone of voice into your website’s About page. Allow your personality to shine through on your LinkedIn profile.
Use good quality images which really capture your company’s brand and values on your About page. On your LinkedIn profile use a headshot that reflects who you are. If you can’t afford to hire a photographer get a friend or family member to take a picture of you so that you have a natural smile.