Business

Freelancing 101: How to Write an About Page That Resonates with Your Audience

Most about pages are boring. People hate “boring.” You don’t want to be perceived that way. I’ll help you prevent it. Show people who you are, what you stand for, and how you can help them. Make an amazing first impression on your readers (potential clients). Here’s how to write an about page that connects with your audience.

Give your readers a reason to care.

Have you ever gone to a party and ran into somebody who talked about themselves incessantly? That’s annoying. Words like arrogant, braggadocios, and self-centered come to mind. Who wants to be judged that way? Not me!

Ask yourself: “Why should people care about what I have to say? What do they have to gain by working with me?” Your about page shouldn’t feel like a lecture. Instead, it should flow naturally, like a conversation with a close friend.

To help you apply this concept, let’s look at two about page openers for a freelancer.

Option A“Thanks for visiting my blog! My name is Daniel Wallen. When I’m not lifting weights or eating tacos, you can find me churning out content for the Internet. My articles have been read by millions of people and shared 500,000+ times. I’ve been featured on websites like Pakwired, Lifehack, Thought Catalog, and Good Men Project.”

This approach isn’t ideal. I barely acknowledged the reader. I’m the obnoxious guy who can’t stop bragging about his accomplishments at a party. And why am I talking about tacos? This is a business, not a dating profile. Let’s try something else…

Option B: “Thanks for visiting my website! My name is Daniel Wallen. I produce actionable content for ambitious people who want to live a remarkable life. As a freelance writer, I provide services to blogs, businesses, and busy individuals. Your message matters. Let’s make sure it’s received in the most effective way possible. Click here to view a portfolio of my most recent and popular articles.”

That’s a big improvement. I explicitly told the reader how my articles will benefit them. If a reader needs content for their own website, they might look into my freelancing offers. And why brag about my social share and traffic count? Let the work speak for itself. They’ll be more impressed when those engagement statistics are a surprise.

Tell your readers an engaging story.

Data is dull. Sure, it has a time and place. But your about page isn’t one of them.

Stories are captivating. They hook the reader’s attention. People will feel like they know you on a personal level.

That said, you can’t just tell any random story. It must tie directly into your freelance business. Otherwise, people will be confused. Your about page needs to be on-point. Ask yourself these three questions:

  • How did becoming a freelancer change your life?
  • What do you have in common with your readers or potential clients?
  • Were there any pivotal moments that led you to pursue a freelancing career?

Maybe you used to be a disgruntled office worker. Your work didn’t inspire you. You constantly watched the clock, counting down to the end of your day. Now life is different. You find meaning in your work. It gives you a purpose. You’re excited about your career for the first time you can remember.

Perhaps you are a former IT specialist. You hoped to tackle complex problems. Instead, you answered calls from clueless co-workers. Everyday, you gave the cliche advice: “Have you tried restarting your computer?” What a bore. Now you’re a web designer and app developer. The work gave you a newfound enthusiasm for life. What a difference!

Use these case studies as inspiration for your own story. Also, include a professional photo or several. If you don’t have any (or they’re outdated), address that soon. Schedule a photo shoot with a photographer. Present yourself as a real, living, breathing human being. People feel like they know you better when they can attach a face to your name.

Ask your readers to take action.

Many about pages include an email sign-up form. Depending on the goal of your website, that might be a smart tool. Here’s a good Forbes article about how to grow an email list.

If your site is focused on your freelance business, you absolutely need a contact form. You could insert one at the end of your about page. Add a call-to-action (CTA) that says: “If you want to inquire about my services, send a message.”

Even better, create a sales page for your freelancing services. Explain who needs your offer and how it will benefit them. Conclude your about page with a CTA that says: “Click here for rates, packages, and more information.”

Note: Please make those CTA’s more specific. I have no idea what you provide as a freelancer, so I’m being general.

A web designer could say, “If you want to take your online presence from zero to hero, click here for more details.” And a freelancer writer might say, “Are you tired of publishing content that never gets read? Contact me to fix that.”

Oh, gosh. Is it already time to take my own advice? Brace yourself for an obvious CTA. (Am I getting too meta?) Share this article with the freelancers in your life, because they need an about page that converts clients, too.

READ MORE OF THE FREELANCING 101 SERIES BY DANIEL WALLEN:

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Home Working Club

    23/08/2017 at 5:11 pm

    This was interesting and did lead me to tweak my own LinkedIn profile!

    That said…I’m not sure about omitting a list of publications I’ve written for in an opener – household names do turn peoples’ heads – if they didn’t, companies wouldn’t pay PR teams thousands every month to get them mentioned in those publications. Furthermore, big name writers DO tend to list the places they’ve written for very prominently.

    So while I completely understand the reasoning behind the Option 2 opener, I’m not entirely convinced – because a writer with no real experience could write that, whereas someone who hasn’t written for big names couldn’t claim they could without lying.

    • Daniel Wallen

      23/08/2017 at 7:32 pm

      That’s a good point, Ben! Honestly the business side of me thinks it might be better for each individual freelancer to test both options — one “braggy” opener and one “humble” one — to see which works better for them. I still mention the “big names” on my own about page, but I save that information for the very end. It seems like a happy medium to me.

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