Recently, I sat down with a client, over tea in my home office, to work on her “About Me” page. She had been paralyzed for weeks trying to write something but had been unable to produce more than a couple of sentences. I offered to help her.
It wasn’t only this client; this happens all. the. time. Crafting a compelling “about me” page shouldn’t be so hard, but it is. It is no wonder big companies employ copywriters and brand strategists to help them articulate the essence of who they are, what they do, and why they do what they do.
While most of us don’t have that luxury of hiring strategists and consultants, the truth is: an “About Me” page needs our loving and careful attention, because it is one of the most visited pages on every website.
Why do we have such a hard time describing ourselves? Shouldn’t that be the easiest thing to write about?
One reason we struggle is a deep rooted fear that others won’t like us.
So we compromise.
We compromise who we truly are for a “more professional” version of ourselves, a version that is “more appropriate” to society or to the business world (like me wearing boring business suits and pantyhose when I love bright-color dresses, ruffled skirts, and dainty lace.)
We compromise because we don’t believe in the power of our uniqueness and the gifts we bring to the world.
As you craft your “About Me” page, above all, please remember this: Do not compromise who you are. Do not neglect the WHOLE of who you are.
If I have learned anything from being in business is this:
there’s nothing more exhausting to our bodies (and depressing to our souls) than editing who we are to achieve “success” and adjusting who we are to be more attractive to certain clients.
The beauty and the magic of the work I aspire to help you with, is that by being your true self, by being authentic and vulnerable, your tribe will be able to find you. After all, then and only then, will like minded souls feel that resonance that makes them choose you. I have created this guide to help my clients craft their “About Me” page, authentically. I hope you, too, find it helpful.
1. Use the first-person tense:
Sweetie, talk to us in the first-person. When I land on your site, I want to hear from YOU! The third person approach is outdated and doesn’t feel genuine. Every knows you probably wrote it yourself.
“Mariela was born in Cuba, has an MFA in Writing and Literature from Bennington College in Vermont.” OK. That’s the third person. And it’s boring. Don’t do that. Pretty please.
2. It’s not all about you:
OK. It is the “About Me” page after all, but it’s not all about you. What I mean is that the purpose of this page is to make a connection with the potential client or reader who lands on that page. Without compromising who you are, think about who they are and what they need from you. Write thoughtfully – thinking of your story and the parts that will appeal to your target audience.
People search online looking for a service or product like yours. They have a particular need, and your services or product can be like a balm to soothe that issue. Remember that when writing your “About Me” page.
3. Tune in (exercise):
Before writing, I always like to sit on my chair, in front of the computer and put my right hand on my chest. I take a minute to breathe and center myself. Often, I massage the area over my heart, in a circling motion. I do that about twenty times to connect with Source and with my true self. Then I ask questions such as: “Why am I writing this?” or “How can this blog post be of utmost service to my visitors?”
For writing your bio, ask yourself questions such as: “Who am I?” “Who do I serve?” “What do they need from me?”
4. Use your imagination:
To write authentically, I like to imagine someone sitting right in front of me – someone who is in desperate need of my help. Whole-heartly and with deep compassion, I write to that person, telling her how I can help her.
If you only had three minutes of that person’s time, what would you say to them about who you are or what’s important to you?
5. Use your voice:
English is my second language, and so I have many quirks when I speak and write. They bother me to the point that I don’t write as much as I would like, thus keeping myself from fully sharing my truth and from helping others. My quirks are part of who I am; they give a particular flavor to the way I speak. I must accept and love them, like we all should do to any of our (perceived) flaws.
Also, when I talk to women in my circle, I address them as: sweetie, lovely, or darling… So that’s the language I use here in my website. I used to think that it wasn’t professional to do so, but it’s really authentic to me. And I gotta be me. And you gotta be you.
Some women use curse words on their site; I’ve heard them say that it is important to them to be themselves that way. I respect that even though I rarely use curse words. Others use sarcasm heavily (again, not me) but I so appreciate their voices and the courage to be themselves…
So, darling, yes, write the way you talk. It gives people a really good sense of who you truly are.
6. Use an amazing picture of yourself:
You know people don’t read much these days, so a good, honest picture of yourself can do almost as much for you as your well-written bio. I actually became a photographer after being a web designer and seeing the need my clients had for a good photo for their “About Me” page. An outdated, dark, and grainy picture wasn’t going to cut it, so I invested on a good Nikon camera and started taking headshots that captured the person authentically. I call them Soul Portraits.
7. Take the pressure off:
The pressure is what traps us sometimes. Relax. You can always change the page later. That’s the beauty of electronic communication (versus) print. Really, be intentional but don’t sweat it too much.
In summary, we spend most of our lives camouflaging, editing who we are, accommodating our truth, because of the expectations of others, or to avoid conflict. But we must realize that not being who we really are is more dangerous to our well-being and our success than being liked or making others a little uncomfortable.
May we learn to make a daily practice of this, on our website, on social media, face-to-face.
May we choose to speak our truth and be our true true selves.