The 5 essential pieces you need for a compelling about page, plus 5 brilliant examples
(Quick note: this is a robust post so you might want to bookmark it, add it to your reading list, or keep it on Instapaper to return to.)
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by narrowing down to a one-sentence profile statement, your about page is a better place to start. It will give you more space (literally) to inject more of your unique words and play with the format of speaking to the people you want to work with.
Then you can select the most important pieces to create that one-sentence profile statement on your social media profiles, as a tagline, or use it as an intro with people you meet.
In this article, you’ll get more questions to go further into each of the five essential parts to your bio:
- You/Your business
- Your clients
- Your clients’ results
- Your product/service
- Your uniqueness
But before we jump in, I have a challenge for you, dear creative friends. This is especially helpful if you are using your bio on your website, CV, resume, or some ‘designed’ thing.
Here it goes:
Start writing your copy before
touching thinking about the design of the page.
As a fellow visually-motivated person, I know the struggle is real. When I focused on writing my bio for my new website, I was desperately resisting the temptation to get stuck in researching themes, layouts, typefaces and colors.
Instead, by crafting the language first, then I was able to use the words to inspire the visuals (you’ll see this soon on my new website).
It may feel backwards or uncomfortable, but here’s why it’s important.
In Brennan Dunn’s Double Your Freelancing Rate book, he explains:
The words you write are everything. Words help clients see that you can sympathize with their pain points, and have something you can offer as a solution… Instead of writing about where you went to school, what your hobbies are, and a list of services, put yourself into the shoes of a potential client.
This is what we can all agree on: our websites, our LinkedIn pages, and our About.Me sites are created to attract the people we want to spend our time with–be it clients, collaborators, or, as Seth Godin says, our tribe.
So the words you choose need speak to them.
By writing to and about them, it’s easier for people to identify whether they want to pursue a relationship with you or not.
However, this is can be challenging to create, and so I’ve compiled a list of questions and examples to help you get started.
The 5 primary questions you need to answer for a tribe-worthy bio
What has helped me write a clear, succinct, attractive bio are the following 5 questions from Tara Gentile’s Standout Business course:
1. Who are you? What do you do?
This should be straightforward and the words you choose should easily be understood by the people you support. No need to be too creative with this piece – that comes later.
- your name or your organization name
- plus your industry, such as architecture, urban design, graphic design, community engagement, etc.
2. Who do you support? What makes them unique?
Be specific. Think about one or two people that you feel have benefited most from working with you – and who you would love to work with again.
- Fintech entrepreneurs
- Community organizers
- Small-hold farmers
- Other impact-driven designers (yep – that’s mine!)
3. What do you provide them? What ‘thing’ do they leave taking with them?
This is the service(s) or product(s) you offer, in straightforward, layman’s terms. It’s what they receive by engaging with you.
- An app
- A business plan
- A public park
- A building
- A network
- A book
4. What results do they receive from what you provide them? What transformation do they see and feel?
This is where you move beyond the output they receive (a building, a website, a report, an app) and towards both the tangible results (numbers of people using the space, increase in visitors, increase in downloads) and the emotional, mental, and physical transformation they have. If you are able to collect feedback from clients, this will help validate assumptions. And if you don’t have this yet, then make your best guesstimate and put it out to test.
- it’s not just having a new app but it’s feeling confident in the app’s performance and seeing more people downloading and rating it
- it’s not just a new public space but it’s feeling proud about the public space they’ve created and seeing more people use the space.
Note: if you are interested in impact assessment and reporting, this is a great way to start collecting insights.
5. How do you do it differently? What is your unique lens or approach?
Think about what your clients have said in the past about working with you. What kinds of qualities do they admire or compliment you on?
Ask your friends or family members, what am I excellent at doing? How would you describe me to someone else? Write down the adjectives that they use.
If you’re still struggling to find unique words, check out HowToFascinate.com for a free personality test and a variety of words to test how to describe yourself.
How to organize your content for impact
We’re on the home stretch now. After you’ve written your answers to the questions above, start to put the pieces together into a few paragraphs.
Based on my research, this is what I’ve found to be the most effective order to put your people first and center. Because, again, your bio is an opportunity for people to decide whether or not they want to pursue a relationship with you. So make it about them, first!
- Introductory sentence on you, your business, and your goal for your clients
- Your clients, their uniqueness, the transformation you provide
- How you do what you do differently than anyone else
- Call to action
For final inspiration, here are five of my favorite bio pages that showcase what you’ve just read and practiced.
Did you benefit from this article? If so, use the share buttons below ⬇︎ or on the right ➡︎ to share it with your friends and help them write their own tribe-worthy bio.
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