Why on earth is it so ridiculously hard to write good things about ourselves? No matter how many times over the years I've had to sit down and write the "About" section of my site, I always find myself feeling braggy or self-important. I procrastinate working on it because it's so personal and weirdly soul-baring. And it’s not like I share overly personal life events or intimate feelings about things. It's because I have to use my own voice. My real life if-I-read-this-aloud-my-voice-will-shake voice. The thing is, I'm pretty damn good at making other people sound as special on "paper" as they are in real life. Sure, I'm a career marketing writer, but it’s more than that. Helping a business owner tell their story to the world is just cool as hell to me.
Add it to the list. Like, today-ish.
Putting time and effort into telling your brand story is one of those things that entrepreneurs in particular tend to deprioritize because they're wearing like 4,000 hats and don’t have time. They might think it's too expensive to farm it out or even that it doesn't really matter that much as long as they’re regularly posting something (literally anything they can think of) on instagram. Oh, but it does matter. It really, really does. It matters now more than ever in a world that is a lot less "face-to-face" and a lot more "selfie-to-selfie".
Say bye to the Bio.
When you think about what to put in the “About” section of your website, try thinking of it as less of a Bio page and more of a “What I’m About” page. Not that where you were born and the name of your first pet aren’t interesting or important details. In fact, the latter may be key to your story if you run a doggy day care. But you’ll find that your potential customers will feel connected to the things that make you who you are and how they help support the story of your business.
Get comfortable with your you-ness.
One way to write your “About” section is to just start writing. But it can be helpful to first take a step back and think about your story in themes. Take about 10 minutes and try this simple exercise:
1. Write down the purpose or mission of your company.
2. Use these thought starters to list things you care most about:
· Causes you’re passionate about.
· People that influence and inspire you.
· Activities that define you.
· Important family traditions
· Foods you love.
· Places you feel connected to.
· Memorable books, movies, sports moments, musical experiences.
· Relationships that ground you.
3. Review your list and circle the items that most directly connect to or support your company mission.
4. Spend a few minutes writing your circled items down, each on a separate line. Then throw in a couple of your favorite remaining details, even if they have nothing to do with your purpose. Because who doesn’t love a well-placed fun fact here and there?
5. As you read down this list, jot down any themes that you see forming. (You’re starting to sound pretty damn formidable, huh?) These themes will serve you well in creating focus for your “About” section.
You have the right to remain human.
Even the most confident small business owners will end up checking their personalities at the door when writing their story. It can be downright scary to expose your true self for fear you might turn off a potential customer or investor. But the rewards that come from being authentically you are real.
1. Since there’s only one “you”, it’s an instant differentiator for your business. There may be a boatload of Easy shops selling what you’re selling, but only one of them has your story. Make sure it’s the best version you got.
2. Writing and speaking like a real, live 3-dimensional human instead of a business school bot, is sure to attract real, live 3-dimensional humans who like to buy products and services from brands who know who they are and who “get” them.
3. You. Are. A. Rockstah. So go ahead and sing it, sista.