Dispelling 3 Myths About the 'About Me' Page
Updated: Feb 25
You did it. You took the leap. You hung out your shingle and went into business. You followed all the advice and have an amazing landing page with an image that captures attention, an clean easy menu and all your tech optimized to work across devices. You even got an 'About Me' page up. But...you're not a writer. Or, you think it sounds too stiff. Or too braggy. Or too boring. Or just not right. Why? Why does this part of our entrepreneurial journey twist us into such knots. I have three reasons.
I'm not a writer
And, in the sense that it's not your job title, that's true. However, I think this taps into something deeper, ideas you and society carry about writing and art. Now, come on Colleen, this is business, not art. Thank you. You proved my point. And these ideas engender a lot of feelings, such as:
Get a "real" job: because a career in the arts is somehow deemed fake
Get serious: like you have with your career and/or business and not the frivolous world of art
Only talented people can write and that's not where my talents lie: or the 'I'm not special enough to join this elevated club' argument
What never gets considered in any of these arguments is that writing is a form of communication that you use everyday. Ever sent an email or text? Ever dictated a letter or memo. Yes, that counts. You do write, and do so daily.
A less evident truth, all good writing requires revision and that demands distance, both in time and emotion. You need both to evaluate the works strengths and flaws. Few writers can do that for themselves. They need help. That's why critique groups, writing classes and editors exists. They help you see and fix the weak spots. Consider me your editor.
It feels like selling, and that feels wrong
Funny how we believe in our product or service enough to invest our time, heart and money, but, and often on a visceral level, selling it feels wrong. Sometimes that comes from deep personal and/or cultural biases that associates it as a form of bragging, a taboo behavior. Sometimes it comes from fear of the spotlight upon us and insecurity that can bring. And some of us have a natural tendency towards introversion and the 'on' nature of selling exhausts us. Sadly, all of these issues require more than a how-to blog post.
What I can offer, is the start of a new way to frame this. One of the great ironies of the 'About Me' page is that those reading it don't really care about you. No, they have come this far on the journey because they have a problem. They care about your ability to help them solve that problem, so re-framing it as an offer of a good or service to coming from a place of service helps free up this hesitancy. Like all inner work, this shift takes time and effort, but it's a start.
I don't have time
If you want to get all philosophical (and I have a tendency to do this, so if you read my stuff, you'll see this phrase a lot Fair warning), no one 'has' time. It's not a possession. It's a limiter. It forces us to make choices, so a more accurate statement is 'I've chosen not to make the choice to focus on this.' Good news, you have the power to make different choices and recalibrate your focus. At the root of all procrastination is a desire to protect yourself from discomfort. That leads me to the second bit of good news, you don't have to do it alone. You can ask for help, get some coaching (hello!) and start feeling good about what your website says about you.
Everyone has a voice, a unique way of putting words together, a coded language that only makes sense to family and close friends and favorite turns of phrases. Finding and honing in is the purpose and main difficulty of the 'about Me' page. It's also it's greatest strength, giving the reader a chance to see your qualifications and get a sense of you as a person, making it worth all the effort. We can help you get there.