How to improve your website’s about page

Almost as important as your homepage is the about page. It’s your opportunity to build rapport with your guests — a chance to introduce yourself and to explain the aim of your website. Here are some tips that’ll have your page in excellent shape.

Always be a first rate version of yourself

  1. Offer your name. It’s blatantly obvious, yet so many pages don’t get personal.
  2. Include a photo. People like to see who they’re dealing with. If there’s a team behind the website, include them all (even the cleaners deserve recognition).
  3. If it’s just you, write in the first-person. If someone asks what I do for a living, I don’t say, “David’s a graphic designer.” Use “I,” not “he/she.” It’ll make you more personable.
  4. Think about your visitor’s needs. Sure, you’re talking about yourself, but imagine you’re a potential client reading about you. What does the client get from contacting you?
  5. Keep it current. Check the content every month or so to ensure it’s up-to-date. Perhaps you’ve moved home/office, or perhaps you offer a new product or service.
  6. Show your location. By including a photo of your office, your town or city, you let people get that little bit closer, helping build rapport.
  7. Short and sweet beats long and sour. Ask someone to have a look at your page. It shouldn’t take any longer than a minute to read, and the reader should learn something new about you.
  8. Keep it professional. Emoticons won’t get you that £10,000 deal.
  9. Experiment with video. Letting your visitors see and hear you can have a beneficial effect when it comes to building trust online. (If you’re too self-conscious, why not start with an audio podcast?)
  10. Add a call to action. Where should visitors go after they’ve read about you? Your design portfolio? Your contact page? Make it easy — include a link within the text.

One more thing, don’t take yourself too seriously.

A few examples

  • swissmiss — the hand-written signature at the bottom is a great little touch.
  • iA — lacks photos of the team, but makes up for it with excellent copywriting.
  • I Love Typography — very personable, with a nice photo, too (slightly cracking a smile).
  • Elliot Jay Stocks — short and sweet, with a time-saving FAQ section.
  • Subtraction — an example of the biographical approach combined with a gorgeously shot photo.

Other about page articles and examples

Judy Garland quote Image credit.

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42 comments

  1. Some very good tips there, David. It really is an important page to do well on any website, especially a blog/portfolio type website.

    Some people who aren’t internet savy would say “I don’t like putting my whole life on the internet”, but the irony of that is that the more of your life you put on the internet as a designer… the more chance you have at connecting with people.

    I spend a lot of time on my site refining content and copy every so often, and recently updated my about page too. The about page should depict the type of person you are, and be professional, yet not boastful, and also written in a way to engage the reader in your back story.

  2. Great article. I’ve been fighting with my “about me” page for the past few weeks. But after reading your article I now have some great direction to finally getting it together. Thanks!

  3. Really well written article!
    You’ve covered some great pointers which people miss out.
    I too have some work to do on my about page.

  4. Hmmm, food for thought.

  5. Thank you, David. I’m about to launch a new website for my business actually. I “trespassed” against one of your tips already :-) I’ll be sure to write a better About Us page with these tips. Thanks, again.

  6. Hey Mark, great addition about not being too boastful. If you ever think I’m doing that, feel free to throw me a virtual slap.

    Inka, good luck with the new site launch.

  7. Of course not, David! We couldn’t keep coming back if you were!

    It’s a trap that’s really easy to fall into though. When I re-read my own about page regularly I would re-write bits of it if I think it’s getting too “I’m great at this stuff”. I also throw in a few “interesting, yet irrelevant facts about me” bits of information, so people can see some trivial things that might help them get a sense of who I am, and that I’d be a fun person to work with.

  8. Funny you should mention that, Mark. I’ve just been rewording my about page so it’s a little more down-to-earth/less boastful. Those interesting facts can be a nice conversation starter, too, I agree.

  9. I think your about page is pretty much spot on, David. It’s not an overload of information, yet it covers everything you need to mention there. Them photos really set it off – particularly the one at the top. I love getting a glimpse into where designers work – you can almost picture yourself sitting at their desk.

    That’s one thing I need to beef out on mine – need to strike a few “vogues” for some more photos in that part of my site.

  10. I’m having the same issue with my about me, I think it may be too short. I kind of like the whole mystery thing, but I understand if you are trying to attract higher end clients, you need to have it more streamlined and make it more personal.

  11. All very helpful points.
    Thanks for posting :)

  12. Hi David!

    I think that taking the About page to a more personal level is a really great idea for all the reasons you stated and once upon a time, I really supported people putting themselves ‘out there’ into the internet world in a straightforward and honest manner.

    … But then there are stalkers.

    What should a person do if they have legitimate concerns regarding stalking?

  13. Great post mate. So when can i expect a signed copy of your book in the post? ;)

  14. Another great post David, very clear and concise. By having an about us page on your site, it humanizes your company and the work you do, making you more approachable to other web designers or potential customers.

  15. Hi David,

    I look at a ton of About us pages every month – it says such a lot about someone – especially in your industry.

    Spotted a great About Us recommendation recently here http://www.alliancesoftware.com.au/about

    Strengths (yeah) and WEAKNESSES (nice)…

    It’s important to say what you don’t do as well as what you do.

    Great site…

    Cheers,
    Mark

  16. Jon’s a marketing professional. :) This is a great post and these tips are so often overlooked, even by the pros. It is so important that people feel comfortable and that they can connect with you and not your high dollar copywriter.

  17. Great point regarding the “About” page. I pulled my bio from an interview that I did in order to save time from actually having to write it myself, but it sounds like I’m referring to myself in the third person…lol. I’ll be changing that tonight!

  18. Hey David,

    I came across your blog a few months back while doing the initial research for planning my own site and have been following along with the different conversations ever since. It seems you have a post directly relating to what I’m working on at the time, almost on cue. Thanks for the road map!

    Your readers really have a lot to offer as well. As an independent designer I am a one man show, however, I do collaborate with other, photographers, illustrators, programmers etc. to create the best possible solution. What do you (and readers) suggest as far as saying “We” or “I” when describing their company? Positioning your self as an individual, or a company – either on the home page or About Us/Me page? See my dilemma?

    Oh and I’m digging the irrelevant facts on marks page – adds a friendly and laid back vibe to it.

    AP

  19. elliott

    nice and simple tips to keep in mind. your own about page is nice too david!

  20. I think mine, http://stylozero.com/about, made the list, except for the last two point.

    I will skip #9, but #10 has a lot of sense. Took good note of that.

  21. @Andrew Perkins – thanks! I’m glad you’re digging it! :-)

  22. Hi, David

    I always take your advice and tips into consideration because they’re always useful.

    I pretty much implement the tips you list, except my “about me” snippet is a bit lengthy. But it’s a fun read and I’ve had people email to say it’s enjoyable.

    Until today I’d been reluctant to add a photo, but I bit the bullet and added one today. We’ll see how it works out.

    http://sewcraftful.com/index.php/about-2/

  23. David,

    Thanks for an excellent post. After reading this I immediately went in to my about page and made your suggested edits (I was not referring to myself in the first person). After re-reading my page your suggestions really added a lot of life to it — so thank you again.

  24. Given me some great ideas for the eventual, time-allowing redesign that never happens… if there’s ever a chance to show your personality other than through your actual work/portfolio, it’s the about page. But so often it follows a “I can do this, great at that” template, which is more or less a given to prospective clients – they’ll judge your ability through the work displayed, what they need is an idea they’ll get along with the person behind it.

    Cheers!

  25. Victor Zuniga

    This is great! Thanks David.

  26. Thank you for the tips, David! The About page is an extremely important part of a website, yet it’s also often the most overlooked. I know we will be taking the time to review our About page and applying some of your tips to help improve it!

    Tessa Carroll

  27. Hello David,

    I thank you very much for your help… because of you I am passing my one of my Graphic Design classes. By the way, you are my hero.

    Paola

  28. Great post with great ideas.

  29. I think you nailed what (and why) you should include in the About page of a freelancer’s website. I just recently got into a discussion about including a profile image with someone. One person said it was old-school and something along the lines of cheesy. I had to defend us, lol.

    I think I may not be keeping it short and sweet. Gives me reason to maybe re-read what I have put :-)

    Great post!

  30. David, I couldn’t agree more with you about having a good “About” page. People want to know who you are or who they might be working with especially in this day of online everything. It’s one of the first and crucial steps toward building trust and a good working relationship. Also, there are times when people read your about page, discover something interesting about you that isn’t in your portfolio or that may not be obvious – how you grew up, where you went to school, some outside interest, for example – and that’s how they make a connection. Example: someone came across my page and noticed that my father was a diplomat. This person was also a diplomat brat. We started talking through email and now she’s one of my regular clients, and has referred me to many others. One’s “About” page needn’t be too lengthy or too detailed, but enough to give a reader/visitor a good sense of where you are from, what brought you to this point, and what you’re doing.

  31. Thanks for tips. Now i know what must i do.

  32. Nathan Rattray

    Hello David,

    Great tips there. One question I’m concerns with is no 9 – ‘Experiment with video’. As don’t really have the vocal as I use BSL (British Sign Language) cos I was born deaf. Am currently on my 3rd year at Uni and wanna go freelance when graduated. Would like to set up own website. It is good idea to set up a video of me while use my signing, i can put the subtitles and audio on for hearing to follow me etc? Hope you’d have time to reply to this question. It’s ok if not. Love your book ‘Logo Design Love’ by the way. Keep up the brilliant work David :)

  33. Thanks for the continued comments, folks.

    For those of you who visited my blog in the past day or two, you’ll have noticed some changes. If you see any kinks, I’d appreciate you letting me know. Hopefully everything looks good across different browsers (I mainly use Firefox on Mac).

    Nathan, why not show signing? Subtitles or a voice over would make it more accessible, and it’d be a great way to build rapport with your readers.

    Andrew, in your situation I’d probably write in the first person, yet describe how you have a network of contacts you outsource particular jobs to.

  34. Great article David, really gives me quite a few things to think about for my blog and website, I have ticked some of the boxes on your list for my About Me pages but there’s definitely more I shall be implementing after reading this article.

  35. Great tips David, I must admit I’ve fallen for a few of those traps… I think I’ve looked at my profile copy 100 times now and its still not right! I need to change my profile into 1st person but have found it very difficult talking about myself without going down the cliche route, of ‘Hi, I’m Ashwin and I’m a graphic designer…’ I almost thought talking about yourself in 3rd almost makes you seem more credible and official? But then I suppose the work and content should really do all of that for you….

    I will be looking at it again!

  36. Great post, David. I need to get some decent pictures on my about page(s).

  37. Ahhh, there’s no delete last post button!

    Just reading what I had written before… really didn’t explain myself fully about my views on writing about yourself in the 3rd person… I’ve been in the industry for just over 2 years now and just launched my online site. I’ve been debating for a while whether to use 1st or 3rd person tense…

    Maybe it’s me lacking in confidence to be bold, honest and personal and say ‘this is me’, but I just thought that as I’m fresh to the industry and do not currently have a large body of work are people/ clients going to take me seriously? I know this all depends on content and what’s actually written in the copy but non-designer clients – are they going to get this casual approach in introducing yourself as ‘I’? Could it potentially make fresh designers who don’t have that established client list and huge body of work seem a little school boyish? Just a thought.

    I do love profile / about copy in 1st person, I just sometimes feel that designer sites are beginning to have the same personality and a ‘designer profile copy cliche’ is starting to emerge? But then again it’s the same with written in 3rd person…

    Very much over thought I know, but I really can’t decide on this one!

    I really shouldn’t comment on this anyway as my profile page by all means is no example and needs attention!

  38. I like using good copy on the about page. It gives a bigger insight into the “culture” of the agency or business. So many sites are cut and dry. It’s nice sometimes to get creative :)

  39. Some nice points David. I totally agree that location and a photo are good to include. An about page should have an element of personality as its make-or-break if a potential client likes what they see and read on the page.

  40. Hi, David
    I just landed on your website and this article really got my attention. I like your approach, going to follow your advice and make some changes on my website. It’s incredible how little things actually this important. The About Me > About Person’s Name bit is indeed great. Thank you.

  41. good article david, having another look at my own site at the moment so hopefully use some of your tips

  42. I agree with most of the points here but what was missing is the persons skills and experience. That’s what will convince an employer to hire you.

    I also think that the examples mentioned are almost too minimal, they need to break up the page a bit to add some interest and originality to the page. Most people’s “about me” pages follow the same formula and often look very similar too. An about me page should be all about originality, selling yourself and your skills and standing out from the crowd. :-)

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