Your website is about to launch. You’ve worked hard on the layout, the brand identity and the user journey. You’ve selected the best pictures for your products, and the description of your services is clear and inviting. It’s only missing one thing – your ‘About me’ page. And… you’ve been struck by the old writer’s block. Sounds familiar?
Don’t beat yourself up. Writing about yourself isn’t easy. In fact, many people just refuse to do it all together, to let the business shine by itself. Unfortunately, the ‘About me’ page of your website is an important part of the puzzle. With so many businesses out there doing what you do, the key to the trust and confidence of your customers is hiding in how much you say about yourself. We buy into people stories much more than into products.
Signs it’s not going well
You’ve delayed writing your ‘About me’ page until the last minute
There’s a high chance you’re feeling seen right now. No judgement – I do the same thing! Suppose I have to do something that is terrifying, unapproachable or that makes me feel uncomfortable. In most cases, I’ll pop it in a mental drawer to focus on more manageable stuff – i.e. post on Instagram, do the dishes or care for the houseplants – until it’s all panic aboard and things needed to be signed off yesterday! So now I’m stuck, face to face with the thing I don’t want to do, urgency and stress added onto the mix. No wonder inspiration is nowhere to be found.
You’ve been looking at your competitors’ websites and now, you’re freaking out
Benchmarking and competitors analysis are great things. But when your procrastination tendencies are already making you doubt yourself, best not to look at what others do. Because either you’ll find uninspiring ‘About me’ pages, and you’ll think ‘no one cares, why do I bother’, which would be a big strategic mistake. Or you’ll find amazingly well-written stories that will make you want to buy their products and question why you’re even trying to build this business in the first place.
You resorted to stick to a version of your LinkedIn
Once the initial emotional storm dissipated, you might settle for a compromise: something between a brilliantly written story and nothing at all, something that will tell a bit about you but feels safe to share with the world. You will pull out your most up-to-date CV or LinkedIn profile and redact a couple of paragraphs about all the things you’ve done, the places you worked and studied. Maybe you will even add one last sentence about how passionate about this new business you are.
Sorry to break the news to you; this won’t cut it. Your customers don’t care about your CV; they want to know who you are, not what you’ve done. And if it feels really safe to share, you’re on the wrong path.
How to get out of the rut
Stop listening to that negging voice in your head
Chances are you’ve been having many conversations with yourself lately. I hope that most of these chats have been helpful. But I know that when a challenge requires you to put yourselves out there more than you expected, your inner cheerleader becomes your harshest critic. Your internal dialogues might have been so negative that now you doubt the validity of your project altogether. Sigh.
I know it doesn’t feel like it, but your negging voice is your friend. It wants to protect you. It wants you to think about all the things that could go wrong if you ever showed the world who you are, purposely omitting all the things that could go amazingly well. Launching a business is about taking risks and be seen. So, say thank you to your friend, the critic, but choose not to listen to it. It’s worth it.
Don’t let your CV define you
You are more than your academic successes and failures – sorry, parents! You are more than the two years gap in your employment history. You are more than your CV. In fact, your CV is barely an indication of time and place for your story. It says nothing about that conversation you had in a pub with your friends that led you to that brilliant idea that is now your new business. Your CV won’t mention how you started working late at night to make your business happen while still holding that last job you weren’t too keen on. It won’t tell anything about why this business is finally giving you the purpose in life you were so desperate to find while studying for that degree. Your story lies in between the lines of your CV. That’s where you need to start digging.
Ask for help and guidance
Now you know how to start the process, have a go! Try a few things, find your voice and let your story shine. Give your draft to a few trusted people to read – don’t forget this will be online for anyone to find, so better get comfortable with the idea. If you’re still not sure, if you need more guidance or if you want someone else to get it done for you, find a copywriter who will write your story in such a brilliant way that your competitors will get jealous over.
Am I the one for you?
I hope so! I’ve created Françoise Studio to help small businesses, organisations and entrepreneurs tell their stories to the world. I believe that genuine personal stories are key assets for success.
You can learn more about me and why I do this work here. Here‘s where you can learn more about the work I do. And to get in touch with me, all my contact details are here and at the bottom of this page. I can’t wait to hear from you!