One of the hardest things to take on board when writing website copy and content is the suggestion that you should focus purely on the customer and not write about yourself.
It’s a bummer really. You’ve spent years getting to where you are, sweating blood and tears, training, retraining, making mistakes, learning from mistakes…
So the suggestion that your reader doesn’t want to know about you is disappointing.
Traditional copywriting advice recommends that you focus on the reader and how your product or service can benefit them. And when it comes to writing blog content the focus is on giving value to the reader.
I think rules are there to be broken and so, in my view, you can tell your story without boring on about yourself.
And in some cases, I believe that doing so can help you build more of a rapport with your audience.
Here are 3 ways you can help your reader get to know you without losing the key messages you want to put out when promoting your business:
1. A separate About and Home page
When people refer to the About page, they often mean the first page a visitor lands on when they visit your website.
Arguably, this is the most important page and its job is to attract attention and guide the reader to take action. This page needs to hook your reader in and make it super clear what you do and what’s in it for them. They should be in no doubt how they can get hold of you, so a visible call to action (such as a contact form or telephone number) is vital.
Your home page isn’t the place to ramble about yourself. You’ve got a short window of opportunity to interest the reader. And so the focus needs to be on them.
But… there’s nothing to stop you having a second page where the reader can find out more about you. To avoid confusion you can call it something more interesting than “About”. Here are some suggestions:
Who I am
Why I became a copywriter/plumber/therapist
“I’m the nosey type, so I would be straight there to find out about you. And on a serious note, I like to know where my money is going. If you’re going to be my therapist, I want to be sure you’re the type of person I can feel a connection with.”
If you’re a plumber, I do want to know about your training and experience, so I can be sure my loo is going to work properly. And if you’re going to teach my children to play a musical instrument or help them with maths tutoring, I want to know more about your background.
On my Who am I? page, the first thing I do is give the reader the opportunity to opt out and go straight to my services page. I give a short, bulleted version for those who just want a quick overview. And for the nosey types (like me) I suggest they settle down with a cuppa so they know they’re in for a longer read.
There’s a big focus on storytelling right now and I think your story, if relevant to your product or service, can play a key part in promoting your business and building trust with your client.
2. Write a personal blog
There are two ways you could do this. You may wish to have an ongoing personal blog on a separate site to your business website. In this case, you can write about whatever the hell you like – just make sure there are visible links from your blog to your business site if you want to send your readers that way.
Alternatively, if you have a blog on your business website, there’s no reason why you can’t write the occasional personal blog, the trick is to find a way to link it in with your product or service.
The whole purpose of writing a business blog is to add value to the reader, built a rapport and establish yourself as an expert in your field. So it’s tempting to believe that every article should be focused on giving advice to potential customers.
Don’t forget, however, that adding value can come in different forms. The three most commonly talked about are inform, entertain and inspire.
Maybe you have a funny story to tell. Or it could be that a deeply personal experience led you into your profession.
I wrote a blog a couple of years ago about combining my copywriting career with caring for my autistic son. I knew it wouldn’t appeal to the masses, but felt that it would help someone, somewhere. I recently had an email from someone on other side of the world who is in exactly the same boat as me and now, finally, have a contact who is navigating their way through the same minefield.
Did this bring me new business? No. But it has added value to me and my new contact. I’ve met someone out there who gets it. And that helps both of us to drive our businesses forward.
3. Tell your story on social media
Increasingly, I’m noticing that business people are allowing the mask to slip as it were. Whereas in the past, we were all told to look professional and act professional at all times, keeping our private side completely separate and hidden away, there seems to be a genuine desire for people to show their whole selves.
“As someone in my 40s, yikes, I suspect I’m supposed to agree with the traditional view but I don’t really. I like to know a little bit about a person before I work with them.”
Social media can be a great tool for this, particularly visual platforms such as Instagram where you have the option to record more informal stories, giving a behind the scenes view of your day, as well as posts.
I’ve seen some great posts on here where the business owner has published a lovely photo of themselves (not a blurry selfie in a bar or on holiday) and shared story behind their business. I think this can be really positive and build a genuine warmth and rapport with followers who may not be at the buying stage yet.
So there you have it – my slightly different view on an old topic. I would love to know what you think. Am I just a nosey parker or am I onto something? Do you prefer to cut to the chase and find out what’s on offer. Or do you need warming up and if so, do you like to know more about the person behind a business?
Do drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time. Happy writing.
I do hope you found this blog post valuable. I’m always open to constructive feedback so please get in touch if you want to discuss. And feel free to share with your friends, contacts and social media.
Want to work with me? Drop me a line: email@example.com or there’s a simple form on my contacts page.