As a writing coach and mentor to entrepreneurs and creatives, I’ve learned that most people would rather be stuck in a snowstorm than write content for their website—especially if it’s about themselves. “I’m a really bad writer,” or “I really hate writing about myself,” are just two of the things I hear small business owners routinely say. Yet, in most cases I’ve found that these statements are rarely the truth.

In other words, the person who says they’re a “really bad writer” is typically a decent writer, yet perhaps she was told as a child that she wasn’t any good, or maybe she had a language teacher in school who embarrassed her when he asked her to read a poem she’d written in front of the class.

And, what about the entrepreneur who doesn’t like writing about himself or herself?

I think that part of the reason is because it forces entrepreneurs and business owners to take a good, long look at their motivations for starting their business in the first place. No easy task!

Your About page

Writing your own About page might seem hard, painful even, yet it can actually help you understand your business in a more in-depth way.

The fact of the matter is, you are your business, and so writing your story will get you crystal clear on your business story as well.

Let me put it this way, your About page isn’t just about your motivations for starting your business, it’s the place where you connect your passion for what you do to that of your audience. It’s about finding that sweet spot in your story that connects to the sweet spot in your audience’s story. If you don’t make this connection, then your audience won’t sign on and you won’t build a successful business.

Think of who your audience is and what’s important to them. Is it being able to spend more time with family? Wearing comfortable clothes that they can exercise in? If you aren’t clear on your audience—their wants, needs, fears, values—then you won’t be able to write an About page that speaks directly to them. If you whittle down your product or service to a few symbolic words or values, what is it that you’re really selling?

5 foolproof ways

1. An easy way to determine this is to create a list of your 10 top brand attributes, and then circle the top three.

2. Then from this list of three, write a first paragraph that speaks to what you offer your audience. You don’t actually need to use the top three words in your paragraph, yet keep them in mind as you write. How will your product or service solve a specific problem for them? How will it make them feel or improve their lives?

3. After writing the initial short paragraph or two, then write another paragraph that gives some background about your business and why you do what you do, all the while keeping in mind what’s important to your audience. I like to call this the bridge-building paragraph where you find common ground with your audience through a shared experience of, let’s say, struggling with garden weeds, keeping up with emails or finding a good web designer for your business.

4. Depending on your business, the last paragraph is a chance for you to provide more personal details related to why you started your business.

5. Finally, include a unique story or defining moment that you think your audience would love to hear, and that is compelling and memorable.

If you stick to the above five ways to write an About page, you will find the process much easier. It may take more time initially to get clear on what it is you want to say, but all that hard work will be worth it in the end.

 

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ABOUT THE BLOGGER

Lissa CowanLissa M. Cowan is the author of Milk Fever, a novel, works of non-fiction and co-author of a poetry translation. She speaks and writes about storytelling, creativity, and writing. She is a Huffington Post blogger and writes regularly for Canadian and U.S. magazines and newspapers. She holds a Master of Arts degree in English Studies from l’Université de Montréal and lives in Toronto, Canada.