Don't Regret Oversharing. 3 Rules to Determine Just How Perfectly Imperfect Your About Page Should Be.
We've ALL heard that your About page is like a first date.
BUT I think it's more like a blind speed dating wheel of torture where they might land on your space for a second but if they aren't immediately in love with the experience you've got waiting for them, then they're spinning the limitless internet wheel of fortune again. Looking for something that feels right to them.
On the one hand...
You want to present a polished, perfect, professional YOU that screams I'm fun & legit so work with me! But not in an overbearing, manic kind of way, subtle, girlfriend.
On the other hand...
We can't just ignore the scorch-your-toes-hottest-trend in the online biz world towards getting real, raw, authentic and a little rough around the edges. But don't start picking your nose on live video, I don't care HOW REAL we get that is NEVER OKAY.
So, how to do you figure out what's right for your brand? How do you figure out what image you want to cultivate on your About Page?
Polished Perfection >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Raw Imperfection
Unfortunately, there's no magic formula for online entrepreneurs to figure out where their sweet spot is on this spectrum. And I think there's an argument to be made that you can be successful just about anywhere. I'm not a fan of the absolute extremes but there's probably a niche for everyone so you never know.
Back to figuring out where YOU fit.
There is a line where you go from real and authentic to making people uncomfortable and provide the dreaded TMI (too much information). Where you go from drawing people in, to pushing them away.
I happen to be super sensitive when it comes to this. It happens to me all the time when I watch comedies. I can viscerally FEEL it when a character does something super awkward. I'm curled up in a ball, covering my eyes so embarrassed on their behalf I can't even watch until it's over.
That's not how you want your audience to react when they land on your real, raw, let-it-all-hang-out About Page.
This applies to everything in business. EVERYTHING. Turn it into a picture. Put it on your wall and if you're ever not sure of anything - look at it.
If you're a mompreneur talking to a bunch of other new moms TMI takes on a whole new meaning than say if...
You're a B2B business serving mostly corporate clients.
You can still be fun & real & honest with both groups but where you draw the line at TMI squeamishness will be VERY different.
Where you sit on the spectrum of polished -> raw will vary. You'll still get to say what you think but remember to do it in a way that draws people closer.
If you want to work in a way that allows you to be your 100% unfiltered self in business - no masks - no hiding. Then you need to reverse engineer your biz to fit the needs of the audience who will love you.
Instead of doing what most of us do by choosing the business first and then finding the audience that's a close match or at least meets our needs. Choose an audience first. One you know will fall desperately in love with the unfiltered you. Then ask what kind of business you can build to best serve them.
We all have events in our past that have shaped us and made us who we are today. Deeply personal stories. Stories that would perfectly fit the criteria for real, raw & authentic. Stories guaranteed to tug at even the stoniest of heartstrings.
But are they the best stories for your About Page?
If the story is relevant to your specific business or your journey as an entrepreneur then it's probably okay to share.
If it's gut-wrenching but has nothing to do with your biz or your decision to become an entrepreneur you'll leave people feeling uncomfortable. If your story pulls at heartstrings AND has EVERYTHING to do with why you're here. Then tell it confidently and unapologetically. Want to see a couple of masters at this? Check out Momastery and The Middle Finger Project.
Even if it's heartwarming or laugh-out-loud but not connected you'll leave them wondering why you shared.
Personal stories with a point. Keep it relevant to your industry, how you got where you are & how it put you in a position to help them. Bonus tip: it's easy to think when you're starting out that not many people are ever going to read this story. But imagine you blow up (I know you can make it happen) is this a story you're going to want to talk about again and again and again? Because people will talk about. They will bring it up. They will reference and read your About page, it's the second most visited page of your website. So make sure it's a story you love to talk about.
We all go through times of drama. But no one wants to work with a hot mess (which might be another Ash Ambirge saying). And whether it's in a blog post or your About page if it's current save it for your counsellor. Or your girlfriends.
Whatever personal stories you decide to share make sure they're in the past. Inspire us with how you overcame. Because that's something we can all relate to. Life ain't easy and there are plenty of bumps along the way. Show them yours and give them hope that better days are ahead. Then remind them that you're so damn good at what you do because of your tragic but triumphant backstory that they simply have to hire you.
That's it. 3 rules to keep in mind when trying to navigate your spot on the polished -> raw spectrum on your About Page.
1. Keep your audience in mind and know their comfort zone so you're drawing them in and not making them squirm uncomfortably - they'll just click out.
2. Share personal stories with a point. Don't just pull out a real story that proves you're a human being but has nothing to do with your biz or your decision to be an entrepreneur. Make it relate.
3. Remember no one wants to work with a hot mess. It's okay to share drama but make sure it's past tense. Keep any current drama under wraps. Bonus you've already got great stories for future blog posts once you've come out the other side wiser and willing to share what you learned.