Isn’t it the worst when you read over the About page or Bio on your website and it’s… terrible. Terrible!
You cringe with every convoluted word.
You grimace at the awkward third person point-of-view that’s supposed to sound professional.
And worst? You practically blush with embarrassment that your “story” sounds so damn boring!
Here’s how to write an about page that really hits home for your customers and makes you feel like a million bucks.
1. Start with the overall picture.
Why do you create? Or what overarching theory permeates your work? For a lot of artists, simply saying “I want to make the world a more beautiful place.” is perfect.
2. Talk about them.
Tell the reader what type of people your work is a good fit for. This usually sounds the best when it’s phrased something like, “I love painting work that finds its forever-home with young mothers who need their environment to surround them with calm and reassurance.” Make sure you give that emotional part, but the demographic (young mothers, in this instance) isn’t necessary.
3. Show them a peek.
Take them behind-the-scenes a bit. Tell them how your process works or what techniques or materials are your favorites. The things you choose to talk about here will help them to understand who you are as an artist. This is usually the bulk of the text on an about page. It’s the stuff you tell people who have shown extra interest in your art and are asking you lots of questions.
This is also where I like to add something personal. If you want to connect with your customers, the way to do it is to seem human. And humans have more than one interest. So while art may be your main thing, you should also talk about what you do in your free time when you’re not working.
4. Reassure them.
It’s good to pop one or two “testimonials” (feedback from customers) in the copy. This is a really great way to soothe those nagging voices in a potential customers’ head that are wondering whether you’d actually ship the art or if they are going to regret their purchase later.
5. Call them to action.
This is the biggest key in the whole thing. Promise. If you don’t tell them what to do, they won’t do it. It’s another weird psychological thing that humans are pretty lazy. But we like to help people. And we like to accomplish things, we just don’t like the effort it takes to accomplish things. So usually all we need is for you to tell us to do something, and we’ll do it as long as we don’t have negative feelings toward the action.
So in plain English: Put a button or link here toward the end telling them to do something, like sign up to your email list or look at your shop.
6. Add the finishing touches.
Make sure you include a nice, preferably professional, photo of yourself. I know you’ve heard this before and you’ve probably let it lie because you’re scared or don’t want to pony up the money. But honestly, this is one of the bigger things that helps keep people on your site. It’s a psychological thing – when we see the face of a human being, we feel more compelled to stick around and peer into their world. If we don’t see your face, we tend to feel disconnected from you enough that we leave even if we like what you’re doing.
At the least, have a friend take 10-20 shots of you working in a lot of natural light. You should be able to find one good photo in the mix that you can use here, even if they don’t see your unobscured, smiley face.
You may also find that some photos of your workspace fit well on the page. When you break up paragraphs, you can create headings that use a different color or font to reinforce your branding. And you might decide to add links to important pages that aren’t part of your navigation menu, but you still want accessible for people – like a licensing or commissions information page. A great page to link to here is your exhibition history or your professional CV with education history if you have enough experience to fill those out, but don’t include them on the about page itself or it gets lengthy and looks stodgy – not a fun read.
And the last thing you want to do is read it aloud to catch spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors you might gloss over when reading in your head. If you’re still nervous about it, send it over to a friend for feedback or feel free to post a link to your about page here in the comments for help from myself or the other artists here.