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Me, me me! Or: What your About page is really about.

I recently had a conversation with a group of bright, dedicated, community-minded massage therapists here in Oregon, and one theme that came up a few times is the challenge of finding balance and confidence in talking about our work.

When it comes to sharing someone else’s talents and accomplishments, the words just roll off our tongues.

I hear you singing each others praises all the time, and rightfully so.

But oh man, when we set out to introduce our own work, that’s a different story. We want to share our enthusiasm, but not come across as arrogant or self-centered. We want to give all the important information, but not bore people (or ourselves), or take up too much time.

One project where these kinds of obstacles tend to show up is the About page on our websites.

It’s typically the most challenging page to write. And it doesn’t even call for signing your own praises – but I know for some of the brilliant people I work with it already feels awkward to even begin writing about their own path and practice, let alone say that they have an excellent education or a big vision. And it can be difficult to evaluate what to include and what to leave out.

It’s worth figuring out though – it’s often the page your clients check out most often after your homepage, and often the one where people decide to take action (schedule an appointment, sign up for your class etc). That makes sense to me – we like to do business with other human beings, so we want to know who those humans behind the business are.

I don’t have a one-size-fits-all formula for writing your About page (or for anything else, for that matter), but I have found a couple of approaches that helped other holistic healthcare providers I’ve worked with bring more ease to this project, so I thought I’d share those with you.

Clarify the purpose.

Simple question: What’s the point of your About page? Your answer can be as straightforward as this:

I want to help people decide whether I am the right provider for them at this time.

or

I want to give people an idea of what it’s like to work with me.

or

I want to assure people that they will be in good hands here.

Then in case thoughts starting with Who are you to… or Why would anyone care about… come up, you can point yourself back to your actual purpose.

Know what your About page is about.

I suggest this: your About page is really about the people you serve. Of course there is information about you on that page. But it is there because it matters to others. They need to know why you are doing this work for them, or whether they will resonate with your philosophy and style.

So in a way both is true: it’s about you, and also not. It’s also about the relationship, and the work, and the shared intentions.

I find this helpful in deciding what to say on your About page, too. Include your love for Middle Eastern food and karaoke or not? Mention your published research? Tell your story of how you got into acupuncture? Well – is it helpful considering the purpose you defined? Will it support people in their decision-making process? Does it relate to what they are experiencing, and why they might be considering working with you?

There really is no wrong answer here, it all depends on your community, your own style, and the kind of relationship you want to cultivate.

Listen to your patients.

Client emails, testimonials and reviews can give you some cues on what your community appreciates about you, what stands out to them – and testimonials can also go directly on your About page.

Use your own voice.

I know, you’ve heard that before. I just mention it again because sometimes people understand this as the recommendation to write as if it was a private conversation with a close friend and feel that’s inappropriate. So, just to clarify: I think the way you speak with your clients in person probably works well for your About page. Real, and also professional.

By the way, if writing is not how you most enjoy communicating, you could also consider recording a video and sharing that on your About page – or you can bridge the different communication forms by recoding yourself first (a voice memo on your phone works here), and then transcribe it and just lightly edit.

It also helps to run your About page by someone who knows you and ask if they find it sounds like you (your professional, natural voice).

And finally: I’m here to help with this, too.

If you’d like to get my eyes on your About page or ask a question about this, feel free to book a short call with me. It’s on the house. And if you’d like more hands-on support and create or review your About page together with me, or perhaps look at your website as a whole, we can explore that, too. I would love to hear about your work and your vision – and I know I’m not the only one who feels that way.

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