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It's Not About You
How to create an effective "About Me" page.
1904 world fair

I originally wrote this article for the eCommerceBytes Newsletter.

Do you have an "About Me" page? You should. They are the next best thing to a fully interactive Web site and a great way to promote your auctions. As you write it, consider this ... it shouldn't be about you.

You may be thinking to yourself, "Of course it's about me. It's my Web site."

Now this may sound a little harsh, but people really don't care about you. They really only care about themselves. It's what you can do for them that will make your visitors sit up and take notice. It's not the same thing.

Think in terms of the benefits you provide, not descriptions of your life history. For example, you may write, "I've been an antiques dealer for 30 years."

That's nice, but what've you done for me lately?

Introduce the benefit by saying, "I've been in this business for 30 years, and I know quality when I see it. You won't be wasting your time looking at my inventory. It's all good."

See what I mean? I'm not suggesting you don't write about yourself, just put a little thought into your words. Tell your visitors how they are better off knowing you. It's not easy.

Make your text conversational. To test it, say it out loud. Have a friend type as you talk. Then read it out loud again. Use short words and short paragraphs. Break the rules of grammar if that's how you talk, but creative spelling is out. Spelling counts online. I will be happy if I never see the word "kewl" again.

One of the most effective words to use is "you." Count how many times you use the words "I" and "we". Redesign your message. Instead of saying "we do this," try "we do this for you." It's important. Keep in mind, the 3 most important people to your customers are: Me, Myself and I.

When writing copy, imagine that the person you are addressing is sitting across the table from you. Essentially they are. They have voluntarily chosen to come to your page to check you out. Tell them what's in it for them, right from the beginning. You've only got a few seconds to make an impression, so save your contact information until the end.

Yes, you need to include a picture of yourself. I like to know who I'm writing to. Don't you? Using your picture breaks down resistance and helps people remember you. I'm asked all the time, "What if someone sees it?" Isn't that the idea? I would love it if thousands of people came to my site, saw my picture and then bought all kinds of stuff. Don't be shy. We ugly people far outnumber the beautiful people.

Use your "About Me" page to let your customers know that you are indeed a real, live person, not just an anonymous email address. You are a person to be trusted, an expert and a valuable resource.

No matter what you sell, it can be found somewhere else. No matter what your price, it's most likely cheaper somewhere else, too. You are the only unique part of the selling equation. Make sure they know not just about you, but also what you can do for them and how you do it better than anyone else.

Tell your customers, "I'm just like you." People like to work with those whom they feel are similar to them. Those who can click away with this kind of feeling will then become your best customers.

All the hard work you've put into choosing your words carefully will then be worth it.