Three changes you can make on your website that will have a BIG impact
Most people hate, ha-ate, hate with a capital H talking about themselves.
We struggle to talk about what we’re good at, what our strengths are, why we’re the best thing since fuzzy socks with nubbins on the bottom that keep you from sliding all over the linoleum.
We don’t like telling our story or sharing anything that makes us look vulnerable or human or not so perfect.
When someone asks us what we do, we shrug it off and mumble some sort of one- or two-word response, like, “Self-employed.”
But, for some reason, when we start writing our website, we enter this alternate universe, one I hope scientists will some day study in depth because a fascinating phenomenon takes place here.
Keep reading to learn more about this as-yet-unnamed affliction that many an entrepreneur silently suffers from and how overcoming it can have a major impact on your website’s ability to attract and retain visitors.
Tell your visitors what you can do for them
Here’s a harsh truth delivered in the sweet, high-pitched tones of someone who loves ya, baby: Your website is not your resume.
You can list all the certifications and trainings and licenses and workshops and coursework and business retreats disguised as bachelorette parties in some all-inclusive in Jamaica you want. You can talk about how many years of experience you have and how many clients you’ve worked with. And you can name drop until the cows (namely, Bessie and Bertha) come home.
But all of that means jack horse pucky if your client has no idea what you can do for them.
You might think people are coming to your website to find out if you’ve got the requisite training and knowledge and roll-up-their-sleeves-ness to tackle their problem and make everything all Bob Rossy again.
You would be wrong.
It’s definitely tempting to think that, but a 100-hour training in “coaching” doesn’t mean you can help them finally build up the confidence to march into their boss’ office and demand a raise. It just means you spent some money to get a piece of paper. (Told ya it was harsh.)
They have no idea what that training translates to and how it really helps them.
So make it clear. Spell it out. Relate it back to them and what they’re looking for so they know unequivocally you are the right coach to help them take a jackhammer to that glass ceiling.
Less “I,” more “you.” (Not to be confused with “eye” and “ewe.” You can leave me and my barnyard references and move on now...)
Make your about page about someone other than you
By which I mean, your client. Not some rando you just met at the juice bar who had the neatest hair cut. Or a sheep, down on the farm…
This goes along with the less-I-more-you principle we chatted about above.
People are reading your about page, that’s as inevitable as protein powder getting stuck on the side of your blender when you’re blitzing up a smoothie. Or me getting protein powder all over the outside of the blender and the counter and myself. (And you thought I was gonna say something like taxes or rainbows after the rain. Sheesh.)
But not for the reasons you think.
They’re reading it to see how relatable you are. How trustworthy you are. How much you get them and where they’re coming from.
(They might not know this. They might think they want to know how many brothers and sisters you have, what your childhood pet’s name was, and whether you say to-may-to or to-mah-to. But they’re really looking for that connection that goes beyond surface-level fun facts.)
When they can see themselves in your about page, there’s going to be that click. A moment of true serendipity. When all the choirs of angels and demons rejoice. (What? You don’t think there’s music in hell?)
They can’t do that if you’re spouting off the typical, “Hi, I’m Sheeba. I was born and raised in a small town in Rhode Island, where I first found the beauty in life’s tiny moments. By the age of six, I was capturing every moment with my Polaroid camera. I’ve since progressed to the fanciest point and click on the block, but my passion for turning your moments into memories persists.”
Nice story, Sheeba. But what’s in it for me? Why would I hire you over allll the other photographers in the land toting around fancy equipment that costs more than my yearly rent?
Sure, a small percentage will relate to growing up in Small Town, USA, and some of the sentimental types will swoon over the idea of turning moments into memories. But you’re missing out on a huge part of the market by not going deeper and focusing on the reader more.
Remember: Less “I,” more “you.”
Don’t be the hero
Have you ever been to a website and the first word you saw in someone’s hero image or header or, you know, that sort of egotistical picture of you you’ve got splashed across the home page of your site and immediately been greeted by some sort of statement that begins with “I?”
How narcissistic, indeed.
What grabs your attention more: something that says “I take wedding pictures” or “Do you want to look drop-dead gorgeous on your Big Day?”
Ignoring the fact that both statements are pretty boring and devoid of much personality (demonstration purposes only), you’re probably drawn to the “you” statement more because, well, it’s taking to you. Not AT you.
You aren’t the hero in this story. Your client is.
From the beginning of their journey with you, all focus and attention and costumery complete with capes and headbands and funky AF knee-high boots should be on them.
What do they need? What do they want? What is their motivation for wanting to work with you?
It’s not just because you take pretty pictures. It’s because you can DO something for them. So lead with that.
Pack your “Is” and “mes” away, and let your “yous” and “yours” come out to stay.
Now that I’ve sufficiently sledgehammered the point into your brain, let’s take our medicine, shall we? Go ahead and count the number of times the word “I” appears on your website. Then, go on a scavenger hunt for all the “yous” on your site. Which one do you have more of? If it’s “I,” I invite you to see if you can reframe some of those into “yous” so you get more of your clients’ eyes on you.