Whether you just started a blog or you’ve been at it for years, introducing yourself is always a challenge. Of course, your about page is the perfect place to introduce yourself…but HOW EXACTLY do you introduce yourself in a way that makes someone want to be friends with you and follow your blog?
That’s what we’re talking all about today, my friend. Because I HAVE STRUGGLED with the tricky art of introducing myself to unfortunates* — and although I haven’t MASTERED the art, I’VE DISCOVERED THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT. There’s a method to the madness of introducing yourself to strangers, whether they be adults, children, extraterrestrial beings, or water buffalo. You can instantly connect with a person you’ve never met before — without making up exciting background stories about yourself! (wait lol maybe you don’t do that??? maybe you don’t pretend you’ve fought herds of wild bobcats in the mountains of Colorado and barely escaped with your life??? JUST TO MAKE FRIENDS??? guess I’m the only one.)
Let’s jump right in and figure out how to write an EPIC about page that will grab strangers (and water buffalo) by the throat and make them want to follow your blog and obey your every command.
*unfortunates, in this case, are people who haven’t met me yet
WHY IS AN “ABOUT ME” PAGE IMPORTANT?
Excellent question! HERE’S THE ANSWER: People need to immediately understand what kind of blog they are on and who you are as a person. Most people can figure that out just by poking around on your site for a couple minutes… but I don’t like that idea. Why? BECAUSE I WANT TO INTRODUCE MYSELF. I want people to understand who I am from my point of view, not theirs.
Strangers need to know who you are — but beyond that, you have to give them a reason to stay. If they JUST met you, they have no connection with you, and therefore no obligation. You need to CREATE an obligation.
Why should they follow your blog when they don’t even know you? Because you’re GIVING them something. All you have to do is figure out what that something is.
“But Abbie,” you say, “Isn’t this an about me page? Shouldn’t it be about me?” YES AND NO. Even though your blog is yours and centered around the awesome thoughts coming out of YOUR head, the reader isn’t there for you — not unless they’re already a friend. The reader is on your blog because your content provides them with something valuable. THIS IS ACTUALLY GREAT NEWS. It means your blog has good content that helps people. Which leads me to: the best way to introduce yourself.
YOU ARE A PERSON, NOT A PROFESSION.
When most people introduce themselves (in real life or online) they say something like: “Hi, I’m Theresa* and I’m a blogger.” They say WHAT they are… which is normal and natural. But here’s what I’ve learned: it’s so much more powerful to introduce yourself with your purpose, your drive, and your “why” — even before you tell someone what it is you do.
Here’s an example:
“Hi, I’m Theresa. I’m a freelance graphic designer.”
“Hi, I’m Theresa. I help small businesses craft their brand through simplistic and affordable graphic design.”
WHICH THERESA DO YOU WANT TO BE FRIENDS WITH?? See, the first example is boring. The second example is personable, fresh, and inviting. Why? Because we, the strangers, now know what you CARE about. We know that you help people — but we also know that you care about the people you’re helping. Given a bit more time with you, we might even learn what your ikigai is — what motivates you to get out of bed in the morning.
SEE WHAT JUST HAPPENED? We went from talking about freelance graphic design to talking about your reason for living. That got deep FAST.
*because most people are named Theresa in case you haven’t noticed
HOW SHOULD YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF?
By this point you can probably see where I’m going: connecting with people happens when they see inside your soul and understand who you are as a person…plus what you do. By revealing the way in which you help your readers, you create a relationship with a perfect stranger. You provide them with quality content, so now they feel obligated (in the best possible way) to give back — by following and commenting and being a nice person (or water buffalo.)
So here’s the big question: how do you figure out what you help people with? First, you must figure out what sets you apart.
What makes you different from other people? Forget about fitting inside a niche. The more strange, unrelated qualities, the better! That’s what makes you UNIQUE. “I’m a blogger, scuba diver, and cupcake baker,” is much more interesting than “I’m a blogger.” In fact, if you can find a way to tie other interests into what you do, you INSTANTLY become more memorable. I’ll recall the Scuba-Diving, Cupcake-Making Blogger™ much better than I’ll remember the Blogger™. Don’t be afraid to marry all your quirks and hobbies into one beautifully unique brand! That’s what makes you YOU.
So now it’s time to make a list of the things that set you apart. For example, here’s the list I came up with for myself, based on what I’ve heard people tell me and what I know about myself.
As you can see, THIS IS NO TIME TO BE MODEST. Find the cool things, the quirky things, and the unconventional things about yourself. Make a list. This list is going to provide the main ingredients for your epic “about me” page. You won’t use the actual list itself (I don’t condone bragging THAT much lol) but you’ll craft it into an awesome introduction in just a minute. Next, ask yourself this question:
HOW DO YOU HELP OTHER PEOPLE?
This can be a tricky question if you don’t own an actual business — but there is some way in which your content aids your readers. For me, I found that (above all else) my content inspires people. SO BOOM, THERE’S MY THING — and it’s not even a tangible asset! I inspire my readers. But how? Well, I talk about what is important to me: being a creative free-spirit in a world that constantly tries to put us in a box.
That’s why I do what I do. That’s what I’m passionate about. Find your “why,” the drive behind what you do. That will lead you to the thing you help your readers with — because YOU CAN’T HELP BUT TALK ABOUT IT. If you’re anything like me, and you’re blogging about something you love, you won’t be able to shut up about it! THIS IS A GOOD THING. This is how you help people, sometimes without even knowing it.
Here’s how I answered that question for myself:
I create content that inspires young creatives like myself who don’t want to fit in a box, but instead want to live freely and follow their dreams… and make a living doing something they love.
WHO DO YOU HELP?
Or: who do you WANT to help? This is an important question — factoring in the type of people you help will create a connection…because you care about your readers. Just like the example with Theresa The Graphic Designer™, we care because YOU care. Here’s another notation I made when I was rewriting my about page:
I help: artists, writers, creatives, multitalents, bloggers, and anyone who likes waffles.
Your answer can also be: EVERYONE. I’m all about not fitting in a box, so DON’T LIMIT THYSELF. Just try to imagine your IDEAL READER in your head (it can even be an actual reader) then write from there — as if they were the ONLY person you’ve ever helped.
NOW LET’S PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
HERE COMES THE FUN PART. Once you have all these ingredients, you throw everything into a blender and create the beautiful smoothie of your about page. OKAY FINE SO IT’S NOT AS EASY AS A BLENDER. But it’s pretty fun. Let’s review our ingredients first:
- You made a list of things about yourself that set you apart (whether those things are cool, quirky, or unconventional — it’s all good!)
- You figured out how your content helps people (whether it be a tangible asset, or more conceptual, like “inspiration.”)
- You found the people you help by uncovering the purpose and drive behind what you do.
If you have all these things, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have THE BEST INTRODUCTION EVER. When I finished rewriting mine, this is what it looked like:
My name is Abbie Emmons and I help creative, multi-talented people chase their dreams by making a living doing something they love. This blog focuses on inspiration, productivity, and the tools you will need to be a free spirit in a world that wants to put you in a box. You don’t need a niche, you don’t need a college education, you don’t even need to fully understand what you’re doing. I lack all three of those things and look where I am! LIVING MY DREAM. I’m so excited to teach you how to do the same.
Obviously this is just a paragraph, not a complete about page — but there are all kinds of ways you can build off of this foundation to create an “about me” page that is true to yourself. For mine, I open with a quick story about how I hold my pencil the “wrong” way, then I talk about what it means to be a free spirit in today’s world. Then I wrap up with that quoted paragraph.
IT IS BY NO MEANS PERFECT. However, it encapsulates who I am as a person…and what I have to offer my readers. And that’s my goal.
Writing an “about me” page is HARD. But it’s also super rewarding! If you can introduce yourself in a way that grabs a stranger by the throat, shows them what they’ve been missing out on, and leaves them gasping from how AWESOME YOU ARE, I guarantee you will be making all kinds of new water buffalo friends.
Have you ever ripped your hair out over an “about me” page?? If so, I HOPE THIS POST HAS GIVEN YOU INSPIRATION. How do you help other people? How would you LIKE to help other people? What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?? LET’S TALK DEEP THINGS.