Episode 139: Talking About Pages with Todd Jones
If you want to learn more or have Todd Jones create your about page – please go here: https://www.copyflight.com/about-page-svc/
Episode 139: Todd Jones Talks About Pages
From the center of the universe, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This is the SDM show with your host Rob Cairns. The SDM show focuses on business life productivity, digital marketing, WordPress and more. Sit back, relax, grab your favorite drink and enjoy the show. Here is Rob.
Hey, everybody, Rob Cairns here. I’m the CEO, Chief creator of Mason ideas has stunning digital marketing. And today’s podcast, I sit down with my good friend and friend of the show, Todd Jones, and we talk about how to build an about page for your website. This is one episode you really want to listen to and listen to carefully. So grab your favorite drink, and sit down and enjoy this podcast.
Hey, everybody, Rob Cairns, here. I’m here with friend of the show, Todd Jones today, and we’re going to talk a little bit about about pages. Todd, how are you today? Hey, you know, I’m just trying to overcome the Monday morning slumps. Yeah, we all know about those ones, and they’re not always the most fun. So what is an about page, you know,
probably your second most visited page on your website, if you have one. You know, I think, you know, typically in the navigation menu says about or about us. And so that’s the page where you really get a chance I tell people you got, actually there’s four stories you should be telling but two that you think about on a website, one is your customer story, right? And then one is your story. And this is where you get to tell your story. And you know, there’s a there’s a, there’s a plethora of things you talk about when you talk about selling your story, one of which is actually your story, which will be a core tenet of the about page that we’re doing. But you know, it’s a chance for you to showcase credibility experience that you have authority that you have. And then I say the the biggest thing is, it’s a chance to build trust. Locally, you’ll hear businesses say, businesses, people do business with those they know, like and trust, that is your about page, it is a place where people can know like, and trust you. And trust is a big deal, especially local businesses, we just got through as you know, having a mold remediation company to come in and remove the mold in our kitchen. Well, those guys were in our house almost every day for a week and a half. You got to trust somebody like that, right? If you’re letting somebody see, you know, secure things like passwords, and log into accounts that you use to help you with marketing and whatnot, it takes a level of trust to do that. When you’re an online business, you don’t typically sit down face to face across some someone to build that trust, like you do. And I’m more of a local business. So you have to do that at your website. And with your emails, and about pages, a huge core of that building that trust. And there you know, there’s a couple ways you you a lot of people tend to just do a lot of people write about pages like like the guy at the bar, or the party who talks about themselves all the time. Nobody likes that guy. He gets annoying, real fast. And the key is to do it in a balanced way. And so I don’t know if I really answered your question. But the about page is where you get to kind of toot your own horn a little bit.
It’s probably the only page on the website, I always say websites should be written for the customer or the prospective customer. And the about page is probably the only page that’s not written that way. It’s written more to tell your story and what you want to get out there. And it’s probably I would agree with you. It’s, you know, when you look at website metrics and statistics, the number one page is your main page, the number two pages your about page, and believe it or not, the number three page folks is probably your contact page. Think about those things. Yeah, I
think the about page is really an I had just started thinking about this recently. But if you have a sales page as essentially what it is, we don’t call it that. But it has that kind of power and impact on your website that it can be like a sales page. I will say this Yes, it is a place you can write about yourself and talk about yourself as a company. But you want to balance that you don’t want it to be all about you. So I always counsel people to start their about page with the customer.
Yeah. What would you include? On the about page? If you were, say, talking about a client? What would you start with including?
Well, you know, if you actually use the formula site, I pretty much put in those things. But I’ll go through the things I asked for on the forum to get going, or some of the things and the first one I asked is how, how do you describe your business to friends or businesses. And along with that, what is your client’s desired outcome? And the reason is I’m trying to get to someone have a value proposition, what would be if you actually know, if you have refined and defined that about value proposition, then you know, you you’re ahead of the game, a lot of people are not, but we’re trying to get to what it is that you are trying to accomplish the most for your clients. And that’s going to lead the page. Remember, I said, we start the page talking to the client, to the customer. So the So some of the things I’ll ask for is what I call credibility enhancers. Those are, you know, guest posts, post a guest appearances on podcast, testimonials, case studies, anything that kind of enhances that credibility aspect, any place you’ve been featured, like if you’ve been featured in a trade publication, or in a local newspaper, or something like that, that that is important to enhance your credibility. One thing I’ve recently decided should probably be on about page is a bio. It doesn’t have to be a long bio. But people typically are looking for that information. So it’s a summarization of someone’s CV, I guess, then I’m gonna want to see, I’m going to look for things that personalize you. So what are your passions and your hobbies? Let’s take your friend Ryan. Waterbury. He is example. One thing I would talk about Ron is how he works with dog breeders and, and certain dogs. And he actually volunteers for one of the Oregon nonprofit organizations that he’s passionate about, but also that Ryan is, you know, he loves beer as well, we know that Ryan loves a good beer. So, you know, and local businesses, those are the types of things we’ve talked about to personalize. Ryan a little bit, and then I want to see what what is your What are your values? What is your company values? And I think I see a mixture, sometimes I see companies that have this pretty well defined, or at least modestly defined, and then some that don’t. And I think that it is important to define what your values are. And another option with saying that would be, what is your brand Manifesto, which is essentially the same thing, maybe going about it a little differently. So and that takes some introspection as a business owner, you know, especially if you’re solo, if you’re solo, you’re like, well, what are my you know, you really have to sit back and think about it. And there are some things you can do to help bring that out, or you just get a skilled friend who can walk you through that process. But those values, you realize value shape? You know, there’s there’s certain kinds of clients that we all will not work with. That’s a value, you know, there are certain product clients we will work with, there are certain boundaries we have as a professional and why do we have those because we have some kind of value that we have attached to who we are. So I’m actually going to be in the process of probably need to do this today. But I’ve rewriting my about page and I can tell you right now the first value, and this might, might make some people uncomfortable a little bit. But the first value is I believe, in that God created us in His own image. And the old theologians call it the imago dei. It’s a Latin term for image of God. And because of that, that determines how I treat people how I try to treat people I should say, yeah, that is a value. That’s a strong value of mine. And you know, I need to go through and figure out those other things as well. But I’ve thought about it a little bit. But these are things that even the solopreneur solopreneur. Don’t think about companies, larger companies will have done that at some point. You know, they have a marketing consultant or somebody who is the market, their main marketing person, and they will have kind of sifted through and figured that out. That’s why you see the Larger companies tend to have values on their about pages. But solopreneurs have values to
they just need to tap into what those are and put them on the back page it also tells you something about the solopreneur you know, I mean, why Why does a result runner not want to work with people who breed wasp because wasp dung in once when he was four years old in his stomach and he h wasp now, you know, I found blood centers a story body chills values as well.
Yeah, I would say to you made a really interesting point about credibility is said, Show, you know, podcasts you’ve been on, or electrodes you’ve been on. I think a lot of people especially solopreneurs actually undersell themselves. And I think what you need to do is you need to actually highlight those things you’ve been on, and started to say, hey, I’ve been on these podcasts I’ve been on, I’ve been asked to teach or join a class on a regular basis. Right. And, to me, some people would say that’s not that’s bragging. Unfortunately, in the world of sales, you have to just tell yourself a little bit, we’ll do it in a way that’s not over the top. But you got to be prepared to say that.
Yeah, and you know, certainly you can get a friend or remind you because I did I’ve done I have when it comes to this, I have binders. I’m very much like what you just said underselling that stuff. And as you were saying, and I thought of two other things that I don’t think I have in my website anywhere. So I’m like, Okay, I need to add those. And it’s, you know, it’s, maybe if you have, maybe us as friends to go, Hey, you’re on that podcast, you need to make sure you put that on your website now just to kind of remind each other. But I think also getting a skilled copywriter to work on that about page can help as well, because we put blinders on when it comes to things about ourselves, you know, and so you need somebody to find that.
Well, and I think a lot of people don’t know how to use the skilled copywriter. So that leads me to my next question. So you have somebody that comes to you and says, I want to do an outbound page. And I’m thinking about using a AI to do it, artificial intelligence. And we’ve had many, many discussion in the last while about copyrighting artificial intelligence tools. What’s your thoughts?
Good luck. Okay, if you’re gonna use a no, I tell you where I might actually work out pretty well. I haven’t tried it. So I don’t know. But for that short, bio, and AI could be very helpful. If you put in all the stuff, all the information that would cut normally come from a CV, and let it out, put it and then just kind of edit it. That would be an area where the AI writing could be very helpful. But I think, you know, getting the AI can’t interview the customer. Like I’m going to do to pull out the story. I don’t know, I think I will just get better and better. So it’s hard to know what role they’ll have and all this stuff. I’ve heard different copywriters say how they use them. So you know, it’s not like every copywriter is shunning. Ai, I think the thing is that you’ve got to find what works if you’re going to do a, a, as far as writing in about age, I don’t know that we can do all of it. But it might, you might be able to do some of it with a with AI. But you know you as the person or the copywriter or whoever has to kind of assemble the page. And so you know what to put this here and this here, and there’s so many things that go into that had nothing to do with actually writing. So AI would just be a very small part of the equation. If you were to use a for about page, I’m not sure how it turned out. I would love to see what somebody does with it. But I think it could be helpful with writing that bio. That’s a possibility.
I think where most people have a problem writing in about pages, they don’t know what to put on. And we’ve talked a little bit about some of the things that should go on. And one of the tips I like to do and I tell people is sit with a piece of paper, don’t even sit in front of a computer and just start listing stuff out. Because I think too many people, especially an about page or even a front page of a website, they jump on their computer, they jump into WordPress, they grabbed a favorite page builder and they start designing and they have no sense of what direction they’re going in. are where they’re gonna go or how they’re going to do? What’s your thoughts on things like that?
Yeah, I like I should probably do that more myself. I that is something I have started counseling myself to do more of, in I need to do more of it. And and to be honest with you, while it’s not a novel ideal, it’s not anything that’s new. The way that I kind of got rattled, I won’t say rattled, but kind of got pushed to consider, you know, taking a notepad, no, no computer. And I was talking about this on a call the other day, I don’t remember which one it was. But it was Steve roer, that kind of reminded me that this is something I should do, because he would talk about, he’s got a notepad, I like an actual Notepad. And he writes stuff down all the time. And so it may be wise that his coffee shop or, you know, outside or somewhere else, and I’m thinking, you know, I think that because I get distracted by the computer. And the problem with my setup, right at home and at work, is I have one desk with the computer in front of me. So it’s so easy to get distracted. What’s going on Facebook, what did Rob say in our group? What did you know what’s going on Twitter, you know, what Steve’s they in the circle group, that kind of thing. And whereas if you wait, I’ve got no excuse Rob, in the town that I live in, which is about 60,000 people, we’ve got four independent coffee shops, you’re having no paper, a notepad and a pen, and go to the coffee shop and get a cup of coffee, and brainstorm from your brain. You know, but I think that’s an excellent idea, especially when you’re doing introspection on things like values. Like you’re trying to figure out what your brand manifesto is, or whatever, are trying to remember all the things you did in the last year. You know, that was good that you know, like, Okay, what podcast was on Neil, I was on this podcast, I did this training for this company and this company, and I did this presentation at this virtual conference, etc. Those things sometimes come better to us when we’re not distracted with our, our eyes on a computer show.
Yeah, I almost always and I think I’ve told you this I carry both a notepad and a sketchbook in my bag at all times. Yeah, the sketchbook thing a lot too. And now that you know, we’re getting to the point where we can actually go work in a go work in a coffee shop again, I’ve I’m putting them in my bag more and more work with the lockdowns coming out and everything else. So
yeah, my No, my no pet has to be one that’s bound at the top because I’m left handed. So these balance on the left side note, books don’t do me much good. So that’s something I’ve learned in my adult life is I have to get, you know, the ones that are that are, what they might call pads, or whatever. And
yeah, that really helps. I actually prefer Believe it or not just the hill, Roy 80 page notebooks and little tip for anybody who’s looking I get them. Now’s the time because they go I’ll go on sale for back to school. So that’s the night. Yeah. At usually at Staples. They’ll put them on sale in Canada for like 10 cents a book or something. So I tend to buy them all around this time of year and put them on a shelf. Usually fill that a chai l R Oh, why I think okay. And you said staple outlaw bars, those are not. Yeah. So in Canada, so, but find something you like so, you know, do do something that works for you. And then what I tend to do is I take those ideas, and I throw them into a swipe file on my computer after I put it together. And then you don’t lose them. You’re you’ve got a chance to massage them, you’ve got a chance to look at them. And then you’ve got and now I’m for those who don’t know, oh, a swipe file is just a fancy term for files for ideas. Right, right. And I and I do that you can do that in Word Google Docs. I tend to use one note, whatever you want to use, and just kind of do it that way. How long should a good about page take to put together? There’s a good question.
How long like in time in time? Yeah. Gosh, I don’t know. Not 30 minutes. I’ll say that. I mean, you know, it depends on like if you’re writing your own versus me writing it for somebody or something like that. I mean, because, you know, one of the first things I’m going to do is interview, right 6090 minutes, something like that, it’s going to be me digesting your answers that you gave in the form. And clarifying and then getting your origin story as a business. You know, let’s talk about Jordans story. And let’s pull out things I need to know to write that story. And so, you know, I, as far as hours go that I don’t know it, you know, it’s, I would say, at least four or five hours, probably, but, you know, good these minis, 10, I guess?
Yeah, it almost sounds like the best way to do your about page would be they get a friend or colleague, a copywriter to actually interview you, and ask you questions. And yeah, there may be record those.
Yeah, exactly. It’s unique, you need this. I mean, if you’re going to do a story driven about page, if you’re not planning to put your story in there, your origin story in there, you’re not going to really delve into too much, I guess you could just like write a cursory summary, which a lot of people do. And it’s almost like a timeline, or but those are not very compelling, in my opinion, versus writing a compelling story. So I think it’s hard to do something about yourself, it’s hard to do your own web sites are hard to, you know, write your own bout page or bio ads, it’s, you know, what is it the the cobblers kids have no shoes, right? Because that, you know, it’s hard to do what you have to do for yourself, it’s all about getting outside and seeing yourself or seeing, you know, how an audience would see you or try to see. And, you know, it’s the same as writing about your own business, right? You know, all the ins and outs of our own business. And that’s how we talk and think, but the customer comes at it from a different perspective. Yep. The strongest, I think the strongest the strongest persuasion for someone else writing about your business, or yourself is, is the fact that they can stand outside you. And you know, come at it from outside the company. And think a little bit more like a customer can think versus, you know, if you’re talking about yourself or your company. That’s that’s about it.
I would agree with that. You know, it’s funny. And the other thing I think that’s hard on about pages is people like to put clients names and say, I’ve worked with this client, I’ve worked with that client. Yeah. But the problem with that is, many of us, me included, have signed NDA s. And my NDA is are very explicit that I won’t always tell my client names surround any thoughts on how to get around that problem. You know,
maybe you sign an NDA. I don’t know enough about it legally. But I would assume that, that means you can’t say anything about it. So you just have to put other things on there. And remember, we’re talking about credibility enhancer. So maybe you work for a certain fortune 500 company, you can’t put your name on your website, but you can say that I was on this podcast with, you know, this person, you know, there, there are some things you just have to use other credibility and answers. And maybe even I don’t know if it’s possible, but I don’t know how the NDA is work. And as much as I like you, but if you didn’t get a person from the company to, to say give you a testimonial, without maybe breaking the NDA, if you can do that, that might be helpful. But I think you just have to use different credibility and answers. You might be able to, you know, put in there as you work with so many fortune 500 fortune 100 companies or whatever. But you have to respect your NDA, so I would just say Don’t break the NDA. And like I said, use other other credibility and answers, you know, yep. You might be able to, you know, get a testimonial from somebody without, you know, advocate advocating that you actually worked for this 500 fortune 500 company you have an NDA with. I don’t know enough about that. I just say you know, it’s about getting credibility enhancers, and you can do it in multiple ways. So I mean, if you have a thing where you can like privately show Hey, I work with this company, then maybe you can indicate somehow that you can tell it to them privately. But I guess the only thing I can say is you need to respect your NDA.
Yeah. Any other suggestions for what you’re going into about pitch time? No, we haven’t talked about
a pull up my notes here. Laying out, you know, I’ll say you start with that, I think I said this, but you start with that value proposition, that desired outcome. Here’s the thing, I think, if you have a, if you have a unique process, maybe, you know, we talked a lot about my friend, and bill says, you know, you can create a framework and brand it. And a lot of people do that. And sometimes the framework may not be much different than your competitor, but you branded it, they sort of like what I did with website copy framework. Similar to what Donald Miller did with story brand framework, you know, those kinds of things, the duct tape marketing people, they did one. So if you do that, I think it’s a good to excel, you know, lay that out on your about page, you know, hey, I’m the, you know, we created the story brand framework, blah, blah, blah. If that’s a part, that’s another credibility enhancer. So that’s one thing you can do. You know, I’ve talked about having values, but I think having a purpose mission, a vision, that’s the same thing. But you know, it doesn’t have to be values, you can say, our purpose or our vision, our mission is this. So and then call to actions. Do not neglect call to action. So I would say your top content, or your top offering, for sure. Those should be like maybe you’ve got two or three, like just pillar posts that you’ve written pillar articles, Cornerstone content, you should probably put that on there. And then if you have like a top or that the most popular product or service you have, I would include that on there. And then finally, at the bottom, you can, I think it’s a great place to kind of warm them up a little bit, get them on your email list. Maybe you have a a lead magnet or some kind of freebie you give away, that’s a great place to do it right there. download our free, whatever. And you get them on your about page. So don’t neglect call to actions. That’s definitely that is probably one of the biggest mistakes or things I see people leave out on your about page. And I think largely because they do write just such a benign, non compelling about page, you know, but if you’re writing one that showcases who you are your expertise, and is a little bit compelling, then throw in some definitely have some call to actions and and those three things are worth considering your top content, your your top product or service and your email newsletter.
Yep, I would agree. And I you know, we’ve had all these discussions lately about email newsletters, and that’s an interesting one because I don’t think they’ve ever gone away. Some people say they’re making a comeback. I don’t necessarily agree. I think email newsletters are still where that I put one out last week, the one that I talked about website care plans, an email newsletter open rate was over 60% again, so if you’re still reading email newsletters such as they
are and the thing about email newsletters, you’re not as there’s not one type of email newsletter anymore, right? You know, and there may be, I don’t know, nit curated type emails, like what the vendor does with the web weekly, those types of emails, I don’t know they’re making a comeback, but they certainly seem to have, at least in our circle gathered a little bit of popularity recently popularity, but that’s one kind of email you know, they know the curated email newsletter and handily that’s what she writes as well on so that’s what that’s what I write as well. Then you have the straight like nurture emails, which is really kind of like what I do really more, more or less, where I just kind of talk to you maybe tell a story or till a certain point, and and then you have the the emails that are really part of a sequence that is either part of a funnel or nurture sequence or something Like that, and you have, you know, and then you have the the guys like Ben settle and, and a few others that write every single day. And that’s a totally different animal. And not everybody can do that. So, you know, I think there’s at least three or four types of arch types of email newsletters. And so it’s really kind of hard is not only as a knock on away, I think over time, we’ve expanded the footprint of what it means to have an email newsletter based on all these different
arch types. I do too. If somebody wants to work with you on a boat page has the best way to get a hold of a
copy flight.com. And I’ve got kind of a new homepage to kind of make it try to make it simpler. And there’s three below the above the folders, three little blocks, which I’m sure the vendor can make prettier. And the first one is custom about pages. And you click on that, and it takes you to the custom about page landing page. And at the bottom, there’s a form you just click the button that pops up and fill out the information, submit your payment. And we get started.
When you take the payment right off the page down thought,
yeah, I integrated stripe with Gravity Forms with help from Ryan. And so that is you make the payment. In fact, there’s a additional as an add on option to do that small, that small bio, if you don’t have one, and you want me to do it. And so that costs a little bit extra. And if this is pretty streamlined right now. We’ll see how it goes. And if it if it works pretty well. We may add some some additional stuff to maybe different tiers or something like that. We’ll see.
Okay, thanks for joining me, Todd. Have a wonderful day and go get those about pages. Thank you. Good, sir. very special thank you to Todd Jones for Joining me to talk about one of his passions about pages. If he could use code services, please see his website copy fight.com Thanks for listening to the SDM show. It shows your production is stunning digital marketing and all rights are reserved. Rob can be reached by email at VIP at stunning digital marketing comm on twitter at RobCairns on his website stunning digital marking calm and on his website there’s links to all his social media platforms. This show is dedicated to my late father Bruce Cairns. Dad, I miss you very much. Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars make your business succeed.