An about page of another sort

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About you page image

Your profile page

Your ‘about’ page is probably the first link visitors click on when they browse your Website. In “15 Key Elements all Top Websites Should Have“, Web designer Selene Bowlby points out her own profile page gets more visits than her services or portfolio pages.

Prospects want to know who you are, if you’ve got the right skill set, seem trustworthy and personable and whether they’d like to work with you. You decide what information you wish to promote and share with your visitors and the tone you’d like to set.

Yet an About page usually does not define the profile of prospects you wish to contact you.


Precise targeting

In overhauling my Website, one goal was to filter the prospects it pulled in. A Website should be one way independent professionals can pre-qualify leads and save themselves precious time. Getting emails or calls from prospects who find me through my Website is great. Spending time politely responding why copywriting at €10 a page or translating a 10K word document in 48 hours at less than minimum wage are not on my radar takes time away from what is really important.

Design, project examples and client testimonials play a role in showing what your target market is. Publishing your rates, a hotly debated topic, also serves to discourage those who choose service providers on rates alone. I didn’t go down that road because giving an estimate without having detailed project specs doesn’t make sense to me. As a buyer, I’m often flummoxed when a quote comes in way above or below published rates, often expressed as starting at or from $x to $y. Neither reflects well on the seller.

Testing a new approach

If an About page is a push marketing tactic, can another type of About page be a more focused pull marketing one? Wouldn’t it be helpful also for prospects visiting a Website to know if the fit is likely to be promising?  And if Web copy should engage the reader (speak with me, not at me), then why not address your target market confidently?

Off I went to dissect my client base.  How did we find each other? Who was the first point of contact? Who retained my services and with whom did I work on projects? What do they want to accomplish? What keeps them up at night? What are the common denominators among those clients and projects I enjoy most (and want more of, of course)?

About you

Those are the prospects I want to speak with through my Website. So I said so. In an About you page.

One Twitter follower, marketing translator @NadVega thought it a “great move.”

Sure, it’s risky. But it’s a measured risk. To date, most of my clients come through word of mouth. The site’s job is pull marketing, so I might as well say up front what I would end up saying down the line to inquiries that are outside the scope of my marketing strategy.

Time will tell whether the two About pages get the most visits of all the pages on the site. And whether the About you page proved to be a useful addition to a freelance professional’s core page set.

How do you talk to prospects you want to connect with on your Website?




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Comments: 8

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  • Eric Le Carre

    Hi Patricia,

    thanks a lot for this thoughtful post. And your Website redesign looks very professional!

    I just wanted to draw your attention to the fact that the URL you gave at the top of your post is broken because the ‘HTTP’ prefix appears twice in the link, which results in a ‘Website Not Found’ error. See here: ‘http://http//’.

    Could you please correct it?

    Thank you.


    • Thanks Eric, the link is fixed. Last night’s correction after testing hadn’t “taken” — in the countryside, my Internet connection has frequent nano cuts and I’m not always aware (until a kind reader mentions it) that the update hasn’t reached the server. Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for your kind remarks about the redesign (still working out a few kinks!)

  • Hi Patricia,

    I second Eric’s feedback: a very professional website in every aspect. Hats off!

    Your “about page” approach is very interesting. However, don’t you think you’re scaring off potential clients that may not “tick all the boxes” (i. e. fit the profile) but might as well have a very good project to offer?


    • Thank you Véronique, I’m thrilled you like the re-design!

      You raise a good question, and one I pondered of course. Knock wood (time will tell), I think the risk is minimal. Why?
      – Because the prospect description really does fit my client base
      – I’ve a hunch prospects needing the type and level of service I provide are likely to recognize themselves in at least some of these descriptions (I don’t expect them to tick off *all* the boxes 🙂 )
      – I’ve aimed (and only readers can tell me if I have succeeded) to create a warm and friendly Website that encourages people to reach out any way that is convenient and comfortable for them (phone, mail, social networks), says I’m listening and will respond. And that’s not marketing fluff.
      – The “free consult” button also aims to make it easy for those who have a project (or a question!) to arrange a time to talk about it if they wish.

      The redesign is brand new, and I’ve not started the referencing phase yet. I’ll see in a few months whether the strategy works as intended and let you know!

  • Nad Vega

    The ”About you” page is an innovation that reflects an attitude all freelance translators should adopt: the interaction in question is cooperation between two business entities where the expertise of one is recognized as essential to achieving a meaningful goal of the other. This helps ward off commoditization and signal the value of your knowledge and skills. In a way, this page is a translation in itself: it is a declaration of your status in the translation market in a language that a lay person can easily understand. Excellent job.

    • Nad,

      Many heartfelt thanks for your insightful comment.

      You’ve summed up in a few lines my business culture and values and bolstered my confidence in writing – and publishing! – this new sort of About page.

  • Super, cette nouvelle version du site. Et excellent billet pour reprendre en fanfare après cette petite interruption 🙂

    • Merci “Piles” 🙂 Et félicitations à toi aussi pour ta réussite (évidente et certaine) au concours européen ! Champagne !